Little Iodine


Jimmy Hatlo was a cartoonist at the San Francisco Call-Bulletin. He began at the newspaper as an editorial cartoonist, but was better known for his sports cartoons.

In 1929 Halto was asked to produce a cartoon to fill a blank space in the newspaper. And on February 5, 1929, the comic strip, “They’ll Do it Every Time”, was born.

“They’ll Do it Every Time” struck a chord with readers. For seven years the strip ran exclusively in the Call-Bulletin, a popular favorite of local readers.

Many of the ideas and gags were suggested by readers who would be credited on the strip with a little picture of Hatlo tipping his hat to them.

The comic caught the attention of the paper’s owner, William Randolph Hearst, who then syndicated Hatlo’s comic through King Features Syndicate in 1936. In addition to the strip’s syndication in newspapers, “They’ll Do It Every Time” was published in book collections, the first in 1939.


Little Iodine #26 (1950)

Her role, like all comic brats, was to engage in antics or inadvertently create chains of events to frustrate the adults around her. Hatlo described her to an interviewer, “I tried to make her the embodiment of all the brats I knew…” ,”…naughty as hell—and still likable.”

Readers liked Little Iodine and she got her very own Sunday-only strip in 1943. Still a brat causing things to happen, but now a brat with top billing. Halto drew the strip from 1943 until his death in 1963. Bob Dunn, who worked with Halto took over “They’ll Do it Every Time” as well as the Little Iodine newspaper strip.



In 1949 the first issue of the Little Iodine comic was published by Dell. The comic was produced under Halto’s supervision, and while he wrote and drew many of the stories, he also shared the creation with other artists including:

  • Bob Dunn – Halto’s main assistant.
  • Hy Eisman – Who also drew the Sunday Katzenjammer Kids and Popeye newspaper comics.
  • Bill Yates the creator of the Professor Phumble comic.
  • Al Scaduto who later carried on “They’ll Do It Every Time” after Halto and Bill Dunn.

Pictured at right is issue #26 from 1954. And, in case you were wondering, Donald Duck DID get his clothes back from Little Iodine’s friend. Well. Except for his pants.

The Dell Little Iodine comic ran until 1962, ending with fifty-six issues.




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