Jerry the Juggler by Stanley Armstrong
Jerry the Juggler

Stanley E. Armstrong was an early 20th century American newspaper cartoonist and magazine illustrator. He is best-known as the third artist who drew the Sunday comic strip 'Slim Jim and the Force', which appeared in mainly rural newspapers. He also had the longest tenure on the feature, from 1914 until 1937.

He was born as Stanley Edward Armstrong in Muir, Michigan, on 11 July 1873. Around 1900 he attended the Mark Hopkins Institute of Art in San Francisco. He began his career as an artist with the local paper the San Francisco Call shortly afterwards. He also made illustrations for publications like Overland Monthly and Sunset magazine. he later apparently moved to Illinois, because one of his first known strips was the Sunday feature 'Jerry the Juggler' for the Chicago Tribune from March to August 1913.

He took over 'Slim Jim and the Force' from Raymond Ewer in 1914. The strip dealt with the extremely tall and thin tramp Jim, who continues to outwit the three police constables known as The Force. The original artist was George Frink (1910-1911), who was quickly succeeded by Ewer (1911-1914). Armstrong drew 'Slim Jim' for the World Color Printing syndicate until 1937, although there have been periods of reprints in 1915 and somewhere in the 1920s. An artist called Sterling (presumably C.W. Kahles) also drew a couple of episodes in 1915, and Clarence Rigby and Ernie McGee possibly also have drawn the strip occasionally. Armstrong managed to give the tramp protagonist more personality, but his work lacked the innovative artwork of his predecessor.

In the 1920s, Armstrong was back in California, where he worked as a syndicated cartoonist and illustrator for Ace-High Magazine and The Danger Trail. From June 1930 to November 1931 he drew the Sunday comic 'Yarns of Bos'n Bill' for World Color Printing, which he singed with "Armi". For a while in the late 1930s he also drew the Synday strip 'Kelly Kids' for the same syndicate, which was created by C.W. Kahles in 1918.

Stanley Armstrong passed away on 16 March 1949 in San Francisco.

Slim Jim, by Stanley Armstrong
Slim Jim and the Force

Ink Slinger profile on the Stripper's Guide

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