The Work of Greg Clark and Jimmie Frise

Category: Illustration Page 1 of 5

Even a Street Car Strike in Toronto Has Its Compensations

June 28, 1919

A Jitney is a vehicle for hire which falls between a taxicab and a bus. You can see a photo of a truck carrying passengers during the streetcar strike of 1919 here.

Letter to the Old Typewriter

May 14, 1932

These illustrations by Jim appeared alongside a story by Gordon Sinclair, who was well known for his globe-trotting reporting. The story was a tongue-in-cheek obituary for his old portable typewriter “Tip” that he carried on his adventures that had bit the dust.

May 14, 1932

When Abie’s “Irish” Rose

April 29, 1933

This illustration by Jim accompanied a story by Happy Meyers Bonnell, whom I have no information on. The story is of how she, her sister, and a friend tried to train the polo horse “Abie” to pull a cart. It plays on the stereotype that Irish people are “hot-blooded”. It is also a play on words of a popular play and movie, Abie’s Irish Rose.

Topsy Turvy

April 11, 1931

These are some illustrations by Jim for a story by Caesar Smith (a regular contributor to the Star Weekly in the late 1920s and early 1930s) about spring cleaning and decorating.

April 11, 1931

Hazing a Real Barbaric Act at Varsity Thirty Years Ago

March 15, 1924

This illustration by Jim accompanied an article by Fred Griffin about hazing rituals at the University of Toronto’s University College. Apparently, in the 1880s and 1890s, there was a “secret society” in the “old residence” called the K.K.K. (It seemed to have no affiliation with the Ku Klux Klan).

Real Stories of the War, Told by Returned Soldiers

March 8, 1919

Jim produced two illustrations for a selection of short anecdotes that were published in the Star Weekly from submissions from veterans of the Great War. The newspaper offered cash prizes. The first illustration was from the first prize ($10) winner “Captured by the Relief”.

March 8, 1919

The second illustration was from the second prize ($5) winner “Huns Behind our Lines”. All other winners of stories published received $1. $1 in 1919 is about $13.50 in 2020.

Chivalry and the Glint of Gold

February 25, 1922

An illustration from a story by Fred Griffin about passers-by helping a lady recover the beads from her necklace that broke.

This Blue Law Business

February 12, 1921

Jim illustrated this article by Stephen Leacock. It is about “Blue Laws” that were popular at the time to restrict any non-religious activity on Sundays. In Ontario, the Lord’s Day Act was passed in 1906, which prevented all sorts of activities including shopping, on Sundays. It was not repealed until 1985. I’m guessing there was more enforcement at the time, giving rise to article. The illustration is from this passage:

“Just to take a simple example: they say that under the Blue Laws the cigar counter in the rotunda of the hotel will be shut on Sunday. I am sorry, sorry over that. It was my wont always after breakfast at my hotel to stroll over to this counter and buy a two-for-a-quarter cigar from the Girl with the Golden Hair who stood behind it. She would smile at me over the purchase of a twelve-and-a-half-cent cigar in a way that made the place feel like home. It was my custom of a Sunday to talk to her, while I bought that cigar, of the kind of weather that we had been having in my home town. I suppose a hundred men a day told her about it.”

The Thirty-Seventh Plane

February 1, 1919

This is a very early illustration by Jim for an article about psychics. This time would be at the very tail end of the popularity of spiritualism the reached prominence in the Victorian era.

Toronto is Biggest Betting Place in North America

December 29, 1923

Jim provided this illustration to a story on horse racing by Ernest Hemingway. The famous author worked as a freelance journalist for the Toronto Star and Star Weekly in the early 1920s as he was starting out. Because he was fond of the outdoors (hunting and fishing), he became good friends with Greg and Jim. During his time in Paris, Hemingway still filed stories with the Toronto Star. When his third son was born in 1931, he named him Gregory after Greg Clark.

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