Detail from the front cover of a Ledger Syndicate catalog . . .

The Ledger Syndicate — from what I gather — was a far more important syndicate than most people seem to realize.  And, of course, it played a crucial role in Godwin’s life.  I have a copy of their “Catalogue No. 14,” and I have found it rather fascinating to look through.  The catalog seems to try to avoid specifying dates, for the most part.  However, on the internet is a reproduction of the cover of Catalogue No. 9, which shows that Catalogue No. 9 was the catalog is for 1928-1929.  If we assume that the catalog was an annual publication, then No. 14 would be 1933-1934. Whether that is exactly right, I don’t know, but from some of the interior, it is at least fairly close.

Frank Godwin produced a great deal of art for the Ledger Syndicate, basically during the period 1924-1940.  The best known would be his Connie (1929-1940) and his Vignettes of Life (1924-1927).  He also drew Sunday-supplement covers (not sure of the start and end dates).  He also created what one might call other illustrations — to which the catalog alludes.  (I can only think of one such illustration, a beautiful drawing in, as I recall, a Sunday supplement.)  I am pretty sure of the dates mentioned, and to some degree I have probably already discussed those dates in this blog.

I think that most of Godwin’s “Ledger-related” art was syndicated, but it is possible that some of it was drawn for use only by The Public Ledger (or The Evening Ledger, or the Sunday Public Ledger.)

Anyway, here is an image of a portion of the cover for Catalogue No. 14.  You’ll note Godwin’s name:

Ledger 14

The covers, front and back, include a total of 40 or so names, and that may include all of the “main” people (writers and artists) involved with works mentioned in the catalog.  And by the way, some of the comic strips are — or historically have been — better-known than Connie.  Examples include Vignettes of Life (by J. Norman Lynd), Hairbreadth Harry, Somebody’s Stenog, and . . . well, those are probably the best known.  Others include Babe Bunting, Modish Mitzi, Sonnysayings, and Dizzy Dramas.  (Note that nearly all of these titles feature alliteration!)  This was all obviously before Roy Powers, Eagle Scout.

—Tom Sawyer

November 18, 2013

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