L-r: Natch, Katie, Emmy, Bumpy. Off-panel: J. Edgar.


Medium: Comic books
Published by: American Comics Group (ACG)
First Appeared: 1947
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Domestic comedy has always been a staple in entertainment media of all sorts, including the comics, where Dotty Dripple, The Bungle Family, Blondie and the like have been holding onto their market share since the Dingbat days. But those are all newspaper comics. Maybe because TV sitcoms such as I Love Lucy and newspaper comics like Hi & Lois have been so easily available for adaptation and maybe because they never really caught on with the proper demographic, comic books about the lighter side of family …

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… life aren't quite that easy to find. The Kilroys, which The American Comics Group (Commander Battle, Herbie) first published in 1947, was in relatively sparse company.

The Kilroy patriarch was J. Edgar Kilroy, an average, middle-aged guy who was anything but heroic or dashing, kind of like Waldo Nutchell or Casper Hawkins. What he was doing, to hold the interest of an audience, was working with his wife Emmy to raise a couple of kids. The boy, Natch, was about Archie's age, while the girl, Katie, was about that of Val or Judy of Thirteen, Going on Eighteen. The family dog's name was Bumpy.

ACG originally published The Kilroys under its imprint "B&I Publishing", which it used for several of its early titles, switching to the ACG name with its 20th issue. The title began with a cover date of June, 1947.

The family was featured in the comic as a whole, but individual stories were about individual members. Natch was the star of more than his share of stories. He was also featured on a majority of the covers. Natch didn't rival Cookie as ACG's teenage star, but the title fit in well with the teenage humor that was popular in comic books at the time.

The title remained unchanged throughout the late 1940s and early '50s. It ended with its 54th issue (only the second one evaluated by the new Comics Code Authority), dated July, 1955.


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Text ©2009 Donald D. Markstein. Art © Roger Broughton.