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Don Tobin Cartoons

An inventory of his cartoons at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Tobin, Don.
Title: Don Tobin Cartoons
Inclusive Dates: 1944-1965
Bulk Dates: 1953-1965
Quantity: 10 linear ft.
Abstract: The Don Tobin Cartoons collection contains over 2,300 original cartoons from the comic strip The Little Woman (1953-1965), hundreds of original magazine cartoons (1946-1957), some sketches (circa 1945-1955) and one item of promotional material from The Little Woman (1964).
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.



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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.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: MD
Date: 18 Dec 2008
Revision history: 18 Dec 2008 - converted to EAD (MD); 18 May 2011 - processed; detailed inventory, bio and scope added (AM); 9 Mar 2020 - OS 7 split up, OS 8 and 9 created (MRC)

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Box 1 Saturday Evening Post cartoon undated - crayon drawing on reverse side (1 item)
Box 1 Gag and cartoon caption ideas undated (8 items)
Original artwork
Comic strip
The Little Woman
Click here for a detailed inventory of original The Little Woman cartoons.
Oversize 1 Daily cartoons 1953, 1957 (191 items)
Box 2 Daily cartoons 1958 Dec-1959 Sep (210 items)
Box 3 Daily cartoons 1959 Oct-Dec, 1960 (270 items)
Box 4 Daily cartoons 1961 (274 items)
Box 5 Daily cartoons 1962 (293 items)
Box 6 Daily cartoons 1963 (295 items)
Box 7 Daily cartoons 1964 (293 items)
Box 8 Daily cartoons 1965 (249 items)
Oversize 7 Sunday cartoons 1961
Oversize 7 Sunday cartoons 1962 Jan-Jun
Oversize 8 Sunday cartoons 1962 Jul-Dec
Oversize 8 Sunday cartoons 1963
Oversize 6 Sunday cartoons 1964-1965 (98 items)
Oversize 9 Comic strip sketches undated - drawings on front and back (15 items)
Magazine cartoons
Cartoons published in Collier's magazine and organized by captian or series title. Some items are painted in full color.
Oversize 2 A Bib for Daddy 1953 (7 items)
Oversize 2 A - D circa 1949-1953 (7 items)
Oversize 2 First Man on the Moon Returns 1952 (8 items)
Oversize 2 G - H circa 1949-1953 (7 items)
Oversize 3 I - J circa 1949-1953 (29 items)
Oversize 3 L - N circa 1949-1953 (8 items)
Oversize 3 O - P circa 1949-1953 (9 items)
Oversize 3 S - T circa 1949-1953 (10 items)
Oversize 3 Summer Sonata 1952 (8 items)
Oversize 3 Tardy Wife 1952 (8 items)
Oversize 3 Uncaptioned circa 1949-1953 (1 item)
Oversize 3 W - Y circa 1949-1953 (14 items)
Magazine publications
Original cartoons published in various magazines, including Ladies' Home Journal.
Oversize 2 January - February 1944, 1948-1949, 1951, 1955 (5 items)
Oversize 2 March 1946-1947, 1954, 1957 (4 items)
Oversize 2 April 1950-1951 (2 items)
Oversize 2 May - June 1947, 1955 (2 items)
Oversize 2 July 1948, 1951, 1956 (4 items)
Oversize 2 August 1949-1950, 1953, 1957 (1 item)
Oversize 2 September 1950 (4 items)
Oversize 2 October 1946, 1948, 1951 (3 items)
Oversize 2 November 1947, 1949-1951, 1956 (4 items)
Oversize 2 December 1946-1947, 1951 (4 items)
Oversize 2 Miscellaneous published cartoons undated (36 items)
Saturday Evening Post
Original cartoons published in the Saturday Evening Post; organized by caption. Some cartoons have drawings on the reverse side of the items.
Oversize 4 A - B circa 1945-1955 (9 items)
Oversize 4 C - D circa 1945-1955 (15 items)
Oversize 4 F - G circa 1945-1955 (14 items)
Oversize 4 H circa 1945-1955 (20 items)
Oversize 4 I circa 1945-1955 (46 items)
Oversize 4 J circa 1945-1955 (8 items)
Oversize 4 K - L circa 1945-1955 (4 items)
Oversize 5 M circa 1945-1955 (11 items)
Oversize 5 N circa 1945-1955 (13 items)
Oversize 5 O - P circa 1945-1955 (14 items)
Oversize 5 S - T circa 1945-1955 (14 items)
Oversize 5 Uncaptioned circa 1945-1955 (10 items)
Oversize 5 U - W circa 1945-1955 (28 items)
Oversize 5 Y circa 1945-1955 (8 items)
Box 1 Self portrait 1948 (1 item)
Majority of sketches have crayon drawings on the reverse side.
Box 1 A - E circa 1945-1955 (23 items)
Box 1 F - H circa 1945-1955 (15 items)
Box 1 I - J circa 1945-1955 (65 items)
Box 1 L - N circa 1945-1955 (14 items)
Box 1 O - P circa 1945-1955 (10 items)
Box 1 S - T circa 1945-1955 (20 items)
Box 1 Uncaptioned circa 1945-1955 (2 items)
Box 1 W circa 1945-1955 (24 items)
Box 1 Y circa 1945-1955 (14 items)
Promotional material
Box 1 The Little Woman 1964 (1 item)
King Features Syndicate booklet

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