Saturday, April 28, 2012


Herriman Saturday

Wednesday, March 4, 1908 -- The fight last night between Jimmy Britt and Battling Nelson was, because of anti-gambling laws, technically only an exhibition. So who won? Well, there's quite a difference of opinion, with important boxing writers siding pretty evenly between Nelson, Britt and a draw between the two. No doubt about it, though, the sixth round was an important one. Nelson gave Britt quite a beating in that round. However, Britt valiantly came back from that bad pummeling, and hindsight seems to show that the writers who sided with Britt did so more on his gameness in coming back for rounds seven to ten than purely on points.

In any case, the decision made by history is that Nelson was the winner. He continued on his career, winning the world lightweight title, while Britt immediately sank into obscurity and soon quit the sport.


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Friday, April 27, 2012


Ink-Slinger Profiles: Everett Lowry

Everett E. Lowry was born in Montezuma, Indiana on December 22, 1869, according to the Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths Index at His parents were William and Rachel. He has not been found in the 1870 and 1880 U.S. Federal Censuses. The New York Times obituary, October 6, 1936, said, "…Mr. Lowry came to Chicago in 1893. He served as a cartoonist for the old Chicago Chronicle, the old Chicago Journal, The Chicago American and The New York World at various times. He also worked for the McClure Syndicate…." The Cook County, Illinois, Marriages Index, at, recorded his March 17, 1897 marriage to Minnie L. Mooney.

The 1900 U.S. Federal Census recorded Lowry in Manhattan, New York City at 260 West 21st Street. He had been married for three years and was an artist. In this decade, some of his strips were Pete (1903), The Man With an Elephant on His Hands (1905), and Professor Fakem the Naturalist (1907).

In the following census, he lived in Chicago at 4663 Winthrop Avenue, where he was a newspaper cartoonist. In 1914 he contributed And His Name Is Mr. Bones to the Chicago Tribune Sunday comics page.

And His Name is Mr. Bones image courtesy Cole Johnson

Still in Chicago, Lowry was at 430 Roslyn Place, according to the 1920 census. He continued as a newspaper cartoonist. Some time later, he started the Business Cartoon Service and advertised in Printers' Ink Monthly; issues from 1920 and 1922. Printers' Ink Monthly, Volume 136, Issue 2, 1926, reported on Lowry's cartoon company.

D. Merton Reardon, formerly with The John Baumgarth Company, Chicago calendar house, has purchased an interest in Lowry Cartoons, a Chicago organization which plans and executes cartoon advertising campaigns. He will act as sales manager. Otis F. Wood, formerly with the McClure Newspaper Syndicate, has been placed in charge of the Eastern office of Lowry Cartoons at New York.

He was involved in another business, paper products, as reported in Paper Trade Journal, Volume 84, 1927. (One has to wonder about Lowry's switch from cartoons to cartons -- too  much of a coincidence I say; I think the Paper Trade Journal was hoaxed -- Allan)

Chicago, Ill.—The Lowry Carton Company, 55 East Wacker Drive, has been incorporated with a capital if $35,000, to manufacture and deal in paper cartons and other paper containers. The incorporators are Everett E. Lowry, Herbert S. Cornwell and D. Merton Reardon.

In the 1930 census, he lived at 518 Deming Place in Chicago. Lowry passed away October 5, 1936. The Times said:

…Lowry, president of the Lowry Cartoon Corporation, 75 East Wacker Drive,…died tonight in his home, 508 Deming Place….

…Probably his outstanding political cartoon was "His Favorite Author," showing a farmer at home reading President Theodore Roosevelt's message. President Roosevelt sent for and received the original. He hung it in his study and mentioned it in his autobiography.

Surviving are his widow, Mrs. Minnie Mooney Lowry, and a sister, Mrs. Anita Rhodes, of Dana, Ind.

According to the Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths Index, he was buried in his home town.


Interesting that Lowry put his old editor of twenty years before, Otis F. Wood, to work for him.
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Thursday, April 26, 2012


Ink-Slinger Profiles: Quin Hall

Quin Hall was born in Lacon, Illinois on February 15, 1884. His birthplace was mentioned in an Editor & Publisher article, December 23, 1939, and the birthdate was on his World War I draft card. It's not clear if "Quin" was his first or middle name. He has not been found in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census.

