Tuesday, June 3, 2008
John T. McCutcheon (1870-1949),
The grandpappy of the situation comedy one-panel cartoon which was carried on by Clare Briggs, H. T. Webster, and J. R. Williams, was John T. McCutcheon (1870-1949) who premiered "A Boy in Springtime" for the Chicago Record-Herald in 1902.** McCutcheon illustrated his brother George Barr McCutcheon's Anderson Crow Detective in 1920. Anderson Crow was an inept small town detective during the days of WWI and the period is reflected in the short stories which often involved German spies on the homefront. In one hilarious story the entire German population are taken with a sudden marrying fever which Crow must get to the bottom of. The search for wives turns out to be an effort at avoiding the draft. George Barr McCutcheon was famous as the author of Graustark and Brewster’s Millions but was a great humorist as well.
John T. McCutcheon's "Injun Summer" is pictured HERE. McCutcheon was a member of the bizarre Chicago Whitechapel Club along with George Ade and his brother George Barr McCutcheon. His cartoons were a regular feature in McClure's magazine circa 1915-18.
** Warren Bernard (Secret History of Comics) wrote me that "one could consider some of his single panel "Bird Center" cartoons, which pre-date "Boy In Springtime" as a forerunner of the single panel slice of life cartoon."
Thanks to R. C. Harvey