Saturday, May 4, 2019

OT : Tales from the New York Daily News Sunday Comics (#6) : Happy 100th Anniversary to HAROLD TEEN by Carl Ed!

Happy 100th anniversary to the third comic strip to ever appear in the New York Daily News, Carl Ed's HAROLD TEEN!

The strip made its debut 100 years ago today, May 4, 1919 in the pages of the Patterson family owned Chicago Tribune (run by News publisher Joseph Medill Patterson's cousin, Robert R. McCormick) and joined Patterson's New York Illustrated Daily News on June 26th as a daily feature. From there it became one of the most influential strips ever on the popular culture of the roaring twenties.

The best portrayal of the feature's origins comes from author John Chapman, whose seminal "Tell it to Sweeney - The Informal History of the New York Daily News" recounts the trials and tribulations of the first 40 years of the country's first and most successful tabloid newspaper........

"The third comic in the News was "Harold Teen," drawn by Carl Ed - Carl Frank Ludwig Ed, who pronounces his last name Ead. No other strip hd so wide an influence on the language, dress, and antics of American children.

Ed was born in Moline, Illinois, in 1880 and attended Augustana College at Rock Island, Illinois. He spent his early newspaper years on the editorial staff of the Rock Island Argus and was city editor when he resigned in 1917. In 1918 he went to the Chicago Evening American as a sports cartoonist. The same year he transferred to the Chicago Tribune and in 1919 he began "Harold Teen" as a daily and Sunday feature.

The comic made its debut in the News daily only, for there was no Sunday News. The News dropped "Harold Teen" in 1953 - for teen-agers had become a different breed of cat. During the 1920's, Harold Teen and his companions, including Shadow, either introduced or popularized such youthful phenomena as bell-bottom trousers, exaggerated plus fours, marked-up tin Lizzies, autographed sweat shirts, illustrated raincoats, broad-toed shoes, and the gedunk sundae, which was two scoops of ice cream in a glass of chocolate, to be taken with a bib. Teen's phraseology swept the land - "Fan mah brow!" "pantywaist," "lollypopsie," and "big hunk of stuff" being samples."

Now for the sake of accuracy, my research has revealed that HAROLD TEEN actually was dropped by The News in 1950, replaced with Dan Spiegle's HOPALONG CASSIDY, but sporadically appeared in 1950-51 coinciding with the expansion of the Sunday News "Country" Edition of the paper on September 17, 1950.

From the July 29, 1950 issue of EDITOR & PUBLISHER:

"In a bid for more pre-date sales, the New York Sunday News will add eight extra comic pages Sept. 17 for circulation outside the metropolitan area, Executive Editor Richard W. Clarke disclosed. The move will provide a minimum of a 24-page comic section for the country edition."

"The additional pages will include four Chicago Tribune - New York News Syndicate strips: "Timmy," by Howard Sparber, "Aggie Mack" by Hal Rasmusson, "Texas Slim" by Ferd Johnson; and "Harold Teen" by Carl Ed. The News had dropped "Harold Teen" to make room for the "Hopalong Cassidy," Loa Angeles Mirror Enterprises comic. Two pages are being drawn especially for the expanded section: "Laughing Matter" by Salo, who does the daily panel for the syndicate; and "Rufus," new dog page by Jeff Keate."

The Salo mentioned above was cartoonist Roth Salo. The expanded Part 2 section looked like this......

I own a complete, unread, near-mint country edition collection of 1951 Sunday sections and I can report that the experiment appears to have been dropped following the January 14, 1951 section, leading to what I believe is the very last appearance of HAROLD TEEN in the New York Sunday News comics. The strip did carry on elsewhere until it petered out on November 18, 1959.

Allan Holtz reports additional facts in his indispensable tome American Newspaper Comics....... 

Running Dates: May 4, 1919 to November 18, 1959
Creator: Carl Ed
Syndicates: Chicago Tribune, Chicago Tribune - New York News Syndicate
Notes: Sunday started first, followed by Daily on 9/25/19.

Jeffrey Lindenblatt reports that an extra daily ran in the NY Daily News in their Sunday edition 5/1/21 - 4/16/22, 7/16/22 - 2/18/23. It is unknown if they were "new" dailies created for the News, or recycled.

Bob York assisted in the early 1930's
Rick Fletcher reports he was an assistant sometime before 1950.
Alberto Becattini cites Bill Perry as an assistant on the strip (confirmed by John Chapman in "Tell it to Sweeney", p.152)

Carl Ed's obituary states the last strip would be published on 11/18/59 but nothing has been found past 9/26/59.

I currently have scanned in my files 79 samples of Carl Ed's HAROLD TEEN Sundays and 7 dailies which spans the years 1919, 1924-1951 in the NY Sunday News comics. I will present this below and keep the archive open as I continue to scan and add samples ongoing. The debut Sunday below from May 4, 1919, is from the Chicago Tribune and courtesy of my pal John Wells.

***  (I also have two samples of Carl Ed's short-running topper strip JOSIE, that rarely ever ran in the NY Sunday News comics. In fact, I've only seen 2 examples "ever", one in the News, one in the Chicago Tribune. On both occasions, it ran as a separate strip on another page.One sample of an even scarcer topper is also below, THE ABSENT-MINDED PROFESSOR, dated October 29, 1933, and right under that week's Harold Teen Sunday) ***

May 4, 1919

April 20, 1924

May 4, 1924

May 18, 1924

May 25, 1924

October 29, 1933

March 11, 1934

February 3, 1935

March 3, 1935

May 5, 1935

May 26, 1935

June 23, 1935

July 28, 1935

August 4, 1935

December 8, 1935

December 15, 1935

September 20, 1936

October 18, 1936

January 3, 1937

February 7, 1937

March 14, 1937

March 21, 1937

April 4, 1937

May 9, 1937

June 6, 1937

September 5, 1937

December 11, 1938

December 18, 1938

January 1, 1939

April 9, 1939

May 28, 1939

July 23, 1939

January 14, 1940

January 21, 1940

January 28, 1940

June 26 1940

June 22, 1941

November 23, 1941

December 7, 1941

March 13, 1942

August 21, 1942

October 21, 1942

December 5, 1942

January 23, 1943

September 26, 1943

December 5, 1943

January 23, 1944

February 6, 1944

February 27, 1944

April 16, 1944

January 28, 1945

August 15, 1945

October 14, 1945

December 16, 1945

March 17, 1946

May 12, 1946

July 21, 1946

August 25, 1946

September 19, 1946

October 20, 1946

April 13, 1947

May 18, 1947

November 23, 1947

October 10, 1948

October 17, 1948

October 24, 1948

November 7, 1948

November 28, 1948

December 5, 1948

December 12, 1948

January 9, 1949

January 16, 1949

February 6, 1949

February 20, 1949

March 6, 1949

March 13, 1949

March 20, 1949

March 27, 1949

September 4, 1949

September 11, 1949

October 16, 1949

October 23, 1949

October 30, 1949

November 13, 1949

November 20, 1949

December 17, 1950

January 7, 1951

January 14, 1951

Josie topper running as a separate feature:

August 21, 1938 (Chicago Tribune)

January 1, 1939


  1. The Vassallo collection of The New York Sunday News comics sections spanning 1924-present.
  2. Chapman, John; Tell it to Sweeney (1961), Doubleday & Company, Inc.
  3. Editor & Publisher, July 19, 1950
  4. Holtz, Allan; American Newspaper Comics (2014), University of Michigan Press