Another Stereotype of the Month entry:
Check out 'The Family Circus' for 07/11. I am confused. Zippy the Pinhead on a totem pole?
Yes, that does appear to be Zippy. I think a non-totemic figure tops the other pole too, though I'm not sure who it is. A Katzenjammer Kid?
I've added this to the Stereotype of the Month contest for implying a totem pole's figures are mere images with no meaning. Actually, they're usually part of a cultural legend or story. They're never simply random or "comic" figures.
One correspondent commented: "I somehow got the idea Zippy was too underground for Keane to have known about him." To which I responded: Could be...but Keane doesn't necessarily have to be a Zippy fan. He could've come across Zippy at a cartoonists' convention. Or maybe one of his children is a fan and showed him the character.
Letterer Kurt Hathaway addresses the issue of the second figure:
My guess is Buster Brown or one of the Katzenjammer Kids, but I don't recall them wearing hats. It could be just a nonsense figure like most of them.
Native comic strips vs. comic books
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