Saturday, November 15, 2014


Herriman Saturday

Tuesday, September 1 1908 -- Stanley Ketchel and Billy Papke are in town training for their upcoming fight for the world middleweight championship, and Angelinos are going bonkers with anticipation. Unfortunately I cannot tell you exactly who Herriman has here dubbed Lord Fauntleroy -- presumably a fight promoter. But the message is clear -- this fight is so exciting, even the posters vibrate with nervous energy.


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Friday, November 14, 2014


Sci-Friday starring Connie

Connie, May 30 1937, courtesy of Cole Johnson. 
Follow the Connie story every Friday here on Stripper's Guide.


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Thursday, November 13, 2014


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: R.M. Brinkerhoff

Green Book Magazine 10/1916

Robert Moore Brinkerhoff was born in Toledo, Ohio, on May 4, 1879. The birthdate is from his World War I draft card. In the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, one-year-old Brinkerhoff was the youngest of two children born to Robert, an editor, and Flora. They resided in Toledo at 57 Michigan Street.

R.L. Polk & Co’s Toledo City Directory 1898 had this listing: “Brinkerhoff Robert M, student, bds 627 W Woodruff av.”

Brinkerhoff has not yet been found in the 1900 census. Biographical Sketches of Cartoonists & Illustrators in the Swann Collection of the Library of Congress (2012) said Brinkerhoff attended the Art Students League in New York from 1900 to 1901.

A 1903 Toledo city directory listed him as a manager at Rex Medical Company. Brinkerhoff and his father resided at 612 Virginia. Brinkerhoff was a cartoonist in the Toledo directories from 1904 to 1907 and, in each year, he was at a different address. In this period, Brinkerhoff married Jean C. Huston on June 8, 1905, in Chase City, Virginia, according to the Times-Dispatch (Richmond, Virginia). Also in 1905 he studied in Paris at the Academie de la Grand Chaumiere, according to Biographical Sketches of Cartoonists & Illustrators.

Printers’ Ink, December 11, 1907, printed this item: “R.M. Brinkerhoff, newspaper cartoonist, has become editor of the house organ of the Toledo Computing Scale Company.”

The 1908 Toledo directory is not available. Cartoonist Brinkerhoof was in Cleveland according to the 1909 and 1910 city directories. The 1910 census recorded Brinkerhoff, his wife and son, Robert, in Cleveland at 3848 Prospect Avenue.

Brinkerhoff’s early life was told in Town, a weekly magazine supplement for a number of New York newspapers including the Schoharie Republican. The January 12, 1939 issue said:

Bob Brinkerhoff broke into the newspaper business at an early age. His father, R.A. Brinkerhoff, had, with Henry Chapin, founded a Toledo, Ohio newspaper. Bob started immediately after graduating from high school, going to work on the paper. He was by no means sure at this time whether or not he had really struck his medium. As a youngster in Toledo, he had been noted both for his talent at drawing pictures, and for his golden voice. Toledo churchgoers praised him so much as a boy soprano, singing in the choir, that he once thought seriously of making singing his career.
After a few years on the newspaper, young Brinkerhoff came to New York to study at the Art Students’ League, later returning to Toledo to join the staff of a different newspaper as a political cartoonist and general handy man for thirty dollars a week. Three years later his work came to the attention of the editors of The Cleveland Leader, and he went to work for them at twice his former salary.
At this time it happened that H. T, Webster, now one of the country’s most famous cartoonists, quit his political cartooning job on The Cincinnati Post to take a trip around the world. Brinkerhoff was called in to fill the important post, and when Webster later returned to Cincinnati, the two became fast friends. This coincidence probably determined Brinkerhoff’s future career. O. O. Mclntyre, famous columnist, was then a member of the Post staff. He and Webster and Brinkerhoff, all feeling the rumblings of ambition decided to try their luck in New York. That was in 1913. All three were determined to come to grips with destiny and pin her to the mat. All three of them did.
At first it wasn’t so easy. The two young artists made their home with Mr. and Mrs. O. O. Mclntyre. Brinkerhoff’s musical talent (he had studied singing while he studied art, winning a scholarship at the Cincinnati Conservatory) now became profitable, for he managed to pick up a few dollars solo singing in churches.
When Webster went to Associated Newspapers, Brinkerhoff went to the New York Evening Mail as political cartoonist. He remained there for more than three years.
The Buffalo Courier Express (New York), February 18, 1958, published a few more details about Brinkerhoff’s whereabouts:
…His father, R. A. Brinkerhoff, was a co-founder of the Toledo Post, which later merged with the Toledo News-Bee, and young Brinkerhoff went to work on the News-Bee when he finished high school.
He studied art in New York and Paris and later returned to the Toledo Blade as a political cartoonist. He moved on to the Cleveland Leader and Cleveland Post, and in 1913 came to New York as political cartoonist for the old Evening Mail.
Also in 1913, American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Brinkerhoff’s strip Citizen Fixit appeared in the St. Paul Pioneer Press from April 20 to July 6 1913.

