Thursday, September 10, 2009

Harold Knerr (1882-1949)

Harold Knerr was also approached for information by Martin Sheridan for his 1942 book Comics and Their Creators. Wouldn’t you know it? Don Kurtz has a letter by Knerr to Sheridan and an original sketch as well as those I used when I posted on the Dirks family.

H. H. (Harold) Knerr was born September 4, 1882 at Bryn Mawr, Pa, the son of a leading Philadelphia physician. Knerr's first job was drawing pictures of gravestones for the Philadelphia Record. His first cartoons appeared in the Philadelphia Press. His first comic series was Zoological Snapshots drawn for the Public Ledger. At twenty he moved on to the Philadelphia Inquirer where he drew a further series entitled The Irresistable Rag. He stayed with this employer for twelve years drawing daily and Sunday page comic strips, many capitalizing on the popularity of the Katzenjammer Kids of Rudolph Dirks.

In 1910 Knerr was drawing “The Fineheimer Twins,” a Katzenjammer derivative, for the Inquirer. The similarity of the Fineheimer’s to the Katzenjammer’s helped land Knerr the job as Dirks replacement on Hearst's New York American where he was assigned the Katzenjammer Kids Sunday page. His many interests made it "difficult for him to keep up as comic artist... His hobbies were golf, horseback iding, and aeronautics including ballooning and air planing."
The strip topper on Knerr’s “Katzenjammer Kids” Sunday was his own creation, and a wonderful comic in its own way, “Dinglehoofer and his Dog Adolph.”

On July 8, 1949, Knerr, a bachelor at 67, was found dead in his mid-town New York apartment. He had been having heart problems for 10 years previous. He was survived by a brother in Philadelphia and a sister in Carmel, California.

1 comment:

  1. The line of crooks in the last panel, in descending order of height and striking the same pose, reminds me of the Daltons in Lucky Luke. I wonder if that was already a common gimmick when Morris used it.