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Jasper Dewgood

Millionaire philanthropist Jasper Dewgood was a character featured in a short lived strip of the same name in Quality’s Kid Eternity series. Dewgood was described as “[having] a big vocabulary, a bigger fortune, and a still bigger desire to help people out of difficulties”. Dewgood was also tall, blond, wore glasses, dressed quite nicely, had polite manners, and very naive of the blue collar and low class worlds. These traits along with a lack of a girlfriend, and his refined speech all contributed to an air of effeminacy.

On the surface his refined vocabulary was reflective of his wealth and standing, but writer/ artist Paul Gustavson used it as a humorous foil against the comedically seedy crooks whom tried to take advantage of Dewgood. A maiden aunt encouraged Jasper to study Jiu Jitsu despite his abhorrence of violence. Gustavson took this dynamic and made into a running, pratfall filled gag with Dewgood, often trouncing shady crooks who routinely tried to flounce him of money while posing as heads of charitable organizations.

Paul Gustavson drew Jasper using hand gestures that were not traditionally viewed as masculine. His suits were drawn to look impeccable and on two occasions his tie was colored red. In the early 20th century gay men on occasion wore red ties as a signal to other men of their sexual desires, reminiscent of the 1970s when the belief was prevalent that gays wore green on Thursday.

The use of the word “sissy” in issue #7 is the earliest use of the word in a comic to my knowledge. In this story it’s spoken by a woman involved with crooks (“Gum! Phooey! What would the old mob say if they saw me gettin’ all these sissy habits?”). “Sissy” and “pantywaist” are used in issue #8 as derogatory words for homosexual, and specifically used to describe Jasper, first by a man running Ricky’s Gym and then by a woman posing as socialite dowager hoping to bilk him of money.

First appearance in Kid Eternity # 7 (1947) and appeared through #14 (1949). The Grand Comics Database names Pete Riss as the possible artist and does not attribute a writer.


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July 16, 2021
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