Wednesday ad Day
As I said, Hank Ketcham did a lot of advertising work. I don't think he worked through an agency and he certainly didn't do a lot of comic strip ads, such as the ones I have been showing you from Johnstone and Cushing. His ads were usually more of the illustrative sort. I have many more samples, but will have to scan those in first. But here are some samples of the sort of work Ketcham was doing.
The first one is a simple illustrative ad. There is usually no gag involved, although his drawings often are funny and cartoony enough to give a light touch to the message. These ads were usually signed with K.
The second type were cartoon ads, where Ketcham was asked to provide a funny cartoon to accompany a series of ads. Sometimes other cartoonists were used in the same series, such as the Wheaties series, which I will show as soon as I have a couple of samples ready. The cartoon I am showing here, is from another series which seems to have been done by Ketcham exclusively. I have seen two samples of it and I am showing you one which I found in two different magazines. This sample is from the newspaper section This Week, a cultural section which usually featured a couple of cartoons apart from illustrated stories and light articles.
The third ad is from 1954 and uses Dennis. This is clearly after Dennis became popular and the need for Ketcham to do ad work for hire had disappeared. But using your character in an ad series was something most popular strips did at the time. Given the date, it would not be unlikely that the art is by one of Ketcham's assistants, although it does look like his own work rather than the slightly different and totally separate Sundays from the late fifties onwards, when Al Wiseman had found his own interpretation of Ketcham's style. Like the first ad, this one appeared in the Saturday Evening Post.
Finally, here's a color Ketcham cartoon that he signed for an autograph collector in the late forties. This cartoon also appears in the Fantagraphics Where's Dennis Collection, but here you see the full thing with self portraits of Ketcham, his wife and a very familiar looking kid.