Crumbling Paper: Johnny Gruelle’s Mr. Twee Deedle

I wish someone would collect some or all of Johnny Gruelle’s neglected comic strip Mr. Twee Deedle into a book. Gruelle is better known as the creator of Raggedy Ann and Andy, so I suspect there would be a big market for his work. The obscurity of this strip puzzles me somewhat considering the high quality of the work and the potentially large market for the material… I have probably seen less than ten examples of it. What little I’ve seen of the strip is a lot of weird and surreal fun. Here’s an example I scanned (not in color, unfortunately… the color ones I’ve seen have been spectacular). Click the image to see the full strip.

Here’s what Don Markstein’s Toonopedia says about Mr. Twee Deedle.

Here’s the Lambiek page on Johnny Gruelle.

9 thoughts on “Crumbling Paper: Johnny Gruelle’s Mr. Twee Deedle

  1. I would love to see a reprint collection of Mr. Twee Deedle as well. I have a handful that will be posted on Barnacle Press in the near future; sadly, they are not in color…

  2. Pingback: Barnacle Press: Comics 1.0

  3. Hello: Info re the Mr. Twee Deedle. I have 20 of the cartoons from the 1911 New York Herald, full color. These are cutouts made from the newspaper, each episode has 4 sheets,with two panels on each sheet. Originally each of the cartoon episodes had two sheets printed together, but these had been cut apart. The sheets are separate now but I was thinking of mounting the two cut sheets together on, say, mounting board. Two rejoined parts on each board, two boards equals one episode. Suggestion? Or is there a better way? Are there any collectors out there interested in purchasing these?? If interested, contact me and I can send you a color print sample. Robert Putnam (

  4. Hello again: I have reexamined the Twee Deedle cartoons I have. Actually there is only 18, all in color. Copyright the New York Herald Co. There is one 1910 copyright (!), 15 1911 copyright, and one 1913. How to account for the 1910 copyright?? Maybe the first one but published in 1911? Each of the episodes consistes of 8 large panels, each panel in 7 1/2″ wide by 4″ high; the panels are drawn top and botton on each sheet; four sheets for each episode. Each of the four sheets measures 10″ high by 7 1’2″ wide. Facing sheets read left to right top, left to right bottom; and ditto the next two sheets. Left & right sheets have been cut from the newspaper. The left-right sheets need to be re-joined to recreate the actual layout in the newspaper. Robert Putnam (

  5. That sounds like some wonderful and rare treasure all right, Robert! There are definitely collectors out there looking for these strips… best place to get a good price for them is probably Ebay. If you decide to sell them you’ll want to post them in the Platinum Age Comics and Newspaper Comics listings. Many good suggestions for preserving old comic strips can be found at the Stripper’s Guide blog here (look in the Posts by Category column on the left). If you ever scan them, please do send them my way, as I would love to read them! Thanks much for commenting!

  6. Looks like Fantagraphics intends to publish a Mr. Twee Deedle collection in Feb. 2011. You can pre-order on Amazon now.

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