Sunday, March 09, 2014
Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics
The things we keep say a lot about us.
I had a conversation earlier this week and the topic was things we own. My contention is we don't really own anything. At some point we move on and it stays behind. I guess at best we're renting everything. ; )
Saturday, March 08, 2014
Sunday, May 31 1908 -- Herriman offers up the various ways sports fans could find out what was going on with the L.A. Angels in 1908, if they couldn't attend the game. Fascinating stuff.
Going clockwise from top left, we first have an unrelated cartoon complaining about the team's schedule. Then we have a mystery method -- I'm guessing this might be some sort of dedicated phone or telegraphy line of some sort? Then we have motion pictures in the next vignette -- of course those would have been available no earlier than a day or so after the game. Then we have the telephone, which was horrendously expensive, as you can see. Next there is the ticker tape, which was installed in many finance-oriented businesses like banks and stock brokers. Finally there is what seems to be radio -- a very early reference to it, I think.
Labels: Herriman's LA Examiner Cartoons
Friday, March 07, 2014
Sci-Friday starring Connie
Labels: Connie Sci-Friday
Thursday, March 06, 2014
Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Creig Flessel
Creig Valentine Flessel was born in Huntington, Long Island, New York, on February 2, 1912. His full name was found in his hometown newspaper, The Long Islander, and the Social Security Death Index. His birth information was confirmed in a July 2002 interview in the Comics Journal #245.
In the 1920 U.S. Federal Census, Flessel was the second of four children born to Frank (1883–1944) and Ida (1884–1971). The census recorded his father’s birth in Germany and occupation as blacksmith. The family resided in Huntington on Southdown Avenue. They remained in the same place according to the 1925 New York State Census. Flessel’s paternal grandmother, Fannie, lived with them. In 1930, the Flessel family remained in Huntington but on Prospect Avenue.
In the Comics Journal, Flessel said his family lived on a five-acre farm about a mile from town. His father could draw; an aunt was an art teacher; his mother was musical and his brother could draw and was “an electronics genius.” Flessel named cartoonist Vic Forsythe, of Joe Jinks fame, as his idol.
The life of Flessel, from his early teens to to his early twenties, was chronicled in the Long Islander: he was a scout, high school athlete and cartoonist, art student, occasional performer, and scoutmaster.
April 30, 1925: Last Tuesday evening, April 27, Troop One, Boy Scouts of America, received their charter for the next year, at the Huntington High School gymnasium. The charter was presented by Scout Executive A.R. Wolfe, at a banquet attended by many of the scouts’ parents.
The following scouts received their registrations: …second class, …Creig Flessel...
June 17, 1927: The funeral service was held in the Catholic Church Wednesday morning, about forty Scouts being in attendance. The pallbearers were members of his patrol, Creig Flessel, Albert Flathtnan, Harry Mathison, Ralph Lewis, Jack Klauer and LeRoy Glosten.
September 30, 1927: The Ketewamoke Patrol of Troop No. 1, of Huntington held a banquet at the Methodist Episcopal Church on Friday evening, September 16. The eight Scouts of the Ketewamoke Patrol of which Creig Flessel is leader and Clifford Trainer is sponsor, celebrated their first Patrol birthday by entertaining their parents and friends present with a fine meal. After the tables had been cleared the Scouts presented a sketch entitled, “Pee Wee Harris’s Patrol to the Rescue.” This bit of Scout work was put across in a very amusing manner. The Handicraft exhibit was very interesting. It included some fine sketchings, leaf printing and soap carving.
November 2, 1928: This Friday the first edition of the “Mirror” is to be sold to the students. It has made quite an improvement over the first edition of last year.…The illustrations were furnished by Louise Kjellander, ’29; Lydo Petersen, ’29; Mary Shantler, ’29; Creig Flessel, ’30 and Florence Hoag, ’30.
(The Standard Union, in Brooklyn, April 12, 1929, reported the following: “Capt. Carroll E. Welch of the citizens’ military training camp has issued a statement that to April 1 forty-four applications from Suffolk County for the training camps this summer have been accepted…[including] Creig V. Flessel, Huntington…”)
September 6, 1929: Creig Flessel returned home Saturday from the Military Training Camp at Plattsburg.
September 13, 1929: Romney Wheeler is editor-in-chief of the school magazine. The Mirror, this year. The other editors include…Creig Flessel, art...
