The Incompleat Scrappy Sayings

Among Scrappy’s many notable achievements: he starred in not one but two unsuccessful newspaper comics. I’ll write about one of them — the one with the Will Eisner connection — another time. This post is about Scrappy Sayings, which ran in papers as early as 1935. Years ago, comics scholar D.D. Degg alerted me to its availability in an online archive of a paper called the Grosse Pointe (Mich.) Review. The paper ran it erratically — sometimes every week, sometimes two panels in one week, often not at all — in 1936 and 1937.

Scrappy Sayings is weird — it involves Scrappy, so it would be weird if it wasn’t weird. How to describe it? It’s a little like Love Is, if Love Is starred a fully-dressed Scrappy and Margy, used terrible jokes which made no sense in a feature about small children, and took place during the depression. And was drawn by someone who didn’t know how to draw Scrappy. (Anytime he looks like himself, he’s almost certainly a swipe.)

The panel was syndicated by something called the Columbia Feature Service, which was apparently an arm of Columbia Pictures, since all its features involved the studio’s films. I assume that nobody ever looked at Scrappy Sayings as anything other than promotion for Scrappy cartoons. (It sure wasn’t Floyd Gottfredson’s Mickey Mouse.)

Here are all the examples I could find — including one fragment — in the order the Grosse Pointe Review ran them, although they don’t seem to have published them in chronological order, nor to have run all of them. But even this poorly-reproduced smattering is probably the most Scrappy Sayings ever published in one place at one time.

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