HALL Harry S.
“If we’re going to extricate ourselves from the pollywog pond of provincialism, we’ve got to wake up and give more scope to Canadian ideas. The import of American and British cartoons helps us to understand the rest of the world but we shouldn’t let them stunt our own growth.” Harry S. Hall in Saturday Night
He was born in Hull England about 1893.
He trained for two years at the Manchester School of Art. A noted sportsman he starred in soccer and water polo. He was a member of England’s international water polo team.
He came to Canada before World War 1 and settled in Moose Jaw. He worked on the railway and before the war and did cartooning as a hobby.
When World War 1 broke out he enlisted in the 46th Battalion and was in the fighting for two years being both at Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele where he was gassed. After convalescence in the hospital at Boulogne he returned to the front and fought at Lens, Amiens, Arras, Cambrai and Valenciennes. During the war he also became Welterweight Champion of the Canadian Army.
He joined the Telegram in the 1930’s and was a featured cartoonist and illustrator with the Telegram for more than two decades.
In 1933 he teamed up with journalist Ted McCall to illustrate the adventure cartoon strip “Men of the Mounted” which appeared in the Telegram and other newspapers in Canada, overseas and South America. It was discontinued in 1935.
In 1936 he began his best known cartoon strip the daily humorous topical comment “News ’n Nonsense” which always ended with “Sez Melinda” a pithy comment by a young girl.. In the same year he returned to Vimy on a pilgrimage and depicted the minor war dramas and life on shipboard in a series of drawings in the Telegram.
In 1941 he collected the strip into a book called Mean Scamp – F which focused on making fun of Hitler and his associates. “Sez Melinda” was also the concluding signature of this series. Usually she was expounding support for the war effort Also during the war years his work appeared in several of Bell Features comic books. It appears that this work was not original but was taken from Hall’s newspaper cartoons and illustrations.
He made a significant contribution to political and sports illustration his most famous sports illustration being the “Home Run” on the occasion of Babe Ruth’s death.
The Toronto Men’s Press Club selected him to draw pictures of succeeding Presidents and luminaries.
He died August 3, 1954 at the Toronto Western Hospital after suffering a heart attack.
BOOK GRAPHIC COLLECTION:
Content strip cartoon & Cover book:
Mean Scamp –F. Musson Book co. Ltd., 1941.
The Hecklers. Writ. & Ed.., Peter Desbarates & Terry Mosher. McClelland & Stewart Ltd., 1979: 238.
Saturday Night, 65, 16 May 1950: “They’re Poking Fun at Canada.” Writ., Gordon McCaffery.
Globe, Aug.1954: “Obituary – News Cartoonist Noted Athlete, War Veteran.”.
The Toronto Telegram, 3 Aug. 1954: “Obituary – Popular Cartoonist Harry Hall Dead.”
Mean Scamp-F, 1941: Front cover.