Jul 26, 2009

Cuthbert (1946)

Jack Cole reached a peak of humorous writing in 1946. In addition to some of the funniest PLASTIC MAN and WOOZY WINKS stories he did, Cole also turned in a brilliantly funny little story in All Humor Comics #1 (Spring, 1946, Quality Comics Publications) (see our post here). As if that weren't enough, the master also created the devestatingly funny CUTHBERT.

In the first entry, from Plastic Man #3, and credited to Cole's oft-used "Ralph Johns" pen name, Cuthbert and his pitiable Dad emerge on the scene with no introduction or ceremony. It's as if there were 200 CUTHBERT one-pagers already published (and oh, how I wish there were!).

Plastic Man #3 (Quality, Spring 1946)

Part of what is so funny is Cole's ability to write a lisp into the dialogue in a way that works beautifully. The combination of Cuthbert's malevolent focus on filling his own needs, and his lisp is truly inspired.

The next entry, not signed, published as a toss-off one-page filler in The Spirit #4, is even funnier, I think.

from The Spirit #4 (Quality, Spring 1946)
from The Spirit #5 (Quality, Summer 1946)
SPIRIT 005 010
As far as I currently know, Jack Cole created only three one-page CUTHBERT stories. If anyone out there knows of any further examples of this demented, delightful strip, please email me!


  1. These last 3 Postings have been really stellar, Paul.. I haven't seen most of this artwork before.. Thanks so much, for sharing it!!

  2. Thanks for your kidn words and encouragement, Rich. It means a lot to me to know that folks are appreciating this blog!


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