The Press: Comic for Kids

One morning in 1938 Publisher Elzey Roberts of the St. Louis Star-Times glanced over the comics running in that day's editions, noted that of eleven strips, ten dealt with fist fights, murder, domestic quarrels, fear, theft, despair, deception, torture, arson, death. Publisher Roberts sat down and wrote an indignant editorial. Then he began to look for a comic strip to appeal to children.

He found one. Bertram, written by a onetime Chicago newspaperman, Paul Thomas Gilbert, drawn by Anne Stossel, is reminiscent of such early comics for children as Little Nemo, displaced in recent years by strips for adults. An adventurous, gentle...

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