Friday, September 5, 2008

John Campbell Cory (1867-1925)

John Campbell Cory was born Sept 11, 1867, probably in Helena, Montana, and died 25 Nov 1925 in Denver, Colorado. By 1889 he was in Chicago working as a newspaperman. His comic strip work began in 1897 for the New York Evening Journal. In 1898 he drew “The Funny Side of Life in Montana.” He was the “star man” in the Sunday World's New Comic Weekly, edited by Geo. W. Peck (“Peck's Bad Boy,”) that began in December 1900. Cory drew sequential gags for the New York World, and then moved on to the McClure Syndicate. By 1915 he was doing another strip titled “Cory’s Kids” for the McClure Newspaper Syndicate and was staff cartoonist on the Chicago Herald. Cory, formerly of Helena, Montana, was a member of New York's Rocky Mountain Club, formed for residents and former residents of the Rocky Mountain States in 1907.

A few years back I found a Shenanigan Kids strip signed "Cory" by this artist Here. Comic historian Alfredo Castelli sent me some samples of John Campbell Cory's work like the above sample of "Cory's Kids" and a long letter from which I gathered the biographical information above.

But this is not all -- if you look at the Katzies strips Here (particularly the horses in the third and ninth samples) there is an unmistakable resemblance between those and the horse in the "Cory's Kids" strip above.

"The Katzies" daily strip began in the Winnipeg Tribune on January 6, 1917 and ran to August 21, 1918 changing title to "The Shenanigan Kids" along the way and was copyright King Features Syndicate.


  1. Thank you for this article. Since it was written, the Smithsonian's online archive, "Chronicling America" has made an article and a short story written and illustrated by John Campbell Cory in 1913 available. Cory's article reveals that he spent some years as a gold prospector and game hunter in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, sometime between about 1905-1912, which explains his absence from the newspapers in this period. The links are:;words=Campbell+John+Cory?date1=1897&rows=20&searchType=basic&state=&date2=1920&proxtext=john+campbell+cory&y=0&x=0&dateFilterType=yearRange&index=0;words=Campbell+John+Cory?date1=1897&rows=20&searchType=basic&state=&date2=1920&proxtext=john+campbell+cory&y=0&x=0&dateFilterType=yearRange&index=1

    Thanks again. - Paul Tumey

    1. Thanks, Paul, because these links didn't work too well when I ran them through Google I'll add the following. First link: The Day book., May 03, 1913, NOON EDITION, Image 22 Second link: The Day book., May 02, 1913, Image 26. Paul Tumey, by the way, is proprietor of another fabulous blog about Screwball Comics at

  2. Jack Cory, as he was known to family and friends, was born Waukegan, Illinois, in in 1867 the second child of six to Benjamin Sayre and Jessie McDougall Cory. He helped his youngest sister, Fanny Young Cory, to get into art school in New York City where she went on to become one of the best known illustrators of children's literature of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Later in life Jack's encouragement and connections brought Fanny into the world of cartooning and for thirty years she authored the wildly popular 'Sonny Sayings' from her Montana ranch home.
    Tons of information on their life can be found here;