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Dick Turner Cartoons

An inventory of his cartoons at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Turner, Dick, 1909-1999.
Title: Dick Turner Cartoons
Inclusive Dates: 1966-1968.
Quantity: 6.3 linear ft.
Abstract: 924 original cartoons from the comic strip Carnival. Sunday strips also include the Mr. Merryweather companion strip.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

George Richard Turner (1909-1999), professionally known as Dick Turner, was an American cartoonist who drew the comic strip Carnival.

Turner was born on August 11, 1909 in Indianapolis, Indiana. As a child Turner preferred to draw his ideas rather than put them into words. Turner's family moved to Evanston, Illinois in 1920 and Turner graduated from Evanston Township High School in 1928. Turner returned to Indiana and attended DePauw University where he contributed drawings to the campus magazine, The Yellow Crab. After receiving his degree in 1932, Turner sold insurance in Connecticut for a few years but decided to change careers and turned to freelance work and advertising art. He also moved back once again to Indiana.

In 1940 Turner joined the Newspaper Enterprise Association Service and started drawing Carnival and its Sunday companion strip Mr. Merryweather. By the end of the 1960s, Carnival was distributed in more than 500 newspapers by the NEA. Residents of his small Indiana town often related humorous situations in their lives and Turner used these stories to help him write and draw the strip. Mr. Merryweather ceased in 1972, while Carnival ended its run in 1980. Turner’s Carnival strips were reprinted to illustrate concepts in a variety of non-fiction works including textbooks and journals. Dick Turner retired in Vero Beach, Florida where he died November 2, 1999.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Dick Turner Cartoons contain 788 original daily cartoons and 136 original Sunday cartoons from the newspaper comic strip Carnival (1966-1968) and its Sunday companion strip Mr. Merryweather.

In Carnival, Turner explored post WWII American life and occasionally commented on specific current events such as the Vietnam War, the urban riots of the late 1960s and debate over prayer in schools. Carnival often depicted generational differences, life during the Space Age and an increasingly pervasive consumer culture (and increasing government deficits). Several recurring characters appear in the strip such as Senator Smelt (often unpopular with his constituents) and a teenage girl named Janie and her boyfriend Jimmy, an aspiring musician and perennial annoyance to Janie's father.

The daily Carnival is a single panel strip, while the Sunday strips are comprised of several individual panels featuring separate characters and story lines and also the multiple panel Mr. Merryweather. Captions are located on the back of each cartoon except where noted on the detailed inventory. The strips were done in ink with traces of blue pencil visible. Production numbers and measurements are visible on the Sunday strips. The first six months of daily strips from 1966 have dates stamped on the back that are earlier than the dates inked on the strips. Some captions from the Sunday strips have separated from the board. These are in enclosures attached to the panel from which they are from.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Daily and Sunday cartoons are arranged separately in chronological order.

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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

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

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Subject Headings


Turner, Dick, 1909-1999.

Corporate Bodies

Newspaper Enterprise Association.

Associated Titles

Carnival (comic strip)
Mr. Merryweather (comic strip)


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

Genres and Forms

Cartoons (humorous images)



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Dick Turner Cartoons,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Finding Aid Information

Created by: EF
Date: 29 May 1968
Revision history: 23 Sept 1970 - inventory revised (MB); 12 Dec 2008 - converted to EAD (MD); 18 Jul 2009 - detailed inventory added (SK)

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Click here for a detailed inventory.
Daily cartoons (788 items) 8 3/4"x11"
Box 1 1966 Jan - 1966 Dec
Box 2 1967 Jan - 1967 Dec
Box 3 1968 Jan - 1968 Dec
Sunday cartoons (136 items) 19"x26"
Oversize 1 1966 Jan - 1967 Dec
Oversize 2 1968 Jan - 1968 Dec

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