November 8, 1929: The first issue of the Huntington High School Magazine the “Mirror” was put on sale last Wednesday.…Illustrations also, are in profusion, especially in the humor section.
The staff is as follows: Romney Wheeler, Editor-in-Chief; Nat Elkins, Business Manager; Clifford Phillips, Humor, Editor; Phillis Fredericks, Literary Editor; Creig Flessel, Art Editor; Lyle Carson and Helen Hubbs, Sport Editors; Jean Carter, Alumni Editor; Evelyn Hart, Exchange Editor; Herman Wientjes, Circulation Manager and Mortimer Kassel, Advertising Manager.
November 22, 1929: Those who played their last game for the Blue and White were…Creig Flessel, end…
(The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, November 25, 1929, published a photograph, below, of the football players, including Flessel, who received letters.)
May 9, 1930: The annual election of Epworth League officers was held at the church last Monday night with the following results: Eugene Dittmar, president; Crieg Flessel, first and second vice-president; Glady Bunce, third vice-president; Natalie Suydam, fourth vice-president; Estelle Miller, secretary; Helen Velsor, treasurer; Gladys Bunce, organist.
June 27, 1930: Prizes and honors for the year were announced by Superintendent Toaz as follows: …Alumni Drawing Prizes—Creig Valentine Flessel and Florence Hazel Hoag...Those who received their diplomas were…Creig Flessel...
September 12, 1930: Creig Flessel starts Monday for a course in the Grand Central Art school in New York.
September 26, 1930: Creig Flessel, Huntington High 1930, won the poster prize for Nassau and Suffolk counties sponsored by the New York State Educational Department, on the topic Vacation Days. A little boy, strutting along with a tiny fish on the end of a pole, Is not more excited than the dog that is with him. Mr. Flessel is a student at the Grand Central Art School this fall.
November 7, 1930: Creig Flessel entertained the members of his Sunday School class at a Halloween party Friday night.
April 24, 1931: Creig Flessel, who is a student at the Grand Central Art School, received second prize of $10 for illustration, and third prize of $5 for life drawing.
(The New York Times, April 20, 1932: “Awards at School of Art.” The eight annual exhibition of the Grand Central School of Art…Medals for Illustration—To Creig Flessel, George Cook, Dorothy Deyrup, Harry Rossoll and Tom Harter.)
April 29, 1932: Creig Flessel, of this place, was awarded first prize for an illustration at the Grand Central Art School in Manhattan last week.
Creig Flessel who is a student in the Grand Central Art School received first prize for illustration last week.
June 3, 1932: Creig Flessel has organized a Boy Scout patrol.
June 24, 1932: Creig Flessel, who has just finished his second year at Grand Central Art School, entered Monday for the summer course in that institution. (In the Comics Journal interview, Flessel said he attended Harvey Dunn’s night class and met Charles Addams, the future New Yorker cartoonist.)
September 2, 1932: Arrangements are being perfected for an exhibit of the work of Huntington amateur artists at the Flessel Building on Main street from September 5 to 10, inclusive. Among the artists making exhibits are Woodhull Young, Alphonse Bare, Creig Flessel and Miss Anna Flessel.
April 21, 1933: “Troop 12 Has Ten Year Reunion”; ...Through the efforts of Pete Whipple assisted by Wilbur Percy, Woodhull Young, Creig Flessel and Bob Alexander is due a large part of the success of this enjoyable gathering.
April 21, 1933: Saturday night Was a red letter day for our Boy Scouts. In their bright new uniforms they were on hand to welcome their friends and their neighboring Boy Scouts from Huntington and Greenlawn.
Jack Levy then presented Creig Flessel with his credentials and Scout pin for Scout Master of Troop 113 of Centerport. The Scouts then received their badges from their Scout Master, Creig Flessel.
…All boys, twelve years or over, who are in any way interested in Boy Scouting, may Join, this troop by reporting to Creig Flessel or Jack Levy at the Centerport Fire House on any Thursday evening between 7:30 and 9 o’clock.
April 13, 1934: The second event was a Parents’ Night held by Centerport Troop 113, of which Creig V. Flessel is Scoutmaster and Jacob Levy chairman of the Troop Committee.
Under the direction of Scoutmaster Flessel the Scouts put on a splendid demonstration of Scouting, also some interesting skits depicting Scout life. There was an excellent display of Scout handicraft. The meeting was held in the new school building on Little Neck road and was attended by over fifty parents and friends of the troop. Refreshments were served at the close of the meeting.
