Re-posting: Brief comments on the first Sunday “Connie” science-fiction story (a 31-episode time-travel story, in which Connie, Dr. Chrono, and Jack travel to the thirtieth century), and a correlation of its appearance in the United States with its appearance (in “Paulette”) in Canada during 1936 and 1937 . . .

Note (11-14-16): Recently I purchased two 1936 Connie Sunday strips on eBay, as well as one strip from late in 1940.  I was especially glad to get the 1940 strip, which was was from quite late in the year, and was (as far as I can tell) not the final Sunday Connie, but almost so. In reviewing some other material, I noted that the first Sunday science-fiction Connie was the one for August 2, 1936. So the 80th anniversary of that strip passed not long ago.

I don’t think that the key August 2, 1936, strip is one of the rarest Connie Sundays. If you set out to find one, you might never be able to do that, but on the other hand, I think I may have three examples of that in my collection: one black-and-white full, one full-color full, and one full-color tabloid. I hope to check on that within the next few days, but if you collect Sunday pages from that era, you are probably aware that they can be quite cumbersome, and difficult to refer to.

Anyway, below is a post that related to the science-fiction story under discussion. I originally posted it in 2012, and then I took it down in January 2013, so I presume that some of you never saw it, and that most or all of the rest of you have little recollection of it.

Elsewhere in this blog, I have touched upon the relationship between Connie in the United States and Paulette in Canada.  La Presse ran Paulette on Saturdays.  It was a translation of Connie, and it generally appeared somewhat later than Connie. (I do not know whether Paulette appeared anywhere other than in La Presse.  It seems as though it would have.)

The first Connie Sunday science-fiction story started generally in the United States on Sunday, August 2, 1936.  In that episode, Connie and Jack visit Dr. Chrono, and he starts to demonstrate his “time traveler.” That first episode must have been a bit of a surprise to readers, because for (at least) months before that the Sunday strip had been mainly (maybe solely) a gag strip, and as far as I know the vast majority of Connie Sunday episodes, for years, were gag strips.  There were some detective-style strips, and at least a couple of gags where Connie was a reporter, and maybe there were some non-gag Sunday strips that I am not familiar with.  But overall, it seems that the Sunday Connie was a gag strip until that momentous date of August 2, 1936, which changed forever the direction of the Connie Sunday strip.

That same episode appeared in La Presse on August 29, 1936.  So, right there, that Paulette episode appeared close to four weeks later in Canada (at least in La Presse) than it did in the US.

The second Connie Sunday science-fiction episode appeared on August 9, 1936.  In that episode, Connie is transported one thousand years into her future, to the year 2936.

But in Canada, that episode appeared on September 26, 1936, creating an additional three-week separation — there was then a seven-week gap between the US and Canada appearances!

Below is an attempt at a further correlation.  This is based almost entirely on my Paulette comic strips, which, in all but a few cases, bear both the (Saturday) date of the paper (not as part of the strip proper), and the (Sunday) date on the strip.  Where I have placed a date in brackets, it means that I didn’t find the date on the strip itself.  The dates on the strips themselves are usually two numbers separated by a hyphen, showing first the month, and then the day, such as “9-6” for September 6.

I’ve already discussed the first two episodes (above). Below are listed the other 29 episodes.  Episode numbers below were created by me:

Episode 3

Connie, in her twentieth-century garb, talks with the people of the future.  The final frame has a “UN” logo.

US:  August 16, 1936

Canada:  October 3, 1936

Episode 4:

Connie is still in twentieth-century dress.  The fourth panel shows a flying vehicle, and the sixth panel shows a reclining Connie.

US:  August 23, 1936

Canada:  October 10, 1936

Episode 5:

In the first frame, Connie is wearing twentieth-century clothes.  In the second frame, she is wearing thirtieth-century clothes.

US: August 30, 1936

Canada: October 24, 1936 (At the time there was an eight-week gap.)

Episode 6:

Jack and Dr. Chrono are in panels six, seven, and eight.

US:  September 6, 1936

Canada:  October 31, 1936

Episode 7:

Jack and Dr. Chrono arrive in the thirtieth century and are shown in the last panel.

US:  September 13, 1936

Canada:  November 7, 1936

Episode 8:

The top row is one panel, and it shows Connie, Dr. Chrono, Jack, and others.

US:  September 20, 1936

Canada: November 14, 1936

Episode 9:

The top row is one panel, showing Connie, Jack, and Dr. Chrono in their futuristic garb.

US:  September 27, 1936

Canada:  November 28, 1936 (At the time there was an additional delay of a week.)

Episode 10

First appearance of the spaceship called “Meteor.”

US:  October 4, 1936  (The strip is dated “10-4,” so it corresponds with the date given.  As I indicated, most of the actual strips are dated.)

Canada:  December 19, 1936  (We might have expected it to appear on December 5, so there is yet another delay, this one of two weeks.)

Episode 11:

The third panel shows the moon in the distance.

US: October 11, 1936

Canada:  December 26, 1936

All right, for the remaining episodes, I am going to be more succinct.  I will state the episode number, and the US date, and, in parentheses, the Canada date.

12: October 18, 1936 (January 2, 1937)

13:  October 24, 1936 (January 9, 1937)

14:  October 31, 1936 (January 16, 1937)

15:  November 1, 1936 (January 23, 1937)

16: November 8, 1936 (January 30, 1937)

17:  November 22, 1936 (February 6, 1937)

Episode 18 would have been published in the United States on November 29, 1936, and in Canada on February 13, 1937. I did not locate the relevant Paulette when preparing the list.

19: December 6, 1936 (February 20, 1937)

20:  December 13, 1936 (February 27, 1937)

21:  December 20, 1936 (March 6, 1937)

Episode 22 would have been published in the United States on December 27, 1936, and in Canada on March 13, or March 20, or March 27, 1937.  I either don’t have that episode of Paulette, or, more likely, I just don’t have it readily available.

23: January 3, 1937 (April 3, 1937)

24:  January 10, 1937 (April 10, 1937)

25:  January 17, 1937 (April 17, 1937)

26: [January 24, 1937] (April 24, 1937)

27:  January 31, 1937 (May 1, 1937)

28:  [February 7, 1937] (May 22, 1937)

29:  February 14, 1937 (May 29, 1937)

30:  February 21, 1937 (June 5, 1937)

31:  February 28, 1937 (June 12, 1937)

And that (February 28, 1937) was the final episode for that time-travel story.  A new story started in the US on March 7, 1937.

By the time the story ended, the Canada version was about fifteen weeks later than the US version!

The science-fiction story discussed in this post is extremely important to the whole Connie series.  As far as I know, the Connie Sunday strip never included any gags after that story started.  The story’s art, including the settings, compositions, attire, figures, colors, and everything else about it, is handled beautifully.

—Tom Sawyer

March 24, 2012

Slightly revised on March 26, 2012

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This entry was posted in Making Private January 28, 2013, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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