Famed Disney Legend Dick Huemer started in animation at the Roule Barre Studio in 1916 in NYC doing adaptations of Bud Fisher’s Mutt and Jeff. He then moved on to Fleischer Studio in 1923, where it is said he developed Koko the Clown. Eventually Huemer spent most of the last part of his career at Disney’s Mouse factory, form 1933 to 1973, and was one of the main guys behind Dumbo. Huemer once took a stab at a comic strip. Here’s some rare magazine gag cartoons from my collection that he did in 1926 and that I *LOVE*. The lively line and the sparkling inking (pen and ink AND brush?) are marvelous. The hands are a particular delight. The characters really do have a great Koko the Clown quality and a lot of “animation” that you didn’t necessarily see in the print cartoons of the era.
Huemer’s son Richard P. Heumer relates that his father was at times frustrated by how people pronounced his last name after they saw it printed, so he tried a few different spellings. That’s why in these panel cartoons you see a signature of Huemor and you see animation credits as Huemer.
The photo below is when Huemer was at the Charles Mintz studio in Hollywood, before hooking up with Walt. Left to right Jack Carr, Toby the Pup, Sid Marcus and Huemer. This photo is from the beautiful site Scrappy Land. WELL worth a visit for fans of cool early animation! Check it out! You’re also going to want to visit a site about his family that Dick’s son had put together with lots of goodies related to the cartooning of his dad. Michael Barrier also has an essay by Huemer about Ted Sears and Mister Milt Gross that you’re gonna want to read. The always informative Cartoon Brew has an interesting story about how some murals Dick Huemer did were saved from the wrecking ball.
And now the gag cartoons…
— C. Yoe (in the funny papers)