January 10, 1935: Creig Flessel was a guest of Miss Marie Marino in Brooklyn for New Year’s Day.
January 31, 1935: Creig Flessel and his troop of Boy Scouts enjoyed a grand day of hiking and coasting Saturday.
March 1, 1935: The Centerport M. E. Church in place of the Centerport Fire Department will sponsor the Boy Scout Troop in the future. With a; troop, committee comprised of James Van Alst, Rev. Edgar N. Jackson, Creig Flessel, Arthur B. West and George A. Bunce, they expect to have one of the liveliest troops in Suffolk County.
March 13, 1935: “Minstrels Enjoyed”; ‘Kentucky Daze’ drew a large crowd to the Centerport School Friday night. The minstrels kept the audience in an uproar throughout the performance.
Much applause was given to Creig Flessel as Old Black Joe and Natalie Suydam as Aunt Jemima. The ballet dancers wore not to be beaten by any professionals.
June 28, 1935: Friday evening, June 21, was one of the happiest in our school year, when thirteen, wide awake boys and girls received their diplomas to enter high school.…Creig Flessel was master of ceremonies in giving the flag donated by the combined basketball teams, the Sea Gulls and Sea Girls.
April 3, 1936: Creig Flessel was a week-end guest of Miss Marie Marino in Brooklyn who is home for her spring vacation from Alfred University.
May 29, 1936: “Memorial Day Plans”; ...At the park on the newly erected pole will be unfurled the Stars and Stripes by the Boy Scouts under Scoutmaster Creig Flessel.
November 1936: Creig Flessel was a guest of Miss Marino for the week-end. They attended the Alfred-Upsalla game in East Orange, Saturday.
Flessel’s engagement to Marino was announced in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, March 9, 1937.
Mr. and Mrs. Peter Marino of 293 Clermont Ave. announce the engagement of their daughter, Miss Marie Grace Marino, to Creig Valentine Flessel of Manhattan and Centerport, son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Flessel.The New York, New York, Marriage Indexes, at Ancestry.com, said Flessel and Marino married on November 20, 1937 in Brooklyn. The Alfred Sun (New York), April 14, 1938, noted their marriage: “ ’36—Marie Marino to Creig Valentine Flessel in Brooklyn on November 20, 1937.” The Marin Independent Journal (California), March 17, 2007, said Flessel met Marie “during a function at a Long Island yacht club gathering.”
Miss Marino was graduated from Alfred University, Alfred, N. Y., with the class of 1936. Mr. Flessel studied at Grand Central School of Art in Manhattan.
Flessel was part of the first wave of Golden Age comic book artists. He was hired to produced art work for Major Wheeler-Nicholson’s More Fun Comics. Flessel recalled:
…they were desperate so I had to go out and buy a drawing table. They had just one table that they were doing all of the mechanical work on. So I got a table and managed to find a chair and sat down and they said, “Here. Do this.” I think I did a couple of center spreads for More Fun….Detective [Comics] was created while I was there.”Flessel drew the covers for Detective Comics numbers two through 19. He worked with editors Vince Sullivan and Whitney Ellsworth. In 1937, Flessel moved on and worked a couple weeks for Harry Chesler. Some of Flessel’s comic book credits are here.
Later in 1937 Flessel worked for the advertising studio Johnstone and Cushing. At Hogan’s Alley, Flessel explained how he entered the advertising industry after a stint on a comic strip.
“In 1936, I went to J. Walter Thompson looking for work, because they had been doing a lot of comic ads,” he said. “All the secretaries there knew Tom Johnstone, and one of them told me I should go to Johnstone and Cushing.” Flessel went to the Johnstone and Cushing offices, then in the Commerce Building at 145 East 44th Street, and he took the elevator to the thirty-sixth floor penthouse suite that housed the offices. Flessel was in awe of the staff, which was a cartooning Who’s Who: “There was Albert Dorne, Austin Briggs, Bill Sakren, Joe King, Stan Randall, Paul Fung, Milt Gross, Milt Caniff, Lou Fine, Stan Drake, Noel Sickles, Ralston Jones, Katie Osann…everybody went through there at some point. The talent level was just intimidating,” Flessel said.
