"A Trip Through Newspaperland" was printed in either 1948 or 1949 as a premium to be given away during a Star and Tribune open house. People who toured the newspapers' new building on Portland Avenue in Minneapolis took this comic book home as a souvenir. Copies also were given away at the Minnesota State Fair.
Over time, records of exactly when the Star and Tribune open house took place were lost, and virtually all copies of the comic book disappeared. A slice of Twin Cities history had faded into obscurity.
In 1996, a mechanic in the garage at the Star Tribune's Heritage printing plant, Jeff Hanneman, was cleaning out some boxes and found two copies of the comic book. Hanneman presented his find to Star Tribune librarian Bob Jansen, who also served as the company's unofficial archivist. Jansen recognized "Newspaperland's" importance as a piece of newspaper history and saw the potential of online restoration. The project was then given to summer intern Kevyn Jacobs to create an online version.
During the restoration process, Jansen and Jacobs played detective, trying to piece together a history of "Newspaperland" and its creators.
Shortly after this online restoration of "Newspaperland" was completed, a third copy of "Newspaperland" surfaced, in the personal collection of Star Tribune computer guru Bruce Adomeit. This copy was better preserved than the original two Jacobs and Jansen had to work with, and was stamped with "Minneapolis Sunday Tribune, July 3, 1949." The earlier copies bore no such markings, and until the third copy surfaced, it was theorized that "Newspaperland" had probably been distributed with the newspaper at some point, but nobody knew when. The third copy solved this mystery.
About the creators
Norman E. Hamilton
Norman Hamilton (shown here in a May 1956 publicity photo) was a freelance artist who collaborated with Harry Cheney on the mystery comic strip "Lance Lawson," which ran in the Star in the 1940s. Hamilton, a Minneapolis native, was a graduate of the Chicago Art Institute and owned a local design outfit called Studio One. He died in 1979.
Unfortunately, we have no information on Harry Cherney, except that he collaborated with Hamilton as the writer on "Lance Lawson" in the 1940s. This employee photo was taken in January 1948.
Bradley G. Morison
Concept and publicity
Bradley G. Morison (shown here in a August 1949 employee photo) was a staff writer for the Star and Tribune in the 1940s and then moved into the promotions department, where he collaborated with Hamilton and Cherney on "Newspaperland." He is the son of Bradley L. Morison, who in 1966 wrote "Sunlight on Your Doorstep," a history of the Tribune's first century. Bradley G. Morison left the newspaper in the 1950s to pursue a career in the arts. Morison died in 2008.