Miscellaneous Cartoon Collection

Collection Summary

Title: Miscellaneous Cartoon Collection
Call Number: MS 98-03
Size: 3.0 linear feet
Acquisition: Acquired through Dr. Martin Bush
Processed by: KE, 10-26-1997
Restrictions: None

Literary Rights

Literary rights were not granted to Wichita State University. When permission is granted to examine the manuscripts, it is not an authorization to publish them. Manuscripts cannot be used for publication without regard for common law literary rights, copyright laws and the laws of libel. It is the responsibility of the researcher and his/her publisher to obtain permission to publish. Scholars and students who eventually plan to have their work published are urged to make inquiry regarding overall restrictions on publication before initial research.

Content Note

Several well-known cartoonists and cartoons are represented in this collection including George Herriman and "Krazy Kat," Stan Lee and "The Amazing Spiderman," and Al Capp and "Li'l Abner." Cartoons by Boris Artzybasheff, Dan B. Dowling, Bill McClanahan, Karl Hubenthal and Warren King are also included. Untitled cartoons were given a descriptive title, and all cartoons are arranged alphabetically within each file by title. The major portion of the collection dates from the late 1960s and early 1970s.


Surrealist artist Boris Artzybasheff was born in Kharkov, Russia on May 25, 1899, the son of Michael and Vassilievna Artzybasheff. From 1909 to 1918 he attended the Prince Tenishev in St. Petersburg. After school he served in the Ukrainian army for a year. Upon leaving the army, he emigrated to the United States in 1919, becoming a naturalized citizen in 1926. On February 22, 1930 he married Elisabeth Southard Snyder. Mr. Artzybasheff’s works have appeared in a wide variety of publications. His drawings have appeared in magazines like Time, Life, and Fortune, and a number of magazines have used his paintings for their covers. He has illustrated books for Edmund Wilson, Padraic Colum, Alfred Kreymborg, Rabindraith Tagore, William Allingham, Honore de Balzac, and Fridtjof Nansen. In 1933, he illustrated and edited an edition of Aesop’s Fables. Besides illustrating others’ books, he has authored three books himself: Poor Shaydullah in 1939, Seven Simeons in 1937, and As I See in 1954. Mr. Artzybasheff held memberships in the Institute of Graphic Arts, the Society of Illustrators, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in London.

When a comic strip about a naive hillbilly appeared in 1934, it made newspaper history. It has been hailed as the first truly satirical newspaper cartoon strip. Al Capp, its creator, was born on September 29, 1909 in New Haven. Connecticut to Otto and Matilda Davidson Capp. He received his artistic training at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. His marriage to Catherine Wingate Cameron produced three children: Julie Ann Manning, Catherine Jane Pierce, and Colin C. Mr. Capp got his first break when he was asked to take over drawing the nationally syndicated “Mr. Gilfeather” strip. Unfortunately his editor called his efforts the worst cartoon he had ever seen. Realizing that he wasn’t prepared for that level of work, Al Capp quit and went back to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts for more training. When he left the Museum of Fine Arts for the second time, he felt ready to try again. Taking his drawings from one establishment to another, he managed to sell only a few. One day while he was making the rounds, he met Ham Fisher, a well known comic strip artist. Mr. Fisher offered to pay Mr. Capp 10 dollars to finish a comic page for him. After that, Al Capp became Ham Fisher’s assistant on the “Joe Palooka” cartoon strip. Before long, however, Mr. Capp’s independent spirit asserted itself and he quit working as Mr. Fisher’s assistant. It was at this time he got the idea of satirizing the flaws of American society in a cartoon with a simple hillbilly as the protagonist. He took his idea to United Features. They liked it, and “Li’l Abner” debuted in the New York Mirror on August 12. Not only does Mr. Capp have the distinction of creating the premier newspaper satirical cartoon, he was one of the first cartoonists to place well-known figures in his story lines using their real names. His cartoon strip has so effectively pointed out the foibles of American life that he has been compared to Rabelais and Jonathan Swift. Besides his work as a cartoonist, Mr. Capp has also been a columnist for the New York Herald Tribune Syndicate and acted as chairman of the cartoonists committee of the President’s People-to-People program in 1956.

