Terrence "Terry" Vincent Gilkison was born October 26, 1892 in Huntington, West Virginia. His father, Thomas R. Gilkison, was born in 1861 in Ohio. His mother was Martha J. Baldwin, born in 1867 in Kentucky. His parents married in 1887. They had two children. His older sister Rena was born in 1891. The family lived in a small town, Williamson, West Virginia. His father was a grocery merchant.
By 1900 the family had moved to Carlisle, Kentucky, where they lived at 155 Main Street.
He started work on The Clarksburg Exponent, and later with The Wheeling Register, which was a leading newspaper of West Virginia.
He then moved on to the larger city papers, and worked for The Cincinnati Post and The Cleveland Plain Dealer.
On August 25, 1916, at the age of twenty-four he married Malvena Johnson. She was born in 1897 in Cleveland, Ohio. Her father was F. J. H. Johnson and her mother was Grace M. Johnson.
They moved to Omaha, Nebraska, where he was hired to work as an artist on The Omaha Daily News at 174 Jackson Street. His widowed mother moved to Omaha to with with he and his wife at 3016 California Street.
On June 5, 1917 he registered for military service during The Great War. He was recorded at the time to be five-foot-four and 130 pound with gray eyes and black hair. He did not serve because he was aged twenty-five, marriage and was needed to support his wife and mother.
In 1920 his son Terrence was born, after which the family moved to 612 North 30th Street in Omaha.
In 1922 his son Donald was born, and five years later his daughter Gloria was born.
In 1924 the Gilkison family moved to Mount Vernon, New York, where he was able to commute to New Yok City to pursue his freelance art career with New York publishers of newspapers, magazines, and books. His humorous drawings were published in Life, Judge, and Collier's Magazine.
In 1925 he and a partner, Clifford W. Lenori, opened Novel Art Studios at 7 East 42nd Street, where they produced illustrations for publicity and advertising.
By 1928 his popular comic strip Pinky Dinky was distributed nationwide in syndicated newspapers.
By 1930 the family had moved to 891 Slocum Way in Ridgefield, New Jersey.
He drew black and white story interior illustrations for pulp magazines. His work appeared in Clues, Thrilling Adventures, Texas Rangers, Thrilling Mystery, Thrilling Western, and Popular Western. He signed most of this work with only his initials "T.G." to maintain a low profile and preserve his reputation as a syndicated newspaper cartoon artist.
He also illustrated magazines, such as College Life and was an art director at Associated Press.
In 1938 his wife moved back to her hometown to care for her elderly widowed mother. She brough their children with her, and they lived at 1460 Roycroft Avenue in Lakeland.
He lived in an apartment at 69 West 71st Street in NYC on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. As business improved he moved to a stately limestone townhouse at 346 West End Avenue, near 75th Street on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
During the 1940s he contributed to golden age comic books, such as Keen Detective Funnies. He worked for Funnies Inc., D C Comics, Centaur, Comics, and Feature Comics. Some of this work was signed with pen names, such as "Terson" and "Gil Kesson."
During WWII he was fifty years old, so he did not serve in the military.
After the war he contributed one-panel gag cartoons to Gee Whiz and Humorama, which were digest-sized humorous pin-up magazines for men. Several other pulp artists also found work in this genre after WWII, such as C. A. Murphy, Peter Driben, and Joseph Szokoli
Terrence Gilkison died on March 2, 1957 at the age of sixty-four in New York City, and was buried in the small town of his childhood, Williamson, West Virginia.
© David Saunders 2012