The Air at the Top of the Bottle

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Entries from January 2012

Nicodemus O’Malley and His Whale Palsy-Walsy

January 30th, 2012 · 2 Comments

In the days of big Sunday comics sections, many strips spread out over a whole page, and included a “topper strip”: a sort of short subject before the feature.  Some cartoonists used them to spin off a character from the main strip (particularly children and cats); some to revive an older idea; some to indulge […]

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Tags: Animals · Cartoons

Children’s Card Games (160)

January 27th, 2012 · 1 Comment

Girtie Giggle is featured in the 1935 Russell edition of “Slap Jack.”  The players are instructed to giggle when her portrait appears.  Likewise, Willie Whistle is to be met with whistling, Hi Sing with singing, and Slap Jack with slapping.  Card playing need not be quiet.  And the design, and two-color printing, are pretty snappy. […]

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera


January 20th, 2012 · 2 Comments

Under the title “Epitomes,” Elwin Volk and Dennis McCalib produced a series of curious pamphlets.  The ones I have were all published in Los Angeles or Pasadena in 1949 and 1950; I found them in a library sale a few years ago, and have been puzzling over them ever since.  (Please click on the thumbnails […]

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Tags: Ephemera · Literature

Children’s Card Games (159)

January 14th, 2012 · No Comments

William Dean Howells was admitted into the canon for the Parker Brothers 1897 edition of “Authors.”  He wasn’t in some of the later versions; tastes change.  His fellow authors this time around were James Russell Lowell, Robert Burns, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Oliver Wendell Holmes, John Greenleaf Whittier, William Shakespeare, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Victor Hugo, Sir […]

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera · Literature

Bulletin (15)

January 4th, 2012 · 4 Comments

Welcome to 2012.  According to the prophecies, this year will be the end of the Mayan Empire.  All things must end. Anthony Matt and I have recently restored some home movies by John Keel.  For updates on this project, check the tribute site that I maintain at I will be doing a show on […]

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Tags: Bulletins