Jimmy Hatlo (Jimmy Hatlo)

Jimmy Hatlo

Cartoonist. He is best remembered for his cartoon strip “They’ll Do It Every Time” that ran from 1929 until his death in 1963. Born James Cecil Hatlow, his father was a printer who immigrated from the Orkney Islands of Scotland. His family moved to Los Angeles, California when he was a young boy and growing up he did incidental artwork and engravings for local newspapers. When the US entered World War I, he tried to become a military aviator but he became ill with the Spanish influenza and could not enlist. Following World War I he relocated to San Francisco, California and worked for both the San Francisco Call & Post and the San Francisco Evening Bulletin (the two papers later merged as the San Francisco Call-Bulletin), drawing “travelogues” (illustrated maps) for automobile advertising to promote auto travel (and thus auto sales). On the strength of his talent, he soon managed to work his way into editorial cartooning and then sports cartooning. His sports cartoon for the Call-Bulletin was “Swineskin Gulch.” His break came when a shipment of panels from syndicated cartoonist Tad Dorgan failed to arrive in the mail and he was pressed into service to create something to fill the space. This resulted in “They’ll Do It Every Time,’ and it became an instant hit with San Francisco readers. After several days, he began to run short on ideas and various people, including his managing editor at the time, and his sports editor, later claimed credit for what happened next, but he may have been the one who hit on the tactic of asking readers to submit their own ideas for the cartoons. Whatever the source, the gambit was a huge success. He picked the best submissions and credited each contributor by name, closing each cartoon with a box that read, “Thanx and a tip of the Hatlo Hat to…” The cartoon became a fixture in the Call-Bulletin and it soon caught the attention of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst and was picked up by his Hearst’s Features Syndicate. His supplemental panel, “The Hatlo Inferno,” which depicted life in Hell, ran in tandem with “They’ll Do It Every Time” for five years (1953 through 1958). His first “They’ll Do It Every Time” collection, a 100-page softbound book, was published in 1939 and it was followed in the 1940s by two hardcover collections. Avon paperback collections of “They’ll Do It Every Time” followed throughout the 1950s. His success also attracted imitators, and a rival syndicate launched a clone cartoon by Harry Shorten and Al Fagaly titled “There Oughta Be A Law.” After World War II, he settled in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, where he became part of a cartoonist community that included such artists as Gus Arriola, Frank O’Neal, Eldon Dedini and Hank Ketcham. At their peak, his cartoons appeared in over 400 newspapers worldwide. “Little Iodine,” a spin-off comic strip featuring a mischievous little girl who had become one of his stock characters, even got her own series of comic books and a 1946 movie adaptation. His popularity was at its highest in the early 1950s and he was profiled in a 1952 feature article in The Saturday Evening Post titled “He Needles the Human Race.” His later years were plagued by atherosclerosis. In late November 1963 he was hospitalized for a kidney condition and he died from a stroke the following month at the age of 66. He was recognized for his work with the National Cartoonists Society’s Newspaper Panel Cartoon Award for 1957 and 1959. (bio by: William Bjornstad)  Family links:  Spouse:  Lois Eleanor Dollard Hatlo Lusignan (1908 – 2009)* *Calculated relationship


  • September, 01, 1898
  • USA


  • December, 12, 1963
  • USA


  • Monterey City Cemetery
  • California
  • USA

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