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Don Tobin Cartoons

An inventory of his cartoons at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MD
Date: 18 Dec 2008

Biographical History

Donovan Tobin (b. 1916), commonly known as Don Tobin, was an American cartoonist and animator.

Don Tobin was born in Austin, Texas and attended the University of California, graduating in 1936.

Tobin was an animator in the early 1940s and worked on such features as Disney's Bambi, Dumbo, Pinocchio and the "Rite of Spring" segment in Fantasia. In 1941 he also helped animate the following shorts: Donald Duck's "Golden Eggs," Mickey Mouse's "The Nifty Nineties" and "Pluto's Playmate." He also worked on "Donald's Snow Fight," "Pluto Junior" and Goofy's "Olympic Champ" released the following year. Tobin left Disney after the 1941 strike, moving to magazine cartoons. For a time, he was part of a clan of cartoonists working at Laguna Beach that included John Dempsey, the Interlandi brothers, Ed Nofziger and Virgil Partch.

He drew gag cartoons for several publications including, Collier's magazine, the Ladies' Home Journal and the Saturday Evening Post. Tobin created the comic strip The Little Woman in 1953. The Little Woman was about a housewife named Emily Butterworth, who was reminiscent of his mother-in-law. A book of the comic strip was published in 1965.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Don Tobin Cartoons is split into the following series: Clipping, Notebooks, Original artwork and Promotional material.

The Clipping (undated) series contains one magazine clipping featuring one of Tobin's cartoons from the Saturday Evening Post.

The Notebooks (undated) series consists of eight notebooks featuring original gags and captain ideas.

Original artwork (1945-1965) is the bulk of the collection. This series includes original cartoons published in Collier's, the Saturday Evening Post and other original cartoons from various magazine publications. These original cartoons from other magazine publications were often unlabeled, though some appear to have been published in the Ladies' Home Journal. Sketches for magazine cartoons are also part of this series. Although, original art from the comic strip The Little Woman makes up the bulk of this series. Also important to note are rough comic book sketches and an original self portrait.

Promotional material (1964) includes one promotional booklet of The Little Woman from King Features Syndicate.

Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is organized by series and arranged by item type. Materials from the same comic strip or series are at times not housed together because of their varying specific dimensions.


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

Original artwork from Disney's the "Father, Dear Father" segment of The Nifty Nineties short, is located in the Father, Dear Father Collection.

Special Collections Research Center has collections of more than 150 cartoonists. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.

Subject Headings


Tobin, Don.

Corporate Bodies

King Features Syndicate.

Associated Titles

Little woman (comic strip).
Saturday evening post.


American wit and humor, Pictorial.
Caricatures and cartoons -- United States.
Cartoonists -- United States.
Women household employees -- Caricatures and cartoons.

Genres and Forms

Cartoons (humorous images)
Cartoons (working drawings)
Comic strips.
Promotional materials.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Don Tobin Cartoons,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Don Tobin, 1969.

Table of Contents



Original artwork

Promotional material