King, Frank O.

Signed 1951 printed sketch of Corky from “Gasoline Alley”

Price: $40.00

Description:
(1883 -1969) Wisconsin-born cartoonist best known for his comic strip “Gasoline Alley”. In addition to innovations with color and page design, King introduced real-time continuity in comic strips by showing his characters aging over generations. King began earning $7 a week at the Minneapolis Times, and during his four years there, he doubled his salary while creating drawings and doing retouching. In 1905-06, he studied art at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and spent three years with the Chicago Examiner. In 1909, King left the Examiner to work at the Chicago Tribune, where he increased his weekly pay 50c. In 1910, he began a short-lived daily comic strip, “Jonah, a Whale for Trouble”, which ran in the Tribune from Oct. 3-Dec. 8, 1910. He followed with a Tribune Sunday strip, “Young Teddy”, which ran Sept.10, 1911-Oct. 6, 1912. His funny frog Sunday strip, “Hi-Hopper”, ran Feb. 1-Dec. 27, 1914. In 1916, his salary from the Tribune was $5000. By 1925, this had grown to $22,500, augmented by royalties from “Gasoline Alley” books and toys. The Rectangle began as a Chicago Tribune page featuring a variety of cartoons and serial features. King's Rectangle Sunday page, usually printed in black-and-white outside the comics section, was a late addition to a page that ran for years in the Tribune. On Jan. 9, 1913, King introduced a bounded rectangle containing themed single-panel gags (beginning with a page headed Hints to Husbandettes), but pages in that format did not appear with any regularity until February 1914. The Rectangle title was finally introduced on December 27, 1914. King created several recurring strips, including “Tough Teddy”, “The Boy Animal Trainer”, “Here Comes Motorcycle Mike”, and his first successful full-page comic, “Bobby Make-Believe” (1915). During WW I, King was overseas drawing scenes of the war for publication in US newspapers. On Sunday, Nov. 24, 1918, the bottom quadrant of The Rectangle featured Walter Weatherby Wallet and his neighbors Bill, Doc and Avery as they repaired their automobiles in the alley behind their houses. The corner was titled “Sunday Morning in Gasoline Alley”. After King began the daily “Gasoline Alley” strip (Aug. 24, 1919), The Rectangle appeared sporadically and finally came to an end on February 8, 1920. King hired young Bill Perry and then trained him to work as his assistant. Although King leaned toward a homespun simplicity in his Sunday story situations, he also introduced some unusual experiments with time and space. The success of “Gasoline Alley” escalated until it was published in over 300 daily newspapers with a daily combined readership of over 27 million, and the strip and its merchandising made King a millionaire. He retired from the Sunday strip in 1951, letting Bill Perry take over. King retired from the daily in 1959, turning it over to Dick Moores, his assistant since 1956. The strip continues until the present day. He was twice honored for his work by the Freedom Foundation, and received 3 awards from the National Cartoonists Society: 1949 Silver T-Square Award; 1957 Humor Comic Strip Award; and 1958 Reuben Award. 3 ½ x 4 ½ card printed “for autograph purpose only” at top left, signed by King at center of the card and dated September 25 1951 by him at lower right. A small printed sketch of young Corky Wallet (so identified) is at lower left with King's printed artistic signature. Corky's dialogue balloon states: “Honest, cross my heart Judge!” Corky Wallet, Walt & Phyllis' son, was born May 2, 1928. He married Hope Hassel October 1, 1949. He runs a diner in a stand-alone building.

Condition: Very good, insignifican abrasion (likely from clip stain removal) at bottom center
Type:Signed Printed Sketch






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