The Emporia Daily Gazette (Kansas), December 28, 1939, published a profile of Hall, and it said:

...Illinois is Quin's home state, Lacon his home town. While still in high school he got to work, after classes were out, on the local weekly as junior reporter and typesetter.

After two years at the University of Illinois, Quin decided he was wasting valuable time. He struck out for the southwest to launch a metropolitan newspaper career. Starting at the bottom (as a shoe clerk in Oklahoma City) he worked his way up in two years to a sports editorship.

The Sunday edition of the paper carried his first drawings, sketches of local events and people. They were so well received that he resolved to change from a writer to an artist. He went to Chicago to study at the Academy of Fine Arts.

In the 1910 census, he lived in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma at 215 West Street. He was a newspaper reporter. The initials "LQ" were recorded by his surname. The Cook County, Illinois, Marriages Index, at, recorded his name as "Lloyd Quin Hall", who married Myrtle Williams on August 2, 1911. The Gazette said, "…After a session with blocks and casts at the Academy, Quin resigned to join the art staff of the Chicago Daily News. Later he was cartoon instructor at the academy, and cartoonist in Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, New York and Pittsburgh…." In 1914 he contributed Genial Gene and Pinhead Pete to the Chicago Tribune Sunday comics page.

The name on his World War I draft card was "Quin Lloyd Hall" and signed on September 12, 1918. He lived in Chicago at 1401 Winona Street, and worked as an artist for the Daily News. He was described as medium height, slender build, with blue eyes and brown hair. Editor & Publisher, February 10, 1917, noted Hall's relocation: "Two Chicago newspaper artists are planning to enter the New York field. One is Quin Hall, creator of 'Punkin' Head Pete,' (sic) who has already left Chicago. The other is Herbert Stoops, of the Chicago Tribune staff." The March 1917 Photoplay Magazine published his drawings.

Hall's address was the same in the 1920 census. He was a newspaper cartoonist. He has not been found in the 1930 census. The Gazette, December 28, 1939, announced Hall's new comic panel.

New Cartoonist Draws for Gazette

This is the story of typical American cartoonist, ad how he got that way. You will be interested because it is the story behind "The Doolittles," the new comic panel depicting a typical American cartoon family. "The Doolittles" starts monday in The Gazette.

Quin Hal, creator of the Doolittles, is a tall, smiling well groomed individual. There is nothing Bohemish about him. He might be a successful businessman. He and Mrs. Hall live in Manasquan, on the New Jersey coast, where they are convenient to New York and still satisfy their liking for small-town life....

The Miami News obituary, October 3, 1968, said, "…Moving to Miami in 1939 in semi-retirement, he applied for a job at The Herald in 1941 and was hired." His panel, Strictly Private, began in 1940. The News said, "…His first wife…died in 1954, and three years later he married Mrs. Marjorie Gough, who lost her husband in World War II. Mrs. Gough had been a close friend of the Halls for several years."

Hall passed away October 1, 1968, in Florida. The News said, "...Mr. Hall, who was 84 and lived at 1595 Bay Rd., Miami Beach, died Tuesday night at a hospital after an illness of several weeks….Mr. Hall is survived by his wife, Marjorie. He was born in Lacon, Ill., and his ashes will be buried there."


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Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Ink-Slinger Profiles: Dean Cornwell

Charles Dean Cornwell was born in Louisville, Kentucky on March 5, 1892. His birth information was recorded on his World War I and II draft cards, both found at Charles was his first name as recorded in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. He was the oldest of two children born to Charles and Margaret. They lived in Louisville at 2418 Portland Avenue. His father was a civil engineer. According to the National Cyclopaedia of American Biography (1967), his father's full name was Charles Louis and his mother was Margaret Wyckliffe Dean; her maiden name was Cornwell's middle name.

His earliest published work (above), in a national periodical, may have been in St. Nicholas, May 1907. He submitted a drawing to a St. Nicholas League contest announced in the January issue. In the May issue it said: "Drawing. Gold badges, Charles D. Cornwell (age 15), 3418 High Ave., Louisville, Ky…. "Who's Who in Kentucky (1936) said he attended the DuPont Manual Training High School.