…“They had a lot of work and they needed artists,” Flessel said, “but they felt my work was a little crude, so they recommended me to John Striebel.”Striebel hired Flessel to assist on Dixie Dugan. Flessel also had the opportunity to work on Streibel’s characters Vic and Sade, who appeared in Farina Wheat cereal advertisements. In Alter Ego #45, February 2005, Jim Amash interviewed Flessel who said: “In 1937, I was ghosting for John Streibel on Dixie Dugan for Liberty magazine, as well as ad work for him. And then Dixie turned into a newspaper strip. Dixie was a showgirl, but Blondie proved that a showgirl strip didn’t fly in the newspapers, so Dixie Dugan became a single secretary. I did that for one year. I was also doing ad worked for Johnstone and Cushing, pulp work, and comics for National Comics.”
The Alfred Sun, October 17, 1940, explained the story behind the Nestle’s advertisement (below) that ran in the Sunday comics section October 13, 1940.
Alfred Banner Seen in Sunday Section
In the funny section last week in the Sunday paper, there appeared an advertisement for Nestle’s which was of great interest to Alfred people and students. The adv. carried the theme of the girl who won a pledge to a sorority by her mother sending her baked goods that suited the taste of some of the girls, who in turn pledged her to their sorority. In this girl’s room was seen an Alfred banner, although the colors were orange and green, the word “ALFRED” was very much in evidence. It was learned that the author, Creig Flessel is the husband of Marie Jean Marino, who graduated from Alfred with the class of 1936 and was a member of the Sigma Chi Nu Sorority. If you were familiar with the sorority pin you would know at a glance the pin in question belonged to Sigma Chi Nu.
Flessel also did illustrations for pulp magazines by publishers such as Street & Smith, and Martin Goodman.
According to American Newspaper Comics (2012), Flessel illustrated the Book-of-the Month adaptation of Colonel Effingham’s Raid, which was published in 1943.
In the 1950s, Flessel produced illustrations for Boys’ Life magazine and the Sunday Pictorial Review supplement. Boys’ Life covers and comics are here, here, here and here. A couple of Sunday Pictorial Review covers are here. At Johnstone and Cushing, Flessel worked on the Eveready battery account. Samples are here, here, here and here.
From 1958 to 1960, Flessel assisted on the Li’l Abner strip. In the Comics Journal interview, Flessel said:
…The best part of that job was that we sat there and worked and we had Andy Amato, and Harvey Curtis and Walter Johnson was the inker. Curtis was the manager of the office and Amato was the man who created all the crazy things—crazy penciler—but the reason why I was there was no one could draw a pretty girl. I knew how to draw big tits. If they made them the size of a grapefruit, I’d make them bigger. So that was it….Flessel took over the David Crane strip from Winslow Mortimer from October 31, 1960 into 1972. Several samples can be viewed here, here and here.
In American Newspaper Comics, Flessel is credited with two-week stints on Apartment 3-G (Sundays) and Friday Foster in 1973.
In the 1980s for Playboy magazine, Flessel drew, for about eight years, The Tales of Baron von Furstinbed and explained, in the Comics Journal, how he got involved:
...The guy that I worked with on Friday Foster wrote stuff for Playboy. They needed stuff for the Playboy Funnies, and he was writing and they would send it back, so we arranged to do stuff together. I would get notes from Hefner that said, “I like your drawing, but the story’s not good.” So finally I asked the writer if he would mind if I wrote my own copy. So I did and sent off a color page and they wrote back and said that they liked it, and would like to see some more. So, almost immediately, I was in business.
…I went from David Crane to The Tales of Baron Von Firstinbed [sic]— piety to pornography in one lifetime…
Flessel was remembered at several comic book-related sites, here, here and here. Photographs of Flessel and samples of his artwork are here. An overview of Flessel’s career is here. He was a member of the National Cartoonists Society.
Flessel’s wife, Marie passed away January 20, 2011 in Mill Valley.
Labels: Ink-Slinger Profiles
Wednesday, March 05, 2014
Creig Flessel, Undercover
This Week In Astrology, an NEA-distributed horoscope feature by Carl Payne Tobey that debuted in 1969 and ended around 1977, doesn't qualify for listing in American Newspaper Comics. In its early days the graphics were large if not central to the purpose of the feature, but the text slowly but surely chipped away until the cartoons weren't much more than incidental.
Although not strictly within the purview of Stripper's Guide, I have always been impressed by the graphics from the early years of the feature. Unfortunately I had no idea who the cartoonist was (he signed himself "Valentine") until someone finally told me it was Creig Flessel working under a pseudonym. Well, I guess that explains it! Surprising how much effort Flessel put into these despite the lack of credit. So here's a nice dose of very obscure Flessel artwork -- enjoy!
