Thursday, August 03, 2017

"Dolly Madison's Surprise" by cartoonist Peter Wells

Found in a second-hand shop: "Dolly Madison's Surprise," a 1946 children's book by the cartoonist Peter Wells. Let me know if you want it.

Peter Wells (1912 - 1995) was born in Port Clinton, OH. His dad, John Wells, designed yachts for some of the early rich automobile executives in nearby Detroit, and some of his designs are on permanent display at Mystic Seaport. Peter moved to Portland, Maine, went to Yale and finally settled in the NYC area. He did a stint in the Navy during WWII, serving on a PT boat in the Pacific.

Peter Wells became known as a children's book illustrator, before being hired by King Features. He worked in the bullpen, mostly drawing unsigned Katzenjammer Kids art for the comic books. After King, he worked for the popular Blue Book Magazine, drawing, among other things, the popular Pete the Pup comic. Into the 1950s and thru the 70s, he co-directed the Famous Artists School cartooning course with Bud Sagendorf.

He was married for 60 years to his wife Helen. They had three boys and raised them in their home in Noroton, CT. He enjoyed playing the jazz saxophone and was an avid sailor.

The darn thing is that someone cut out the first page here. Dang it!!!

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