The Field Guide to Wild American Pulp Artists said, "He had a natural talent for drawing, and in high school his cartoons appeared in the school newspaper and year books. After he graduated in 1910 at the age of eighteen he worked as a cartoonist for The Louisville Herald." In the 1910 census, Cornwell's mother was the head of the household. They lived in Louisville at 1500 First Street. His name was recorded as "Charles Dean" and he was a musician. The Seattle Daily Times (Washington), November 8, 1926, published Burton Rascoe's column, "The Daybook of a New Yorker", who wrote:

…At the office until 5:30 and dropped by the studio of Dean Cornwell, the American artist and illustrator, whom the great Brangwyn has named in his will to carry out the work he leaves unfinished, ignoring British royal academicians and more famous, but I dare say, not better artists than this tall, slim youth, who used to play the trap drums in a motion picture theatre two-piece orchestra for a living. He has his drum and traps in the studio and he turned on a phonograph record and I drummed to the piece while he was putting a few touches on a canvas; but when he had finished he took the sticks and made me look like a ham, so accomplished and dexterous a drummer is he.

We went to the station together and read the evening papers in the train until we reached Mamoraneck [sic], where our wives in separate cars awaited us...

The National Cyclopaedia said he attended the Art Institute of Chicago from 1909 to 1910 then "he began his career in 1911 as a charcoal-pencil artist with The Chicago Tribune". Some of his Tribune art can be viewed at He also contributed the Stone Age Stuff and Freddy Frappe panels to the Tribune's Crazy Quilt Sunday comic page, which is viewable at Barnacle Press. Stone Age Stuff ran from April 12, 1914 to January 10, 1915, and Freddy Frappe ran from May 31, 1914 to January 10, 1915.







In at least three different magazines, he used his full name. At this time the earliest one is Canada Monthly, November 1914. Next is The Green Book Magazine, January 1915. The FictionMags Index named The Red Book Magazine, February 1915. Other 1915 issues of Green Book Magazine with his art include March, April and May; in the last two issues his first name was dropped from the signature. National Museum of American Illustration said "Dean attended the Art Students League in New York in 1915".

He applied for a passport on November 29, 1916, to visit Cuba, Panama, and Costa Rica. Aboard the S.S. Calamares, he sailed on December 6 and returned on January 1, 1917. He lived in Leonia, New Jersey. On June 5, 1917, he signed his World War I draft card. He lived in Leonia at 105 Leonia Avenue. His occupation was illustrator for the Saturday Evening Post. His description was tall, slender with brown eyes and hair. The Cook County, Illinois, Marriages Index, 1871-1920, at, said he married Mildred Montrose Kirkham September 3, 1918.

In the 1920 census, he remained in Leonia but at 201 Leonia Avenue. He and Mildred were artists with their own studio. His father passed away December 9, 1920. The Breckenridge News (Cloverport, Kentucky), December 15, 1920, reported the father's death.

C.L. Cornwell Aphasia Victim
Formerly Lived in Glen Dean and Father of Dean Cornwell Famous Artist.

Mr. C.L. Cornwell, who formerly lived in Glen Dean and was the engineer in charge of the construction of the Fordsville Branch line of the L.H. & St. L., died in the City Hospital of Louisville on Thursday. His death was due to injuries when he was hit by a Fourth Street car on the evening previous to his death.

Mr. Cornwell, while constructing the branch road, was married to Miss Margaret Dean, daughter of the late Johnson Dean, and a sister of Miss Amanda Dean and Mr. Charlie Dean, of Glen Dean, one of the most prominent families of Breckenridge county.

They have two children, a son, Dean Cornwell, of New York, one of the country's leading artists, who illustrates stories and who draws covers for the largest magazines. Their daughter, Miss Mary Cornwell, is also a very talented artist and magazine illustrator.

Mr. Cornwell suffered mental afflictions which unfitted him for work. He had been separated from his family for some time but they looked after him. Mr. Cornwell built the Breckenridge-Street and Kentucky-Street viaducts over the L. & N.R.R. tracks. He did a great deal of work for the Santa Fe railroad in Oklahoma and Texas, and was a specialist in the use of designing of pneumatic caissons.

