Dotty Dimple, by Grace Wiedersheim 1910
'Dotty Dimple'. 

Grace Drayton was one of the first and most successful female cartoonists. Grace Gebbie, her maiden name, was born in 1877 in Philadelphia, the daughter of an art publisher. She began freelancing as an artist in 1895. In 1900, still in her early twenties, she married Theodore Wiederseim, and created the series 'Bobby Blake' and 'Dolly Drake' for the Philadelphia Press.

In 1909, as Grace Wiederseim, she published 'Dolly Drake and Bobby Blake in Storyland' (1905-1906) and 'The Terrible Tales of Captain Kiddo' (1905-1909), in collaboration with her sister, Margaret G. Hays. This series spawned two spin-offs like 'Kaptin Kiddo and Puppo' (1911) and 'Kaptin Kido's 'Speriences' (1913). A year later, 'Dottie Dimple' appeared in the newspapers. In 1911, Grace divorced Wiedersheim and married W. Drayton, and became Grace Drayton. She illustrated children's books and created several comics, such as 'Toodles' (ca.1911), 'Dolly Dimples' (1915) and 'The Campbell Kids'. She created the adventures of Little Miss Muffet, the Man in the Moon, and others with Dolly Dimple and Bobby Bounce.

Grace Drayton was important as the creator of the Campbell Soup Kids, round-faced children with rosy cheeks which were a huge success, yet Grace's name never appeared on the drawings. After she left Campbell, she became well-known for her Dolly Dingle paper dolls in the Pictorial Review, from 1916 to 1922. Drayton also illustrated several books by her sister Margaret: 'Kiddie Land' (1910), 'Kiddie Rhymes' (1911), 'Vegetable Verselets for Humorous Vegetarians' (1911) and 'Babykins Bedtime Book' (1914), 'Little Pets Book' (1914) and 'Rosy Childhood' (1914).  Some poems from 'Vegetable Verselets' were later put to music by composer Daron Hagen. 

Grace divorced Drayton in 1923. She started her most famous series, 'The Pussycat Princess', in 1935, and died a year later. The comic was continued by Ruth Carroll and Ed Anthony until 1947.

Dolly Dimples and Bobby Bounce, by Grace Drayton 1932
'Dotty Dimples and Bobby Bounce', 1932.

Series and books by Grace Drayton you can order today:


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