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1930-04-09 No Foolin'!
1937-12 All-Amer. Fict.
1931 Men Of Daring
1940-08 Foreign Legion
1932-06 Det. Fict. Weekly
1941-05 Famous Funnies
1936-06 Argosy
1947-03 New Heroic Comics
1937-05 The Comics
1947-03 New Heroic Comics
1937-05 The Comics
1947-11 New Heroic Comics























Benjamin Dave "Stookie" Allen was born January 30, 1903 in Brandon, Hill County, Texas. His father, Guy Hubert Allen, was born in 1880 in TX. His mother, Irene "Rena" Shirley, was born in 1882 in TX. His parents married in 1901 and had two children, only one of whom survived infancy. The family lived at 207 West Third Avenue in Corsicana, TX. The father was a butcher and grocer.

In 1918 during The Great War, Benjamin Dave Allen attended Corsicana High School, where he was nicknamed "Stookie." He was on the varsity swim team, the football team, and was a pitcher on the baseball team. He was also interested in art class and drawing for the yearbook. He graduated in June of 1921 and afterwards attended the University of Texas in Austin.

His popularity as a local athlete was recorded in countless local newspaper articles. According to The Corsicana Daily,"Ben Dave Allen, member of the baseball squad last season is playing this summer with the Welasco independent team and to date has not lost a game while he was on the mound. It is not an uncommon thing for Allen to strikeout ten or twelve batters during a contest. When his team played the strong Kingsville club, Allen went thirteen innings, and fanned eighteen of the opposition. He's a three-letter man. He won his school's boxing title, and is also considered the best defensive end in the college conference."

On Thanksgiving day, November 28, 1924, during the football game against his school's arch rival, the Texas A & M "Aggies," Stookie Allen caught the touchdown pass that gave the "Longhorns" a 7-0 victory, for which he won undying glory in the school's Hall of Fame, and earned All-Southwestern mention.

He graduated from college in June of 1925 and in August he left Texas and moved to Chicago to study at the Art Institute of Chicago, where he supported himself by doing freelance illustrations for an advertising agency.

In 1927 he was offered a job as a newspaper sports cartoonist at United Features Press in New York City in the World Building at Park Row, one block from City Hall. His first syndicated feature was "Looking 'Em Over."

In 1928 he drew "Malaria Muggs," a sassy daughter of an Irish Cop, and big sister of wise-cracking little Johnny Muggs.

In 1929 he drew "No Foolin'!," which was another sports cartoon for United Features syndicate,

Stookie Allen also drew illustrations for pulp magazines, such as Detective Fiction Weekly, Argosy, Blue Book, Foreign Legion Adventures, All-American Fiction, and Cavalier Classics. Rather than work as a conventional illustrator of published fiction, most of Stookie Allen's pulp illustrations were composed as one-page features concerning remarkable historic instances of events that were relevant to the genre of the pulp magazine. So for instance, he created "Men Of Daring" for Argosy Magazine. This series was so popular, a compilation was published in 1930 by Cupples & Leon. The most famous example of this unusual format was "Ripley's Believe It Or Not" by Robert Leroy Ripley (1890-1949). Although Stookie Allen dominated the field of pulps for this particular format, several other artists followed his lead, including Cedric Windas, Irwin J. Weill, Herb Rogoff, Frederick Blakeslee, John V. Ranck and Walter Galli.

On May 9, 1930 Benjamin Dave "Stookie" Allen married Gladys Parker in NYC. She was born in 1903 in Tonawanda, New York, and was an equally accomplished artist. She had studied at the Traphagen Art School, and drew several comic strips for The New York Graphic, "May and Junie," "Gay and Her Gang'" and "Flapper Fanny." According to newspaper accounts, she was five-foot-two, 95 pounds, spunky red-head, with a flair for chic colorful dressing. The newlyweds moved to an apartment building at 42 East 50th Street. They had no children.

In 1933 he drew "Bug Movies," which featured Joe M'Foe and Bosco Bug.

During the golden age of comic books, Stookie Allen contributed similar one-page features to comic books, such as "Oddities Of Crime,""You Can't Beat the Law," and "Seeing Stars" for DC Comics.

In 1936 Gladys Parker Allen created a new comic strip, "Mopsy," who was an updated version of her earlier strip, "Flapper Fanny." The artist drew "Mopsy" as a remarkable self-caricature. The strip remained popular in nationwide newspapers for the next three decades.

By 1941 Stookie Allen and his wife had moved to California, where they lived at 2253 Linnington Avenue in West Los Angeles. He drew "Heroes Of Democracy" for The Los Angeles Herald-Express, while she drew "Betty G.I." for Stars and Stripes and the Women's Home Corps.

On February 16, 1942, during WWII, Benjamin Dave "Stookie" Allen enlisted in the Army and was recorded to have been six-foot-five, 200 pounds, with brown eyes and hair. At age thirty-nine, he served as a Lieutenant in Company A, 237th Regiment, 1106th Engineers Combat Group, the 7th Corps, 1st Army in Europe. On September 12, 1944 The New York Journal American reported, "Stookie Allen, cartoonist husband of Gladys Parker, has written in a terrifying experience which befell him during the Normandy invasion. Stookie, now an officer with the engineers, was leading a detachment in search of buried mines and booby-traps. Six-foot-five in height, with broad shoulders, Stookie never was one to dodge danger. He went out ahead of his men to inspect an abandoned farm house which appeared a likely spot for sudden death devices. Finally satisfied that the shack was okay, he walked out the rear door to find, to his shock, that an entire company of Nazi soldiers was coming towards him through the field. With his towering height he was an easy target, and he didn't feel too happy. Just as he was about making up his mind to try a dash for safety, he noticed something. Marching behind the Germans was a slim American private to whom they had surrendered only a few minutes previously. Stookie writes that he rushed right up and kissed the little fellow."

After the war Stookie Allen was honorably discharged at the rank of Major. He returned to Los Angeles, where he started a new comic strip, "Keen Teens," which featured profiles of real kids who were accomplishing impressive things. According to the artist, "Now-a-days we hear so much about juvenile delinquency, I thought it would be a good idea to make a comic strip about all the productive things teenagers are doing. The newspaper run society and sports pages, which are all about adult stuff, so why not start a cartoon, or even a whole page, devoted to the wholesome activities of our youth."

In 1951 Stookie Allen and his wife, Gladys Parker, divorced. He left California and moved back to Texas, where he lived in Fort Worth and continued to draw syndicated comic strips.

On November 20, 1961 his father, Guy H. Allen, died at the age of eighty-one in Texas.

On April 27, 1966 Stookie Allen's ex-wife, Gladys Parker, died at the age of fifty-eight in Los Angeles. She had continued to draw her newspaper comic strip, "Mopsy," until her final day. It had remained in syndication for thirty years.

On November 1, 1969 his mother, "Rena" Allen, died at the age of eighty-seven in Texas.

In the 1960s he worked as an artist in the design department of the Air Craft division of General Dynamics Corporation.

The artist once said smilingly, "For those of you who are aspiring to be artists, remember, you have to like drawing in order to do it well, and you should examine successful artist's material to see what makes it click, but above all you've got to practice, practice, practice!"

Benjamin Dave "Stookie" Allen died in Fort Worth, TX, at the age of sixty-nine on January 6, 1971.

                              © David Saunders 2019


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