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Bill Holman (1903-1987)

William Holman (1903-1987)

The American cartoonist, Bill Holman, is best known for the classic comic strip,
Smokey Stover, which has been described as ‘a tour de force of screwball comedy’ (Brian Walker, The Comics: Since 1945, New York: Harry N Abrams, 2006, page 61). He was considered ‘a legendary personality among cartoonists. His conversation was laced with wisecracks and his behavior with a compulsive zaniness, and his sense of humor extended to practical jokes’ (Robert C Harvey 2006).

Bill Holman was born two miles from Crawfordsville, Indiana, on 22 March 1903, but soon moved north with his family to Nappanee, in the same state. His father died when he was young, and his mother looked after the family, running a millinery store. During his schooldays, he worked part time at a popcorn and candy stand next to the Blosser Shoe Store, which was the home of Merrill Blosser (1892-1983), who also grew up to be a strip cartoonist.

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