[PW] Dairy publications from 1939 (I need all the help I can get)

Casey Roberson CASEY.ROBERSON at uga.edu
Thu Jul 18 04:07:42 PDT 2019

At this point, what I've determined is that the strip must have been published in some internal magazine made by American Dairies, Inc.

They were in business in Kansas City in 1939, Mort Walker lived there in 1939 as well, and in one of the extant examples of the strip, one character refers to working at "American Dairies". I found another reference to the strip in Mort Walker's 1975 book Backstage at the Strips, where he refers to it as running in "American Dairies magazine". This is the earliest reference to the strip in his books; later books refer to American Dairy Review. I imagine in 1975 he was relying on his memory, but by 2000 he (or his publisher) was checking his memory against something like WorldCat.

It's a bit anticlimactic, figuring out the mystery but having nothing to show for it. I've put out messages to Dairy Farmers of America (in Kansas City), rare book & ephemera dealers in the area, a local history group on Facebook, and checked again with the local historical societies in both Kansas and Missouri. If anyone has any other ideas for turning up a company's internal newsletter/magazine from 1939/40, please let me know!

Casey Roberson

Research & Instruction Librarian for Public Health

Zell B. Miller Learning Center 373



From: Project-wombat <project-wombat-bounces at lists.project-wombat.org> on behalf of Sue Watkins <genealogy2018 at yahoo.com>
Sent: Thursday, July 18, 2019 3:26:48 AM
To: list at project-wombat.org
Subject: Re: [PW] Dairy publications from 1939 (I need all the help I can get)

[External Sender]

This should help.
Lambiek Comiclopediahttps://www.lambiek.net/artists/w/walker.htm
Early years
"In 1939 another early comic, 'Sunshine and Shadow' (1939), ran in the American Dairy Review. The series starred two stereotypical Chinese men who spoke in aphorisms. Sunshine was an obese but joyful character, while Shadow was tall and grumpy. "Walker attributed his early success to the fact that none of these magazine editors knew he was just a teenager. In fact, he was paid so well that he simply left the fifth grade."
You may also like to check out the following. It is really in depth:
The Comics JournalThe Mort Walker InterviewBY  R.C. Harvey FEB 2, 2018 From The Comics Journal #297 (April 2009)http://www.tcj.com/the-mort-walker-interview/
Sue W
=============Man will destroy the world because he does not obey the laws of nature and pretends to know the laws of God -S. Sullivan, 1966

    On Tuesday, July 2, 2019, 06:26:54 AM AKDT, John Cowan <cowan at ccil.org> wrote:

 On Tue, Jul 2, 2019 at 3:06 AM Casey Roberson <CASEY.ROBERSON at uga.edu>

I got a reference question a couple of weeks ago from Mort Walker (creator
> of Beetle Bailey)'s old assistant, who himself is a comics historian.

Wow, what a saga.  I can't actually help, but a few comments:

> He had a comic strip in his local paper at the age of 13, but even three
> years later, landing a regular strip in a trade publication in another
> state still seems like too unlikely an accomplishment.

It doesn't seem so unlikely to me.  A syndicate wouldn't touch a cartoon
written by a teenager who can't be held to a contract, but if Walker wrote
to the editor directly, enclosing some samples, and the strips tickled the
editor's funnybone, he might well have bought them and asked for more.  It
probably wouldn't have occurred to him to ask about the cartoonist's age.
This is still more or less what happens at the New Yorker, though the odds
of an unknown beating a regular or even irregular contributor for one of
the 15-20 slots per week are very small.  But that's the New Yorker, not
whatever-it-was published in (by NYC standards) the sticks.  I bet
over-the-transom buying was far more common in 1939: certainly many
general-interest (eheu fugaces!) and specialized magazines did so for many
of the articles and stories they ran.

One obituary for Mort Walker, in The Comics Journal, says that he worked
> "as staff cartoonist on a dairy company publication".

The difference between being a regular contributor (especially if you are
the only contributor) and being on staff might seem small to an overworked
obit writer, who most likely had no books to consult when he actually wrote
it (in advance, generally, with rare updates) and no time to do so anyway.
Grievous errors in obits are almost a tradition.

John Cowan          http://vrici.lojban.org/~cowan       cowan at ccil.org
John Cowan's Home Page<http://vrici.lojban.org/~cowan>
John Cowan. The ultimate minimalist home page. Best in any browser, no matter how ancient. Recycled Knowledge. My blog, which tells you about things I've learned.

The first thing you learn in a lawin' family is that there ain't
no definite answers to anything.  --Calpurnia in To Kill A Mockingbird
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