Googus and Gallant first appeared in 1936, in a magazine called Children's Activities that was created and written by Garry Myers. When Myers left that magazine (he was fired) he founded Highlights. Securing the rights to Goofus and Gallant took a couple years of legal wrangling, but Goofus and Gallant finally made their debut in Highlights magazine in 1948. (Thanks to Dial B reader Patrick Cox for this info!)
The feature, drawn by Anni Matsick, stars the ill-mannered Goofus and the prissy do-gooder Gallant.
Created by child psychologist Garry Cleveland Myers, editor of Highlights magazine, the cartoon series shows how each boy acts in the same situation. Goofus invariably chooses a selfish or irresponsible path, while Gallant always responds with kindness and generosity. The aim of the strip is to teach young children positive social interaction skills.
"We couldn't have Gallant without Goofus," said Highlights Editor Kent Brown, "Without Goofus, Gallant would be bland and no one would pay attention. But kids see parts of themselves in both characters. No one is as good as Gallant, and no one is as bad as Goofus. But being more like Gallant is something to strive for." Brown, a grandson of the magazine’s founders, claims he was the inspiration for Goofus.
The Goofus and Gallant feature never offers direct lessons or shows consequences. "It simply shows a wrong way and a right way of doing things, that's all," said Highlights CEO Garry Cleveland Myers III, also a grandson of the founders. Myers denies the family legend that he was the inspiration for Gallant.
OK, enough talk, let’s get down to business. From the pages of and copyright Highlights For Children magazine, here are... Goofus and Gallant!