Little Jimmy, originally titled Jimmy, was a newspaper comic strip created by Jimmy Swinnerton. With a publication history from February 14, 1904 to 1958, it was one of the first continuing features and one of the longest running.
The title character was a little boy who was constantly forgetting what he was supposed to do and ended up getting into trouble. Don Markstein described the strip’s characters:
Jimmy was a wide-eyed innocent, but easy prey to the foibles of little boys. He’d constantly forget what task he was about and wander off to do boyish things, to the great consternation of the adults in his life. He also had a considerable propensity for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, which often triggered outlandishly action-packed consequences. His constant companions were his even smaller friend, Pinkey, and his dog, Beans. A supporting character added a few years later was Li’l Ol’ Bear, strongly reminiscent of the cartoonist’s first feature, The Little Bears.
Swinnerton drew his strip in a clear, open style, unlike most cartoonists of his time. In this, he anticipated dominant styles of the 20th century, less crowded and more easily read – quite appropriate for newsprint production, where the printing isn’t always as clear as it should be.
The strip first appeared sporadically in The New York Journal. It soon became a regular in the Sunday comics section and was picked up as a feature in other newspapers owned by William Randolph Hearst. When King Features Syndicate was created in 1915, Little Jimmy went into nationwide syndication. In 1920, a daily strip was added and ran until the late 1930s. The Sunday strip continued until Swinnerton retired in 1958.
Little Jimmy appeared in silent film animation and later in the 1936 Betty Boop film Betty Boop and Little Jimmy.
Little Jimmy Camp in the Angeles National Forest, near Los Angeles, California, is named after the comic strip in honor of Swinnerton, who once stayed there. In WWE, R-Truth refers to young fans as “Little Jimmies” & as his Imaginary Friend as a part of his character.
31 strips various