He combined the two great loves of his life into a comic strip that taught an entire generation about the great outdoors.
Ed Dodd was born in Lafayette in 1902. A true outdoorsman, Dodd worked at a Pennsylvania boys’ camp, as a Gainesville scoutmaster and physical education teacher, at a Wyoming dude ranch, as a guide in Yellowstone National Park, and as a Norway fisherman; all while pursuing a career as a cartoonist.
Dodd studied in New York at the Art Student League and in 1930 drew a single-panel cartoon for the Atlanta Journal called Back Home Again. His big break was selling an outdoor cartoon series about an outdoorsman called Jim Tree. After a name change, Mark Trail launched in April 1946 and runs to this day. For 32 years, Dodd drew his alter ego’s adventures in Lost Forest, modeled on Sandy Springs, before turning the strip over to Jack Elrod in 1978.
The artist who was a lifelong advocate of wilderness conservation died on May 27, 1991, Today in Georgia History.