His remains were buried in Louisville. His widow, son and daughter survive.

The New York Evening World's Daily Magazine, December 8, 1922, included a Cornwell recipe in the Bell Syndicate column, "Feed the Brute: Favorite Recipes by Famous Men".

Spaghetti—My Style.
By Dean Cornwell, Illustrator

You know how to cook the spaghetti itself, I'm sure, so I will try to tell you how to make the sauce that I concocted some years ago and you'll like it.

Get a big iron kettle and put into it a lot of fine beef cut into small squares, some chopped bacon, dried mushrooms, (the kinds you get at any little Italian store), a can of tomatoes and some sliced onions. The dried mushrooms shoal be soaked for an hour or two before cooking.

Cover the material with plenty of water and season with salt, brown sugar, and Mexican chili powder. Cook slowly all day—the longer the better, I find.

When you are simply famished and cannot wait any longer, ladle the sauce onto the steaming hot spaghetti and enjoy a real meal. The sauce is still better, in my opinion, when warmed up the second day.

Passport photo, 1922

Cornwell visited Europe many times. On November 16, 1923, he returned from Cherbourg, France. His address was 58 West 57th Street in New York City. He and his wife planned to visit England, France and Italy beginning in late November 1924. On the passport application he gave his permanent address as Mamaroneck, New York. There were European trips in 1927 and 1928.

Family passport photos, 1924

The Trenton Times-Advertiser (New Jersey), April 27, 1924, listed a May 2 radio appearance by Cornwell, on WEAF, at 4:35 pm, about "The Mystery of Illustrating for Magazines". On January 17, 1929, he was a radio guest, whose appearance was promoted in the Rockford Republic (Illinois) article, "Dean Cornwell to Broadcast During Serenade".

Dean Cornwell, American artist, illustrator, world traveler, who has lately returned to New York after four years painting aboard, will be guest speaker for the Lehn & Fink serenade to be broadcast nationally over the NBC system, blue net, on Thursday evening at 7 o'clock….He will tell wherein the American girl, often less classically beautiful that her European sister, nevertheless decidedly outranks them in knowing how to assemble her good points and succeed in being more charming.

Mr. Cornwell arrived in New York with a crate of immense mural canvasses which he had sketched out in London because he could find no New York studio big enough to hold them. One of the first things he did was to look up a typical American girl model, for he has just begun work on one of the most important art consignments of the day, the mural decorations for the new memorial library in Los Angeles. Miss Murel Finley, Ziegfeld beauty of New York and California, was the artist's choice.

Picks California Girl.

Having painted women the world over, from the blonde beauties of the north countries to the dark-eyed and alluring sirens of the tropics, for his story illustrations which appear regularly in American magazines, this artist has achieved considerable reputation as a beauty critic. Asked what qualifications decided his choice of a California girl to pose for the figure of American girlhood in his forthcoming murals, he said:

"Of course, the first requirement was form and profile, human proportions that have been considered the ideal of feminine beauty throughout the ages. But for this piece of work, for a representation of ideal American womanhood, I needed more than this—radiant health, the beauty of a clear skin and firm muscles, and that well-groomed fitness which characterizes American women and makes them superior to other women of the world over."

He was recorded in the 1930 census in Manhattan, New York City at 1105 Park Avenue. He had a son and a daughter, and was an artist for an international magazine. In May 1930 he sailed to Europe again. American Art Annual Volume 30 (1933) gave his studio address as, "Gainsborough Studios, 222 Central Park South, New York". He visited Cuba in April 1933 and Bermuda in July 1938.

The New York Times, February 7, 1942, said, "Dean Cornwell, artist and head of the New York City Art Commission, took a large suite in 863 Park Avenue…" He signed his World War II draft card on April 27, 1942. Self-employed, his studio was at 222 Central Park South in New York City. His description was 6 feet and 165 pounds with brown eyes and blonde hair. His mother passed away March 9, 1947. The Niagara Falls Gazette (New York), July 23, 1948, reported the death of his sister.

Dean Cornwell's Sister Is Found Dead in Bed

Sun Valley, Idaho, July 23 (AP)—Mary Randolph Cornwell, 54, of 55 Park avenue, New York City, was found dead yesterday in her room at this resort.

