Foxy Grandpa, by Bunny (Easter, 1900)
Carl Emil Schultze was an American cartoonist, best known for creating the classic newspaper feature 'Foxy Grandpa'. Born in Lexington, Kentucky, Schultze obtained a job at the Chicago Daily News in the 1880s. After doing general newspaper art and cartoon work for a couple of years, Carl Schultze moved over to the New York Herald, where he was asked to develop a strip. He introduced his initial concept of a shrewd old man, 'Grandpa'. The series was a text comic, with the dialogues written beneath the images. An assistant editor of the Herald said the old man looked foxy and suggested the full name for the strip. January 7, 1900, 'Foxy Grandpa', as well as Schultze's other feature, 'The Herald Vaudeville Show', were launched. Schultze signed the strips "Bunny".
'Foxy Grandpa' was an almost immediate hit with the paper's readers, and it even inspired a couple of Broadway shows and some silent slapstick movies. One of Schultze's best-known fans was Walt Disney. 'Foxy Grandpa' folded as a regular comic strip in 1918. Schultze, plagued with debts and personal problems, dropped from sight. He reappeared in 1935 illustrating school books, one of the most popular of which was titled 'Julia and the Bear'. Carl Schultze died of a heart attack near the door of his room in 1939.
Preface by Edward Marshall from the 1902 comic book 'The Latest Larks of Foxy Grandpa':
Foxy Grandpa is presented
"I was present at the time when 'Foxy Grandpa' and the two attendant boys were born of Mr. Schultze's fertile brain and I am, therefore, pleased because it is my privilege to make this little speech of presentation. The three were created in a restaurant while Mr. Schultze and myself were eating luncheon. Mr. Schultze said:
"What do you think of a series of comic drawings dealing with a grandfather and his two grandsons?"
We had talked about all the popular series of comic pictures which had been published in the newspapers and comic periodicals and had tried to analyze them so as to devise a new series which would also succeed.
"The grandfather should be the clever one of the trio," he said. "In most of the other cases the young folk have been smarter than the older people upon whom they played jokes. Let's reverse it."
The following morning he came to my office with sketches for half a dozen series, and with the name "Foxy Grandpa" in his head.
The success of the series was instantaneous. So well-known did "Foxy Grandpa" become in a few weeks time that letters addressed to "Bunny" (the name by which Mr. Schultze signed his drawings) came to the Herald office by the score. One letter reached him, although its addresss consisted merely of a copy of one of the little rabbits which he so cleverly added to his signature, and which have become his trade-marks. The clerks in the New York Post Office at once recognized the little rabbit and forwarded the letter to Mr. Schultze at the Herald office.
So-called comic pictures are too often dependent on vulgarity for their fun. Too often the pain, physical or mental, of some of the characters involved in the laugh-provoking motive. But lovable, laughable "Foxy Grandpa" has none of these unpleasant characteristics. He is a clean, fine old fellow, as jolly as he can be, and the very kind of an old gentleman that grown peopleas well as children must not only smile at, but admire. Mr. Schultze's conception might almost be called the Mr. Pickwick of comic pictures."