Bray Studios Mysteries
A Frigid Frolic with Col. Heeza Liar (1912)
The poster on the right has been published in the past and was assumed to correspond with a Col. Heeza Liar cartoon, as nearly all posters are produced as accessories to films. However, "A Frigid Frolic with Col. Heeza Liar" has never appeared in any filmographies nor is there any mention of it in the former Bray Studios papers aside from a copy of the poster itself. It looks as though J.R. Bray signed it later in his life with a date of 1912, whereas Heeza Liar did not come into existence until 1913. Could this poster have been a generic advertisement for a wintry-themed entry with a more specific title? It's a mystery!
Unidentified Cartoon Stills
The stills immediately below this paragraph were found in the remains of the Bray Studios papers. Sadly, there were no notations or information written on the backs of the images. Could they be from some of the cartoons listed on the Miscellaneous Artists and Series page?
Everybody's Uncle Heeza
According to this 1916 comic adaptation of BOBBY BUMPS AND THE STORK (1916), Col. Heeza Liar was somehow Bobby's Uncle!
C.T. Anderson's "Chick"
The above comic strip was recently located by "Fram", a contributor at the Stripper's Guide comics history blog. Our own contributor, Cole Johnson, explains it best: "
Kernel Cootie a Bray cartoon product?
If you've read the Distribution History page on this site, you might be familiar with Keystone Manufacturing Company's home movie prints of Bray cartoons. While Keystone almost exclusively offered Bray animated product as part of its film offerings, it also offered very few other items like Tony the Cub, an as of yet unidentified series; Mutt & Jeff; Felix the Cat; and finally a small handful of cartoon subjects without a series title given on the prints. This small handful of cartoon subjects star what historian Cole Johnson has identified as Kernel Cootie, a comic strip character done by Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Carey Orr. In an email, Johnson writes "[Cootie] ran in the Chicago Tribune 1917-1923, first as a character in a daily viewpoint cartoon called The Tiny Tribune, then as a strip by himself." It would be easy to write off these animated cartoons, which have not yet been attributed to any specific studio or distributor, as obscure subjects Keystone picked up in addition to their Bray material. However, the still below, which depicts Kernel Cootie, was located among the remaining paper effects of the Bray Studios. No notation or information was on the back of the still. Could the Kernel Cootie animated films have been in some way associated with the Bray Studios? If so, why is the connection so incredibly obscure? It is also interesting to note that the Chicago Tribune was a rival of the Hearst newspapers. Thus, Kernal Cootie could have very well have been seen as competing against the Hearst comic strips which were handled in animated form by the Bray Studios. See: International Film Service Introduction.
Is this from a Bray cartoon?
Here's a vintage photograph of a presumably animated cartoon still. It looks as though it could be from a Walter Lantz-era Bray cartoon, but its origins are a mystery. On the back is a notation that Sophie Tucker, a popular singer, is the woman in the photo.