Jimmie the Messenger Boy, by Red Shellcope

Red W. Shellcope, also known as R. Edward Shellcope and Redw. Shellcope, was an early 20th-century U.S. newspaper cartoonist, and creator of most notably 'Jimmie the Messenger Boy' (1903-1913). 

Life and career
Raymond Edward Shellcope was born in 1879 in Pennsylvania. His earliest one-shot comics appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer, such as 'The First Silk Tie in Umbooland' (1 September 1901), all signed with "R. Edw. Shellcope" until he changed his signature to "Redw. Shellcope". His earliest feature with some longevity was 'The Interfering Idiot' (1902-1903). It is possible that he was a ghost artist on C.M. Payne's 'Bear Creek Folks', 'Scary William' and 'Coon Hollow Folks' between 1903 and 1912. 

Jimmie the Messenger Boy
Between 3 May 1903 and 6 July 1913 his signature comic 'Jimmie the Messenger Boy' ran in The Philadelphia Press. It was a gag comic about a pint-sized messenger boy who often got himself into trouble.

Final years and death
Shellcope was active in the National Guard in the late 1900s. As an oarsman he participated with many boat races. When the United States entered the First World War in 1917, Shellcope was drafted. Around 1922 he married Marie Carter, a graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. The couple resided in Philadelphia and worked at the Henry Disston & Sons saw mill until they moved to Ocean City, New Jersey. There they worked as artists and handled art goods. It is not exactly known when Shellcope passed away? Allan Holtz of the website Stripper's Guide did some research which narrows his death date down to somewhere between November 1946 and March 1947.


Illustration for a postcard (1909).

Ink Slinger profile on the Stripper's Guide

Series and books by Red W. Shellcope in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:

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