From the Archives

The cartoon below by Herbert Peter Wells ’35 was selected for the "Best of 140 Years of Yale Record.” Peter was Art Editor of The Record.


Herbert Hilbish (Peter) Wells  ’35  cartoonist Katzenjammer Kids

Peter Wells graduated from Yale University in 1935, where he nurtured a penchant for cartooning, serving as Art Editor of The Yale Record. During the early 1940's, Peter wrote and illustrated a variety of children’s books, one of which, Mr. Tootwhistle’s Invention, won first prize in the New York Herald Tribune’s Children's Spring Book Festival of 1942. After World War II, Peter Wells rejoined King Features where he wrote and drew for the Katzenjammer Kids comic books between 1948 and 1951. For Scholastic Magazines during the 1950s and 1960s, he created the cartoon strip, “Pete the Pup.” From 1954 to the early 1970s, he started and ran the Cartoon Course of The Famous Artists School in Westport, Connecticut, a school run by Norman Rockwell and other successful artists of the day.

Peter was an avid jazz musician, playing with Tommy Dorsey’s Orchestra and other Dixieland groups, playing bass and baritone saxophones and delighting audiences with wild riffs on his penny whistle.  Peter and his wife of sixty years lived in Connecticut, raising three boys whose antics found their way into his Katzenjammer Kids comics and children’s books. Peter Wells was a member of the National Cartoonist Society.