Obscurity of the Day: Tilly Tawker


C.A. Voight became an anchor cartoonist at the Boston Traveler seemingly out of nowhere, but then again if his recorded birthdate is to be believed, he was just 21 years old at the time. His only earlier series*, hardly worthy of the name since it ran just twice, was Tilly Tawker, drawn for the New York Evening World on February 28 and March 9 1908. Above you witness the entire run.
Tilly Tawker is quite breathtaking. It’s very hard to imagine a wet-behind-the-ears kid producing such sumptuous art with wonderful animated anatomy and expressions, well-developed gags and immaculate pacing. This is the sort of work cartoonists aspire to eventually produce after years in the profession. How the Evening World let this kid out of their grasp is anyone’s guess, but escape he did.
* In my book I credit a 1902 series from the Evening World to C.A. Voight. It does looks like it could be his early, raw-boned work to me, but it is only signed “Voight”, a not terribly uncommon name, and if his birth date is to be believed, he would have been published in one of the important papers in the country at the age of fifteen. Not impossible, but certainly somewhat improbable.

4 comments on “Obscurity of the Day: Tilly Tawker

  1. the full "C.A.Voight" sig is in the NY Evening World sports page from July 'o3. into '04, and on the NY Evening Mail sports page in '07 and probably earlier as my time ran out before I had a thorough look. In both papers he is certainly our man, therefore no need to posit another Voight. A precocious kid indeed.

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