Howie, who passed away not so long ago, had a long and respectable career in cartooning. One of his early gems was Jimminy and the Magic Book series, back in the '40s. As has been noted by BookSteve, Howie was influenced early on by Walt Kelly's work—but certainly not imitating him.
We have OtherEric, of the Digital Comic Museum, to thank for these scans. He sent them over a long time ago, but I just now got around to cleaning them up a bit. OtherEric has shared a bunch of The Adventures of Peter Wheat over on Whirled of Kelly, and I certainly appreciate his continued friendship!