Jennie and Jack, by Margaret G. Hays

Margaret G. Hays was a 19th-century U.S. children's book writer, illustrator and comics artist. She made several comics in cooperation with her sister Grace Drayton, but also had a comic strip of her own, 'Jennie and Jack, also the Little Dog Jap' (1908). 

Life and career
Margaret Parker Gebbie was born in 1874 in Philadelphia as the daughter of an art publisher. As a child she was homeschooled by governesses, after which she went to the Convent of Notre Dame boarding school in Philadelphia (today the Academy of Notre Dame de Namur). In 1893 she married architect Frank Allison Hays. She made paper dolls for postcards and created the Sunday comic strip 'Jennie and Jack, also the Little Dog Jap' (March-August 1908) for the Boston Herald, about a brother and sister who always fail with their good intentions. The comic was also syndicated to other papers. Margaret Gebbie Hays furthermore made stories and illustrations for women's and children's pages, which were syndicated to American newspapers in at least the same period 1908-1913.


Part of the kids' section 'Aunt Peggy's Page for Little Readers', which appeared in The St. Louis Star and Times on 11 September 1910

Collaboration with Grace Drayton
Hays' sister Grace Drayton would become famous as a newspaper comics artist too and Margaret often collaborated with her as a writer. Some of their collective storybook-style comics were 'Dolly Drake and Bobby Blake in Storyland' (1905-1906) for the Philadelphia Press and 'The Turr'ble Tales of Kaptin Kiddo' (1905-1909) and its spin-offs 'Kaptin Kiddo and Puppo' (1911) and 'Kaptin Kiddo's 'Speriences' (1913) for the North American Syndicate, which Drayton still made under her married name Grace Wiedersheim. 

Children's books
Hays also wrote children's books, such as 'Kiddie Land' (1910), 'Kiddie Rhymes' (1911), 'Vegetable Verselets for Humorous Vegetarians' (1911), 'Babykins Bedtime Book' (1914), 'Little Pets Book' (1914) and 'Rosy Childhood' (1914), which were all illustrated by Drayton. Some poems from 'Vegetable Verselets' were later put to music by composer Daron Hagen.

Hays passed away in 1925. Her daughter, Mary A. Hays, was a newspaper cartoonist too.

Jennie and Jack, by Margaret G. Hays
Jennie and Jack, from the Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York (30 August 1908)

Series and books by Margaret G. Hays in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:

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