Boys Will Be Boys, by Harry Grant Dart, 1909

Harry Grant Dart was born in 1869 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. His first job was rendering crayon portraits for the National Crayon Company brochures. He drew for the Boston Herald in the mid-1890s, but it was when the New York World arranged to send Dart to Cuba that his active newspaper art career began. He sketched many important events (such as political conventions) in the days before photos were printed in newspapers. Dart rose to be the art editor for The World, and it was from this position - and utilizing the techniques he employed in many freelance cartoons for Life - that the comic 'The Explorigator' was conceived, to rival the popular 'Little Nemo' by Winsor McCay in the New York Herald.

'The Explorigator' was the name of a fantastic airship that traversed the universe. It was manned by Admiral Fudge, a youthful adventurer and inventor, accompanied by a group of friends, also children his age (around nine or ten): Detective Rubbersole, Maurice Mizzentop, Nicholas Nohooks, Grenadier Shift, Teddy Typewriter, and Ah Fergetitt. 'The Explorigator' ran for 14 weeks in 1908 and made an impression for its imaginative and visual creativity.

The Explorigator, by Harry Grant Dart, 1908

After 'The Explorigator', Dart continued his prolific work. One of the other comics he did was 'Boys Will Be Boys' for The New York Herald in 1909. He was the mainstay of Life and Judge into the late 1920s and his cartoons always featured complicated perspectives, futuristic speculations, and incredible detail. Harry Grant Dart died in Laconia, New Hampshire, in 1938, after a long career of creating fantastic cartoons and strips.

The Explorigators, by Harry Grant Dart, 1908

more about 'Boys Will Be Boys'
Aircraft illustrations by Harry Grant Dart

Last updated: 2012-06-09

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