Pete the Tramp

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Pete the Tramp
C. D. Russell's Pete the Tramp (March 29, 1959)
Author(s) Clarence D. Russell
Current status / schedule Finished
Launch date January 10, 1932
End date December 12, 1963
Syndicate(s) King Features Syndicate

Pete the Tramp was an American comic strip by Clarence D. Russell (1895–1963) which was distributed by King Features Syndicate for more than three decades. Howard Eugene Wilson, in the Harvard Educational Review, described the strip's title character as "a hobo with a gentleman's instincts."[1]

Russell studied at the Chicago Art Institute and then began working as a freelance artist. During World War I, he went overseas with the American Expeditionary Force. When he returned to America in 1920, he worked for several New York newspapers while also contributing to Judge.

Characters and story[edit]

Russell's work for Judge included cartoons of a homeless man who was given the name Pete the Tramp when he was syndicated to newspapers beginning January 10, 1932.

Comic strip historian Don Markstein offered this description of Pete the Tramp:

During its long run, Pete the Tramp had several topper strips, as detailed by comic strip historian Allan Holtz:

C.D. Russell's wonderful Pete The Tramp went through a trio of topper strips on its Sunday pages. The first, Pete's Pup, was a dog strip, sort of a canine counterpart to the Mutt and Jeff topper, Cicero's Cat. The next was The Topper Twins, my favorite because the name is an in-joke to the industry term "topper". For some reason, Russell alternatively called this strip The Tucker Twins. The last topper was Snorky... It started in 1935 and is believed to have run as late as 1939. Getting an end date on these later toppers can be a Herculean task, because fewer and fewer papers printed the toppers as the decade of the 1930s wore on. In fact, I have no examples of Snorky later than 1937 in my collection; the 1939 date is based on the strip's listing in the Editor & Publisher yearbooks.[3]

The Further Adventures of Pete the Tramp (1944) was a live-action stag film which stole Russell's character and put him in an erotic situation.[4] During World War II, Russell and Otto Soglow drew their characters at kids' bond rallies in Albany, New York and elsewhere. To cheer up soldiers, Russell also did Pete the Tramp drawings in hospitals during World War II.[5]

Pete the Tramp's topper strip, Snorky (January 24, 1937)

Pete the Tramp ended December 12, 1963, following Russell's death on October 22 of that year.


The Adventures of Pete the Tramp was published in 1935 by Saalfield. Pete the Tramp was published by John Martin's House in 1945.


External links[edit]