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: W.E. Hill
In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Hill was the only child of William and Marietta. His father was a manufacturer of stationery. They reside in Brooklyn, New York at 410 Grand Avenue. According to the Wilton Bulletin (Connecticut), December 12, 1962, Hill graduated from the Storm King School and Amherst College. The Chi Phi Fraternity, Centennial Memorial Volume, 1924, had this listing:
Hill lived with his parents in Pelham, New York, at 121 Corlies Avenue, as recorded the 1910 census. His occupation was student in the “caricature” business. The Binghamton Press (New York), August 27, 1910, noted his talent:William Ely Hill (Last address) New York, N.Y. Born Binghamton, N.Y., Jan. 19, 1887. Edu. Amherst, B.A. Originator “Among Us Mortals” and other cartoon series. Cartoonist. Initiated Oct. 24, 1905.
Praise for Former Binghamtonian
A recent number of Vanity Fair, one of London’s famous publications, in referring to a special number of Puck, the American humorous weekly, says: “By the way, we have for some weeks, observed the work of a new artist on this paper, W.E. Hill, who seems well on the way to International reputation.”
The artist referred to is William Ely Hill, who up to nine years ago was a resident of Binghamton.Hill was mentioned in the society page of the New York Herald, November 18, 1910: “For the Carnival Bazaar of the A.E. Society, to be held in the Myrtle suite of the Waldorf-Astoria on the afternoons and evenings of November 30 and December 1…Mr. William E. Hill, a cartoonist, will take part in the vaudeville program.”
For the theater periodical, Green Book Magazine, Hill provided cartoons for the July 1914 and August 1914 issues. Hill’s drawing, “My Wife and My Mother-in-Law”, appeared in Puck, November 6, 1915. The drawing has been reprinted in many psychology books.
In April 1916 Hill began a long association with the New York Tribune which lasted through 1922; his first work, a strip, appeared April 9, and the second, a half-page, on the 16th. His series of full-page drawings, with various descriptive titles, ran in the magazine section from April 23 1916 to February 4, 1917. The series title, Among Us Mortals, began February 11, 1917, and was dropped February 5, 1922. The series ended in the New York Tribune December 31, 1922. Among Us Mortals had been running in the Chicago Tribune since February 5, 1922.
The Binghamton Press, September 19, 1917, praised their native son:
Artist Winning Fame Is Native of BinghamtonA Binghamton boy, William Ely Hill, is achieving widespread fame through his full-page sketches, which are appearing in several of the big Sunday newspapers under the title, “Among Us Mortals.”
Picking types from the everyday folks he sees on the streets, or wherever people gather, Mr. Hill satirizes in a genial way, little weaknesses that are common to mankind. The freshness and novelty of his work, and its artistic merit him given “Among Us Mortals” a front place as a newspaper feature. Mr. Hill is a son of Mr. and Mrs. W.S. Hill of New York, formerly of this city, and is a nephew of Mrs. C.W. Sears.
The Washington Times, which features the sketches in the Sunday edition, recently had this to say about Mr. Hill and his methods of work:
“William E. Hill, whose speaking likenesses of everyday people appear in The Sunday Times under the caption of ‘Among Us Mortals,’ came to Washington today.
“Some weeks ago Mr. Hill drew a picture of men and women rehearsing for a burlesque show and had the audacity to call the burlesquers’ life ‘vain and hollow.’ All sorts of complications arose the burlesquers at a local playhouse rising in righteous wrath and offering to bet all kinds of money that they received more pay than Mr. Hill.
Seeks Inspiration Hero.
"When Mr. Hill was found by a Times reporter he said he had not come to Washington to settle the burlesque situation, as he believed the, diplomats at the state Department probably could handle that, but he did pictures of ‘Life' as it is in the National Capital.’
“He said he intended roaming over Washington and making sketches of people in various walks of life here. The National Capital, he said, offered such a prolific field for sketches of so many and varied types of men, women and children that he anticipated difficulty in exhausting all the subjects here before laying down his charcoal and closing his artistic career.
His Work Widely Admired.
“Practically no one who sees Mr. Hill without being introduced to him would guess for an instant that this modest and retiring young man is the creator of the most human and true life sketches every [sic] printed in America.
