Clare Briggs (1874-1930) was among the best known, best-paid, and beloved of American cartoonists in the 1910s and 1920s. Historians often remember him as a master of the nostalgic slice-of-life panels of small town childhood (The Days of Real Sport, When a Feller Needs a Friend, Aint’ It a Grand and Glorious Feeling).
Cartoonists of those times, as they do these days, increased their income by commercializing their success. Among Briggs’ clients was P. Lorillard Co. for which he did a series of advertising comic strips. In 1928 a few of those comics were titled Frank and Ernest, a couple of vaudevillesque comedians not far removed from Bob Thaves’ later wordplaying characters.