Thursday, June 29, 2023

Cartoonist of Mystery: Ellis Holly Chambers!

Good afternoon, Kids! So nice to visit with you all again!

Today we have some rare work from the Golden Age of comics, Mr. Ellis Holly Chambers (both cover and story).

I have not been able to find even a shred of biographic information regarding Mr. Chambers. There seems no information to be found regarding year of birth or death, birthplace, family . . . nothing. The only scrap that has been passed down that I've been able to find comes third-hand from the great Harvey artist, Howie Post; who apparently shared a studio with the artist in the ‘40s in New York City.

This interesting if distrubing scrap comes from my friend Sherm Cohen and his blog, Cartoon SNAP!:

"Milton Knight provides some tantalizing information about cartoonist H. Chambers: 'It's Holly Chambers! (Holly was his middle name; I think his first name began with an E.) My late friend, Howie Post, used to share a studio with him and had several vivid tales to tell: he described Chambers as a handsome, charismatic "psychotic" who could walk out with a bar stool and stare down the bartender with a 'what are you going to do about it?'

Post also revealed that Chambers was a heroin addict who could shoot up and complete a comic book overnight: 'Who needs women when you have this??' As colorful as his comics, that was Holly Chambers. Howard lost track of him in the 50s, and suspected that he was "rubbed out" by his drug connections.”

It would seem there is just enough known or rumored about Mr. Chambers to make him forever a mysterious legend. If anyone out there has any more cheerful or biographical info on Mr. Chambers or his life, I'd be very happy to hear it. As of now, his wonderful, joyful work will be his most meaningful and endearing legacy.

This story comes from Cosmo Cat #2 (September-October 1946)

Coming up next, another artist from the same Cosmo Cat issue! Pat Parrish!

I will see you all again very soon. Until then, I hope you are all warm, safe, and happy!

--Your friend, Mykal


  1. Yes, that's a weird one. I think of guys like Holly Chambers as being the real roots of the sixities undergrounds much more than the often noted Carl Barks. It really reads like early Crumb or Rory Hayes... without the more explicitly graphic adult stuff.

    Don't be pushing too many boundaries here, though. The wholesome kids stuff is appreciated, too. It's always nice to see a post from you. Much thanks.

    1. I'm glad you liked it! I suspect that Chambers did nothing but weird ones. Every story I've ever seen or found was uniquely his, both in art and story.

      And, yes, I completely agree with you. Chambers must have been an influence on the underground, "alternative" comics of the '60's, Crumb, Rodriguez, Shelton, etc, - the link seems so clear!

      And rest assured: The Big Blog is all about kids' comics! I always imagine children reading my blog and always keep them in mind.


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