New of Yore: Hayes Chips in With a New Strip

Jeff Hayes Sells Strip By Sleight-of-Hand

By Erwin Kroll (E&P, 2/23/52)

“Now you see it — now you don’t!” Doesn’t sound like much of a sales line, but it’s the one Jeff Hayes uses—and uses success­fully—to sell his new comic strip.

Editors who aren’t already buy­ing “Chip” from Consolidated News Features can expect Mr. Hayes, a small man with a disproportionately large smile, to drop in any day now, give a quick— and unique—ren­dition of “Yank­ee Doodle,” and run through a dozen or so pro­fessional magic tricks. Odds are that they’ll enjoy the show. Odds are that they’ll pay for it by buy­ing “Chip.”

“Cartooning is my work,” Mr. Hayes explains, “but selling is my hobby. I love to sell.”

“Chip,” now in its third month, is appearing in more than 50 newspapers, many of them sold by Mr. Hayes himself. If side-show sleight-of-hand doesn’t sound like much of a reason for buying a new comic strip these days, the secret of “Chip’s” success may be found in its size. A new addition to the recent crop of “space-sav­ers,” each day’s release consists of only two panels about two inches high. They may be used vertically or horizontally.

“It’s something I’ve been look­ing for for a long time,” admits Mr. Hayes. “A half-size comic strip, ideal for a naturally lazy man like me.”

“Chip” follows the trend in more than size. It’s gag-a-day strip fea­turing kid humor, which is rapidly replacing science fiction as the number one comics vogue. Gags are “corny but cute.” Typical ex­ample: “Never forget, son, we are here to help others.” “What are the others here for?”

Mr. Hayes, a native of Newburgh, N. Y., came to New York City in the twenties to study at the Art Students League or, as he puts it, “to bum around for a while.” Later he joined the ad­vertising art staff of the New York Journal, where he stayed for 12 years. After a stretch of comic book work for King Features, he joined Consolidated News Features as general art handyman, doing sports and editorial cartoons and, at one time, three daily comic strips—”Pop,” “Silent Sam” and “Witty Kitty.” Besides “Chip” he still does “Silent Sam,” also known as “Adamson’s Ad­ventures.”

In addition to his selling trips, Mr. Hayes frequently takes to the road to deliver chalk talks and make personal appearances. Here he is often helped by his 17-year old daughter, an art student. “She draws much better than I do,” Mr. Hayes admits.

2 comments on “New of Yore: Hayes Chips in With a New Strip

  1. I enjoyed the article on Jeff Hayes.I am his granddaughter, the daughter of that 17 year old girl mentioned at the end of the story.
    Do you have any other information on Jeff Hayes or his work?
    Thank you

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