Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Celebrating Charlie Chaplin - the "Guy with the Feet" - in comics and in Niles, California

The Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum in Niles, California is celebrating Charlie Chaplin with their annual Charlie Chaplin Days event, July 13 - 15. This weekend long happening is filled with screenings, presentations, walking tours and special guests (Dan Kamin, John Fawell, Jeffrey Weissman, Jason Allin, Steve Massa, Paul Mular, Nigel Dreiner, John Bengtson, Marc Wanamaker, and David Totheroh). There is even a Charlie Chaplin look-alike contest. More information may be found HERE.

And in honor of the great comedian, with whom Louise Brooks had a brief affair in 1925, is one of the rarest bits of Brooksiana and Chapliniana you are likely to see . . . . the four panel comic strip "history" of the summer-long affair between the then little known showgirl and international film star. Tongues were wagging in 1925.

Gossip made the news. The related feature photo below was syndicated across the country. I have found many instances of this captioned image in newspapers from across the United States. (Despite Chaplin's denials, in later years he did vividly describe Brooks' breasts as being like "little pears.")

Comic strip representations of silent films stars, especially Chaplin, were quite common place. Here is a rare 1915 newspaper page which introduces the “Charley Chaplin’s Comic Capers.”

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