Obscurity of the Day: Willie Dee




Today’s obscurity proves that most every strip has its fans. The first time I met noted comics historian R.C. Harvey, in the midst of chatting about classic comic strips, he asked if I had any Willie Dee strips – he described it as a long-lost favorite of his childhood.

Willie Dee by Vic Green ran from May 10 1948 until sometime in 1952 (anyone have an end date?). Don’t know much anything about the cartoonist other than that he produced a booklet of GI cartoons during World War II. But based on the style, which was a favorite of comic book artists during the 40s, I’d be willing to bet that he had some credits under his belt from that business.

The strip is pretty innocuous except for Willie’s lisping parrot. Strips featuring that character are unfortunately plentiful, and in my opinion, headache-inducing.

8 thoughts on “Obscurity of the Day: Willie Dee

  1. Just catching up on some archives and ran across this. I’m in the process of doing a historical review of the contents of the Birmingham, Alabama, newspapers, with a web interface to the information so far in the link below. Willie Dee ran in the Birmingham News until November 15, 1952. There’s no guarantee that the strip ended overall on that day, of course, but it does set a starting point for discussion.

  2. Victor J. Green was my uncle, my mother, Nicholina T. Green Nichols’, only brother. According to what I remember my mother saying about the Willie Dee strip, Uncle Vic just got tired of doing it and quit. He worked for Premier Printing in Houston, Texas for many years and lived here with his wife and children all of his life until his death in 1989. I remember seeing a copy of the GI cartoon book around here somewhere it was kind of racy as I recall. He was an accomplished painter as was his father, a cartoonist and photographer. He also designed giant Texas dollars which were sold as souvineers years ago, that had hidden sayings and pictures on them I believe they were printed by Premier. My sister found your site and is sending it to a couple of his children, maybe they have more information. N.P.Nichols

  3. I just wanted to say thank you for posting about it. My Grandfather was Vic Green, the comic strip was based on antics by my father John Green (Willie Dee) growing up in the ghettos in Houston in the 1940s. Vic was a well known local artist, both in the comic strip world (he drew for the Houston Post via Premier printing) and as a painter. The portraits he painted of people were almost haunting they were so life like, and his landscapes are amazing. He passed in 1989, but I’m not sure when his comic stopped being published. He continued to draw the characters for practice years later.

    Anyway thanks for putting that up. My family was shocked to find out people other than us knew about Willie Dee. You made my day.

  4. I found this thread by accident. I was born in 1951 and was named after the Willie Dee character. My parents told my older brother that he could name me. But he wanted to name me Sluggo from the Nancy comic strip. That was vetoed and they settled on Willie Dee.

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