If I were to add an alternate title to this piece, it would be "The Sickness Clearly Runs in the Family." I have been toiling away at my little comics for 7 years now and, as many of you know, my young cousin Tillie has become a cartoonist of note in recent years... But what nobody except my mother knew until this week was that my grandfather, Ray Dickson, was a dabbler in funny page art as a child. This mother's day I was the one who got a gift when mom shared this pages below with me!
I knew that my grandfather had been an artist and i have one of his paintings hanging over my mantle at home, and that his ability to draw is why he was chosen as an advance scout in World War II. (He died in France while scouting a small occupied village.) I didn't know, though, that prior to all that he was a weird kid like me drawing little cartoons. My mom thinks he was a young boy when he made these, which would place them sometime in the late 1920s or early 1930s.
A bit of a trigger warning: He was a little boy from pre-civil rights era Texas.... Some of the character portrayals and character sketches are pretty deep into racist territory. Please don't mistake the artistic pride I take in my family history as approval of that aspect of these pages. Clearly, he passed a long time before I could ever meet him. I hope that as my grandfather matured, so did his viewpoint.