Amy by Harry Mace

Harry Mace was an American comics artist, best known for creating the gag cartoon series 'Junior Grade' (1957-1960) and 'Amy' (1961-1991).

Harry Mace was born in 1922 in Shawneetown, Illinois. He grew up in St. Louis and first worked at electrical engineering. Then he served in World War II as a member of the Fourth Signal Battalion, serving in the Ninth Army in England, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. While in Germany, he met an American Red Cross girl, whom he married in 1946. The pair settled in Redding, Connecticut, where they remained for the rest of their lives. Mace enrolled in the Columbia School of Art in 1946 and began his career as a freelance cartoonist for magazines such as Post, Look, Ladies Home Journal, This Week, Redbook, Sports Illustrated and Look. His wife in the meantime wrote several books for juveniles, such as 'A Tail is a Tail', 'Mr. Wiggington Joins the Circus' and 'Chief Doodley's Busy Day', some of which were illustrated by her husband.

In 1957 Mace joined the Register & Tribune Syndicate, where he created the newspaper comic 'Junior Grade' (1957-1960). The series debuted on 14 October 1957 and revolved around a group of small children. By 1960 it was cancelled. A new attempt to make a gag-a-day comic about little kids was launched on 25 September 1961, when 'Amy' made her debut. Originally Mace wanted to name the girl 'Phoebe', but someone in his syndicate disliked it since it reminded him of an ex girlfriend. Thus Phoebe became 'Amy'. The series revolved around a sassy, somewhat obnoxious little blonde girl with a pony tail, but who would be forgiven everything just because of her innocent age. In many ways she was a female copy of Hank Ketcham's 'Dennis the Menace'. This time Mace's comic strip did catch on and soon he had to take on an assistant, Jack Tippit. Unfortunately Mace didn't live long to enjoy Amy's success. He became ill and at the end of 1963 he passed away in his hometown Redding at the young age of 41. Tippit would continue 'Amy' for three more decades, sometimes under the different title 'Our Girl Army', until 1991.

Junior Grade, by Harry Mace

Series and books by Harry Mace in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:


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