*** caroonists : boys fashions

Cartoons: Information on Boys' Fashions

Figure 1.--Cartoon magazines were very popular with French children. This one is "la patrouille des Castors" about French Scouts. It was included in "Le journal de Spirou" which actually was publisghed in Belgium.

Cartoons are not the best source of information on popukar fashion. This is is the case because imafination and fantasy are a major element in cartooning. We did not initially include caroonists with the illustrators listed here. Several HBC readers have suggested that cartoonists should be listed in both the illustrator and literary sections of HBC. Indeed cartoons do show clothing and fashion over time, although this varies with the style of the different cartoonists. We have gradually been persuaded of the merits of this suggestion. We have, however, decided to archive cartoonists, or graphic artists as they now like to becalled, separately from illustrators. This is primarily because cartoonists both draw and write. There illustrations are more basic than those of illustrators because of te nature of the medium. Thus the two disciplines, illustrating and cartooning, I think are sufficently different that they requite separate treatment.

Indivdual Cartoonists

Here we will list especially important cartoonist and especially this who strips have children which show fashions and styltes over time. Some cartoonists move with the fashion trends. Others like Georges Remy retain the same fashions for their chracters, likr Tintin and his trademark knickers.

Brian Bassett (American)

Brian Bassett draws "Red and Rover" about a boy and his dog.

Wilhelm Busch (German, 1832-1908)

We had always thought that the comic strip was an American creation, but it is the German illustrator and humerous poet that apparently is created weith inventing the comic strip. Wilhelm Busch was born in 1832, in the village of Wiedensahl near Hannover, Germany. His goal was to be a master painter, but instead his career took a very different path.

Cantu and Castellanos (American)

Cantu and Castellanos draw "Baldo", a strip about Hispanic teenagers in America with a lot of interesting cross cultural nuances.

Brian Crane (American)

Brian Crane draws "Pickles" which usually deals with two grandparents and their grandson Nelson.

Rick Detoire (American)

Rick Detoire draws "One Big Happy" about a little girl Ruthie and her big brother Jim?.

Ronald Embleton (English)

Ronald Sydney Embleton (1930–88) was a British illustrator who was primarily involved with comics. He at first pursued serious art, painting in oil (1950s-60s). He exhibited in Britain, Germany, Australia, Canada and the United States and gazined somecrespect. He was a member of the London Sketch Club and the National Society of Painters, Sculptors and Printmakers. He was elected a member of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters (1960). He drew covers and comis that depicted the kind of action appealing to boys. Many were history based focused on war and warfare. There were also lot of American themes, especially Indian imeges. He has been decribed as 'responsible for some of the finest full-colour adventure series in modern British comics ... a grandmaster of his art.' [The Times] He is best know for his comics, but he illudrated books and magzines as well.

Lynn Johnston (Canadian)

Lyn Johnston draws "For Better or for Worse". It is one of the stips where the caharcters grow up. The principal boy in the strip, Michael, is now a young adult and in the process of starting his own family. April is rapidly growing up, but is often picture with her friends, both bys anf girls.

Bill Keane (American)

Bill Kean draws "Family Circle".

Hank Kertcham (American)

Hank Ketcham of course draws 'Dennis the Menace'. The outfits illustrated by Ketcham have change with the times somewhat, the girls more than the boys. But Dennis' outfits have changed as well. .

Thomas Nast (Germany/America, 1840-1902)

The modern image of Santa Claus began to appear during the American Civil War. And with advances in lithography, it was an illustrator and not an author who played a major role. It was created by famed Amerian political cartoonist Thomas Nast. He is often described as the 'Father of the American Cartoon'. One of Nast's projects was to do an annual Christmas cartoon for Harper's Weekly, one of the most important American publications at the time. The first Nast Christmas cartoon appeared in 1863 and he continued doing them until 1886. Santa first appeared as an ugly elf. He gradually evolved into the pot-bellied, full beared character known by every American child today. Nast helped create the Santa tradition by explaining that he spent the entire year making toys with his elves at the North Pole. Other traditions such as checking on how children were behaving, keeping lists of who has been naughty and nice, and receiving Christmas lists all emerged from Nast's cartoons. Nast was born in Landau, Bavaria--Germany (1840) and emigrated to America as a young boy. He first became known to the American public for his Santa Clause cartoons and Civil War illustrations which were published by Harpers as wood cuts. He had alove for American Democracy and a hatred for slavery. President Lincoln coln called Nast “Our Best recruiting sergeant”. He is best known as opponent of political graft after the War when he attacked Boss Tweed and Tamaney Hall in New York City. He died in Guayaquil, Ecuador (1902). We have archived several Nast illustrayions on our website.

Georges Remy (Belgian)

It is interesting to note the number of cartoonms that were popular in France that were actually published or created by Belgian illustrators. I am not sure why this was. I asked one of our French readers. He replied, " I don't know exactly. I think the influence of Herge (Georges Remy-- the author of "Tintin") is the most credible explanation. He was an inspiration for others young illustrators who themselves became cartoonists. He was the creator of a style of drawing called "la ligne claire" we find in the other cartoons. It was a school of drawing. All of the French-language cartoonisrs are not Belgians, but the majority of them are. Some of them comes from the south of France. They found publishers (Casterman for Tintin, Dupuis for Spirou) who had confidence in their work. Belgium as is well known is a land of drawersdaring back to the "Primitifs flamands" such as Breughel, Vanderheycken, and Rembrandt.

Roba (Belgian)

"La Ribambelle" was drawn by Roba.

Charles Scultz (American)

Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman (American)

Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman draw "Zits", a spot on strip about American teenagers.

Michel Tacq dit mitacq (Belgian)

"La patrouille des castors" was drawn by Michel Tacq dit mitacq

Walker and Browne (American)

Walker and Browne draw "Hi and Lois", another strip where the family never ages. It is set in the suburbs.

Cartoon Strips

Some famous characters have come out of the comics. Two American characters are Dennis the Menace and Buster Brown. One of the best known boy cartoon characters in Europe was the Belgian Tintin. Of course boys appeared in a wide variety of comic strips playing both long and short term roles. All of these strips offer a wide variety of often quite accurate details about boys clothing. As the comic strips were created about the turn of the 20th century, they provide more than a century of drawings oftering fashion details. Other cartoon characters are less famous, but the strips do provide some interesting fashion insights.


The Times (February 18, 1988).


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Created: October 5, 2002
Last updated: 1:12 PM 8/25/2023