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Lord Longbow was created in 1907 by Richard Thain for the Chicago Daily News. The Daily News’ claim to fame is that they were the first newspaper to syndicate a daily budget of comic strips and cartoon panels (starting in 1901). Thain was part of the regular stable of workhorse cartoonists at the News and created lots of other series, but Lord Longbow was by far his longest lasting contribution. Thain first appeared on the News daily comic page in early 1907, and his specialty was substituting for other cartoonists on their features. This was a pretty common practice at the News, and a major headache for a certain bleary-eyed researcher who had to decrypt the tiny blurred signatures on all the strips every single day.

The first Lord Longbow strip ran May 13, 1907, and Thain kept the series going through November 4, 1907. It then disappeared for over a year, finally returning on January 9, 1909. Though Thain was still cartooning for the Daily News, the strip was revived by a fellow who signed himself Rankin. Rankin shares essentially the same story as Thain – he started with the News in 1907, and created many series of his own in addition to subbing on other established strips. Rankin kept Lord Longbow running thorugh August 23, 1915, with occasional subs by (who else?) Richard Thain.

Lord Longbow was syndicated by the Chicago Daily News at first, but the News joined the Associated Newspapers cooperative syndicate in 1911/12 and thereafter the strip was distributed through their auspices. For a long while in the teens the strip was copyrighted to W. Werner.

12 strips various

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