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Irwin Hasen Cartoons

An inventory of his cartoons at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: -
Date: 2001-01-01

Biographical History

Irwin Hasen (1918- ) is an American cartoonist and comic book artist.

Hasen was born in New York City on July 8, 1918 and graduated from Dewitt Clinton High School. He studied at the National Academy of Design and the Art Students League. Initially, Hasen pursued sports cartooning, drawing boxing-related caricatures. He was drafted during World War II and was the editor of the Fort Dix Gazette until his discharge in 1946.

Hasen had worked as a freelance advertising artist but expanded into comic books in the late 1930s. His credits during the 1940s and 1950s include work with Archie Publications; Detective Comics, romance comics for Fawcett; DC Comics titles including Green Lantern and Wild Cat; the Flash at DC Comics and work for Bert Whitman Associates. From 1944 to 1945 Hasen drew the Goldbergs strip which was distributed by the New York Post Syndicate. Hasen also produced promotional comics for Bazooka Bubble Gum.

Hasen became an active member of the National Cartoonists Society and while on an NCS sponsored tour of Germany, he met Gus Edson. Together they created the Dondi comic strip, about a World War II orphan, with Hasen drawing the strip and Edson writing the story. The Chicago Tribune-New York News syndicate distributed the strip to over 100 newspapers from 1955 to 1986 and Dondi was also adapted into a motion picture.

The National Cartoonists Society has recognized Hasen's work with several awards including the best newspaper story strip for Dondi in 1961 and 1962 and a Silver T-Square Award in 1969. At the 1999 San Diego Comicon, Hasen received the Inkpot Award.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Irwin Hasen Cartoons are arranged into a single series.

Dondi (1955-1968) contains approximately 3,553 pieces of original artwork for the comic strip of the same name as well as five proofs. There are 3,022 daily strips and 531 Sunday strips. Please note for several days there are both Sunday and daily formats. Also of interest is one Sunday strip produced in color (September 30, 1956).

All are signed "Edson and Hasen" although Hasen is typically credited with drawing the strip while Edson wrote the strip. The strips were drawn in pen and ink on illustration board. Notations appear in pencil and blue pencil. Each work contains a copyright notice sticker. Many strips feature detailed sketches on the back. Frequently, Sunday panels were completed in pieces and then pasted onto a larger piece of illustration board comprising the final Sunday version of the comic strip. On some pieces, the date and title of the strip have been stamped. Artwork for daily strips measures approximately 7" x 22". Dimensions for Sunday artwork varies between 16 3/4" x 23 3/4" and 20 ½" x 29" .

Arrangement of the Collection

Cartoons are arranged chronologically. Daily and weekly (Sunday) strips are housed separately.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

For additional Dondi material, see the Gus Edson Papers.

Special Collections Research Center has collections of over one hundred cartoonists. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.

Subject Headings


Hasen, Irwin, 1918-2015.

Corporate Bodies

Chicago Tribune Syndicate.
Tribune Company.

Associated Titles

Dondi (comic strip)


American wit and humor, Pictorial.
Caricatures and cartoons -- United States.
Cartoonists -- United States.
Children -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Comic books, strips, etc. -- United States.
Orphans -- Caricatures and cartoons.

Genres and Forms

Cartoons (humorous images)
Comic strips.
Proofs (printed matter)



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Irwin Hasen Cartoons
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Irwin Hasen, 1967-1968.

Table of Contents

Dondi cartoons