Cartoons and comics from the 1930s -- At the Jane Haslem Gallery through October 4.
The year is 1935. The place, the comics page.
"Yes, Chief," Dick Tracy is explaining, "we put the lie-detector on Toby Townley and the results were negative! The girl is not GUILTY!"
Meanwhile, Little Orphan Annie and her faithful canine companion are once again heading for trouble: "Leapin' Lizards! Know who that was Sandy? That must have been J. Gordon Slugg -- Daddy showed me his picture from a newspaper clippin' -- yessir -- it was Slugg all right -- what's he up to around here?"
And Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse is having his problems, as well: Our hero spots an angry bear in the forest and though he assures his two nephews that it will surely run away , the snarling animal runs after them, instead. t(The mice quickly scramble up a tree to save themselves.)
Dick, Annie, Mickey and a hundred other original cartoons and editorial drawings from the mid-1930s were assembled for an exhibit in 1936; in storage ever since, they were recently acquired by the Jane Haslem Gallery, where they now are on display. (They're also for sale: Most of the political pieces and many of the smaller strips are priced between $250 and $900; the "Mickey Mouse" bear strip and a Sunday episode of "Dick Tracy" are $2,000 each.)
Other samplings from the funny pages include Carl Anderson's "Henry," Brandon Walsh's "Mung Foo," Bud Fisher's "Mutt and Jeff," Bill Holman's "Smokey Stover," Rudolph Dirks' "The Captain and the Kids" and Ernie Bushmiller's "Fritzi Ritz" (the precursor of the popular "Nancy").
On the editorial side, there are vintage cartoons that seem poignantly current despite their age. Among them are drawings by Herbert L. Block (Herblock) for the NEA Syndicate, Fred O. Seibel for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Bruce Russell for the Los Angeles Times, Claude Shafer for the Cincinnati Times-Star, Quincy Scott for the Portland Oregonian and Doran H. Smith for the San Francisco Chronicle.