Jefferson Machamer

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Thomas Jefferson Machamer (1900 – August 15, 1960[1]) was an American cartoonist and illustrator known especially for his drawings of glamorous women. He also wrote and acted in a series of short comedy films in the 1930s.

Career as an illustrator[edit]

"The Stage and its People", sketches by Machamer.

Machamer was born in Nebraska. After he graduated from the University of Nebraska he became a staff artist for The Kansas City Star newspaper.[2] In 1922 he moved to New York City and joined the staff of the humor magazine Judge.[2]

From 1928 until 1930 he wrote and drew a comic strip for King Features Syndicate called Petting Patty, initially as a daily strip and later also as a Sunday color feature. In 1932, his comic strip Gags and Gals made its debut in the New York Mirror. This strip proved a greater popular success, and ran until 1938.[3] According to Dan Nadel, Gags and Gals displayed the elements that typified most of Machamer's work: "beautiful dominant women, broad shouldered and impeccably dressed, accompanied by hapless, unattractive men, sometimes short and mustachioed, with just a tuft of hair atop a bald pate—apparently a self portrait."[2] Machamer's style has been compared to that of Russell Patterson, who may have influenced him.[4]

In 1946, Machamer published a how-to book for aspiring cartoonists, Laugh and Draw with Jefferson Machamer.[2] Beginning in the 1940s, he also operated a correspondence course from his home.[2]

Film work[edit]

Between 1936 and 1938, Machamer wrote and acted in a series of short comic films made by Educational Pictures, which included Comic Artist's Home Life, Wanna Be a Model?, and Cute Crime.

Personal life[edit]

From 1934 until his death he was married to the actress Pauline Moore.[5]

Jefferson Machamer died in Santa Monica, California on August 15, 1960.


  1. ^ Levy et al. 1979, p. 369.
  2. ^ a b c d e Nadel 2006, p. 311.
  3. ^ A Look Back at Jefferson Machamer's Gags & Gals, Hogan's Alley
  4. ^ Waugh 1991, p. 147.
  5. ^ "Pauline Moore, 87; Acted With Roy Rogers" December 15, 2001, The New York Times. Retrieved July 26, 2013.


  • Levy, F. D., & Facts on File, Inc. (1979). Obituaries on file. New York: Facts on File. ISBN 0871963728
  • Nadel, D. (2006). Art out of time: Unknown comics visionaries, 1900-1969. New York: Abrams. ISBN 0810958384
  • Waugh, C. (1991). The comics. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 0878054987

External links[edit]