1900s Comic Book Art and History at PSU’s Lamson Library, “Foxy Grandpa” Curated by Professor David Starbuck

January 9th, 2014 by blyndes

PLYMOUTH, N.H.— Lamson Library at Plymouth State University will present an exhibit dedicated to “Foxy Grandpa,” January 14-February 28 at the library and learning commons on Highland Street in Plymouth.

Foxy Grandpa and his creator, Charles “Bunny” Schultze, first appeared in the “New York Herald” in 1900 and in the “New York American” beginning in 1902, according to David Beronä, dean of the library and academic support services. Four different companies subsequently published more than 30 books of reprinted cartoons, and Broadway shows and silent films featuring Foxy Grandpa appeared over time. Spinoffs including cast iron toy banks, pins, dolls, postcards, spoons and other ephemera also became popular.
Dr. David Starbuck is Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Social Science at Plymouth State University. His interest in the legacy of Carl “Bunny” Schultze and Foxy Grandpa is both personal and professional: personal in that he grew up with a torn and stained copy of an old Foxy Grandpa comic book published in 1905, and professional in that comic strips (and books) reflect enormous changes in American culture over the past 100 years. He says, “Foxy Grandpa was published between 1900 and 1920, during the Platinum Age of American comics, and it shows a world that is relatively simple and innocent, a pre-World War I culture that is a far cry from the risque, violent, superhero culture of today.” As a social scientist, Starbuck seeks to understand the values of our grandparents and great-grandparents through the colors and subtle humor of early comic book art.

Professor David Starbuck

Beronä says, “Many early comic strips have come and gone, and those from a hundred years ago are largely unknown to readers today. This older gentleman in a three-piece suit and spats was “foxy” because he was (usually!) able to out-fox his two mischievous grandsons. Through Foxy Grandpa and Bunny Schultze, readers are able to go back in time and experience humor that makes us smile ‘just a little’ as we recognize ourselves in the characters.”

Starbuck will bring the character back to life at a presentation from 5:30-6:30 p.m. February 5 at Lamson Library.

Library hours are online at library.plymouth.edu/hours.

General information about events at Plymouth State University is online at Thisweek@PSU, http://thisweek.blogs.plymouth.edu.”

In the News

Example Image

Plymouth State Goes Test-Optional on Admissions

Plymouth State University, in New Hampshire, has ended a requirement that applicants submit SAT or ACT scores. A statement from the university said that it will continue to place the most emphasis on applicants’ high school performance.

Example Image

PSU president to step down in 2015

PLYMOUTH — Plymouth State University President Sara Jayne Steen announced Thursday that she will step down as president on 30 June 2015, after nine years as president. “It has been my honor to serve as president of Plymouth State University,” Steen said. “I am proud of this vibrant University that is transforming students’ lives and […]

Example Image

Plymouth State president to step down in 2015

PLYMOUTH, N.H. (AP) — Plymouth State University President Sara Jayne Steen says she’s planning to step down as president at the end of June 2015 after nine years at the post. Steen said Thursday the timing was appropriate, saying significant milestones have been achieved during her tenure, such as a $32 million facility that will […]