From coast to coast and in foreign countries his work is admired for its fidelity to nature and to types. Everyone who has seen his drawings of people one meets in the streets, in the theater or other gathering places, never fails to remark, ‘I’ve seen exactly that type, and the artist must have sketched some one I’ve seen.’
Mr. Hill pictures people at work, at play, on their way to work, at home, at meals, or on picnics. He doesn’t try to make any one handsome who is not handsome, and men and women wearing eyeglasses appear frequently in his sketches, not because he wears them himself and likes to draw them but because he finds these people wherever he goes to faithfully and truly reproduce what he sees.
No Need to Imagine Types.
“ ‘I learned very early in my career as an artist that if you stick pretty close to the people you see about you, every day you need not draw on your imagination for types,’ said Mr. Hill.
“ ‘People, just plain, everyday, commonplace people, alive and in motion fascinate me far more than anything else in the world.” he continued.
“ ‘They look and dress, and do everything that they could be imagined doing, and they are everywhere that there is anywhere to be.
“ ‘When I made my first sketch of people as I really found them, I had no idea of keeping it up. That was simply one day’s work. I remember the first sketch very distinctly. It was made only a year and a half ago and was a few glimpses at the Easter parade in New York City.
“ ‘When that was printed it suggested another sketch of human life as it is and every sketch suggests a great many others. Human nature is an exhaustible subject and a man might draw types of men, women and children for a hundred years and still not scratch the surface of his subject.
Finds Washington Different.
“ ‘I have come to Washington because life here is very different from anywhere else in the United States and types are to he found here which could not be found in any other city in the country.
“ ‘The vast army of Government employes rushing to their work, the crowds fighting to get on already overcrowded street cars, the blank look on the voteless inhabitants of the city, the rich and the poor, the humble and the great mingling together on your streets, the omnipresent soldier, sailor and marine; the children of the rich playing in the parks, the visitors at the Capitol, the tourists, the scenes at markets, al1 hold a tremendous interest for me and doubtless would for any one coming to Washington for the first time.
“ ‘Selection and elimination will be my only trouble here, for there are a vast number of types I have not seen before, but which I will do my best to picture to readers of the Times.’
“ ‘If Mr. Hill does his best that will be about all readers of the Times will want from him.”
A book version of Among Us Mortals was published in November 1917. The preface tells the story of the series’ beginning.
Hill signed his World War I draft card June 5, 1917. He resided at 2350 Broadway in Manhattan and was cartoonist for the New York Tribune. His description was tall height, slender build, with blue eyes and brown hair. On June 24, 1918 he applied for a passport to gather “material for sketches” in England and France. The application included a letter from the Tribune.
Hill was among the scores of artists and writers who signed the Greenwich Village Bookshop door.
Hill passed away December 9, 1962, in Connecticut. His death was reported two days later in the Binghamton Press which said Hill was to be buried at the Spring Forest Cemetery, in Binghamton, on December 12. The Wilton Bulletin said he died at the Danbury Hospital.
Labels: Ink-Slinger Profiles
Monday, March 03, 2014
A Steinigans Tribute
It is an unfortunate fact that newspapers rarely take the time or trouble to eulogize their fallen ink-slingers in anything more than a short obituary. Here, however, is an exception to that rule. When William J. Steinigans died in January 1918, the New York World, for whom he'd been in harness at least since 1904, offered a more fitting memorial. In their Sunday magazine sections of April 14 - 28 they printed a series of three painterly Steinigan drawings, one per week, to memorialize his artistry.
This is the second of those drawings, and the only one of the three I've actually had the pleasure of seeing for myself.
Sunday, March 02, 2014
Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics
Saturday, March 01, 2014
Saturday, May 30 1908 -- Tonight the highly regarded lightweight boxers Freddie Welsh and Phil Brock will meet in the squared circle at Jim Jeffries' arena. Herriman draws another boxer, Frank Carsey, in a dress -- Herriman better hope that Carsey has a well-developed sense of humor.
Friday, February 28, 2014
Sci-Friday starring Connie
Labels: Connie Sci-Friday
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: E.H. Brotts
In the 1870 census, Brotts was the oldest of three children born to Henry, a druggist, and Helen. They resided in the township of Guilford in Ohio.
The family lived in Westport, Missouri on Cross Main Street, according to the 1880 census. At some point, they moved to Kansas City, Missouri. The 1882 Hoye’s City Directory listed Brotts as a candy maker at Glesner, Ross & Company. The home address for Brotts, his brother, Ernest, a butcher, and father was 109 West 11th Street. The following year Brotts’ occupation was painter and residence at the same address.
