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Julius Stafford Baker (1869-1961)

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"The Bruin Boys", The Rainbow, 1914

Julius Stafford-Baker (1869-September 1961) was probably introduced to the publications of James Henderson & Sons by his uncle, John Phillips Stafford, a cartoonist whose work appeared in Punch and Henderson's Funny Folks, often on the front page. Baker was drawing "Hooligan" for Funny Folks in 1891, and regularly contributed to the American Magazine Judge in 1895. That arising from his American Loyalist refugee ancestry. After the years of comics for adults,  by 1898 he was working for the Amalgamated Press's Playbox - for children.

He created "Casey Court", a busy single-panel cartoon about a gang of tenement kids which influenced later artists like Leo Baxendale, for Illustrated Chips in 1902, which ran for over 50 years drawn by various artists. He also created "Mrs Hippo's Kindergarten" for the Daily Mirror in 1904, which transferred to The Monthly Playbox, a colour comic supplement to the glossy magazine The World and His Wife, after a single appearance. In 1914 it transferred to The Children's Encyclopedia in 1914. The strip featured the first appearance of the character Tiger Tim. In 1914 The Bruin Boys, with Tiger Tim as the most prominent character, became the lead strip of another new comic, The Rainbow, but Baker was dismissed after some years (he was by now Editor of The Southend and Westcliff Graphic and, bored with comic paper work, was regularly late with his drawings) and replaced by Herbert S. Foxwell. The character went on to greater success, appearing in his own comic, Tiger Tim's Weekly in 1920. Charlie Pease drew Tim after Foxwell's death, then Baker's son, Julius Stafford-Baker junior, who had been taught to be a "black and white man" in an apprenticeship manner by his father.

Baker senior received modest rewards, but good for the period, allowing a middle class life style, but never owned any copyrights. "Outside Contributors" for the Amalgamated Press had to assign to them to receive their cheques (it was printed on the backs). None of these Outside Contributors were in any sense employees. In earlier days one lined up in alphabetical order outside the pay office, artists and writers alike, for little bags of sovereigns. Immediately behind Baker was a man with a bad cough - Robert Louis Stevenson.

Other strips he drew include: "Hans the Double Dutchman" (Comic Home Journal, 1904); "Bill Smiff's Pirates" (Puck, 1904); "Stone Age Peeps" (Illustrated Chips, 1904); "The Inventions of Pat" (Nuggets, 1905); "Henry Hawkins" (Jester and Wonder, 1906); "Comic Cuts Colony" (Comic Cuts, 1910); "Raggs Rents" (Merry and Bright, 1915); "Prehistoric Pranks" (Funny Wonder, 1919); "Dr Croc's College" (The Sunday Fairy, 1919); "The Moonshine Movie Nibs" (Lot-O'-Fun, 1920).

ReferencesEdit

  • Alan Clark, Dictionary of British Comic Artists, Writers and Editors, The British Library, 1998, p. 7
  • Peter Hunt and Sheila G. Bannister Ray, International Companion Encyclopedia of Children's Literature, Routledge, 1996, pp. 244-245
  • Hatfield Hines Gallery: Julius Stafford Baker (jnr.)

Online referenceEdit

External linksEdit

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