Moon Mullins, created by cartoonist Frank Willard (1893–1958), was a popular American comic strip which had a long run as both a daily and Sunday feature from June 19, 1923 to June 2, 1991. Syndicated by the Chicago Tribune/New York News Syndicate, the strip depicts the lives of diverse lowbrow characters who reside at the Schmaltz (later Plushbottom) boarding house. The central character, Moon (short for Moonshine), is a would-be prizefighter—perpetually strapped for cash but with a roguish appetite for vice and high living. Moon took a room in the boarding house at 1323 Wump Street in 1924 and never left, staying on for 67 years.
Frank Henry Willard was born on September 21, 1893 in Anna, Illinois, the son of a physician, who early on determined to become a cartoonist. After attending the Academy of Fine Arts in Chicago in 1913, he was a staff artist with the Chicago Herald (1914–18), where he drew the Sunday kids’ page Tom, Dick and Harry and another strip, Mrs. Pippin’s Husband. He next wrote and drew The Outta Luck Club for King Features Syndicate (1919–23).
The strip was reprinted in a long-running series of Cupples & Leon books (1927–1937), Big Little Books and comic books for Dell Comics (starting in 1936) and later, the American Comics Group (1947–1948). Dover Publications reprinted a collection of the daily strips in 1976, consisting of the third and fifth Cupples & Leon books. Representative samples of Moon Mullins daily continuity were featured in Great Comics Syndicated by the Daily News-Chicago Tribune (Crown Publishers, 1972), and The Smithsonian Collection of Newspaper Comics (Smithsonian Institution Press/Harry Abrams, 1977). The latter volume also reproduces several full-color Sunday pages. Comic strip historian Bill Blackbeard (1926–2011) edited a series of strip reprints for SPEC Productions.
11 strips 1924
21 strips 1925
25 strips 1936
5 strips various