Edgar E. Martin Collection II

Martin, Edgar Everett, 1898-1960. Papers, 1935-

MU Ellis Special Collections Comic Collection 4

3.8 cubic feet

Boots panel

Scope and Contents Note

Included in the Edgar E. Martin Collection II is material related to Martin and his comic strip Boots and Her Buddies that have been added since the Martin I collection was placed on deposit in 1991 and 1992. Material from a 1992 Boots and Her Buddies exhibit in Ellis Library are in the collection. In conjunction with the exhibit, a catalog, Boots and Her Buddies, was prepared, the text of which was written by Thomas Harris. Copies of the catalog and issues of Cartoonists Profiles in which it was reprinted are in the collection. Clipped daily and Sunday Boots comic strips have been purchased and received as gifts. Many years of Boots and Her Buddies have been copied from microfilm.


Items in Edgar E. Martin Collection II have been acquired by purchase and gift. Photocopies of articles about the artist or comic strip have been made for inclusion in the collection.

Restrictions on Access

The collection is available to all researchers. Permission to publish materials in the collection must be obtained by the head of Special Collections. Additionally, permission to publish original Boots and Her Buddies cartoons that are still protected by copyright must be obtained from United Media (Promotions Department, 200 Park Avenue, New York 10166).

Biographical Sketch

Edgar Everett ("Abe") Martin was born in Indianapolis in 1898. His family later moved to Monmouth, Illinois where his father was a biology professor at Monmouth College. Martin attended Monmouth, but left in his junior year to study at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. He joined the Newspaper Enterprise Association in 1921 as a syndicated cartoonist.

Boots and Her Buddies, created by Martin, was introduced as a daily comic strip on February 18, 1924 and became popular immediately with NEA subscribers and their readers.

The Sunday comic strip originally was the top strip for the Our Boarding House page running from 1926 to 1931. Martin then began a full Sunday page of his own titled Girls. On September 9, 1934, the page became Boots though some newspapers kept the title Girls long after the name change. Popular paper cutouts were first featured on the Sunday pages first under the Girls title and later under Boots. The paper dolls continued until the early 1960s. Other toppers were Babe 'n Horace (March 19, 1939 to [?]) and Bootkins: the Little China Doll (April 26, 1936 to March 13, 1938). The Stripper's guide: a comic strip index lists another topper entitled Gooneys.

The most memorable characters in the strip are Boots, the college student and later glamorous, fashionable young lady, wife, and mother; Rod Ruggles, Boots' husband; and Davey, their son. Cora, Boots' longtime friend, and her husband Professor Stephen Tutt appear regularly in the strip. Popular Pug first appeared in 1937 when Boots brought her to live with the Tutts after Pug's father J.X. "Bettem" High disappeared. Pug later became an established member of Boots and Rod's family. Irrepressible Dory, the maid, was a favorite of all readers. Boots and Rod were married on September 2, 1945 and Davey was born July 4, 1946.

During the 1950s the job of providing Boots story lines belonged to University of Missouri student and English instructor Thomas B. Harris. Working many weeks in advance of the preparation of the art work, Harris sent rough story ideas to artist Martin who approved them and sent them to NEA. When NEA approval was received, Harris wrote the daily dialogue for the entire story sequence.

Harris had a dual interest in the comic strip. He married former Mary Martin, daughter of Edgar E. Martin.

Thomas Harris' entire career was spent at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He served successively as Administrative Assistant, Assistant Dean and Associate dean of the College of Arts and Science from 1954-1984 and was an advisor in the Provost's Office from 1984 until 1988 when he retired.

Edgar Martin died in August 31, 1960 and the daily strip ceased on October 15, 1960. The Sunday page continued, published unsigned, until June 6, 1965 when the signature of Les Carroll, Harris' former assistant appears on the strip. Carroll issued the strip until October 6, 1968. Thomas Harris died in 1992.


Box 1

FF 1. Summary of publishing history of Boots and Her Buddies from Stripper's guide: a comic strip index.

References to Edgar Martin and Boots and Her Buddies. Bibliography by Terence Hunley.

Advertisement for Boots and Her Buddies, "High-jinks! High-larity" "Starting Monday in The Observer-Dispatch." Undated.

Advertisement, "A Wish for the Best of Everything in 1950 from Boots and Her Buddies," from the Altoona Mirror (Altoona, PA), Dec. 20, 1949.