Brinkerhoff contributed illustrations to a number of magazines including the Green Book Magazine: July 1915; February 1916; September 1916; October 1916 with H.T. Webster’s drawing of Brinkerhoff feeding his friends at his New York apartment; and February 1919.

Brinkerhoff’s marriage to Jean ended in divorce. He remarried in 1917. The New York Herald, March 4, 1917, reported the wedding.

Taxicab ‘Bandits’ Steal BridegroomRobert Brinkerhoff Released. Just in Time to Catch Steamship and Join Anxious Bride.
Passengers on board the United Fruit steamship Calameres stood at the rail yesterday afternoon and watched a white faced young man make a wild leap for the gangplank and just make it before the vessel pulled away from her pier in the Hudson river.
The pale faced young man was Robert M. Brinkerhoff, cartoonist who married at noon yesterday at the Majestic Hotel. After the wedding breakfast H. T. Webster and Ray, Rohn, fellow artists, lured Mr. Brinkerhoff to the lobby of the hotel, where a crowd of masked persons was in waiting. They seized the bridegroom and carried him out to a taxicab, which disappeared in the west drive of Central Park.
The bride, who was Miss Edna Patterson, singer, of No. 600 Riverside Drive, was waiting with friends for the return of the bridegroom. When it came time for the start to the steamship she became alarmed, and decided to go at once to the pier.
In the meantime the bridegroom was pleading wildly in the taxicab to he permitted to go to the pier. His watch surreptitiously had been turned forward an hour and he was in a panic.
All might have gone well, but the kidnappers had arranged to arrive just five minutes before the time for the vessel to steam. But then in front of No. 90 West street the taxicab broke down. The jokers, who were getting panicky by this time, commandeered another taxicab, which reached the pier just in time.
The bride was relieved, but she did not wave any farewells at the kidnappers, who slunk away sheepishly.
The New York Times said “…[Rohn] threw rice and old shoes at the couple at the pier…” and the couple “…sailed…for Havana, Cuba, to spend their honeymoon.”

Brinkerhoff’s best known strip was Little Mary Mixup. According to American Newspaper Comics it ran from January 2, 1918 to February 2, 1957. The Sundays included the topper, All in the Family. The creation of the strip was told in Town:

…At this point another transformation in Brinkerhoff's life took place. Brink had always considered himself a “real” artist. The comic strip was far, far beneath him. Besides his study of drawing at Toledo and New York, he had also studied for a time in Paris, Moreover, he had made something of a splash in New York with magazine illustrations and had tried his hand at painting. He would have been aghast at the suggestion that he do a comic strip. And he was, when the suggestion was first made to him by a colleague.
Will B. Johnstone, staff artist on the old Evening World, was the first to urge Brinkerhoff to forget his prejudice and try his hand at the strip after all. He did and was almost instantly successful in producing “Little Mary Mixup.”
…“Brink” thought little girls were ideal comic strip material, since he himself liked them, and he found that there was no little girl character in any of the current comics. So he captured the idea for his own. His nieces were the most convenient experimental material, and their antics were duly recorded by his facile pen. Thus was born “Little Mary Mixup.”
On April 12, 1918, Brinkerhoff signed his World War I draft card. He lived in Manhattan, New York City, at 50 West 67th Street, and was a staff artist at the Evening World. His description was medium height and build with blue eyes and blonde hair.