On November 19, 1906, Dan B. Dowling was born in O’Neill, Nebraska to Harry Purcell and Claudia Dowling. In 1924 he went to the University of California, completing his studies there in 1928. Married to Harriet Kelly, he had two children. Mr. Dowling started his both his marriage and his career in 1931. For two years he worked as a newspaper reporter in Chicago, then from 1933 to 1936 as an artist for the New York Associated Press, before joining the Omaha World-Herald in 1937 as a cartoonist. During World War II, Mr. Dowling served for four years as a captain in the Army. After leaving the service in 1946, he returned to his job at the World-Herald for two more years, and at the same time he became a contributing artist to the New York Tribune. Starting in 1949, his cartoons were syndicated, and in 1967, he joined the Publishers Syndicate. Three years later, he became the editorial cartoonist for the Kansas City Star. A member of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists, and its president for the years of 1956-1958, Mr. Dowling received the Christopher Medal and the Freedoms Foundation Award in 1946.

With cartoons that have the art and style of poetry, George Herriman introduced a new dimension to the comic strip, which succeeding generations of cartoonists gratefully expanded. The son of a baker, he was born in New Orleans in 1880. Though he had to drop out of high school to help out in the bakery, he had, in fact, started on his artistic career by drawing cartoons in his spare time. In 1901, the same year that he got married, he went to New York to try his luck as a cartoonist. Fortunately, he was lucky enough to be able to sell his sports and political cartoons to Judge, Life, the New York News, and The World, while at the same time working as an assistant on the syndicated Lariat Pete, Bud Smith, and Major Ozone strips. In 1908, William Randolph Hearst hired him to work on the New York Journal as part of the cartoon staff. The next year, he started drawing the daily comic “Mary’s Home from College.” This comic later turned into “The Dingbat Family,” and then “The Family Upstairs.” Oddly enough, the Dingbat’s family cat had grown into a prominent character in the strip. So, in 1911, that cat got a comic strip of its own, “Krazy Kat and Ignatz Mouse.” Two years later the title was changed to just “Krazy Kat,” and by 1916, it was established as a full time comic strip. Through the antics of the cynical, brick-throwing mouse, the sentimental police man dog, and the humble, affectionate cat, the strip captured public attention. Krazy Kat was frequently used as a figure of expression. Though a short-lived ballet based on the cartoon was produced in 1922, and President Woodrow Wilson never missed an episode, it never achieved widespread popularity. Since the strip did not garner the fame and monetary rewards that the popular cartoons did, the modest George Herriman, who made considerably less than other cartoonists, once went to William Hearst not to ask for more money but felt that he was being paid too much. Even though the cartoon did not enjoy tremendous success, ti continued to run without interruption until George Herriman died, on April 25, 1944. As a tribute to its creator, King Features Syndicate laid Krazy Kat to rest, too.

Karl Samuel Hubenthal was born to Dr. George W. and Perma H. Hubenthal on May 1, 1917 in Beemer, Nebraska. He studied at the Chouinard Art School in 1935. His first job after art school was at the Los Angeles Evening Herald-Express on the staff of the art department. Four years later, in 1939, he became a sports cartoon artist. The following year he married Elsie Helene Litschke, and they had two daughters. As a corporal in the Marine Corps Reserve, during the years 1944-1946, Mr. Hubenthal worked on the staff of the Leatherneck magazine. He then went on to do free lance commercial art and magazine illustrations for the next three years. Soon after joining the Los Angeles Examiner, in 1949, as a sports cartoonist, he became the editorial cartoonist in 1952, having his cartoons syndicated in the Hearst newspapers. In 1956, he began drawing story illustrations, cover art, and advertising for West Coast Publications. Recipient of the Freedoms Foundation Award in 1951, 1953, 1955-1961, 1963-1968, and the grand award in 1962; the 1959 National Headliners Award; and the Helms Athletic Foundation medal in 1964, Mr. Hubenthal was named the best sports cartoonist at the New York World’s Fair in 1940, and the nation’s best editorial cartoonist in 1962 and 1968. Karl Hubenthal was a member of the Marine Corps Newsmen’s Association, the National Cartoonists’ Society, and the Society of Illustrators. He also belonged to the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists and acted as its president in 1963-1964.

