Friday, June 01, 2007

The real origin of Laugh-Out-Loud Cats

The real origin of Laugh-Out-Loud Cats
Originally uploaded by Ape Lad.

Not many people know this, but my great grandfather Aloysius "Gorilla" Koford, was also a cartoonist. From 1912-1913 he produced a comic strip which was featured in 17 newspapers, including the Philadephia Star-Democrat, the Tampa Telegraph, and the Santa Fe Good-Newser.
The strip was entitled "the Laugh-Out-Loud Cats" and featured the exploits of one Meowlin Q. Kitteh (a sort of cat hobo-raconteur) and his young hapless kitten friend, Pip. The strip did not last long due to a run-in my great-grandfather had with none other than William Randolph Hearst.
See, the Laugh-Out-Loud Cats was run by one of Hearst's competitors, so “Big Willy” (as Hearst was known in his day) used the bully pulpit of his media empire to hound and mock the efforts of my great-grandfather. Hearst scribes insinuated Aloysius was an actual trained gorilla and purported to have evidence in the form of banana shipping statements. (In reality, my great-grandfather was an expert climber and incredibly hirsute, and had earned the nickname in college.) Pressures continued to mount and Aloysius hung up his pen after only a year of working on the strip. He turned to a life of quiet dignity as a steamer captain and part-time walrus hunter.
But the story doesn't have to end there.
As the only known cartoonist heir of Aloysius "Gorilla" Koford, I am authorized to sell black and white postcard sized portraits of Kitteh and Pip (on old-timey looking paper even!), for a mere $20. You can purchase one via the button on the sidebar to the right.
Own a piece of forgotten cartoon history today!