Monday, July 3, 2023

Pat Parrish AKA Ellis Holly Chambers?

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

Today we have a companion piece to the Big Blog's last post which highlighted the work of the mysterious Holly Chambers. Why was he mysterious? Have a look at the previous post for the sad and fascinating details of Mr. Chamber's life (what little of it is known).

Today we come to another story from Cosmo Cat #2 (September-October 1946) featuring a story by Pat Parrish.

But who was Pat Parrish? I had not previously heard of Pat Parrish and, after finding this story in Cosmo Cat and doing days of research, I can find less about Mr. Parrish than I had been able to uncover about Mr. Chambers. At least with Mr. Chambers, there were artists (Howie Post) that had known Holly Chambers and spoke about him in print, relaying some unhappy, barebone fragments of a life.

Not so with the legacy of Pat Parrish. There is absolutely nothing at all from any quarter about his life or times that would suggest a life. Not the tiniest thread upon which to hang a story.

So. I'll come to the point: I think "Pat Parrish" was a pseudonym for Ellis Holly Chamber, and I'll tell you why.

First - the artwork. It is so similar in several key features - features which often determine an artist's unique style: The hands seem to have an odd, blossoming life of their own, fat digits seeming to point in impossible directions (I love Chamber's hands). And the feet. Certainly, the work comes from the era of "bigfoot" cartooning, yet with Chambers (and/or Parrish) the feet appear positioned utterly at random - not moving forward or backward particularly. Character poses and facial expressions are often very similar as well.

Then there is the storytelling. Simply put, there's a dark, underlying violence to the stories of Mr. Parrish that is exactly the flavor of a Ellis tale; that is , the "comeuppance" of Cosmo Cat's adversaries are often harsh and brutal (with just a tinge of realism - not "cartoon violence”).

And Lastly – according to the Grand Comics Database, there are exactly 7 comic book credits for Pat Parrish, every one a comic from a Fox Publishing comic (Usually Cosmo Cat) and every one Ellis Holly Chammbers has a credit somewhere in the issue as well!

So, Kids, I rest my case. Of course, so many readers of the Big Blog are far more knowledgable than I. If anyone has a varying opinion, please let me know!

So, be it Holly or Pat, either way it is a neat, little story. Enjoy!!

Coming up next, the enjoyable work of Don Gunn!

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

--Your friend, Mykal


  1. Another great story by whoever did it...whether Holly Chambers or somebody aping his style. Another guy kinda working in this style was Red Holmdale who did backups in Super Duck. He did some gnarly looking drawings with half-baked plots that nevertheless have charm. Though I think some of his stuff, as well as Super Duck himself, would be a bit questionably lumped in under the banner of Kids Comics.

    1. I don't know the work of Red Holmdale but will see what I can find. Thanks for the tip!


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