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The Strange World of Mr. Mum: Empty-Grave Motley Edition Paperback – November 7, 2011
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About the Author
Irving Walter Phillips (1904 - 2000) was a notable American cartoonist, author, playwright, illustrator, television scriptwriter, and educator. He was born in Wilton, Wisconsin and studied at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. During the Great Depression Phillips was freelancing his cartoons to thirty-six different newspapers. He served as head of the humor staff at Esquire magazine in the late 1930’s. He taught humor writing at Maripoca Tech and Phoenix College in Arizona. The cartoon character Mr. Mum was just one of Phillips’ many creations. He wrote the script for Song of the Open Road (1944) as well as Delightfully Dangerous (1945). He wrote and co-wrote over 250 television scripts and a number of plays for Matinee Theater. Phillips provided scripts and animation work for the ABC children’s program Curiosity Shop (1971). His contributions to the cartoon world include Mr. Mum, Scuffy, and Barnaby Bungle.
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He noted them with shock, surprised indignation, or sometimes bemused indifference, just as the rest of us would, if we were to see them ourselves.
It was a single-panel comic that, at its peak, appeared in over 220 newspapers worldwide, from 1958-74, with a Sunday color strip that began in 1961. In the Sunday version, he would frequently be seen in a juice bar (in the last panel), having a glass of carrot juice.
The fact that he was mute, meant very little translation was needed for foreign publications, as the images were easily understood.