King, Frank

King, Frank

▪ American artist
born April 9, 1883, Cashton, Wis., U.S.
died June 24, 1969, Winter Park, Fla.

      U.S. comic-strip artist who created “Gasoline Alley,” a long-popular comic strip notable for its sympathetic picture of small-town life.

      After working as a cartoonist for the Minneapolis Times from 1901 to 1905, King moved to Chicago, where he attended the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and was employed as a cartoonist, first on the Chicago Examiner and then on the Chicago Tribune. At the Tribune he created “Gasoline Alley,” so named because it dealt with a group of automobile enthusiasts who met in an alley. The strip appeared first in 1919, and in 1921 it was given a family character by having a newborn infant left on the doorstep of the principal character, Walt Wallet. Walt gave the baby the name Skeezix, and after that the characters were permitted to grow older, marry, and have children of their own. Skeezix, for instance, went through high school in the 1930s and was middle-aged in the 1960s.

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Universalium. 2010.

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