Biography: Edgar Everett ("Abe") Martin was born in Indianapolis in 1898. His family later moved to Monmouth, Illinois where his father was a biology professor at Monmouth College. Martin attended Monmouth, but left in his junior year to study at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. He joined the Newspaper Enterprise Association in 1921 as a syndicated cartoonist.
"Boots and Her Buddies", created by Martin, was introduced as a daily comic strip on February 18, 1924 and became popular immediately with NEA subscribers and their readers.
The Sunday comic strip originally was the top strip for the "Our Boarding House" page running from 1926 to 1931. Martin then began a full Sunday page of his own titled "Girls". On September 9, 1934, the page became "Boots" though some newspapers kept the title "Girls" long after the name change. Popular paper cutouts were first featured on the Sunday pages first under the "Girls" title and later under "Boots". The paper dolls continued until the early 1960s.
Other toppers were "Babe 'n Horace" (March 19, 1939 to [?]) and "Bootkins: the Little China Doll" (April 26, 1936 to March 13, 1938). "The Stripper's Guide: A Comic Strip Index" lists another topper entitled "Gooneys".
The most memorable characters in the strip are Boots, the college student and later glamorous, fashionable young lady, wife, and mother; Rod Ruggles, Boots' husband; and Davey, their son. Cora, Boot' longtime friend and her husband Professor Stephen Tutt appear regularly in the strip. Popular Pug first appeared in 1937 when Boots brought her to live with the Tutts after Pug's father J.X. "Bettem" High disappeared. Pug later became an established member of Boots and Rod's family. Irrepressible Dory, the maid, was a favorite of all readers. Boots and Rod were married on September 2, 1945 and Davey was born July 4, 1946.