The Literary Digest 4/12/1919

Brinkerhoff and his wife were at the same address in the 1920 census.
Brinkerhoff resided in Stamford, Connecticut, at 142 Fifth Street, when he applied for a passport in the summer of 1924. He and his wife planned to visit England and France.

1924 passport photograph of Brinkerhoff and wife Edna

The couple returned to their Manhattan residence, at 50 West 67th Street, according to the 1930 and 1940 censuses and Brinkerhoff’s World War II draft card, which he signed on April 27, 1942.

The American Legion Monthly,February 1931, published Brinkerhoff’s thoughts on traveling by rail:

Then I asked R. M. Brinkerhoff, the comic strip artist, why he prefers to travel between New York and Middle Western cities on the New York Central Lines.
“In the first place,” he replied, “I hate mountains of any kind wherever found, and, moreover, since I have few acquaintances living at intermediate points on the New York Central I am less likely to meet people who would disturb my meditations as I sit and look out the car window.”

Town 1/12/1939; portrait by James Montgomery Flagg

The Town article revealed others aspects of Brinkerhoff and his work ethic.
Although Brinkerhoff works with terrible concentration, starting sometimes at six in the morning, and working with indefatigable zeal until his particular task is completed, he describes the turning out of six comic strips and a Sunday color page each week as “sometimes a worrisome job.”
Nevertheless the job fails to “worry” Brink. An inveterate traveler—he has been all over the world several times, and only recently returned from a long journey through the Orient, —he never permits his traveling to put him behind in his work.
Before starting his Oriental trip he put more than 100 strips in the hands of the syndicate that distributes his comics. This monumental amount of work he had accomplished by doing systematically one extra strip a week for the previous two years. Unlike most comic artists, Brinkerhoff has never been known to be a day late in delivering his drawings or other material.
Bob, who himself is large, able-bodied and a good boxer—though one would never suspect this last from a look at his cherubic countenance—is a lover of the great outdoors. He owns an island—“Brinkerhoff Island”—in Lake Meddybemps, Maine. And Brink says the whole island is cluttered up with beautiful nieces.
One of the most amazing characteristics of the man—amazing because he is a startling exception in this respect to the average run of comic artists—is his passion for doing work.
Once a literary agent suggested that he do a book of fairy tales. In four days the twelve stories were completed. In three more the illustrations were turned in—a good sized, illustrated book finished in a week. While doing his full stint at drawing Little Mary Mixup, he found time for illustrating, for writing his character into a novel and numerous stories and articles.
But “Little Mary Mixup” has always been Brinkerhoff’s chief interest and for all the favor she has won, it is his prime ambition always to have more and more readers love her as devotedly as he does the work of drawing her.
Brinkherhoff is married. His wife’s name is Edna, but she keeps this a deep, dark secret and since childhood she has been known familiarly as “Pat.” Mr. and Mrs. Brinkerhoff have one son, Robert, Jr., a graduate of Dartmouth and now in the business department of an advertising agency.
Brinkerhoff was listed in a 1953 New York City telephone directory at 50 West 67 Street. At some point, Brinkerhoff boarded a train and moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota. A 1957 city directory listed his address as 2310 West 21st Street.

Brinkerhoff passed away February 17, 1958, in Minneapolis. His death was reported the following day in many newspapers including the aforementioned Buffalo Courier Express.

—Alex Jay


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Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Obscurity of the Day: The Burtons

In 1944, Denys Wortman, the highly regarded cartoonist of Everyday Movies, fell ill and was unable to produce his daily panel cartoon. United Feature Syndicate decided to create a new panel as a temporary substitute, and offer it to clients so as not to lose his space. That panel was The Burtons, penned by United Features stalwart R.M. Brinkerhoff. Brink (as he signed this feature) was the creator of Little Mary Mix-Up, a Pulitzer/United Feature strip about a precocious little girl that had been chugging along with a decent but not impressive client list since 1918.