Dr. Robert Wright, Blaine county coroner, said she had probably been reading in bed, gone to sleep and died of a heart attack.

Survivors include a brother, Dean Cornwell, noted artist, and a niece, Patricia Cornwell, an editor of Harper's Bazaar.

He returned from Europe in December 1955; his address was 33 West 67 Street in New York City. Cornwell passed away December 4, 1960, at Roosevelt Hospital in New York City. The December 6, New York Times obituary said the cause was a heart ailment. His wife passed away October 19, 1974.

An overview of his work is at Illustrators. The Century Association Archives Foundation has a photo of Cornwell and a stamp with his artwork. The book Dean Cornwell: Dean of Illustrators is available from various sources.


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Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Ink-Slinger Profiles: Lester J. Ambrose

Lester Joseph Ambrose was born in Gardenville, New York on January 16, 1879, according to Who Was Who in American Art (1985). His birthdate was recorded on his World War I and II draft cards. Most book and web sources name Gardendale as his birthplace, but I have found no such city or village in New York. According to the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, he lived in Gardenville, which is just a few miles east of Buffalo. He was the oldest of three children born to Joseph and Mary. His father was a hotel keeper.

Who Was Who said he studied at the Art Students League branch in Buffalo. Later he attended the Chase School of Art in New York City, where his instructors were William Chase and Robert Henri. Ambrose served in Cuba during the Spanish-American War, according to the New York Times, December 2, 1949. The Illustrated Buffalo Express, April 23, 1899, noted his return: "Lester J. Ambrose is welcomed back into the club again. He has been wintering in Cuba with the boys of the [illegible]."

In 1900, he lived with his parents in West Seneca, located between Buffalo and Gardenville. His occupation was "Bar Garden[er]." His father passed away this decade. A short list of his magazine illustrations is here. Who Was Who said he contributed illustrations to The American, Pearson's, The Delineator, and Woman's Home Companion.

He lived with his mother and sister in Buffalo at 212 Normal Avenue, according to the 1910 census. He was an artist with his own studio. The Illustrated Buffalo Express reviewed Old Good-by's and Howdy-Do's, a book of verse by John D. Wells, and said, "The book is well made. It is illustrated by several drawings by Lester J. Ambrose, of which are in unusual sympathy with the text." For the Chicago Tribune, he contributed the strip Simp Simpson, which ran from February 1 to June 7, 1914. [practically without a doubt he was employed in the Tribune's bullpen in this period -- Allan] The Illustrated Buffalo Express, December 24, 1916, published his "The Story of Creation". The Rochester Democrat Chronicle, February 24, 1918, noted his participation in the upcoming Central Y.M.C.A. show on March 1: "…Lester J. Ambrose, cartoonist for the Post-Express, will give a chalk talk…" He signed his World War I draft card on September 12, 1918. He lived in Rochester, New York at 40 Tibbs. He was superintendent at the Post-Express. Who Was Who said he was a cartoonist for the Post-Express. He named his mother as his nearest relative; she lived at 73 Hughes Avenue in Buffalo. His description was medium height, slender build with gray eyes and brown hair.

In the 1920 census his mother was the head of the household. They lived in Buffalo at 18 Merrimac Street. He was an artist. Who Was Who said he studied painting with Lucius Hitchcock, Kenneth Hayes Miller, and Louis Mora, but it's not clear when that was.

It's not known when he moved to Illinois, where the 1930 census recorded him in Oak Park at 905 South Clinton Avenue. He was married to Lila, whom he married when he was 43. His occupation was photo-engraver in photography. Lester was named in the the New York Times, November 17, 1935, article "Art Exhibit Stirs Storm in Chicago".

Charges of 'Indecency' Marks Attacks on Exhibit and Amaze Eastern Jury.

Art has driven politics over the ropes of the conversational ring in Chicago. The forty-sixth annual exhibit of American paintings and sculpture at the Art Institute has made itself the one topic upon which everybody must have an opinion. The exhibit broke into the newspapers in a manner which astounded the jury of three Eastern artists who selected the paintings as a cross-section of contemporary American Art.

