On Strips: The 1995 Comics Umbrella(s)

By | Friday, September 19, 2014 2 comments
The big image tied to this post is of an umbrella created in 1995, featuring a number of comic strips and emblazened with "San Jose Mercury News." I seem to recall seeing this on ebay several years back, and stumbled across another one again yesterday. I got to wondering what the deal was here. Was this made as a promotion for the paper itself, or perhaps one from Universal Press Syndicate made for the newspaper? I did some searching online, and wound up more confused.

Here's the problem. If you start searching on comic strip umbrellas made in 1995, you find all sorts of them with different newspapers' names on them. The Oklahoman, The Tulsa World, The Denver Post, The Daily Chronicle, The Kansas City Star... And they all have diffent specifications. Different sizes are given, some have metal handles while some have wood, different comics are represented and how they're represented varies...

But they all seem to have been maufactured in 1995 for newspapers in the American Southweast. And most of them seem to be made by a Chinese company called Hot Off the Press Productions. Does anyone know what's the story behind these? I can't seem to find anything online.
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My wife has had one of these she picked up in St Pete, Florida back in the early nineties when she was living there, which is a bit different from your time and place estimations. It's terribly faded now, but our family loves it (I'm especially fond of its snapshot of Jerry Scott's run on Nancy, with visuals that were all his own). Don't know if that's helpful...

Anonymous said...

I found one in Kansas City last year and it's so unique I love it. Mine still had the tag on it from Hot Off The Press promotions, inc and included these numbers and website but you may already have this information but I thought I'd share. 904-238-8700 extension 2268 fax 904-255-1539. www.hotoffthepress.com Vicki