Before Danny the Dinosaur: The Early Cartoons of Syd Hoff

Syd Hoff

Like his fellow cartoonist, William Steig, Syd Hoff had a similar duel career. First as a successful and prolific cartoonist for most of his life, then as a best-selling children’s book author and illustrator. In 1958 Harper published Danny the Dinosaur which began his amazing run of over 60 titles he wrote and illustrated for the I Can Read series. One of the earliest cartoon by Hoff appeared in a humor magazine called Ballyhoo in 1931. He was only 19 and except for the iconic signature, it bore no resemblance to his later work in the 30s and 40s. Here’s a small portfolio of his early cartoons.

Esquire 1934

Judge 1947

Charles Antell 1952

Esquire Magazine

Super Pyro 1948

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