Thursday, August 14, 2008


Obscurity of the Day: Willie Hawkshaw the Amateur Detective

Willie Hawkshaw the Amateur Detective was one of many sleuth strips of the oughts that played off the popularity of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. This entry was signed Hutch which apparently by popular acclamation has been identified as Frank Hutchinson. I'm not so sure about that. I'd have to dig up an example of the only strip that was definitely by Frank (Willie Wise, Tommy Tuff and Simple Sammy, World Color Printing) to see if the signatures and styles match*. There were several different cartoonists going by "Hutch" in the 1900s-20s.

Willie Hawkshaw ran in the Chicago Tribune's Sunday section from August 27 1905 to April 29 1906.

You'll find an interesting discussion about the origin of the term hawkshaw and more samples of this strip over on the excellent Barnacle Press site.

* Update April 2019: I compared art styles and I am satisfied that this is indeed Frank Hutchinson.


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