This pen-and-ink drawing prepared for the Nancy comic strip shows the title character finding a chair in a tree, and discovering that Sluggo has put it there anticipating a new drive-in theater.
Ernest Paul Bushmiller Jr. (1905-1982) dropped out of school at an early age to start work as a copyboy for the New York World. In 1925 artist Larry Whittington ask him to take over Fritzi Ritz, a comic strip about a young, affluent actress. When Bushmiller took over the strip, he introduced Fritzi’s niece, Nancy, whose popularity resulted in a change in the comic strip title to Nancy in 1938. Bushmiller also worked on a spin-off cartoon called Phil Fumble, about Fritzi’s boyfriend.
The comic strip Nancy (1938- ) came about because of a retitling of its predecessor Fritzi Ritz. By 1938 the character Nancy had superseded the character Fritzi’s popularity, and the focus of the strip shifted to Nancy and her friend Sluggo. In time additional characters were added to the cast, including Sluggo’s irritable neighbor, Mr. McOnion, and Oona Goosepimple, a girl who lived in a haunted house.
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