Monday, April 26, 2010

Morty Meekle

I don't imagine Morty Meekle would mean anything to most people these days but in the fifties he was a very popular comic strip character. In my neighborhood it was common practice to tease other kids by yelling at them: “Morty Meekle! Morty Meekle!” The response was usually an angry “Har-de-har-har! Very funny!”

“I used to carry a pad and pencil with me. That’s the old thing from all the ‘how-to-draw’ schools. You were supposed to see funny things around you and write them down. Well, all I noticed was the pad growing gray. My notebook would say ‘remember to pick up a six-pack of beer.’”

The cartoonist was Dick Cavalli, from Brooklyn. Cavalli attended the School of Visual Arts in New York on a G.I. Bill and began selling gag cartoons to magazines while still a student. Cavalli sold Morty Meekle 'on the spot' to NEA Enterprises. It began on January 9 1956. Morty was eventually edged out of the strip by the kid characters and the name was changed to Winthrop in 1967. The strip ran until May 14 1994. Cavalli produced his strip in a garage studio in New Caanan, Conn.


  1. Love that Dell comic book cover. I didn't know that WINTHROP began life as MORTY MEEKLE!

  2. My local paper was still calling the strip MORTY MEEKLE in the '70s!

  3. Note that they didn't even spelling Cavalli's name correctly on the comic book cover.