Saturday, May 18, 2024


One-Shot Wonders: H.T. Webster Gag Cartoons, 1903


At about age 17, H.T. Webster moved to Chicago to attend an art school. Unfortunately the art school shut down shortly after he arrived. Faced with needing to earn a living, he found that the Chicago Daily News was a ready market for cartoons. The News carried a half page or more of cartoons and strips, crammed in and printed very small, for their back covers. It was a great page if you had real sharp eyesight. The list of neat stuff that appeared there goes on and on. 

Webster failed to make any big impression at the Daily News, but they bought plenty of his cartoons, and he even started a few short-lived series. Here we have a few cartoons from 1903 that show that early Webster cartoons are almost impossible to identify without the signatures. 


The umbrella title for the Chi'News syndicated pages of tiny cartoons was "WHERE THE LAUGH COMES IN."
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