Brinkerhoff probably saw United's offer to create a new panel cartoon as a great chance to try out a more modern, relevant feature. While Little Mary Mix-Up had tried to keep up with the times by introducing continuities and light adventure, it just couldn't seem to break out of seeming old-fashioned. A lot of that had to do with Brinkerhoff''s art, which got the job done but certainly didn't impress anyone.

If The Burtons was Brinkerhoff's attempt to break out of his shell, I guess he needed a bigger hammer to crack that egg. The art was fussy, certainly no better or more stylish than on Little Mary Mix-Up. The subject family of the panel was a cast of tired cliches acting out gags that sound like klunkers Brinkerhoff cribbed from the Fibber McGee and Molly show.

When Wortman recovered enough to come back to the drawing board, he resolved not to push himself too hard, and brought back Everyday Movies at a reduced frequency of three times per week*. United stuck with The Burtons, offering it to Everyday Movies clients to fill out the other three weekdays. Evidently not many papers were impressed with The Burtons, because I cannot find it running anywhere after early March 1945, and I have yet to find a paper that purchased it to run as anything but a substitute for Everyday Movies.

* Wortman seems to have returned on October 21 1944, but some papers ran his panel sporadically for months before then (a mystery I have not yet solved).


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Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Harry Palmer

Harry Samuel Palmer was born in Mt. Vernon, Illinois, on December 26, 1882, according to a family tree at Other records recorded his birth year as 1879 and 1881. The 1880 U.S. Federal Census recorded his parents, Don and Ida, and brother, Homer, in Mt. Vernon. His father was a “grocers clerk”. In 1895, Palmer was in the seventh grade.

In the 1900 census, Palmer’s mother was a widow. Palmer, his mother and brother, Charles, resided in Mt. Vernon at 300 13th Street. Palmer was a student and his birth year was recorded as 1881.

The Miami Daily News (Florida), August 18, 1955, said Palmer “studied art in Chicago, New York, Munich, Germany and Paris”. He illustrated news dispatches of the Spanish-American War, and “during the Boxer Rebellion he went to China to sketch the action there.”

A 1903 Memphis, Tennessee city directory listed Palmer at 59 Madison Street and his occupation as artist at the Commercial Appeal newspaper. In 1904, Palmer was in Denver, Colorado at 133 Grant Avenue and a Denver Post artist.

The book, New Mexico Territorial Era Caricatures (2014), mentioned the Las Vegas Daily Optic newspaper which published Palmer’s work. The February 12, 1906 issue said: “Mr. H.S. Palmer, the celebrated cartoonist and newspaper illustrator, late of the New York Journal and Pittsburg Press.”

It’s not clear if Palmer resided in Rock Island, Illinois in 1906. He produced a number of drawings, for the front page of the Rock Island Argus, under the title “Pen Pictures of Prominent People”. They appeared from September 8 to November 17, 1906.

Rock Island Argus 10/13/1906

Portland, Oregon was Palmer’s home in 1907. He was a cartoonist with the Telegram and resided at 415 Yamhill. New Mexico Territorial Era Caricatures said Palmer was in Boise, Idaho, to cover the sensational murder trial of William Haywood, in May 1907.

The Oregonian (Portland, Oregon) noted Palmer’s whereabouts on October 17, 1909: “Mr. and Mrs. Harry S. Palmer, of Seattle, who have been the guests of Mrs. Palmer’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. R.J. Campbell, left on Monday for New York, where they will reside.”

According to American Newspaper Comics (2012), Palmer’s first strip was He Just Couldn’t Help It, which ran twice in early November 1909. It was followed by Babbling Bess on November 11 and ended April 6, 1912. A third strip, Twas Ever Thus, ran from January 22, 1910 to April 8, 1911. All the strips appeared the New York World.

