James Montgomery Flagg is best known for his iconic recruitment posters like the one above, but he was also an accomplished magazine illustrator and cartoonist as well.
In 1890 at the age of 12, James presented himself and a group of sketches at the offices of St. Nicholas Magazine, the leading illustrated children’s publication of the time. He was shown to the office of one of the editors who looked at his drawings and determined that he showed promise. The editor praised the boy’s work and encouraged his parents to seek out art training for him. Flagg took classes at the Art Students’ League in New York, and within two years, he was a regular contributor to St. Nicholas, and Life magazine, and eventually landed a staff position at Judge. Alongside great artists like Grant Hamilton and Eugene Zimmerman, Flagg flourished, becoming one of the top illustrators of his day.
Flagg was very versatile, and his sketches of beautiful women were just as well drawn as his caricatured cartoons. He was outspoken and critical of the art community. He once said that "the difference between the artist and the illustrator is that the latter knows how to draw, eats three square meals a day, and can pay for them."
From 1903 to 1907, Flagg drew a comic strip for Judge titled, "Nervy Nat". It appears to be based on the early vaudeville perfomances of W.C. Fields. Here are some examples of the strip from 1906 and 1907.
This posting is part of the online Encyclopedia of Cartooning under the subject heading, Magazine Cartoons.