Monday, June 28, 2010

CAPPY DICK


May 29, 1966

I was sad when 'Cappy Dick's Young Hobby Club' disappeared from the Sunday funnies, sometime in the late '80s, and I'm not sure why. 'Cappy' gave a weekly dose of tips for making your own fun. Take peanuts and twigs and make your own mini-tomahawks, for example. Paint pasta and make a necklace. Take an egg carton and buttons and make your own tiddly-wink-style game. I have no childhood memory of ever trying anything I read in 'Cappy Dick', but I remember when it was suddenly gone one Sunday, feeling the disappointment you feel when a piece of your childhood fades out.

Unlike some strips, the web is no fount of information when it comes to 'Cappy Dick'. This page has a great overview, as well as a nostalgic dream of a kid wiling away his Sunday with the craft ideas learned from the strip. I did find an obituary for the Cappy's creator, Robert Cleveland. He died in 1985, at which time the strip was being carried in 64 newspapers. Cleveland was no longer drawing the strip at his death, as it had been taken over in the '60s by 'Buck Rogers' artist Rick Yager. The strip ended in 1987, with cartoonist Bob Weber, Jr. transitioning from 'Cappy Dick' to his own Slylock Fox, which focuses on rudimentary drawing tips and "spot the difference" exercises. I think the only way a hobby strip like 'Cappy Dick' would make it today is if it was renamed 'Cappy Dick's Cheats for Nintendo DS'.


15 comments:

Chris Sobieniak said...

I feel your pain.

I remember Cappy Dick being in my paper too up to the very end, though my paper didn't replace him with Slylock Fox, instead opting for Professor Doodles.

It's sad thinking how things use to be back then. Kids certainly aren't having it any better today.

Anonymous said...

Hey i remember the Cappy Dick comic strips!. I recall back in the mid 80's winning a C.H.I.P.S Highway patrol slot car racing set for drawing a pic of my grans garden,lol.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the memories. For some reason this comic popped into my head today. Gosh, how I didn't even know how much I missed it. It was awesome to see what new fun you could have every week outside.....with your friends! Too bad kids nowadays haven't a clue.

Anonymous said...

I remember on a certain day of the week, Tuesday, I think, there would be a puzzle and you would complete it and mail it to Cappy Dick and could win a prize. I won several prizes. Basically they were tokens but it was so magical to mail in your entry and win. He would post the names and ages of the winners in his column. Once you got into mailing them in it seemed the same names would win often. After a while the winners would lose interest and another batch of kids could win. Great times and yes pre internet.

Christopher Sobieniak said...

No qualms from me, I like what I saw of Slylock Fox though it was never picked up in my paper.

Anonymous said...

Found your page today. I won the World Book National Prize in 1967. Pretty sure I have the correct date because the books had special white covers to commemorate the 50th anniversary of World Book Encyclopedia.
Thanks for the memory!

Christopher Sobieniak said...

Glad to know this page makes a difference (whoever you are).

LPG said...

I remember this strip from the mid seventies when you would send in an entry to a small puzzle to win prizes. My brothers and I tried for weeks and finally won, The prize was a set of pencil erasers, I think in the shape of fish. Very cool!

LPG said...

I remember this strip from the mid seventies when you would send in an entry to a small puzzle to win prizes. My brothers and I tried for weeks and finally won, The prize was a set of pencil erasers, I think in the shape of fish. Very cool!

Anonymous said...

From May to November 1959, right out of art school, I drew the Cappy Dick Sunday page. The comics were drawn 8 weeks in advance of publication. In all, I did 26 Sunday pages, and once when the artist who drew the daily strip was ill, Bob Cleveland had me do one of those, as well. When I quit in November to go to the army, Rick Yager, long-time artist of Buck Rogers, took my place. I was then only 21 years old. I am now 79. Great days in Chicago!

Matt Tauber said...

It is great to hear from you, mystery artist! Would you mind telling us who you are and any other strip/cartooning work of yours we might know? Thanks!

Christopher Sobieniak said...

It's nice to get people popping out of the woods to give us little anecdotes like this!

Anonymous said...

Hi. I'm Ronald H. Beights (Ron), the "Anonymous" former artist of Cappy Dick who wrote you a few days ago. Thanks for your interest.
After leaving Cappy Dick and Chicago in 1959 and serving two years in the army as an illustrator, I took a job as art director for an advertising agency in St. Louis. Worked there for 16 years and during that time made numerous attempts at syndication. Although I never quite made it with my own comic strip, I did have a few syndicates interested, including King Features and Field Enterprises. At one point I signed a contract with Washington Star Syndicate, but the strip idea fizzled because it had certain similarities to The Wizard of Id."
I finally left the ad agency and went out on my own as a freelance artist. Worked out of a studio in downtown St. Louis and had such clients as Peabody Coal Company, Rexall, Southwestern Bell Telephone, and others.
In 2002, Pelican Publishing Company, Gretna, Louisiana, published a book I wrote called "Jesse James and the First Missouri Train Robbery." It's now in its third printing. I illustrated the cover and did most of the drawings inside the book, as well.
So--in a nutshell---that is my post-Cappy Dick art career.
Thanks, again. Ron

Christopher Sobieniak said...

Still, that's quite a resume you got there, Ron! I'm sure the life of a graphic artist for an ad agency was pretty interesting work int hose pre-digital days. I never thought to get into it at all myself, my high school offered a "Commercial Arts" class I could've taken for two years but just simply didn't see a need to get into that field, my brother did, but he didn't seem to get much of of it, still working as a stock boy for a furniture/electronics store in the area.

Susan S. said...

Hi! I too was a Cappy Dick fan, winning quite a few of the small prizes. My sister was a World Book winner. I'm trying to remember the name of a small prize I won. I was a set of small, about 2 inches, colored dog toys that "walked" via gravity. They had a thread and a small weight ball attached to them. You would drape the thread/ball over the edge of a table and gravity would pull the toy forward, making it's little legs "walk" to the edge of the table. Does anyone know this toy? Thanks in advance!