The Newspaper Monsters of Walt McDougall

Walter McDougall was America’s first syndicated cartoonist. He was a newspaper artist from the 1870s to the 1920s, doing caricatures, political cartoons, and other art, but he is especially remembered for his comic strips that featured terrifyingly silly monsters that threatened children. McDougall’s strips ran under many names in different publications at different times. He even collaborated with L. Frank Baum on a strip that ran two years to promote Baum’s second Oz book. 


Monster Brains has an archive of many of McDougall’s fantastic monsters from the Library of Congress. While some have prosaic names like dragon, chimera, pterodactyl, and ogre, others get delightful names like moon calf, wamguzzle, terrabilis, glossary, rambillicus, quidnunc, skeewink, spookissimus, colliwobble, and gastritis. The gastritis has a particularly apt name for his appearance and behavior.

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