Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Friday, December 4, 2020


 A long, long time ago, men wore animal skins and lived in caves in a land populated with dinosaurs, flying dragons, and sea serpents.  Other than that, they weren't much different from us.  as the denizens of Cliffville show us, the more things change the more things remain the same.

F. Opper (1857-1937) was Frederick Burr Opper, one of the pioneers of American newspaper comic strips and the creator of Happy Hooligan, Alphonse and Gaston, And Her Name Was Maud, and Housan Lott, in addition to Our Antediluvian Ancestors.  On Happy Hooligan's 30th anniversary, Opper threw a party that was attended by President Hoover, Calvin Coolidge, Al Smith, Charles Schwab, and other notables.  until the advent of the Mouse (you know who), Happy Hooligan was the most popular comic strip character in Italy (and probably elsewhere).

Opper was also a renown political cartoonist, and an 1894 cartoon was one of the first to use the term "fake news," referring to newspaper owner Joseph Pulitzer and his ability to make money while misleading the public.  A number of his political cartoons emphasized the anti-trust movement and his character Mr. Common Man is believed to be the origin of John Q. Public.

Our Antediluvian Ancestors contains fifty drawings from the New York Evening Journal, reflecting the artist's belief "that although everything else in the world changes constantly, Human Nature has not changed, is not changing, and will never change."


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