Carl Ed and his characters in 1933
July 16, 1890|
|Died||October 10, 1959(aged 69)|
Returning to Rock Island, he signed on as a reporter with the Rock Island Argus, where he was soon promoted to sports editor and then became the newspaper's city editor, while also drawing another baseball strip, Luke McGlook, the Bush League Bearcat (aka Luke McGluke), distributed by the World Color Syndicate. He moved on to Chicago as a sports cartoonist on the Chicago American where he also drew the strip The Tener Alley Gang.
Harold Teen begins
He drew samples for a strip titled Seventeen, loosely based on Booth Tarkington's successful novel Seventeen. After publisher Patterson renamed it Harold Teen, it debuted in the New York Daily News during February 1919. Asked in the late 1930s why he had started the strip, Ed answered, "Twenty years ago, there was no comic strip on adolescence. I thought every well-balanced comic sheet should have one."
Carl Ed's strip was widely read in the 1920s, and his readers became familiar with such slang as "shebas", "sheiks" and "pantywaist". Some of these were words and phrases created by Ed, such as, "Fan mah brow."
With the popularity of the strip, Ed profited from merchandising of games, figurines and other products. He added Josie as a topper strip beneath Harold Teen and also found time to work as an instructor at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts.
Interest in the strip began to fade by the 1940s. When Ed, who lived at 711 Michigan Avenue in Evanston, Illinois, died October 10, 1959, his once-popular comic strip died with him. (He retired in the last week of September 1959, and Harold Teen continued until his final strips ran out on November 18, 1959.) His widow, Ellen Ed, died in July 1975.
- Ed, Carl. The Adventures of Harold Teen and His Old Side-kick Pop Jenks. New York: Cupples & Leon, 1931.