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Ferd Johnson Cartoons

An inventory of his cartoons at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: GBS
Date: 1968

Biographical History

Ferdinand Johnson (1905-1996), commonly known as Ferd Johnson, was an American cartoonist. He was Frank Willard's assistant and eventual successor on the comic strip Moon Mullins.

Born December 18, 1905, in Spring Creek, Pennsylvania, Johnson became interested in cartooning after winning the Erie (Pa.) Dispatch-Herald cartoon contest at the age of 12. After finishing high school in 1923 he attended the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts but left school after only three months to take an assistant's job at the Chicago Tribune with Frank Willard who had recently created the Moon Mullins comic strip.

While assisting on Moon Mullins, Johnson remained active with other Tribune projects. He created several comic strip features for the Syndicate—Texas Slim (1925-1928) and Lovey-Dovey (1932)—did sports illustration work and produced advertising cartoons. In 1940 he revived Texas Slim in Texas Slim and Dirty Dalton (with the companion strip, Buzzy), which ran for 18 years. After Willard's death in 1958 he took over full responsibility for Moon Mullins, which he continued to draw (assisted in later years by his son, Tom) until his retirement in 1991.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Ferd Johnson Cartoons collection consists of:

Arrangement of the Collection

Cartoons are arranged by title in chronological order. Daily and Sunday cartoons 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

Other original Moon Mullins strips may be found in the Frank Willard Cartoons.

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

Subject Headings


Johnson, Ferd, 1905-

Corporate Bodies

Chicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate.

Associated Titles

Buzzy (comic strip)
Moon Mullins (comic strip)
Texas Slim (comic strip)


Caricatures and cartoons -- United States.
Cartoonists -- United States.
Comic books, strips, etc.

Genres and Forms

Cartoons (humorous images)



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Ferd Johnson Cartoons,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Ferd Johnson, 1967.

Table of Contents


Moon Mullins

Texas Slim