Eddie Elephant – 1946 Hallucinogenic Funny Animal Comix by Ellis Holly Chambers

Eddie the Elephant Ellis Holly Chambers HiHo1_02_L Eddie the Elephant Ellis Holly Chambers HiHo1_03_L Eddie the Elephant Ellis Holly Chambers HiHo1_04_L Eddie the Elephant Ellis Holly Chambers HiHo1_05_L Eddie the Elephant Ellis Holly Chambers HiHo1_06_L Eddie the Elephant Ellis Holly Chambers HiHo1_07_L
This story comes from Hi-Ho Comics #1 --- a 1946 comic published by Four Star Publications. It’s filled with 45 pages of insane tripped out comics by H. Chambers. So who is this H. Chambers?
This story comes from Hi-Ho Comics #1 --- a 1946 comic published by Four Star Publications. It’s filled with 45 pages of insane tripped out comics by Ellis Holly ChambersHiHo1_01

Milton Knight
provides some tantalizing information about cartoonist H. Chambers:
“It's Holly Chambers! (Holly was his middle name; I think his first name began with an E.) My late friend, Howie Post, used to share a studio with him and had several vivid tales to tell: he described Chambers as a handsome, charismatic "psychotic" who could walk out with a bar stool and stare down the bartender with a "what are you going to do about it?"

Post also revealed that Chambers was a heroin addict who could shoot up and complete a comic book overnight: "Who needs women when you have this??"
As colorful as his comics, that was Holly Chambers. Howard lost track of him in the 50s, and suspected that he was "rubbed out" by his drug connections.”

Thanks to Milton Knight for that priceless and tantalizing info. It explains a lot – and raises about a million other questions that will probably never be answered.

For LOTS more freaky funny-book vintage comic scans by Ellis Holly Chambers, click on Eddie the Elephant below:

Eddie the Elephant cartoon drawing by Ellis Holly Chambers


Gabriel said...

Awesome post and info!
Thanks so much!

Will Finn said...

Wow! That bio makes perfect sense--he looks like he's channelling the underground comix of the late 1960's, but in an incongruous venue! Thanks Sherm!

Anonymous said...

Whoooaah... Opium Toons!

Mykal Banta said...

Holly cow do I have to track down some more stuff by this guy! Absolutely beautiful stuff.

Mykal Banta said...

Sherm: I've done some scratching in my collection (I thought the name rang a bell). I think this is Ellis Holly Chambers, who often signed his work E.C. I have some stuff from him that I will be posting after the holidays. Check out this link at pappy's, which has a posting of Chambers' Cosmo Cat and a bit of bio about the artist by Martin Greim: Cosmo Cat!

Adam said...

Is this the same guy who drew "Taffy"? It's in the same style , Ive only seen a cover of it, it's got a little imp wearing a cape smashing a tank

Jill said...

I thought I had heard of every weird comic book and comic strip out there, but this site has so many I don't know. And what an interesting and creepy backstory!

Wm Byron said...

According to Howie Post, Chambers was very into heroin to the point that he'd cut his vein open with a razor blade and put it in directly. His work is fascinating.

Nick said...

I've read a ton of Chambers' work (look his name up on Comic Book Plus) and yeah, Will, it's fascinating and even pretty creepy. I mean, just the way Post described him he comes off as like a character in an underground comic. His style is very good and wacky and beautiful. His character designs look like 40s animated cartoons, with a wacky edge. He HAD to have seen theatrical cartoons and been inspired to draw in that style with his wacky touch. I wouldn't be surprised if he was at one point interested in animation. Some of his late works have art on the level of Carl Barks and Walt Kelly. His works ooze with you knew he was enjoying making it, as well. He could draw, even stories that looked rushed you could tell he could DRAW. I'm dying to know about his life story, or maybe if there could be surviving original drawings by him, like maybe comic pages or just drawings he did. David Saunders is researching his life story and while as I write this he only has theories he may succeed in getting concrete facts someday and we may be able to hear the story of this forgotten eccentric artist.