Lute Pease was the editorial cartoonist for the Newark Evening News for almost forty years, from the teens to the fifties. He won a Pulitzer for a cartoon about union leader John L. Lewis in 1949 at the age of 80 — I believe he still holds the record as oldest recipient. As with many Pulitzer winning cartoons, Pease’s was a pedestrian effort. It didn’t hold the power and style of his earlier work; evidence of his bold and evocative style are far more evident in the Pease strips above.
Pease went to the Klondike in the 1890s gold rush and from then on styled himself something of a frontiersman. That made it a natural subject when he created a comic strip for the Newark paper in 1926, a lighthearted strip about a grizzled pioneer, treasure-hunter and adventurer. Adventures of Powder Pete began on March 29 1926 and ended on October 2 of the same year. The samples above include the first and the last strips.
A hearty tip of the Stripper’s ten gallon hat to Sara Duke at the Library of Congress who provided samples and information about this rare strip.
Fun Fact: Lute’s real first name was Lucius.