The 36-Pound Comic Scrapbook That Chronicles the Great Depression
Lovely story from Atlas Obscura about a comic-scrapbook hybrid that also gives us a glimpse into life during the great depression. The book sounds like sort of a more low-key, American version of Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project (perhaps without the overt influence of political philosophy and academia).
So begins the inscription on the spine of a hulking tome that was once a source of idle amusement for clients at the Bungalow, a barbershop in Fredonia, Kansas. In 1928, the barber, I.A. Persinger, began compiling this collection of “Wash Tubbs” comics, a well-loved daily newspaper strip by artist Roy Crane, whose adventure graphics popularized the visual sound effects—Bam! Pow!—we know so well today. Soon, though, the scrapbook expanded with handwritten insights from Persinger and his customers on life during the Great Depression.
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