Warren Thomas King was born in Queens, Long Island, New York on January 3, 1916 to Thomas Joseph and Rose Beck. He earned his B.S. from Fordham University in 1938, and then studied at the Grand Central School of Art. For advanced studies, he went to the Phoenix Art Institute from 1938 to 1941. His marriage to Nadine Sensabaugh in 1950 produced three children, one son and two daughters. For 21 years, starting in 1940, Mr. King did free lance illustrations for books, advertising, magazines, and movies. During this time he also worked as an editorial cartoonist for the National Association of Manufacturers of New York City in 1951 and the New York Daily News in 1955. Paintings by Mr. King have been displayed at the Pentagon and the Air Force Academy. He was presented with the Freedoms Foundation Medals of Honor in 1953, 1959, and the 1965; the 1960 Certificate of Merit; the Newspaper Guild Award in 1959 and 1960; the Society of Silurians Award in 1960, 1961, 1964, and an Honorable Mention in 1965; and in 1963 both the George Washington Honor Medal Freedoms Foundation Award and the Brotherhood Award of the National Conference of Christians and Jews. His memberships included the Society of Illustrators, the National Cartoonists Society, the Society of Silurians, and the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists.

Renowned for his creative genius which brought to the comic book pages a pantheon of superheroes, the name Stan Lee (Stanley Martin Lieber) is nearly synonymous with Marvel Comics. The creator, former writer, and editor of, among others, “Fantastic Four,” “Incredible Hulk,” and “Amazing Spiderman” was born Stanley Martin Lieber on December 15, 1922 in New York City to Jack and Celia Solomon Lieber. Though his education was only in the New York City public schools, his work earned him an honorary degree from the Bowling Green State University of Kentucky. He got his first job, in 1949, as a writer for Timely Comics. In only three years he moved up from copy writer, to assistant editor, to editor of what was now called Atlas Comics. In 1961, he was promoted to editor-in-chief of Marvel (formerly Atlas) Comics. That year he launched two comics, “Amazing Adventures,” and “Fantastic Four.” Four more new comics appeared the next year, “Tales to Astonish” in January, “Incredible Hulk” in May, “Journey to Mystery” in August, and “Strange Tales” in October. The following March saw the birth of “Spiderman.” It was while he was editor-in-chief that he twice challenged the comic book Code regulations, first against the coloring restrictions and then against the limits on story content. A 1968 issue of “Spiderman” had the hero condemning the use of drugs. Due to the mention of drugs, the Code refused to put its seal on that issue. Three years later the Code acknowledge it made a mistake and liberalized its regulations. By this time, Stan Lee had again been promoted to publisher of Marvel Comics, a post he held for 10 years until, in 1980, he became the creative director. He has written several books about the comics: Origins of Marvel Comics, 1974; Son of Origins, 1975; Bring on the Bad Guys, 1976; The Superhero Woman, 1977; The Silver Surfer, 1978; The Marvel Way, 1978; Marvel’s Greatest Super Hero Battles, 1978; Incredible Hulk, 1978; Fantastic Four, 1979; Dr. Strange, 1979; Complete Adventures of Spiderman, 1979; Captain America, 1979; The Best of the Worst, 1979; and The Best of Spiderman in 1986. In addition to his work as creative director and author, he is adjunct professor and lecturer of popular culture at Bowling Green State University, and a television script editor.

