Happy Birthday: Vincent T. Hamlin
Vincent T. Hamlin was born in 1900 and grew up during tumultuous times—he enlisted in the Army at age 17 and served in France during World War I.
After returning home, he studied journalism and art at the University of Missouri, but was kicked out of art class because his teacher told him he was too fine an artist to waste his time as a cartoonist. After graduating Hamlin moved to Des Moines and became a reporter.
Next he went to Fort Worth, Texas, where he got occasional work as a reporter, a photographer, and a cartoonist. In 1927 he got a job creating maps and posters for the oil fields. It was during that time that Hamlin came up with the idea of a cartoon about a prehistoric caveman, and in 1929 he moved back to Iowa to work on the idea. It took him several years to get it right, but Alley Oop finally appeared a daily strip in 1932.
The strip became so popular that the first fan-based comics award, the Alleys, was named after it. Hamlin continued Alley Oop until his retirement in 1971, when he handed the reins over to his assistant, Dave Graue. Hamlin died in 1993.