Saturday, December 12, 2009

Charles W. Kahles (1878-1931)

“Hairbreadth Harry” was extremely popular with early audiences, and inspired three early films. Kahles comic strip was based on popular stage melodrama and turns out to have been a strip of some importance, influencing Harry Hershfield’s “Desperate Desmond,” and “Dauntless Durham of the U. S. A.” and Ed Wheelan’s “Midget Movies.” When Ed Wheelan left Hearst, changing his comic strips title to “Minute Movies,” his strip was replaced by Elzie Segar’s “Thimble Theatre,” birthplace of the immortal Popeye.

Charles W. Kahles, Comic Artist, Dies

Cartoonist was Native of Germany, Coming to America at Age of 7.

Great Neck, N.Y., Jan 31.-

Charles W. Kahles, creator of the comic strip “Hairbreadth Harry” died today at his home here of angina pectoris. He was 53.

Kahles first comic strip, “Clarence the Cop,” which he drew for the New York World in the latter ‘90’s was called the first serial strip cartoon, introducing to newspaper comic strips the innovation of telling a story which was carried along day after day.

The cartoonist came from Germany with his parents as a boy of seven and lived for many years in Brooklyn. After he left The World he worked for the New York Journal and other papers. He had lived in Great Neck for 13 years. His widow, Helen, and a daughter Jessie, survive him.

> The Atlanta Constitution, 32 Jan 1931.

*Thanks to Leonardo De Sá

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