I didn't know exactly what I got when I grabbed a stack of ephemera at a garage sale and paid a buck for it all. There were some cute Victorian cards, local advertising, calling cards, postcards, illustrations and the like.

It wasn't until I got home and looked at what was inside a little plastic bag that I got excited. It was a collection of newspaper comic clippings from 1929-30. 90 of them all together.

I love to discover new children's illustrators -- especially female ones. I didn't know just how much I'd come to learn about Fanny Y. Cory and her cute little character "Sonny" though.

Fanny Young Cory (Cooney) lived from 1877 to 1972. Early in adulthood, she took care of her ill sister and worked in illustration, becoming a prolific New York artist by the time she was 25. Distraught by her sister's death, she soon moved back to Montana and got married. She continued to illustrate books for a few years until she lost her first pregnancy.

Happily, she went on to have 3 children, whom she and her husband raised and educated on their 1,800-acre ranch. She illustrated little during those years, but when it became time to fund college educations, she entered into the world of newspaper cartooning.

Fanny was in her mid-40's when she started drawing "Sonnysayings" from the Montana ranch. The single panel cartoon revolved around the antics of a 5-year-old and his little sister Baby, and occasionally their Dranpa. They ran in newspapers from 1925-1956 and by the time she retired, she drew 10,000 panels. She also illustrated the full comic strip "Little Miss Muffet" for 21 years.

While researching Fanny and her work, I was lucky enough to come into contact with one of her granddaughters. They called her "Meetsie" and could remember her working on illustrations, baking cookies, reading aloud and telling stories about life on the ranch.

Before sending her the original newspaper clippings, I scanned every single one and have put them up on Flicker. They are just too precious not to share. Enjoy! And if you would look better-quality digital copies, just email me.

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