Skippy was an American comic strip written and drawn by Percy Crosby that was published from 1923 to 1945. A highly popular, acclaimed and influential feature about rambunctious fifth-grader Skippy Skinner, his friends and his enemies, it was adapted into movies, a novel and a radio show. It was commemorated on a 1997 U.S. Postal Service stamp and was the basis for a wide range of merchandising that includes Skippy peanut butter.
Skippy started in 1923 as a cartoon in Life and became a syndicated comic strip two years later through King Features Syndicate. Creator Crosby retained the copyright, a rarity for comic strip artists of the time.
The strip focused on Skippy Skinner, a young boy living in the city. Usually wearing an enormous collar and tie and a floppy checked hat, he was an odd mix of mischief and melancholy who might equally be found stealing from the corner fruit stand, failing to master skates or baseball, complaining about the adult world, or staring sadly at an old relative’s grave (“And only last year she gave me a tie”).
The syndicated strip was enormously popular, at one point guaranteeing Crosby $2,350 a week, more than the United States president. Always Belittlin’ and other topper pages/strips ran above Skippy on Crosby’s Sunday page.
During the WWII years, Crosby’s conservative politics increasingly intruded on the strip, and it began to lose readers. Negotiations on a new contract failed, and Crosby ended Skippy in 1945. His final years were tragic; he was unable to find steady work and drifted into alcoholism. After a 1949 suicide attempt, he was placed in the asylum at Kings Park, New York, where he died in 1964, unable to secure release.
10 pages/strips Skippy 1932
11 pages/strips Skippy 1939
24 pages/strips Skippy Various