From the Morgan County Press, 1918. Look out for Wartburg’s Morgan County Press, and more World War One-era Tennessee newspapers, on Chronicling America in 2016.
The Mickie Says cartoon panel was created by Charles Sughroe and syndicated through the Western Newspaper Union from 1918. Each week, the cartoon’s young protagonist – a “printer’s devil” at a small town newspaper – reminded readers to support their hometown newspaper in various ways such as keeping their subscription up to date, taking out ads in the paper, or reporting local news.
The character later appeared in his own comic strip – Mickie the Printer’s Devil – which follows the daily goings-on in a small-town newspaper printing office. Our friends over at the Vermont Newspaper Digitization Project highlighted the comic strip in an article on their website – check it out here.
Mickie’s creator, cartoonist Charles Sughroe, had plenty of experience to draw on having worked as a printer’s devil himself, at his father’s newspaper the Stockton Herald-News in Illinois. Following his boyhood experience in the print office, Sughroe spent four years at the Chicago Art Institute before working as a free-lance commercial artist, and later gaining national recognition for his Mickie cartoon. An article in trade journal, American Printer, in 1922 says, “Every Mickie cartoon is founded on some actual happening, so it is not overdrawn.” Some of Sughroe’s other comic panels and strips – People of our Town and Town Pests – can be found by searching Chronicling America‘s newspapers (for example, this page from the Leavenworth Echo, Wa., features both).
More information on Mickie and Sughroe is available at The Stripper’s Guide – a comprehensive website with tons of information about the history of the American newspaper comic.