James Hatlo was a sports cartoonist at The San Francisco Call-Bulletin. He had to draw a cartoon when a package of cartoons from the syndicate failed to arrive. He chose the little ironies of everyday life as his topic. The first ‘They’ll Do It Every Time’ appeared on 5 February, 1929. For seven years, Jimmy Hatlo did the comics series for just that one paper. In 1936, King Features Syndicate gave it national distribution. It was an immediate hit.
‘They’ll Do It Every Time’ didn’t have any central characters, but a few turned up in repeat episodes. Henry Tremblechin was a frequent victim of the daily irony. Tremblechin’s young daughter, Little Iodine, was spun off into a strip of her own in 1943, and also held down a Dell comic book from 1949-62.
Between 1953 and 1958, a weekly supplemental panel accompanied Hatlo’s regular feature. This cartoon, called ‘Hatlo’s Inferno’, depected the future torments of souls sent to Hell for committing sins. Jimmy Hatlo died 1 December, 1963.