Although George McManus passed from this earthly coil in 1954, his immortal characters live on in our collective memory—and (of course) in our forthcoming second volume of his classic newspaper strip. The strip premiered in January 1913. Happy Centennial to Bringing Up Father!
Above: a 1950 Fathers Day drawing for the St. Paul (Minn.) Dispatch
Following up on my earlier Bringing Up Father discussion and account of my trip to UCLA to research the George McManus Papers there…
UCLA’s Special Collections Libraries have a Duplication Services department, through which all requests for copies and computer scans are routed. Before leaving L.A. I had spoken with department lead Brandon Barton about how best to accommodate the logistics of the McManus artwork we’d be requesting from the collection for use in our Of Cabbages & Kings book, and upon my return from the west coast, after a couple days to get my notes in order, I had a three-page list of items zapping toward his inbox (along with as many pages of descriptive notes to assist Brandon’s crew in locating the artifacts I wanted).
Holidays and a mix-up regarding one of the boxes made Brandon’s task anything but a smooth one, but he and his Duplication Services staff came through with flying colors—and I mean that literally!
Because the artwork and photos I had requested arrived recently, and I was like a kid in a candy store as I reacquainted myself with these treasures. (“Oboyoboyoboyoboyoboyoboyoboy!” is the way I put it in an e-mail to Dean.)
We have some neat family-oriented photos of McManus to share with you in Of Cabbages & Kings, and the artwork…! We have more than we can use in this book or a sequel (or maybe two), so let me tantalize you with just a tidbit or two right now:
Above: Maggie and Jiggs in service of selling ads for King Features.
Below: an undated card for the Friars Club, of which ol’ George was a member.
Couple that with a text feature that reflects a chunk of my research results and you’ll soon have in your pulpy little palms what we immodestly (but accurately) characterize as, “the greatestBringing Up Father collection ever assembled!” And when you realize BUF comics have been being sandwiched between two covers since 1919, that’s saying something!
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As a bonus, here’s something that was NOT in McManus’s papers but which we found in our Library’s stacks: a Jiggs “Tijuana Bible,” in which Jiggs…well, let’s just leave it up to your imagination!