Sisters of Eve (The Anaconda Standard, 22 February 1914)

Will Lawler was an early 20th century American cartoonist, who worked for the newspapers founded by James Gordon Bennett. He is best-known for anonymously drawing 'Buster Brown' (1906-1911) in the New York Herald, while its creator Richard F. Outcault was drawing the same strip for the American Journal-Examiner.

Not much is known about William Lawler's life. He was present in the New York Evening Telegram at least between 1912 and 1914. His longest running solo feature was 'Sisters of Eve', a gag strip about a group of ladies. Although their clothing hint at a certain amount of wealth and class, they certainly aren't too clever and mostly fill their days with gossiping. The strip ran from 6 December 1912 until 13 February 1914, and also appeared in a couple of local papers, such as The Anaconda Standard and The Houston Post. Lawler subsequently made the short-lived weekday strip 'Discord in 'A' Flat' from 22 February until 24 January 1914.

The artist then moved over to another Bennett paper, the New York Herald. By then, the Herald's star cartoonist Richard F. Outcault had gotten a more lucrative offer from William Randolph Hearst's The New York American. He took his well-known characters Buster Brown, Mary Jane and the dog Tige with him, but wasn't allowed further use of the series' title 'Buster Brown'. Therefore, titles like 'Buster and Tige' and 'Buster and His Friends' were used in The American from 14 January 1906 onwards, while the Herald continued to print 'Buster Brown'. Herald editor Reick hired a host of anonymous artists and writers to continue the strip about the mischievous little boy, although with slightly redesigned characters. William Lawler is believed to be the main contributor, working on the feature from 1906 until its end on 22 January 1911. Other ghost artists are Wallace Morgan, Norman Jennett, Worden Wood, and even Winsor McCay.

Outcault's own Buster feature outlived the Herald version by ten years, and came to an end in December 1921. This however didn't terminate the character's existence. Buster continued to a appear in a radio serial, a TV show and as a mascot of a shoe company well into the 1950s.


Sisters of Eve (The Houston Post, 28 March 1913)

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