New-York Historical Society logo

Guide to the King Features Syndicate Cartoon Drawings and Proof Sheets
1935-1936
 PR 446

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
(212) 873-3400


New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Larry Weimer

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on June 18, 2022
Finding aid written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

Creator: King Features Syndicate
Title: King Features Syndicate cartoon drawings and proof sheets
Dates [inclusive]: 1935-1936
Abstract: The collection holds 12 original drawings of editorial cartoons by Kenneth Russell Chamberlain and by Clive R. Weed, and 50 proof sheets of newspaper comics, syndicated by King Features. Four of the comics are from Walt Disney Enterprises. The other 46 comics are from a variety of cartoonists, written and drawn for both Sunday and daily papers. They encompass both humorous and adventure/action types of comics.
Quantity: 3 Linear feet in 5 flat file folders
Location: For more information on making arrangements to consult the collection, please visit www.nyhistory.org/library/visit.
Language: The documents in the collection are in English.
Call Phrase: PR 446

Return to Top »


Biographical / Historical

King Features Syndicate was formed in 1915 by the publisher William Randolph Hearst, consolidating the various syndication enterprises that had formed within Hearst's newspaper businesses since they started syndication activities in 1895. The syndicate had its own staff of cartoonists, which created such characters as Popeye, featured in the "Thimble Theatre" strip. By the mid-1930s, the period represented in this collection, King Features was one of about 130 syndicates in the industry. King Features also distributed strips by cartoonists from outside the organization, including those of Walt Disney Enterprises, which is also represented in this collection. As of 2022, King Features Syndicates still exists, distributing content worldwide to over 5000 newspapers.

In 1936, some of King Features' newspaper comic strip proof sheets were exhibited at Ferargil Gallery in New York City. When the exhibition closed, the syndicate contacted N-YHS to ask if the library wanted some of the sheets for the collection. Librarian Alexander J. Wall accepted and a selection, made by King Features, was donated in April 1936. Wall asked that editorial cartoons also be donated and the twelve original such drawings in the collection were included in the gift. A few weeks later King Features sent along the Walt Disney-created sheets that are in the collection.

(The first paragraph of the above note is based on Wikipedia entries. The second paragraph is based on correspondence in N-YHS's institutional archives; see General Correspondence, RG-2, folder for letter Ki for years 1933-37.)

Return to Top »


Scope and Contents

The collection holds 12 original drawings of editorial cartoons by Kenneth Russell Chamberlain and by Clive R. Weed, and 50 proof sheets of newspaper comics, syndicated by King Features. Four of the comics are from Walt Disney Enterprises. The other 46 comics are from a variety of cartoonists, written and drawn for both Sunday and daily papers. They encompass both humorous and adventure/action types of comics.

Arrangement

The collection is organized in three series:

Series I. Editorial Cartoons (12)

Series II. Comic Strips. King Features Syndicate (46)

Series III. Comic Strips. Walt Disney Enterprises (4)

Return to Top »


Access Points

Subject Names

  • Chamberlain, Kenneth Russell, 1891-1984
  • Weed, Clive R., 1884-1936

Document Type

  • Comic strips.
  • Drawings (visual works)
  • Editorial cartoons.

Subject Organizations

  • Walt Disney Enterprises

Subject Topics

  • Cartoonists -- United States.

Return to Top »


Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

For more information on making arrangements to consult the collection, please visit www.nyhistory.org/library/visit.

Use Restrictions

Taking images of documents from the library collections for reference purposes by using hand-held cameras and in accordance with the library's photography guidelines is encouraged. As an alternative, patrons may request up to 20 images per day from staff. Application to use images from this collection for publication should be made in writing to: Department of Rights and Reproductions, The New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024-5194, rightsandrepro@nyhistory.org. Phone: (212) 873-3400 ext. 282.

Copyrights and other proprietary rights may subsist in individuals and entities other than the New-York Historical Society, in which case the patron is responsible for securing permission from those parties. For fuller information about rights and reproductions from N-YHS visit: https://www.nyhistory.org/about/rights-reproductions

Preferred Citation

The collection should be cited as: King Features Syndicate cartoon drawings and proof sheets, PR 446, Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections, New-York Historical Society.

Related Materials

King Features Syndicate donated its historical proof sheets in 2007 to two repositories: Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum at Ohio State University and the Michigan State University Comic Art Collection.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, King Features Syndicate, April 1936

Processing Information

The items in the collection were initially arranged, foldered, filed, and card cataloged in the mid to late twentieth century as part of the Caricatures and Cartoons Collection (PR 10). In June 2022, archivist Larry Weimer removed all the King Features drawings and comic proof sheets from the general Caricature Collection to catalog them as a separate collection, and to inventory them in this finding aid.

