Kenneth Kling, born October 18, 1895, was the artist behind Joe and Asbestos, a comic strip that focused on horse racing. The strip originally debuted as Joe Quince and was published in the fall of 1925 in only one newspaper, the Baltimore Sun, on a one-year trial basis. Kling had Joe picking real horses for actual races, and incredibly the picks all won. This made the strip immensely popular and other papers rushed to jump on the bandwagon and pick up the strip. After a few months Kling added a black stable boy as Joe’s companion, an African-American “Al Jolsen” style caricature that at the time was acceptable but is totally politically incorrect by today’s standards. Asbestos the stable boy quickly gained in popularity and became the costar of the strip, which was renamed Joe and Asbestos accordingly. The strip actually ended up running in only a score of metropolitan papers, but it still made a lot of money for the creator. Kling passed away on May 3, 1970.

17 strips 1925



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