Carl Frank Ludwig Ed (July 16, 1890 – October 10, 1959) was a comic strip artist best known as the creator of Harold Teen.
Ed, whose earlier creations include Big Ben and Luke McGuke, turned his informal market research into a new strip. It was bought by Captain Joe Patterson, one of that period's most influential comics editors, who began running it in his Chicago Tribune on May 14, 1919. A few months later, when demand for The Gumps led Patterson to start distributing his paper's comics nationally, The Love Life of Harold Teen (later shortened to simply Harold Teen) became a charter member of The Chicago Tribune Syndicate's lineup.
Harold Teen was just like most of his generation. He used teenage slang — in fact, Harold originated quite a few then-popular expressions, such as "Yowsah", "Fan mah brow" and "pitch a li'l woo", as well as the occasional more enduring term, like "pantywaist". He also helped popularize quite a few fashion statements of the time, such as bell-bottom pants and yellow raincoats (which became identified with Dick Tracy, another Tribune star, a generation later). He had a girlfriend, Lillums Lovewell; a pal called Shadow (no relation); and what we now call a "communication gap" with his parents. He hung out at a soda fountain called The Sugar Bowl, run by Pop Jenks, whose "Gedunk Sundaes" drew so much interest, Ed eventually had to make up a recipe for them. Long before Archie was ever heard of, Harold Teen was known to one and all as America's Typical Teenager.
Toys, figurines and other products based on Harold Teen characters proliferated through the 1920s. In 1928, a movie about him was released, with Arthur Lake as the title character — the first starring role for the man who made a career of playing Dagwood to Penny Singleton's Blondie. Six years later there was another, starring Hal LeRoy and Rochelle Hudson — this one a musical, introducing such songs as "How Do I Know It's Sunday?", "Collegiate Wedding" and "Two Little Flies on a Lump of Sugar". Other media tie-ins include a Big Little Book from Whitman and a couple of comic books from Dell (which also ran his adventures in the back pages of Popular Comics, whose more frequent cover features included Moon Mullins and Smilin' Jack).
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