Return to Top »


Container List

Series I. Editorial Cartoons, 1936

Scope and Contents

The series holds twelve original drawings of editorial cartoons, six each by Kenneth Russell Chamberlain and by Clive Russell Weed. Three are about high income taxes, four about other domestic U.S. issues, one about U.S. politics, three about foreign affairs, and one St. Patrick's Day-themed.

Scope and Contents

The series is arranged by artist and then chronological. The item number used in the container list was assigned as a unique identifier at some point by N-YHS to the drawings and is found on the back of the drawing and in the Reading Room's card catalog of caricatures.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Folder: FF-1 Item : 1936-12 A leap year proposal [William Borah bid for Republican Party presidential nomination]

Scope and Contents

Crayon drawing. Signed "Chamberlain."

1936 February 29
Folder: FF-1 Item : 1936-1 Once a year he gets really concerned about it [Income taxes/Government spending]

Scope and Contents

Crayon drawing. Signed "Chamberlain."

1936 March 2
Folder: FF-1 Item : 1936-11 [Above:] Let's get rid of the bad ones first! [Below:] Cruel and senseless [Deportation laws, separation of families]

Scope and Contents

Crayon drawing. Signed "Chamberlain."

1936 March 6
Folder: FF-1 Item : 1936-2 We can stand a gentle soaking, but those hailstones hurt! [Impact of income tax in relation to other taxes]

Scope and Contents

Crayon drawing. Signed "Chamberlain."

1936 March 7
Folder: FF-1 Item : 1936-3 "Too many monkey wrenches slow 'em up, Sam" [Efficiency of England's justice system relative to U.S.]

Scope and Contents

Crayon drawing. Signed "Chamberlain."

1936 March 9
Folder: FF-1 Item : 1936-4 The most vital question of the hour [Scarcity of coal]

Scope and Contents

Crayon drawing. Signed "Chamberlain."

1936 March 11
Folder: FF-1 Item : 1936-5 [Above:] Sure, oim part Irish meself! [Below:] March 17th - and Decorated!

Scope and Contents

Crayon drawing. Signed "Weed."

1936 March 17
Folder: FF-1 Item : 1936-6 "What does it say about the Rhineland?" / Munition makers

Scope and Contents

Crayon drawing. Signed "Weed."

1936 March 21
Folder: FF-1 Item : 1936-7 Haile Selassie: - "Come on, rain, do your stuff!" [Selaissie (Ethiopia) at Italy's bayonet edge]

Scope and Contents

Crayon drawing. Signed "Weed."

1936 March 23
Folder: FF-1 Item : 1936-8 Well, it's over - Until next March! [Impact of high income taxes]

Scope and Contents

Crayon drawing. Signed "Weed."

1936 March 24
Folder: FF-1 Item : 1936-9 We have something to fight, at home! [flooding]

Scope and Contents

Crayon drawing. Signed "Weed".

1936 March 25
Folder: FF-1 Item : 1936-10 Lilliputian [Angel of peace(?) in the armored hand of war(?)]

Scope and Contents

Crayon drawing. Signed "Weed." Inscribed "Dear Paul--I wish you would let Ward see this if you have time. I told him about it, Clive."

1936 March 26

Return to Top »


Series II. Comic Strips. King Features Syndicate, 1935-1936

Scope and Contents

The series holds 46 newspaper comic strip proof sheets issued by King Features in late 1935 to early 1936. These were most likely to have been among those included in the exhibition at Ferargil Gallery in 1936 from which a selection of comics was made for N-YHS (see Historical Note). 31 of the sheets are for the Sunday comics, and so are larger in size for full page publication with more panels than the sheets for the daily papers, of which there are 15 horizontal sheets. The daily sheets each include only one day's strip, not multiple days. All are black and white line art, without color.

The container list includes all sheets/titles in the series. The cartoonist name is noted following the title in parentheses. Two entries have multiple titles separated with a slash (/); these indicate a mix of strips on the sheet (e.g., a mix of a horizontal strip and a single panel comic). Many of the strips are not titled within the strip itself, but a title and cartoonist name were noted on the reverse either by King Features or at N-YHS. The series holds a mix of humorous strips and adventure/action strips.

Arrangement

The series is arranged roughly by format in three oversize folders. Folder FF-2 holds Sunday comics, generally of the humorous type. Folder FF-3 holds Sunday comics, generally of the adventure/action type, though the categorization is not rigid. Folder FF-4 holds daily strips, both humorous and adventure/action. Within each folder, the container list presents the titles in alphabetical order by cartoonist.

