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Morrie Brickman cartoons

Identifier: Midwest-MS-Brickman

Scope and Content of the Collection

This collection consists of Morrie Brickman’s The Small Society comic strip, including: 60 original daily cartoon drawings, 40 original Sunday strip drawings, proofs of daily cartoons, 1966-1985, and Sunday cartoons 1967-1983. The first strip designed for the editorial pages, The Small Society represented the views and reactions of ordinary people to politicians and current political and cultural affairs. Brickman satirized current events and American life, covering topics such as the Vietnam War, Reaganomics, inflation, grocery prices, family, and taxes.


  • 1966-1985



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Morrie Brickman Cartoons are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Morrie Brickman Cartoons are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

Biography of Morrie Brickman

Comic artist and creator of the syndicated comic strip The Small Society.

Morrie Brickman was born July 17, 1917 in Chicago, and grew up in the Humboldt Park neighborhood. After high school, Brickman pursued his interest in art, taking courses at the Chicago Art Institute and the American Academy of Art when he could afford to do so. He worked selling shoes, cleaning up for John Groth (illustrator and editor for Esquire), designing shoe ads for Kling Studio, and helping out in his father’s shoe repair shop.

Brickman entered the U.S. Army in 1941 and was stationed in North Africa and Italy as a member of a topographic company. Upon his discharge, he returned to Chicago and married Shirley Kronenthal in 1945. They had a daughter, Harriet, and a son.

Brickman created several features before The Small Society, including Pic-Trix, Maximillian, The Senator, Crosscut, and Blue Chips. Brickman also served as the vice-president for National Newspaper Syndicate and continued to do freelance commercial work.

Brickman introduced The Small Society in 1966. It was syndicated by King Features and distributed to over three hundred newspapers around the world. It won first prize at the 9th International Salon of Cartoons and the Illinois House of Representatives passed a resolution honoring Brickman for innovative journalism.

In 1984, Brickman sold the strip to King Features where it continued until 1998 under the hand of Bill Yates. Brickman then completed the script for Coming of Age, his play about retirement. He died in March of 1994.


2.1 Linear Feet (3 oversize boxes)


Newspaper cartoons of Chicagoan Morrie Brickman


Materials arranged chronologically.

Collection Stack Location

1 7 7, 1 16 3


Gift of Harriet Brickman, 2003.

Processed by

Shannon Yule, 2007.


This inventory was created with the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this inventory do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Inventory of the Morrie Brickman Cartoons, 1966-1985
Shannon Yule
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 08/16/2011: Revisions, additions, and updates were made.

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States