A follow-up article appeared in the April 24, 1910 Oregonian

Mr. and Mrs. Harry S. Palmer have returned after a year in New York, and are with Mrs. Palmer’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. R.J. Campbell. When in the East, Mr. Palmer connected with the New York World, doing illustrations and cartoons. Best known, perhaps, are the Babbling Bess series.
In the 1910 census Palmer and Lillian lived with her parents in Portland at 390 Clay Street. His occupation was newspaper cartoonist. At some point, Palmer returned to New York. The 1915 New York State Census listed Palmer, his wife, son, James, and mother in Manhattan, New York City on West 107 Street.

The New York Dramatic Mirror, August 5, 1914, reported Palmer’s move into animation.

Humorist with Horsley 
Harry Palmer, Newspaper Cartoonist, to Supply Material for One-Reel Comedies
Mr. Harry Palmer, author of “Babbling Bess,” the daily newspaper serial comics, has been placed under contract to David Horsley and commenced work for the Centaur Film Company this week. Mr. Palmer will make his headquarters at the Bayonne studio.
Arrangements have already been made through New York daily in which the drawings originally appeared to resume their publication in its columns and to have them appear simultaneously in fifty-one of the leading newspapers throughout the United States and Canada.
This is the first step in Mr. Horsley’s plan, recently announced, to produce seven one-reel comedies a week, and the only case on record of a prominent newspaper humorist conducting his entire campaign from a motion picture studio.
The film company had other plans for Palmer as reported in the New York Tribune, August 31, 1914:
War Artist for Films 
American Sent to Europe to Sketch Siege of Liege.
To act as war artist for an American moving picture concern, Harry Palmer, cartoonist and war correspondent, is now in Europe. He left here some time ago for Liege, and his first work for the Centaur Film Company is to be called “The Siege of Liege.” He will make 16,000 separate pen and ink sketches for each picture.
As soon as this picture is completed Mr. Palmer’s contract calls for his appearance at whatever big engagement is then in progress. He represented a syndicate of American newspapers during the Boxer uprising, and in the Spanish-American War did work for a number of magazines, and made a reputation for “getting his stuff home.”
The New York Clipper, October 31, 1914, reported what happened to Palmer’s project.
War Negative Stolen.
David Horsley is very much exercised over the loss of the original drawings and working positive of “The Siege of Liege,” which were stolen from the Centaur studios on Tuesday night Mr. Horsley expected to cause a sensation in the trade with the release of this picture. 
“The Siege of Liege” was in one reel, and is said to have been the only absolutely authentic picture of the European War thus far produced or received In America.
Mr. Horsley’s regret at the loss of this picture is heightened by the fact that Harry Palmer, the world famous cartoonist and war correspondent, who conceived and carried out the project, is now on his way back from Belgium, and is due to arrive in New York on Saturday.
Mr. Palmer made the original sketches—about twelve thousand of them—on and near the battle ground before Liege and Brussels—risking his life many times in the working out of his scenario. The sketches arrived at Bayonne early last week and were immediately photographed by a new process of Mr. Horsley’s invention, which was given its first practical application on this work.
Mr. Horsley was elated over the results and was counting heavily on the picture for one of his early releases. The negative, which was about 1,100 feet in length, and 1,000 feet of unassembled positive, the only print that had been made, had not been returned to the modern safety film vaults in the main building of the Centaur plant, where prints are customarily stored and guarded during the night, but bad been left in a new building which Mr. Horsley had built and equipped especially for the photographing of these pictures and similar ones to follow.
The Police Departments of Bayonne and Jersey City were notified of the robbery, and detectives were at once set to work in an endeavor to locate the missing film, while a liberal reward for its return, and no questions asked, has been offered by Mr. Horsley.
The Billboard, December 19, 1914, published the release date, December 31, for The Siege of Liege, and labeled it a comedy. The Internet Movie Database said the film premiered December 31, 1914. A review of the film has not been found.

