Topper (comic Strip)
A topper in comic strip parlance is a small secondary strip seen along with a larger Sunday strip. In the 1920s and 1930s, leading cartoonists were given full pages in the Sunday comics sections, allowing them to add smaller strips and single-panel cartoons to their page.
Toppers usually were drawn by the same artist as the larger strip. These strips usually were positioned at the top of the page (hence their name), but they sometimes ran beneath the main strip.
Toppers were introduced by King Features Syndicate during the 1920s, enabling newspaper editors to claim more comic strips without adding more pages. The practice allowed newspapers to drop the topper and place an additional strip or an additional advertisement into the Sunday comics section. They also made it possible to reformat a strip from full-page size to tabloid size.
In 1904, Frederick Opper drew his And Her Name Was Maud, about the kicking mule Maud, into comic strips, books and animation, but on May 23, 1926, Opper positioned And Her Name Was Maud as the topper to his Happy Hooligan, and it ran along with Happy Hooligan until both strips came to a conclusion on October 14, 1932. On May 16, 1926, Harold Knerr began Dinglehoofer und His Dog Adolph, a topper to The Katzenjammer Kids, which ran until two years after his death. By 1936, to avoid any association with Adolf Hitler, the dog's name was changed to Schnappsy (aka Schnapps). Knerr's strip was reformatted for reprints in Magic Comics in the early 1940s.
Billy DeBeck's topper for Barney Google was Parlor Bedroom and Sink, which evolved into Parlor Bedroom and Sink Starring Bunky and eventually was titled simply Bunky. In the mid-1930s, DeBeck added alongside Bunky a single-panel topper, Knee-Hi-Knoodles, depictions of kids' funny remarks (contributed by readers). Bunky spawned the catchphrase, "Youse is a viper, Fagin." A big fan of Bunky was pulp author Robert E. Howard, who liked to quote from the strip, as noted by his friend Tevis Clyde Smith:
- His affection for Bunker Hill - "Youse is a viper, Fagin." Kept up with the strip, and retold it in a charming way. Liked to talk Brooklynese, and once entered a local dry goods store, and asked to see a shoitel.
Other articles related to "comics":
... Alley Oop -Dinny'sFamily Album Barney Google -Bughouse Fables,Bunky originally Parlor Bedroom and Sink) Knee-Hi-Knoodles single panel)Blondie -Colonel ... The Katzenjammer Kids -Dinglehoofer und His Dog 1926-1951)Li'l Abner -Washable Jones,Small Fry aka Small Change) Advice fo'Chillun Little Annie ... Jack 1926-35)Little Joe -Ze Gen'ral Little Orphan Annie -Maw Green bottom,last Sunday comicstopper)Mickey Finn -Nippie He'sOften Wrong!Mickey Mouse -Silly Symphony 1932-1942)Moon Mullins ...