Thursday, September 20, 2012

Major Hoople: Olympic Legend - An Our Boarding House Sunday (1931)

Here's Major Hoople's screwball take on the Olympics in a funny 1931 Sunday, scanned from my own paper collection. Since we just recently concluded the glorious, all-amateur global competition, it seemed fitting to share this page I just ran across this morning.

Gene Ahern created his hit comic, Our Boarding House,  October 3, 1921 and created a wonderful series of daily and Sunday episodes until March 14, 1936 (dates from Allan Holtz's Encyclopedia of American Newspaper Comics). He left Our Boarding House to the hands others (it ran until 1984!), and created the more complex, and multi-level masterpieces of The Squirrel Cage and Room and Board.

His W.C. Fields type character, Major Hoople, is given to bouts of outlandish boasting, as we see in today's wonderful comic. The drawings of the bloated, late-middle aged layabout participating in field and track events are priceless. The drawings here remind me of Justin Green, a wonderful cartoonist I recommend to anyone who likes this sort of stuff.

March 1, 1931 - from the collection of Paul Tumey
Going for the gold (in ping pong),
Paul Tumey

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