“Mister, Have You Seen Anything of Two Lions—One Wounded?”


Charcoal on illustration board, 17 ¼” x 19”, signed “R. B. Fuller”


Ralph Briggs Fuller (1890-1963) was born in Michigan. He was 16 when he sold his first cartoon to the old Life magazine for $8. Fuller attended the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, and while working as a staff artist for the Chicago Daily News, he got $100 for the first color picture ever reproduced in Life. He came to New York where he continued to publish in Life and also in The Judge magazine.

The Judge, a weekly satirical magazine, was established in 1881 by a number of artists who seceded from the staff of the popular weekly Puck magazine. Founders included James Albert Wales, a cartoonist, Frank Tousey, publisher of dime novels, and George H. Jessop, an author.

Fuller freelanced widely for a number of years, but when Life and Judge began to fold, he saw the magazine market was diminishing. He turned to the strip form and sold “Oaky Doaks” to Associated Press News Features—it first appeared in 1935 and continued until 1961 when AP discontinued its comic division.

Our drawing was done for either The Judge or Life magazine probably around 1935 before Henry Luce took over Life. Fuller’s artistic skills are apparent in his deft execution of the farm equipment. His sensitive appreciation of boyhood fantasy rivals the likes of Norman Rockwell.