The Kansas City Times (Missouri), August 24, 1885, reported Brotts as a robbery victim.
Mr. E.H. Brotts yesterday reported that while he was walking along Broadway near Eleventh st. Saturday night he was held up by highwaymen and robbed of a small sum of money. After robbing him the footpads ordered him to march, which he did with haste.When Brotts was robbed, he was an artist in a business partnership with H.W. Dickson. The city directory listing said Brotts lived at 1300 Broadway, his father’s residence. Brotts would remain there through, at least, 1888. Dickson & Brotts was located at 503 Delaware.
The Kansas City Times, June 20, 1889, reported Brotts’ marriage.
Mr. Emmet H. Brotts, the Journal artist, married Miss Daisy H. Chapman of Fort Scott yesterday morning at the home of the bride. The ceremony, which was a quiet one, was performed by the Rev. C.J. Coulter, a relative of Mr. Brotts, and but a few of the relatives and friends of the bride and groom were present at the nuptials. The pair left for the south immediately after the marriage to spend a week in travel. Emmet Brotts was born in Seville, O., in 1865. He came to this city in 1880, and for three years was engaged in the manufacture of candy. Giving up this trade, which was distasteful to him, he entered an architect’s office, and later formed a partnership with Mr. Dickson of this city to do general designing and engraving, which place he filled competently until his connection with the Journal.Kansas City directories for the years 1889 to 1891, said Brotts was a wood engraver at the Journal, and in partnership with H.A. Roberts in Brotts & Roberts, engravers at 900 Main Street. In 1893, Brotts was the proprietor of the Midland Engraving Company, 900 Main Street. His residence was 722 Forest. At some point, Brotts moved to Chicago.
The Kansas City Star, June 7, 1895, covered the the Western Authors’ and Artists’ convention and said:
…original drawings were distributed among all present. These pictures were in every conceivable style used in the illustration of books, magazines and newspapers and included water color designs, tail pieces, initial letters, portraits, figure work and bits of landscape. Among the Western artists who contributed were the following: …Emmet Brotts of Chicago, who recently left here...The 1897 Chicago city directory recorded Brotts at 1806 North Halsted as an artist with the Times-Herald. He remained with the Times-Herald, according to the 1899 and 1900 directories, and resided at 291 Ontario Street.
Brotts, a member of the artists club, Palette and Chisel, participated in its “1898 Salon de Refuse.”
Brotts’ address was unchanged in the 1900 census. He was a newspaper artist and divorced. His wife and son, Ervine, lived in Chicago with his mother-in-law, Mary Chapman.
In 1901 the Times-Herald merged with the Chicago Record to form the Chicago Record-Herald. In 1902, Brotts produced Little Pic which was a Sunday strip that ran through 1903 in the Record-Herald. He also produced numerous illustrations for the paper’s Sunday children’s section into 1905. A staff photograph was published in the Second Annual Loan & Sale Exhibition of the Newspaper Artists of Chicago (1903).
The Inland Printer, February 1903, reproduced some the New Year’s greeting art sent to Frank Holme in Phoenix, Arizona. Brotts contributed a drawing.
Julius A. Lloyd’s book, Home Made Hash (1909), was illustrated by Brotts.
Brotts had listings in the 1909, 1912 and 1916 Chicago Blue Book of Selected Names of Chicago and Suburban Towns. He has not been found in the 1910 census.
Brotts’ appearance at the twentieth annual meeting of the Illinois Lumber Dealers’ Association, in Chicago, was reported in The Lumber World, March 1, 1910: “The morning session was opened by Emmet H. Brotts, with ‘Chalk Talk.’ Like all other entertainment features of the convention, Mr. Brotts’ work was good and elicited much applause.”
In 1920, the census said Brotts, a “widower” and commercial artist, lived at 5 East Erie Street in Chicago. Also with him was his son, age 26 and a garage mechanic.
The Chicago Central Business and Office Building Directory 1922 recorded Brotts in the Northern Office Building.
Brotts advertised in Herbert Lloyd’s book, Vaudeville Trails Thru the West (1919).
In the 1930 census, Brotts lived with his niece and her daughter in Chicago at 3745 Herndon Street. His occupation was commercial artist.
