Fred Lasswell

Here’s the wiki link

I never thought Snuffy Smith was very funny. But in real life, Fred was one of the funniest persons I ever knew. Billy DeBeck hired him in 1933 to help with Barney Google. Fred was mainly responsible for developing the character of Snuffy and the other hillbillies. When Billy died in 1945, Fred took over. From Barney Google it became Barney Google and Snuffy Smith then Snuffy Smith and Barney Google, and then just Snuffy Smith with maybe Barney in small print. The Syndicate did this so they could maintain copyright to the Barney character. Every year or so Barney and Sparkplug would show up at Snuffy’s shack. This was also to maintain the copyright.

Fred didn’t have good feelings for King Features. They talked him into being a salaried employee. I don’t know when this happened, but he was very bitter. He said that he was a young man and didn’t know any better. Generally the split is 50-50. In my case, a lot of the money came from Europe. The split was supposed to me 35 me, 35 syndicate and 30 for the foreign distributor. However the foreign distributor took out overhead. I doubt if I received 20% of those revenues. That’s the way it works. did you ever see the Italian full length cartoon movie Allegro non Tropo? The poor cartoonist is chained to his drawing table. It’s a really terrific movie.

I visited him at his studio once. He had three beautiful young ladies, maybe early twenties, as his assistants. As far as could tell, all they did was stand around looking pretty. As a matter of fact, his wife was a former Zeigfeld girl. One of them answered a phone call while I was there. He was drawing Snuffy when I arrived. He took about three minutes just drawing Snuffy’s nose. No kidding. I can still see him working on the precise shape.

I forget how long ago it was, at one of our cartoonist conventions, Fred and I put on a show. I sang and played the ukekele. Fred was Queen Kahunahuna aka Tiny Bubbles. Here was this old man well into his seventies dancing the hula and ad libbing jokes. He was a riot.

I still have that shirt.

I apologize for the “M” word. I didn’t know any better.

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Nothing today

And I’ll bet you’re not too disappointed.

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Time to throw them out!

That post where I had the page from the Book Fair wasn’t from 1971. I don’t know how that got in there. It was September 2001. I corrected it on the earlier post.

It was a bad book fair for me. Not because of anything the organizers or the participants did. It was because of the attack on the Twin Towers. I had reservations to be there. All the flights were cancelled. I believe I got there three days late. What with the terrorist attack, it wasn’t good for me. It was nothing like the earlier book fairs that I had been to.

I know everybody is just like me. There comes a day that you realize you have to throw out your wine corks.

And wouldn’t you know it, that’s the time the raccoons raid your garbage.

 

Yes, folks, the Masked Slapper has a new manager…

 

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New Book

I’ve been very busy, that’s why I’m behind in my email. I’ll catch up this week. I’ve been putting together another collection, 2015-2016. And there’s a ton of other things keeping me busy. (Although I did manage to take Frau Grace fishing last Friday. Film to follow.) I also have 1993-1994 ready to go. It will be a while before I publish them though. I have six more years worth of dailies to organize. I think I’ll release them all at the same time. It’s a real pain in the butt. I’ve gotten better at organizing things, but I’m dealing with over 600 strips in each collection, trying to present things in an organized fashion with easy to follow formats. It’s harder than you might think. I just finished the layout for the newest collection. Here it is if you’re interested. You should be able to expand it. Drag it to your desktop.

From this month in 2012, Sid is finally having a little luck…

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Now for something completely different…

…Quoting Monty Python

I found this among my old papers. It’s the original sheet music for Love Me Tender:

You notice that it says “Words and Music by Elvis”? WRONG! You might know that the music was a Civil War song titled Aura Lea. Just as It’s Now or Never is really O Sole Mio.

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Friday

I took Frau Grace fishing today. Film tomorrow

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Notice the nice lettering. I created a set of fonts, five sets if I remember correctly. And I wrote a little routine to alternate between the sets so that all the “E”s etc. don’t look the same. Back then I was doing a bunch of comic book work, and I needed to save time. This series was inked by Jay Scruggs, aka Mert Nertman.

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Billy DeBeck

Of course Billy created the strip Barney Google. He was one of the real giants in cartooning. I was a big fan as a kid. I loved his style. Read about him and Barney and Sparkplug.  Billy moved in high society. He was a big star. Back in the early days newspaper strips were tremendously popular. They made movies based on them. Radio shows as well. I listen to the old Jungle Jim Radio show and the Dick Tracy Show. There was also a Terry and the Pirates radio program. They made a ton of Blondie movies. There was even a hit song about Barney in 1923.  I found some animated cartoons as well. Sparkplug.  And Tetched in the Head.

In 1923 Billy hired Fred Lasswell who took over the strip when Billy died. It gradually became Snuffy Smith. I’ll tell you about Fred later this week or next.

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Wednesday, January 29

Ran out of time today. I’m due at the bar.

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WOULD YOU WANT YOUR DAUGHTER TO MARRY THIS GUY?

Did I ever show you my drivers license from 1977? (some officious broad at the DMV cut off the corner three years ago) But what a good looking young man I was. Talk about your airport body cavity searches!

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The Katzenjammer Kids

Rudolph Dirks created the strip in 1897. Read about it. In 1912 Dirks took a break and Hearst hired Harold Knerr to draw it. Dirks came back and a lawsuit ensued, a lawsuit with very important ramifications for creative artists. The courts said that the original copyright holder owned the strip and the title, but not the characters. So Dirks started a rival strip titled  Hans and Fritz and later The Captain and the Kids for a different syndicate. I don’t own the copyrights to my comic strips, but I own the characters. King Features also owns rights to my name. They can use it anywhere they please. This isn’t so important for me, but can you imagine what if some syndicate owned somebody’s name like Walt Disney? Artists usually get the short end of the stick.

This Dirks Hans and Fritz is from 1918:

Knerr from 1932

Back in 1999 Arnold became a professional wrestler. He also made an appearance in 2000. This is from 2001. Incidentally, I used to be a wrestling fan. That was a while back. Nowadays there’s something about it that doesn’t interest me. I saw Hulk Hogan wrestle Andre the Giant twice.

I believe that Jay Scruggs inked this story for me. He was tremendously talented. I’ve mentioned him before.

I apologize for using the “M” word. I didn’t realize that many people find it offensive.

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