Bennington Evening Banner 2/18/1915

The New York Dramatic Mirror, September 8, 1915, noted Palmer’s next project.
“Keeping Up With the Joneses,” a syndicated cartoon feature that is appearing in newspapers throughout the country, is to be animated and released by the Gaumont Company through the Mutual programme. “Pop” is the cartoonist responsible for the original series, while Harry Palmer, well known in both the screen and newspaper fields, will “animate” the characters.
John Bray filed a patent infringement suit against Palmer but later withdrew it. The New York Dramatic Mirror covered the withdrawal on November 20, 1915.
Judge Thomas, in the United States District Court, last week permitted john Bray, the well-known screen cartoonist, to with draw his suit against Harry Palmer, claiming infringement of the former’s patents on the process of making animated cartoons. The defendant’s attorneys protested the action of withdrawing the suit, and have given notice that an appeal will be taken to the higher courts. Winsor McCay and J. Stuart Blackton were among the prominent witnesses Mr. Palmer was prepared to put on the stand in his behalf had the case gone to trial. The costs of the case were assessed against the plaintiff.
The Moving Picture World, March 11, 1916, reported what followed the Joneses series. 
Returning to the cartoon idea which he was the first to present upon the screen, Harry Palmer will now devote the entire time of his Gaumont staff to the making of animated cartoons which are humorous reflections upon the news of the day. This will replace “Keepin’ Up with the Joneses” upon the split-reel with Gaumont’s “See America First” series, a Mutual Weekly release.
The first of the new series was released by Mutual February 27. The work upon them is progressing rapidly at the Gaumont studios. Flushing. An outline of the pictures for the first release will give an idea of the series in general. First on the screen will be that target of all cartoonists, Theodore Roosevelt. He is shown throwing his hat into the ring and laying about valiantly with his Big Stick. Then, of course, there must be reference to President Wilson’s habit of note writing, all in a spirit of lightness and not at all with political bias. William Jennings Bryan is not forgotten. The series closes with some cartoons upon preparedness.

Binghamton Press 4/25/1916

The Moving Picture World, July 22, 1916, published “The Place of the Animated Cartoon” by Palmer.
The animated cartoon is an integral part of any motion picture program, whether the exhibitor places his main dependence upon a five-reel feature or upon pictures shorter in length. It is the exhibitor’s aim to provide variety. The cartoon is the farthest remove from the photoplay in method of depiction, and as such comes as a psychological shock to the spectator. His interest is not only arrested for the animated film, but it is also stimulated for what follows. 
In the old days of melodrama the playwright would always put in an Irishman or a Chinaman who was known as “comic relief.” He has been denied comedy in writing features for the screen, and must now provide comedy as a separate entertainment. In pictures comedy now has three divisions, each important: there is polite comedy into which Miss Mabel Normand is being graduated, slap-stick comedy, such as is given in its best form by Charles Chaplin, and animated pictures. 
The first and second forms of comedy may not both appeal in the same house. There are neighborhood theaters which prefer genteel comedy, and others which have the risibilities of its patrons aroused only by the slap-stick and the seltzer bottle. It is interesting to note that both classes of houses welcome the animated pictures. This is due to the fact that spectators more readily accept the animated picture convention, recognizing that they are not asked to give the cartoon the same credence they do the comedy. Their surrender to the “make-believe” is easier. 
The best place on the program for an animated reel is right after the big feature. This may be a five-reel picture or a three-reel picture. Whichever it is, it is usually of a tense nature. Spectators wish to relax after it is over, and—as was explained in showing how the animated picture appeals to the greatest number of spectators—the greater relaxation for the greatest number is secured by showing an animated picture. 
Events of national importance, the coming election, the Mexican situation, and general preparedness, afford such striking subjects for caricature that the cartoonist now makes his happiest hits depicting such events in a gently satirical vein. The ideas are grasped immediately by every one. For these reasons the animated cartoon should have a place on every program.
The Daily Colonist (Victoria, British Columbia), October 22, 1916, printed this factoid: “Harry Palmer, the famous cartoonist of Gaumont-Mutual studios, draws with his left hand.”

