Birmingham Historical Comic Strips -- Birmingham Age-Herald, The Twenties

Like the News, the 20's were relatively calm for the Age-Herald. The changes, by year, after the initial page in February, 1925:


Smitty lasted only a couple of weeks before being replaced by a panel called The Human Zoo, which was good but strained the limits of what gets included here; if they had run it anywhere else in the paper but the comics page, I probably wouldn't have counted it. It generally featured a portrait-style drawing of a single subject with a wry observation. I notice that the L. A. Times had a similar reaction, moving it from the comics page to the Sunday magazine back in 1924. It ran from March to August of '25.

The Human Zoo,C. D. Batchelor,none listed


In January, they dropped Moon Mullins and added a couple of panels. The Old Home Town was a large, detailed panel showing a small-town street scene with lots of secondary jokes and detail. It wasn't great, but it's the sort of thing that you never see in these days where that panel would have been about half the size of a current newspaper page.

The other panel added, Oz Bopp -- Pippin Junction, was almost but not quite unremarkable. Oz Bopp was a small-town Southern sheriff, and the panel was the usual collection of slice-of-life observations (Bopp would show up again once in the '30's in comic book form as Ol' Oz Bopp). The thing that makes it not quite unremarkable is that the panel regularly featured African-American characters (I don't think any of them were named, but I don't think anyone but Oz was ever named, and they were certainly consistent repeating characters) almost a decade before Mandrake is usually credited with introducing the first African-American characters. These weren't characters that anyone would be proud of -- if it were possible to do so in a black-and-white drawing, they were definitely drawn and written in blackface -- but they were there.

Oz Bopp - Pippin Junction,Cole,none listed
The Old Home Town,Stanley,Johnson Features


In June they dropped The Old Home Town, leaving them with just four strips.


In June they picked up Flying to Fame, one of the first flying adventure strips, and Reg'lar Fellers, an Our Gang-style gang of kids strip. In December they picked up Bobby Thatcher, one of the early melodramas turned adventure strips.

Flying to Fame,Ernest Henderson,none listed
Reg'lar Fellers,Gene Byrnes,N. Y. Tribune
Bobby Thatcher,George Storm,McClure Newspaper Syndicate


In January they added a strip which they labelled as "Rip van Rogers (Buck Rogers, 2429 A. D.)". In June, they dropped Bobby Thatcher and brought back Moon Mullins.

"Rip van Rogers (Buck Rogers, 2429 A. D.)",Phillip Nowlan and Richard Calkins,John Dille Co.

The Thirties

Last Updated: January 22, 2008