Lew Little – RIP

Famed comics syndicator Lew Little has passed away.

Lewis Auburn (Lew) Little
September 1, 1933 – November 21, 2019


From the obituary:

Some of the world’s best-known comic strips were discovered by Little during a career spanning 80 years.

He launched “Wee Pals,” the first integrated comic strip by Morrie Turner, and “Tumbleweeds,” a wild west spoof by Tom K. Ryan. His most famous discovery was that of “Garfield” by Jim Davis, while he was an executive at United Features Syndicate in New York.

Lew gained fame for assisting cartoonists in getting their features syndicated. He used his own small Lew Little Syndicate to start them off and then get the cartoonists signed with a larger syndicate, or find a feature he liked and represented it to the syndicates.

From Lee Nordling’s Your Career in the Comics:


Lew’s career from the obituary:

He was educated at Los Angeles Valley College in San Fernando, California, where he started in the newspaper syndicate business. He was responsible for the syndication of dozens of comic strips and text features. He was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in photojournalism and received other prestigious news awards. He worked as an executive at major newspapers including the Los Angeles Times and the San Diego Union. He worked as national news director for the Christian Science Monitor News Service. He taught college-level journalism.


In 1965(?) Lew started his Lew Little Syndicate. Two the the most famous comic strips to debut there were Wee Pals and Tumbleweeds.

Proving his acuity for comic strips, Lew was soon hired by the major syndicates:
The Des Moines Register and Tribune Syndicate 1967-1972
King Features Syndicate 1972-1977
United Feature Syndicate 1977-1986
and then restarting his own Lew Little Enterprises 1986-2000

Lew took Wee Pals and Tumbleweeds with him to the Reg. & Trib. Syndicate.
At United Features he was the one to approve Garfield.
Allan Holtz has a list of comics from Lew’s Syndicate and Enterprises companies:
Bent Halos, Brainstormers, Classified Chuckles, Clementine, The Free Wheelers, Funatics, The Fusco Brothers, Pinfeathers, Press Gremlins, Senator Gassius, Sibling Revelry, Sir Lim’rick, Stanley Steamer, Tumbleweeds, Warped, Wee Pals.
Bent Halos was Mark Tatulli’s opening syndicate bid, Warped was/is by Michael Cavna of the Washington Post, Brainstormers was the idea of Mike Smith of the Las Vegas Sun, The Fusco Brothers by J. C. Duffy still runs.
Allan also notes a couple other strips Lew was instrumental in starting.


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