April 11th, 2012

Ask the Archivist: And The Winner of Vintage Madness Is…

by The Archivist

Dear Faithful Readers,

It’s all over. The day of days is here. No more balloting. No more overworked basketball metaphors.

The funny Flagstons of HI AND LOIS scraped out a victory over JUDGE PARKER in a really close finish!

Dik Browne’s HI AND LOIS of the 1950’s now joins DailyINK’s Vintage lineup, thanks to all of you voters who appreciate real classics of American comics.

Sales brochure art for HI and Lois, 1954.

BUT, since the voting in the last heat was so close, we realize there is a lot of crestfallen JUDGE PARKER supporters out there. So we’ve opted to let his Honor hold court as well in the Vintage section. After all, we’re here to have fun with vintage comics!

The JUDGE PARKER strips that we are going to offer will be dailies from October 1968 to February 1978, only. The reason is, unfortunately, our files are sometimes imperfect. Sadly, when we at Hearst Corporation acquired the NAS syndicate twenty five years ago, we also got a rather poorly maintained archive. I once asked the late Nick Dallis if he had a set of proofs that could fill in our missing spots, but like many other cartoonists and writers, saving his old material wasn’t important to him. After all, isn’t that what the syndicate is supposed to be doing?

The HI AND LOIS files are considerably more complete. We, at King Features, had the foresight to hold on to them, fortunately.

Starting MONDAY APRIL 16th, we’ll be offering both HI AND LOIS and JUDGE PARKER in our vintage lineup. Thanks again for voting!

To answer Bhob’s question about color: We only saved the black and white proofs until recently. That’s because everything had to be in a hard copy, and what used to be sent to a client newspaper was in four progressive color guides. There was a black plate, which showed the line art of the Sunday page, then the yellow, red and blue plates which were just blobs that would be in the specific color, when printed together, fit into the various shapes of the cartoons where needed. Well, we could only save the black plate, lest it would increase fourfold an already mountainous archive of Sunday strips. Modern technology has done away with all that, so everything is in a cyberfile, and nothing ever has to be chucked.

Yours truly,

The Archivist




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