Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Howard Boughner

Howard Robert Boughner was born in Cadillac, Michigan, on December 16, 1908, according to the Social Security Applications and Claims Index at

In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Boughner was the youngest of three children born to Robert, a railroad conductor, and Emma. The family resided in Cadillac at 205 East Bremer.

In 1920 the family of five had moved a few blocks to 492 Crippen Street. Boughner continued to live with his parents at the same address in the 1930 census.

Who’s Who in Writers, Editors & Poets (1989), said Boughner used the Landon correspondence art course. The Cleveland Plain Dealer (Ohio), June 26, 1990, said Boughner “studied art at Eastern Michigan University and the Detroit Art Academy.”

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Boughner assisted on Dumb Dora in 1934. According to Who’s Who, Boughner was on the staff of the Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA) from 1936 to 1946. When Irving S. Knickerbocker left his strip, Mac, Boughner continued it from November 9, 1936 to September 22, 1941. Boughner did the same thing on Clyde Lewis’ Hold Everything in 1944. Boughner drew three Christmas strips penned by Hal Cochran: Bobby’s Christmas Dream (1938), Peter and Polly in Toyland (1939) and Santa’s Secrets (1940).

On July 1, 1938, Boughner married Dorothy Peterson, a stenographer. At the time Boughner lived at 2802 Colburn Avenue, and Peterson at 1028 Galewood Drive, as recorded on the Cleveland, Ohio marriage certificate.

The 1940 census recorded Boughner, his wife and sister-in-law in Cleveland at 1028 Galewood Drive. His occupation was newspaper syndicate cartoonist. Boughner also produced material for Fawcett comic books from the mid-1940s to early 1950s.

Who’s Who said Boughner contributed to children’s publication such as Jack & Jill, Treasure Chest, and Children’s Playmate. After 1946, the Plain Dealer said Boughner was “a free-lance commercial artist for television stations, advertising agencies and corporations.” Boughner authored three books: Cartooning Jobs for Beginning Cartoonists (1952), Posters (1962) and Dictionary of Things to Draw (1979).

Boughner was a member of J. & E. Cartoonists Inc., which the Plain Dealer said was an art service named after two prominent and deceased cartoonists, Walter L Evans and George Juja. Boughner was pictured in the December 3, 1961, Plain Dealer, with Dick Dugan, Ray Martin and Warren Mellinger, who was the J. & E. Cartoonists president but not a cartoonist.

American Newspaper Comics said Boughner was an uncredited writer of Freckles and His Friends in the 1960s. He also assisted on Penny, created by Harry Haenigsen, from 1968 to 1969. For the Allied Feature Syndicate, Boughner created Mrs. Bee the Working Wife, which debuted April 10, 1967. The Plain Dealer, May 30, 1957, said: “Mrs. Boughner is the woman behind the new cartoon, ‘Mrs. Bee’….Although the real Mrs. B. is a medical secretary at Mt. Sinai Hospital, the comic ‘Mrs. Bee’ will assume many different occupations.” The Plain Dealer said Boughner was a ghost writer on Nancy.

 11/6/1969; Boughner’s contribution was acknowledged

3/27/1970; Boughner thanked again

The Plain Dealer said Boughner passed away June 23, 1990, at his Lakewood, Ohio home. He was survived by his wife, two sons, a daughter, three grandchildren and a sister.

—Alex Jay

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