Thursday, March 17, 2011


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Joe Doyle

Gag cartoon, 1912
Joseph Dennis "Joe" Doyle was born in Ireland on January 21, 1888; his full name and birth date are from his World War I draft card. According to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census he and his mother, Catherine, immigrated during the year of his birth to the United States. They were boarders with the Buckley family in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 2137 Randolph Street.

In 1910 Doyle was a boarder in Philadelphia; his occupation was salesman for a cigar store. 

Doyle produced comics for the Philadelphia Inquirer. His strips appeared in the Boys' and Girls' Magazine Section as early as March 9, 1913; usually there were four different strips in the eight-page magazine. Cole Johnson said that Doyle did the "Scary William" strip from August 16, 1914 to June 2, 1918. [Doyle's stints on Scary William, as well as on Fineheimer Twins, Little Possum Gang and That Irresistible Rag, all for the Inquirer, were unsigned and his work was IDed by Cole Johnson -- Allan]

Doyle strips from March 9 1913 Boys and Girls Magazine of Philadelphia Inquirer
In the Jersey Journal (Jersey City, New Jersey) '"Excuse Me," by Myer Marcus, appeared from March 5, 1913 to the middle of December 1914. Unsigned strips appeared from mid-December to February 6, 1915, and most appear to be by Doyle. The strips were signed by Doyle beginning on February 8 and ending on March 27, 1915. Doyle's "Lonesome Lew" replaced "Excuse Me" from Tuesday, March 30 to Wednesday, May 19, 1915. [Excuse Me began in the Inquirer much earlier, on 4/10/1911. The Doyle version either didn't appear in the Inquirer itself, or was missing from the microfilm, so I had the series ending earlier, on 1/30/15 -- Allan]

In the last week of "Excuse Me", a Charlie Chaplin Tramp-like character was introduced on March 24 and 27. That character became "Lonesome Lew" on March 30, but this one was actually an "Excuse Me" strip because the series' last panel always had someone exclaiming, "Excuse me!" On May 20 "Lew" was replaced by Robert Brook's "Officer Crust".

Doyle signed his draft card on June 5, 1917. His occupation was cartoonist at the Keystone Feature Syndicate. He was described as slender, height five feet ten inches, with blue eyes and brown hair.

Jersey Journal, 3/24/15
Jersey Journal, 3/27/15
Jersey Journal, 3/30/15
Jersey Journal, 3/31/15

At the time of the 1920 census Doyle was married to Sophie and they had a daughter, Dorothy. They lived in Philadelphia at 5527 North Marshall Street. According to the census Doyle had been naturalized in 1908. His occupation was listed as cartoonist for a newspaper.

In 1930 the Doyles lived at the same address. His occupation was unchanged. This census showed that Doyle married at age 27 (in 1915). His wife was seven years his junior.

According to the Social Security Death Index, Doyle passed away in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in September 1973.


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