Friday, May 05, 2023
Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Frank Little
Frank Patrick Little was born on April 30, 1907, in Savanna, Georgia, according to his World War II draft card.
The 1910 United States Census said Little, his parents, William and Helen, and older brother, Robert, were Jacksonville, Florida residents at 12 East Church Street. His father was a scenic artist and his mother an actress.
The Little family has not yet been found in the 1920 census. At some point they moved to New York City.
The 1925 New York state census recorded Little, his father, step-mother, Nellie, and brother in Brooklyn at 73 Fort Greene Place. Little’s father’s occupation was painting artist. His brother worked as a scenic artist.
Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999 said Little studied at the Art Students League.
American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Little drew three series for the Paramount Newspaper Feature Service. Spike and Sam ran from July 12 to September 6, 1928; Hard-Hearted Hanna from July 19 to September 6, 1928; and Sweet Adeline from September 16, 1927 to November 30, 1928. Little continued the series Flaming Youth which was created by Jack Ward, a vaudeville performer and cartoonist who later worked as an animation storywriter. Flaming Youth was also known as Drugstore Cowboys. Paramount Newspaper Feature Service also distributed Sam Iger’s The Gang, Larry Silverman’s In Jungle Land, Geoff Hayes’ After the Honeymoon, Gus Standard’s Ham and Beans, and Louise Hirsch’s Charlie Chirps and Tessie Tish.
According to the 1930 census, Little and his father were commercial artists. Little, his parents and uncle lived in Sunnyside, Queens, New York at 4330 40th Street.
The Charleston Evening Post (South Carolina), April 14, 1936, said Little and Mary Ethel Rodrigues obtained a marriage license. Three days later the Evening Post, in a captioned photograph, said
Who before her marriage yesterday morning in St. Mary’s church was Miss Mary E. Rodrigues, of this city. Mr. and Mrs. Little will reside in New York, where Mr. Little is connected with the Ted Eshugh [sic] Animated Cartoon studios.
Little worked for the Ted Esbaugh Studios.
The 1940 census said Little had a two-year-old daughter, Mary. They were Manhattan residents at 507 West 147th Street. Little was a cartoonist in the motion picture industry. His highest level of education was the third year of high school. In 1939, he earned $1,820.
On October 16, 1940, Little signed his World War II draft card. At some point his previous address was updated to 428 West 204th Street in Manhattan. Little worked for Paul Terry in New Rochelle, New York.
Most of Little’s comic book work was in the 1940s and 1950s. He contributed three stories in All Your Comics, 1944: Karrots, Karrots, and “Red” Kamphor.
Little had copyright entries for Lily Lion—Lucky Leo (1933), Pipsi Rose Dee (1943), and It’s News to Youse (1947).
Little’s address was 428 West 204th Street in the 1950 census. He was a proprietor in the art industry. His second daughter, Patricia, was nine years old.
Little passed away on April 16, 1997. The Social Security Death Index said his last residence was the Bronx. Little obtained his Social Security number in Michigan.
Further Reading and Viewing
Find a Grave, William Robert Little Jr.
Labels: Ink-Slinger Profiles
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