Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Molly, in Love em & Leave em


While scrolling through microfilm the other day, a certain cartoon strip caught my eye. It's a four-panel strip from 1929 titled "Molly." Its by John P. Medbury. What caught my eye was the its flapper / Louise Brooks look-alike character (which in itself wasn't uncommon in the late 1920's, especially in the world of cartooning. One need only think of J.P. McEvoy and John Striebel's "Dixie Dugan," or Bill Conselman and Charles Plumb's "Ella Cinders.") The bobbed flapper is kinda cute, and the story here reminded me of the plot behind the Brooks film, Love Em and Leave Em (1926).

I wasn't able to find much on Medbury (1893-1947), except that he was a well known humorist in his day and was involved with the film world as a narrator and contributor of dialogue. He even appeared in Screen Snapshots Series 10, No. 6 (1931) along with Zasu Pitts, Bebe Daniels, Mary Pickford, Cecil B. DeMille and others. Two of Brooks one-time  stage and film co-stars,Will Rogers and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., also appeared in that short.

Medbury was a contributor to the New York Evening Journal, where he was a contemporary of Rube Goldberg and George “Krazy Kat” Herriman. According to the newspaper, Medbury's "writings in the Evening Journal are the most sensational, humorous additions to the present era of American literature. Recognized among humorous writers of the country as the 'greatest giggle generator,' 'the liveliest laugh laureate' and 'the champion chuckle cannonader.'" And indeed, his four-panel "If Not, Why Not" put a smile on my face.

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