Birmingham Historical Comic Strips -- Birmingham Post, The Thirties
Large spaces and good art aside, for those of who don't care that much for adventure serials (or hillbillies, for that matter), the '30's are less of a Golden Age than a, well, not a Dark Age, but at least a Grey Age. Nonetheless, the Post comics page matured nicely during the decade, ending with a pair of panels and five, then six, then seven strips that were mostly solid and were given the chance to find their legs without being allowed to stagnate (although, admittedly, both Freckles and Boots were a bit past their sell-by dates by the end of the decade). It never quite grew back to a full page due to a quarter-page of text-based features and ad copy on the left side of the page, but it filled the space nicely and was a good feature for the paper, as Our Boarding House and Out Our Way had nice runs at the top of the page and the stories told below were done well, even with the pacing issues involved in all daily serials.
In September, Fontaine Fox came back, more or less labeled as Toonerville Folks now (there were still days when the title would wander, but it was predominantly run with that title). In November, they added a panel from George Clark (whose The Neighbors would run in both the News and the Age-Herald at times during the '40's) called Side Glances.
Fontaine Fox,Fontaine Fox
Side Glances,George Clark,NEA Service
In February, they dropped Side Glances as a regular feature, although it would run on a space-needed basis somewhere in the paper off and on for the next decade or so (in later years, along with something called Flapper Fanny at times). In May, they picked up a goofy family strip (that's to be parsed as "goofy family", not as "goofy strip", which would have been more entertaining) called Mom 'n Pop, which changed names in August to The Newfangles. In November, they dropped The Bungle Family and replaced it with Buck Rogers, 2431 A. D.
Mom 'n Pop,Cowan,NEA Service
The Newfangles,Cowan,NEA Service
Buck Rogers, 2431 A. D., Dick Calkins,John P. Dille Co.
In February, both Buck Rogers, which just never seemed to take hold in the Birmingham market (it had run for a few months in the Age-Herald a couple of years earlier), and Toonerville Folks (which would show up in the A-H a couple of months later) disappeared.
In August they dropped Salesman Sam again and replaced it with Alley Oop, which has survived much longer than the paper did.
Alley Oop,Hamlin,NEA Service
In November, they dropped The Newfangles and replaced it with Barney Baxter in the Air. Barney Baxter was a flying teenager adventure strip, which is a premise no more farfetched than, say, Little Orphan Annie; if you swallowed your disbelief it was fairly well written.
Barney Baxter in the Air, David,none listed
In February they squeezed everything a little thinner and added Myra North, Special Nurse, a hospital-based serial that turned out to be more adventure (lots of spies and criminals seemed to land in her ward) than soap opera.
Myra North, Special Nurse,Thompson and Coll,NEA Service
One more squeeze in September, as they made room for Li'l Abner.
Li'l Abner,Al Capp, United Feature Syndicate
In March, they replaced Myra North (according to Toonopedia, the strip ended as a daily feature at that time) with Red Ryder, a Western indirectly beloved by fans of A Christmas Story.
Alley Oop,Fred Harman, NEA Service
Last Updated: August 2, 2010