Nervy Nat: 1907 comic from the guy who drew Uncle Sam

James sez, "James Montgomery Flagg, the guy who painted the famous Uncle Sam recruitment poster also penned a series of comics in the early 1900's called Nervy Nat. The folks at ASIFA posted a bunch, and the first, 'Nervy Nat as an Aeronaut' features a boozy Nat sailing to Venus in a Zeppelin."

Cartooning: James Montgomery Flagg's Nervy Nat (Thanks, James!)


  1. Nervy? Too much cocaine or just an hilarious mental incapacity?

    From what I just googled it appears Nat was a prototype Tramp, before Chaplin that is, and featured in early Pat Sullivan animation.

  2. “You nasty, unattractive Lizzies” — is a Lizzie the same thing as a “lezzie”? Or is it like when you pee and laugh at the same time…or is that “Lizing”?

  3. The language is delicious on this panel!
    I’m trying to find out more about the term “Lizzies” The Lizzie Bordon axe murders were in 1892 and it involved a lesbian relationship. So perhaps it’s a reference to both Lizzie Bordon and lesbians.

    “Anyone would imagine I was a virulent case of scarletina” HA!

  4. Nat is probably also named after vaudeville comedian and headliner Nat Wills “The HAppy Tramp.” Of course, drunkenness was even funnier after Prohibition.

  5. Man, even back then dudes were drawing feet on the wrong legs!

    Was Flagg an ancestor of Rob Liefeld?

    “Slathers” is my favorite, BTW.

  6. “Lizzies” – let’s go to the Cassell Dictionary of Slang (the standard work in the field.)

    1. 19C US – an effeminate youth
    2. 1900-1920 US – campus slang for a young woman
    3. 1940s + – a lesbian
    4. 1910s US – an aeroplane

    So probably just no. 2.

  7. Actually, the cartoon shown here was drawn by Arthur Lewis. Flagg started the cartoon, but Lewis took over drawing it after a couple of years.

    I worked at the Cartoon Library & Museum at Ohio State University and handled many of these cartoons in the course of my work there. :)

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