Fu-Manchu, by Leo O'Mealia

Leo Edward O'Mealia, who was also known as Leo the Lion, began his career as a political cartoonist for the Rochester Herald in 1907 and the Rochester Times in 1909. In 1912 he worked as a sports cartoonist for the New York Journal, and then joined The Daily News. From 1912 through 1929 he drew the the daily comic 'Wedlocked' for the Associated Newspapers Syndicate.

Jungle Definitions, by Leo O'Mealia (21/2/1914)
'Jungle Definitions', 21 February 1914. 

In 1913 he briefly made the 'Freddy Film' daily for International Feature Service, and he began 'Little Pal', distributed by Associated Newspapers until 1928. Another feature by O'Mealia during the 1910s was 'In Jungleland', or 'Jungle Definitions'. He then created newspaper comics for the Bell Syndicate, based on the well-known heroes 'Sherlock Holmes' (1930-31) and 'Fu-Manchu' (1931-33).

Action Comics cover by Leo O'MealiaDetective Comics cover by Leo O'Mealia
Cover illustrations for Action Comics issue #4 (September 1938) and Detective Comics issue #20 (October 1938).

In the second half of the 1930s, O'Mealia hooked up with the Chesler Studios and started contributing to early National/DC comic books. He made story art and notable cover illustrations to early issues of Action Comics, Detective Comics, More Fun Comics and Adventure Comics. Among the features he drew were 'Andy Handy', 'Barry O'Neill', 'Bob Merritt and his Flying Pals', 'Dr. Fu Manchu' and 'Inspector Donald and Bobby'. He returned to newspaper cartooning for The Daily News in 1943, drawing sports cartoons up until his death in 1960. He signed his name "By Leo" and put his trademark small lion in every drawing.

Leo O'Mealia was a strong influence on Murray Olderman.

Fu Manchu, by Leo O'Mealia
'Fu Manchu'. 

Series and books by Leo O'Mealia you can order today:


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