Eventually, Palmer went in to business for himself as the New York Dramatic Mirror reported June 16, 1917.

Harry Palmer, the well-known cartoonist, has left the Gaumont Company and the Mutual program, and will produce cartoons under the name of Harry Palmer. Incorporated, which will be released at the rate of one cartoon per week through the Educational Film Corporation of America, beginning June 25. Mr. Palmer was one of the pioneers of animated cartoons, and probably has produced more cartoons for the screen than any other cartoonist. His cartoons have appeared every week on the screen under the General, Kriterion, Paramount and Mutual programs.
Palmer signed his World War I draft card September 12, 1918. His address was 601 West 144th Street in Manhattan. The card said his birth year was 1879 which was incorrect. The line for occupation said: “Cartoonist on New York Newspapers; 110 West 42nd Street, New York”. His description was medium height and build with brown eyes and hair.

The Commercial Register 1919–1920 had this entry: “Palmer Harry S., 601 W. 144th. Cartoonist, Gr. Cent. Ter. [Grand Central Terminal]” Palmer has not yet been found in the 1920 and 1930 censuses.

For the newspaper, The Wave (Rockaway, New York), Palmer drew 21 portraits for the series, “Believers in the Rockaways”, which ran from June 30 to November 25, 1932.


The Cook County, Illinois Marriage Index, at, said Palmer married “Unice Ross” on May 17, 1934.

The 1940 census recorded Palmer, wife, Martha, and children, Don and Patricia, in Daytona Beach, Florida, at 615 South Atlantic Avenue. In 1935 they resided in Miami. Palmer was an “artist cartoonist” who earned $1,500 in 1939. His education included two years of college. A third child, Bette, was listed in the 1945 Florida State Census.

Palmer passed away August 17, 1955, in Miami. His death was reported the next day in the Miami Daily News.

—Alex Jay


Harry was first married to Lillian Mae Frampton. They had one child, James Addison Palmer born in Manhattan. Her parents were William H Frampton and Emma Camille Brower. Exactly who the Campbell family was in Seattle, I do not know. Harry's death certificate states he was born in Weatherford, TX and that is where he told people he was born. His grandfather, James Noble Palmer was living in Weatherford. Harry and Lillian built a very impressive home in Columbia SC just prior to their divorce.
I wonder if he could be the same artist that signed as “Palmer” for “The Adventurous Life Story of Major Frederick Lord” in The Comics Magazine in 1936:

- Daniel
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Monday, November 10, 2014


Obscurity of the Day: Twas Ever Thus

I'm not sure why Harry Palmer named this strip Twas Ever Thus, a phrase that usually signals a look at the common annoyances of life. A feature like They'll Do It Every Time or There Oughta Be a Law would seem to be in order, but what we get is a strip about a love-crazed kid who will do anything for his gorgeous girl, Darling. Well, anything that will land him in hot water, anyway.

Darling, who you can bet has a list of beaus a mile long on her dance card, plays along with our boy's badly planned schemes. She's out for whatever she can get in the here and now. If he wants to hatch schemes and play the bigshot, that's fine with her as long as he comes across with the occasional fancy dinner and extravagant gift. Who can blame her? Soon enough, in 1910s America, she'll be a harried hausfrau, juggling a brood of screaming kids and endless domestic duties. Her looks will swiftly fade, her curves will change to frump, and she may well end up a widow when hubby goes off to fight in the Great War. Good for you Darling, get it while the gettin's good.

Harry Palmer cartooned for the New York Evening World from 1909 to 1912, and then falls off my radar. His main draw is his ability to draw very pretty doll-like girls, and all his strips featured these beauties in abundance. Weekday strip Twas Ever Thus  ran for over a year, from January 22 1910 to April 8 1911.

Thanks to Cole Johnson for the scans!


I think the title is quite apt. Darling leads him a merry chase, but as you suggest, she is leading a bunch that way. He has ideas that aren't completely thought out...The parrot is the smart one in the strip.
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Sunday, November 09, 2014


Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics


Freelancers have a tough gig. I wasn't built for a career like that.
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