…The allegation of obscenity is based less on nudity than upon a suggestiveness which some observers say they discover in facial expressions, contours and attitudes. "Dime a Dance," by Lester J. Ambrose, in which Al Capone is said to be a figure amid a group of coryphees; "Romance," by Thomas Hart Benton, in which a Negro walks hand in hand with his girl friend beneath a Southern moon, and "Lovers on a Stoop," by Mary E. Fife, are among those works of art which some have deplored.

On April 27, 1942 he signed his World War II draft card. He and Lila lived in New York City at 101 West 3rd Street. He was not working. His description was five feet eleven inches, 155 pounds, with gray eyes and hair. The New York Times, November 12, 1943, cited his painting in the fifth annual exhibition of the American Veterans Society of Artists.

The show makes an attractive ensemble and contains canvases that are outstanding. Among these quite the finest, in my estimation, is Lester J. Ambrose's tenderly and subtly brushed tiny "Gold Star Mother."

Ambrose passed away November 30, 1949, in New York, according to a death notice in the December 2, 1949, New York Times.

Ambrose—Lester Joseph, Nov. 30, 1949, beloved husband of Lila, brother of Mrs. Walter Chellew, U.S.S.W.V. [United States Spanish War Veterans], Manhattan Camp No. 1. Services at Walter B. Cooke, Inc., Funeral Home, 117 West 72d St., Sunday, 8 P.M. Interment Arlington National Cemetery.


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Monday, April 23, 2012


Obscurity of the Day: Crazy Quilt

These days it is a nice little readers' treat for newspaper cartoonists to swap strips for a day, or to do a 'jam' strip on special occasions. You'd think that would have been even more common in the old days, when a group of cartoonists often worked right next to each other in a newspaper's bullpen. Not really so, though. It happened, certainly, but rarely.

So that makes it even more special when, in 1914, a group of the Chicago Tribune's cartoonists got together and produced not just a one-off jam page, but an entire Sunday series of them, entitled Crazy Quilt. And when they decided to do jam pages, they really went all out. Each creator contributed a character, some already familiar, some new, and the strips they produced all intersected and interacted with each other. The effect is really impressive, more so if you take the time to really study what's going on in these complex pages. The amount of planning that went into each episode is really impressive, especially since they succeed so well.

Crazy Quilt ran from April 12 to June 7 1914. After the jam page was dropped, many of the series continued on a page which was for one week mastheaded with the Crazy Quilt name, but each strip was separate and not part of a unifying design. Here's a roll call of features that were patches in the Crazy Quilt:

And His Name is Mr. Bones by Everrett Lowry -- ran for a short time before Crazy Quilt, and for many years afterward, ending in 1920. Lowry was at the time of Crazy Quilt running a contest to name the dog, so the strip hasn't yet taken on it's eventual name.
 Freddy Frappe Filosophizzes by Dean Cornwell -- new for Crazy Quilt, had a six month run afterward. This was a single panel feature.
Genial Gene by Quin Hall -- ran before and after Crazy Quilt, from January to October 1914. 
Hi Hopper by Frank King -- Ran before and after its Crazy Quilt period, from February to December 1914.
Old Doc Quack by Charles Lederer -- a panel that was only used in Crazy Quilt.
Pinhead Pete by Quin Hall -- created for the Crazy Quilt page, it continued afterward, first as a panel feature, and then as a strip, ending in January 1915.
Simp Simpson by Lester J. Ambrose -- started in the Trib's Sunday section in February, it didn't continue after the jam pages.
Stone Age Stuff by Dean Cornwell -- another Cornwell panel, created for the Crazy Quilt page and then ran on its own until January 1915.

Thanks to Cole Johnson for the scans, and to Alex Jay, who will follow this post with a set of Ink-Slinger Profiles of the Crazy Quilt contributors.


It looks like modern art influenced this compilation.
Wow these are stunning! What a terrific idea this was! Russ Cochran has reprinted a few of these in his latest project. It's fun to read them in print and be able to twist and turn the page around. Thanks for sharing, Allan and Cole!
Beautiful stuff.
Sunday Press Books has just released a collection of all the Crazy Quilts plus other Frank King strips pre Gasoline Alley.
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Sunday, April 22, 2012


Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics


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