In Greenville, Texas, William J. McClanahan was born to Samuel M. and Mary Elizabeth McClanahan on December 2, 1907. He attended the Dallas Art Institute Evening School of the Southern Methodist University. In 1928. He married Mary Eloise Dunagan. From 1930 to 1937, Bill McClanahan worked at the Dallas Journal as a sports writer and sports cartoonist. The next year, he moved over to the Dallas Dispatch-Journal to become the assistant sports editor, before joining the staff of the Dallas News as a sports writer in 1939. After having served as a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force from 1942 to 1946, Mr. McClanahan returned to work at the Dallas News as sports cartoonist, and then as editorial cartoonist. His drawings of sports heroes are on exhibit in the University of Arkansas Field House in Fayetteville. He authored two books, Texas the Way it Used to Be and Scenery for Model Railroads. Recipient of the Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge Award and the Dallas Press Club Award, Mr. McClanahan was a member of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists and the Texas Sports Writers Association.

Detailed Description: Series Listing

Series 1 Box 1 FF 1 Boris Artzybasheff Cartoons
Series 2 Box 1 FF 2 Al Capp Cartoon
Series 3 Box 1 FF 3 Dan B. Dowling Cartoons
Series 4 Box 1 FF 4 George Herriman Cartoons
Series 5 Box 1 FF 5 Karl Hubenthal Cartoon
Series 6 Box 1 FF 6 Warren King Cartoons
Series 7 Box 1 FF 7 Stan Lee Cartoons
Series 8 Box 1 FF 8 William (Bill) J. McClanahan Cartoons
Series 9 Box 1 FF 9 Cartoons by Unidentified Cartoonists

Detailed Description: Box and Folder Listing

Series 1 -- Boris Artzybasheff Cartoons
Box 1 FF 1 Untitled [Flying Jet Engine Man], Untitled [Man Holding a Busload of People on a Fork], Untitled [Robotic Car Maker Booting Human Worker Out], Untitled [Shooting Off Missiles], Untitled [Sick Computer Lists Symptoms], Untitled [Supercomputer Does It All]. Not dated.
Series 2 -- Al Capp Cartoon
Box 1 FF 2 "Li'l Abner" cartoon strip, 1944.
Series 3 -- Dan B. Dowling Cartoons
Box 1 FF 3 "Clean Up the Environment for You?", 1970; “Time Keeps Ticking Away,” not dated.
Series 4 -- George Herriman Cartoons
Box 1 FF 4 "Krazy Kat" cartoon strip, 1930, 1932, 1937; Advertisement for "Krazy Kat" gallery showing, 1982.
Series 5 -- Karl Hubenthal Cartoon
Box 1 FF 5 “Thumbs Down,” not dated.
Series 6 -- Warren King Cartoons
Box 1 FF 6 “Fun City Harbor,” “God's Gift -- Man's Pollution,” “The Monster We All Must Fight,” “‘No . . . You're to Blame!’” Not dated.
Series 7 -- Stan Lee Cartoon
Box 1 FF 7 “Hammerhead Is Out,” cover drawing from Amazing Spiderman comic book No. 130. March, year unknown.
Series 8 -- William (Bill) J. McClanahan Cartoons
Box 1 FF 8 “Big Fireworks Show About to Start,” 7-1-1965; “The Fallout is Here,” 12-8-1961; “‘I'm Glad We're Up Here Where It is Safe!’”, no date; “Looking More and More Like Villains,” 2-9-1970; “Won't the Consumer Ever Control It?”, 3-11-1970.
Series 9 -- Cartoons by Unidentified Cartoonists
Box 1 FF 9 “The Chicago Zoo Has Come Up With a New Sign That Designates Certain Breeds as ‘Vanishing,’” News Report, 7-6-1970; “It's a Long, Long Trail A-Winding,” 4-26-1970; “‘Say It's a Mirage, Joe,’” 5-29-1970.