Container 1     Title Date
Folder: FF-2 Little Annie Rooney (Nicholas Afonsky)
1935 December 22
Folder: FF-2 Henry (Carl Anderson)
1935 November 17
Folder: FF-2 The Pussycat Princess (Edward Anthony; drawn by Grace Drayton)
1935 November 10
Folder: FF-2 Nicodemus O'Malley / Dreamland (Ad Carter)
1936 February 23
Folder: FF-2 Just Kids (Ad Carter)
1936 February 23
Folder: FF-2 Barney Google (Billy DeBeck)
1935 December 29
Folder: FF-2 Little Woman (Vic Forsythe)
1936 February 23
Folder: FF-2 The Katzenjammer Kids (Harold Knerr)
1936 February 2
Folder: FF-2 Bringing Up Father (George McManus)
1935 December 22
Folder: FF-2 Felix [the Cat] (Otto Messmer)
1936 January 5
Folder: FF-2 Toots and Casper (Jimmy Murphy)
1936 February 23
Folder: FF-2 Etta Kett (Paul Robinson)
1936 January 19
Folder: FF-2 The Love-Byrds (Paul Robinson)
1936 February 9
Folder: FF-2 Pete the Tramp (C.D. Russell)
1936 March 22
Folder: FF-2 Sentinel Louie (O. Soglow)
1935 December 22
Folder: FF-2 Polly and Her Pals (Cliff Sterrett)
1935 December 29
Folder: FF-2 Lil Ole Orvie / Oh, Yeah? / Jimmie (James Swinnerton)
1936 March 8
Folder: FF-2 Tillie the Toiler (Russ Westover)
1936 February 16
Folder: FF-2 Elmer (Charles H. [Doc] Winner)
1936 March 1
Folder: FF-2 Blondie (Chic Young)
1935 September 22
Folder: FF-3 Heroes of American HIstory (Nicholas Afonsky)

Scope and Contents

Patrick Henry is the subject of the strip.

1936 March 29
Folder: FF-3 Ted Towers, Animal Master (Frank Buck; drawn by Joe King)
1936 March 22
Folder: FF-3 Mandrake the Magician (Lee Falk & Phil Davis)
1935 November 3
Folder: FF-3 Red Barry (Will Gould)
1936 February 2
Folder: FF-3 Krazy Kat (George Herriman)
Comic strips.Editorial cartoons.
1935 December 8
Folder: FF-3 The Amazing Adventures of Johnny Round-the-World: Through Djuka Lands in Dutch Guiana (William LaVarre, F.R.G.S.)

Scope and Contents

The panels include a photograph, the subject of which appears in one of the cartoon panels.

1936 February 2
Folder: FF-3 Flash Gordon (Alex Raymond)
1936 January 26
Folder: FF-3 Ace Drummond (E.V. Rickenbacker)
1936 February 9
Folder: FF-3 The Thimble Theatre (Elzie Crisler Segar)

Scope and Contents

Includes Popeye and Wimpy

1935 November 3
Folder: FF-3 Radio Patrol (Eddie Sullivan & Charlie Schmidt)
1936 February 1
Folder: FF-3 Tiny Tim (Lyman Young)
1936 January 12
Folder: FF-4 Just Kids (Ad Carter)
1936 February 18
Folder: FF-4 Barney Google (Billy DeBeck)
1936 January 13
Folder: FF-4 Secret Agent X-9 (Charles Flanders)
1936 March 7
Folder: FF-4 Red Barry (Will Gould)
1936 January 20
Folder: FF-4 Krazy Kat (George Herriman)
1936 January 3
Folder: FF-4 Little Annie Rooney (Darrell McClure)
1936 February 24
Folder: FF-4 Bringing Up Father (George McManus)
1936 February 13
Folder: FF-4 Toots and Casper (Jimmy Murphy)
1936 February 15
Folder: FF-4 Pete the Tramp (C.D. Russell)
1936 March 24
Folder: FF-4 Radio Patrol (Charles Schmidt)
1936 March 12
Folder: FF-4 The Thimble Theatre (Elzie Crisler Segar)

Scope and Contents

Includes Popeye and Olive Oyl

1936 March 23
Folder: FF-4 Polly & Her Pals (Cliff Sterrett)
1936 February 22
Folder: FF-4 Tillie the Toiler (Russ Westover)
1936 March 10
Folder: FF-4 Blondie (Chic Young)
1936 February 20
Folder: FF-4 Tim Tyler's Luck (Lyman Young)
1935 December 30

Return to Top »


Series III. Comic Strips. Walt Disney Enterprises, 1936

Scope and Contents

The series holds four Sunday newspaper comic proof sheets syndicated by King Features for Walt Disney Enterprises. These are from two series by Walt Disney, each with 12 panels. Black and white line art.

Arrangement

The series is arranged by series/strip title.

Container 1     Title Date
Folder: FF-5 Mickey Mouse
1936 April 5
Folder: FF-5 Mickey Mouse

Scope and Contents

Donald Duck also appears in this strip

1936 April 12
Folder: FF-5 Silly Symphony

Scope and Contents

Strip features the Big Bad Wolf and two pigs.

1936 April 5
Folder: FF-5 Silly Symphony

Scope and Contents

Strip features the Big Bad Wolf and two pigs.

1936 April 12

Return to Top »


Return to Top »