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Jolly Jokers of the Town of Johns

ByDon Rickerson

Usually printed in 3 - 5 business days
The subjects of the book were all influential men in the area. The book itself must have been quite expensive. It was hardbound with a leather spine. Each of the caricatures is printed on a single page of high-grade paper. As this was an important book for the community, the artists must have been held in high esteem in their newspapers to have been selected for this assignment. This was the first book published of Arch Bristow’s (1882-1964) work; he was working at the Johnstown Tribune. By the time this book was published in 1907, Arch had created the “Zimmie,” an owl character that appears in each of his caricatures, delivering a punch line. Arch would go on to national syndication with the Zimmie character; then, in 1920, he began self-publishing the Hay Rake Magazine, which also earned him fame. It was also likely that this was the first book of E. F. (Edward Frank) Mack (1881-1935). The Johnstown Democrat newspaper employed him. He used the dog character to deliver the punch line in his caricatures. I did not see the dog in his later works, so that it may have just been a local feature. He would go on to fame as the ghost cartoonist for Mutt and Jeff and several other cartoons under his name. From E. F. Mack’s signature, he started penning the sketches in 1906 and continued into 1907. I assume Arch would also have started in 1906 to have enough drawings ready for publication in 1907. Ludwig Henning (1876-1949) of the Johnstown Journal drew a couple of caricatures. He listed himself as an engraver and commercial artist and did not publish other cartons. Ludwig used a bird for his punch lines. The original book did not have a cover page, so several sketches were combined to create a cover with the artist’s signatures.


Publication Date
Aug 7, 2022
All Rights Reserved - Standard Copyright License
By (author): Don Rickerson


Perfect Bound
Interior Color
Black & White
US Letter (8.5 x 11 in / 216 x 279 mm)

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