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Alumni cartoon memorabilia on exhibit in Hoover

October 24, 2011

Visitors to "Kings of the Pages: Comic Strips & Culture 1895 – 1950" may want to make a stop at the rotunda in Hoover Library to see an exhibit of alumni cartoon memorabilia and sketches, including an autographed sketch of Frederick Opper’s famed Happy Hooligan.

In addition to the Opper sketch from the 1920s are cartoons drawn by James Billmyer ’17 during 1912-13 when he was a student at the Western Maryland Preparatory School. Billmyer lampooned his classmates as a student and went on to enjoy a long career in New York illustrating magazines, including Colliers, Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, Family Circle, Ladies Home Journal, Parents Magazine, House and Garden.


James Billmyer ’17 lampoons his classmates at the Western Maryland Preparatory School in this 1912-13 cartoon.

A year before Miriam Dryden Carpenter, class of 1926, was a student at what was then Western Maryland College, she wrote on the front of her new autograph book, "In this little book are to be written the names of Great Men and Women – Great because they have achieved what others have been satisfied to dream." August 24, 1921, 14 Main St., Crisfield, Md. Carpenter’s husband donated the autograph book to the college when his wife died.

Over the years, Carpenter carried the autograph book with her wherever she went and collected an impressive selection of autographs and eight sketches, from such notable artists as John Wolcott Adams, W.J. Enright, Robert Reid, John MacLeod and Opper. The Hooligan sketch is signed F.OPPER and dated Aug. 21, 1923, more than two decades after the cartoon debuted in 1900 in a Sunday comic strip.

To see more of Happy Hooligan plus Buck Rogers, Blondie, Li’l Abner, Terry and the Pirates and more, visit "Kings of the Pages: Comic Strips & Culture 1895 – 1950" through Nov. 19 on campus in the Rice Gallery, Peterson Hall.

Front of Carpenter’s autograph book

"In this little book are to be written the names of Great Men and Women – Great because they have achieved what others have been satisfied to dream."August 24, 1921

14 Main St. , Crisfield, Md.

8 sketches from the likes of John Wolcott Adams, W. J. Enright, F. Opper, Robert Reid, and John MacLeod.

Miriam Dryden Carpenter, class of 1926, had probably been reading Opper’s Happy Hooligan in the newspapers for many years when she got this autograph and sketch of Happy Hooligan from Frederick Burr Opper.

Happy Hooligan first debuted in 1900 in a Sunday comic strip.

Miriam Dryden Carpenter’s husband Dr. Carpenter donated her autograph album to the College Archives and it is now part of the Western Maryland College Collection.

Most likely influenced by the comic strips of his day, Western Maryland Preparatory School student james Billmyer drew these cartoons lampooning his classmates during the 1912-1913 school year. Graduated from WMC in 1917 and went on to illustrate for Colliers, Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, Family Circle, Ladies Home Journal, Parents Magazine, House and Garden.

 
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