FF 2. Articles:

"Boots and Her Buddies – Bootkins – Edgar E. Martin" Celebrity Doll Journal, Year 12 # November 1977 16 p.

"Comics – And Their Creators – Edgar E. Martin" Literary Digest v. 199 #2, January 12, 1935.

Waugh, Coulton. The Comics (Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 1991) p. 173-175

"Boots and Her Buddies 1924-1969" in 100 Years of Newspaper Comics by Maurice Horn New York: Gramercy, 1996 p. 62-63.

Stanley, John and Mal Whyte. The Great Comics Game. Los Angeles, Price, Stern, Sloan. Question 103 relates to Boots. Gift of Ray Snodgrass.

"Popular Comic Strip had MC Roots" from Monmouth College.

"Abe Martin." Lambiek's comiclopedia. September 13, 2002. Found at: http://lambiek.net/artists/m/martin_abe.htm.

FF 3. Exhibit at MU Libraries including brochure Boots and Her Buddies 1992.

FF 4. Martin Family

"Former Associate Dean at MU dies at 68." Columbia Missourian, December 6, 1992, p. 7A. (Thomas Harris, son-in-law of Martin and author of some Boots continuities. Born 12/31/28, died 12/13/92)

Obituary of Thomas Harris. Columbia Daily Tribune, December 6, 1992, p. 2.

Obituary of Sarah M. Cooper (daughter of Martin). Columbia Daily Tribune, May [first week?] 1992.

Obituary of Sarah M. Cooper (daughter of Martin). Columbia Missourian, May 5, 1992, p. 7A.

"Cathartic intentions." (Article about Mary Harris, granddaughter of Martin). Columbia Missourian, February 27, 1994, Sec. G, p. 1.

Boots parody

FF 5-7. Cartoonist Profiles, #101, March 1994. Contains Boots and Her Buddies exhibition brochure prepared by Margaret Howell, Special Collections, University of Missouri Libraries. The text was written by Thomas Harris. (3 copies)

FF 8. Boots Parodies

Upyer Brown Presents Boots in "Love's Labor Lost." in Tijuana Bibles, vol. 7 [Compiled by Brian Hunt, Portland, Or, 1999] photocopy

Boots [and the farmer]. Gift of Margaret Howell

Presenting Boots "Oh Professor" Gift of Margaret Howell

Gertie Smellsnatch Presents Boots in "Too Good." in Tijuana Bibles by Bob Adelman [New York: Simon & Schuser, 1997 p. 25] photocopy

Oliver Droopydrawers Presents Boots in "Hot Panties." Gift of Margaret Howell

FF 9. Boots Merchandise

Pin. Boots and Her Buddies Sweater. Mfgr by Parisian Novelty Co., Chicago, sole licensee. Gift of Margaret Howell.

Trading card – Pug. NEA 1949. Gift of Margaret Howell.

Trading card – Pug. Comic Stars, Inc. New York, 1949. Gift of Ray Snodgrass. Color photocopy.

Puzzle. "Boots and Her Buddies" NEA, 1933. 10"x8" [Shows all the characters]

Puzzle. "Boots and Her Buddies" Akron, Ohio, Saalfield Publishing Co., nd #7339. 11 1/2"x10". [Shows Boots in a swing, Dory, Pug and Davey picnicking in foreground.

Boots and Her Buddies Movie Jecktor movie (projector available in Hamlin II, Box ). Gift of Margaret Howell.

See also paper dolls and coloring books in Comic Art Collection. Consult MERLIN, the University of Missouri's online catalog.

Section of film of Boots and Her Buddies for a Movie Jecktor filmstrip.

Box 2.

Boots and Her Buddies Daily Strips, Newspaper Clippings (not photocopies). Ask for details. Some years are complete or substantially complete.

Box 3.

Boots and Her Buddies daily strips. Photocopies from microfilm.

February 23, 1924-October 4, 1924 (Jackson Daily News)

November 4, 1924-December 12, 1924 (Jackson Daily News)

November 1936-June 1937 (Jackson Daily News)

September 1937-December 1947 (Jackson Daily News)

January 1948-October 1950 (Rocky Mountain News)

Box 4-6. (Oversize)

Original Boots and Her Buddies daily strip from Tuesday, September 24, 1940.

Boots and Her Buddies Sunday Strips, Newspaper Clippings (not photocopies). Ask for details. Some years are complete or substantially complete.