Brotts stayed with them but a a different address, 3745 Lakewood Avenue, according to the 1940 census. His highest level of education was the sixth grade. At age 74 he was no longer working.
On January 6, 1943, Brotts’ ex-wife, Daisy, passed away in Los Angeles; she had been living with her son, Ervine, and his wife, Edith. Ervine died June 17, 1947. The Illinois Death Index at Ancestry.com said Brotts passed away July 19, 1947, in Chicago. An obituary has not been found.
Labels: Ink-Slinger Profiles
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Obscurity of the Day: Little Pic
Little Pic started out as a mystery strip in a previous post, because I had only one example of it, and even that was missing a section which presumably would have held the cartoonist's signature. But between the title and the fact that this sample ran in the Chicago Record Herald on September 28 1903, intrepid treasure-hunter Alex Jay was able to unearth both the artist and the fact that this was an unusually long-lasting feature for the time.
Not that it was easy. Alex found that the online finding aid of Ohio State's Cartoon Library leaves something to be desired. He found this page on which we can see that Little Pic ran almost every Sunday during the period 1902-03. Only problem is that they don't tell you what newspaper they're talking about. Luckily Alex kept digging and determined that the Chicago Record-Herald Sundays of that era are in their collection, so between my sample, and triangulation of their finding aids, we can reasonably assume that Little Pic was a regular feature of the Record-Herald for at least two years, and the artist was one E.H. Brotts.
I'd feel better about the time and effort that went into determining these things if the strip had any positive merit whatsoever, but based on my sample I can't think of anything nice to say about Mr. Brotts' contribution to the history of the American newspaper comic strip.
Tomorrow: Alex Jay's Ink-Slinger Profile of E.H. Brotts.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Obscurity of the Day: Middle Ages
The Washington Post Writers Group syndicate has a knack for picking winners when it comes to comic strips. I'm not sure if they had one of their rare missteps with Middle Ages, or if newspapers failed to see its potential, or what other factors may have cut its life short.
Middle Ages seems to be a good fit for the mid-80s, when it debuted. A cast of middle-aged schlubs dealing with life's curveballs would certainly seem to be a subject that would resonate with the typical newspaper reader of the day. The gags were reasonable funny, and had just enough of an edge to be seem hip. The art, while not exactly rivaling Walt Kelly, didn't look out of place on the funnies page. The strip had a lot of workplace humor, but wisely didn't limit itself only to that venue, but let the characters have home and social lives as well. The only obvious flaw I can find is that (based on my limited archive) the cast of the strip is rather extensive, which might make it tough for new readers to follow what's going on.
The strip seems to have begun on November 12 1984. At the time the strip was, I gather, self-syndicated. At least the early strips bear no syndicate stamps. On January 7 1985, the Washington Post stamp begins appearing, and stays on the strip until its apparent demise on December 10 1985, only a year and a month into the run.
The creator, Ron Jaudon, is a mystery man to me. This is the only cartooning of his I've been able to uncover.
Monday, February 24, 2014
Mystery Strips -- Any Info Very Welcome
Jack Barnum's Circus ran in the Chicago Tribune, in a kid's Sunday magazine section. Since it is by C.A. Beaty I surmise that it is likely to be from around 1910-11, when we know he worked there. The page is undated and there is no content on the back to give me any clues. These sections did not make it onto microfilm (at least the versions I've worked with), and so I have no idea if this was a one-shot or a series. Can anyone help?
Robert Pilgrim, who is generally associated with Bell Syndicate in my mind, did this series called Did You Know? in 1929. I say series because I have a whole two examples. I can't determine based on them from what paper they were clipped. No syndicate stamps on my few samples. Has anyone seen more of this series? Anyone know the syndicate? It doesn't seem to have been advertised in E&P.
Labels: Mystery Strips
Sunday, February 23, 2014
Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Saturday, May 30 1908 -- The Los Angeles Women's Treble Clef Club underwrites a musical program featuring celebrity violinist, composer and conductor Leandro Campari. The world famous Campari had (sez Wiki) just last year moved to San Francisco, where he took on the directorship of the California Conservatory of Music. Only problem is that the institution is claimed in another Wiki article to have been founded in 1917. Oh well.
Labels: Herriman's LA Examiner Cartoons
Friday, February 21, 2014
Sci-Friday starring Connie
Labels: Connie Sci-Friday
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Courtney Dunkel
Edward Courtney Dunkel was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on December 21, 1902. His full name and birthplace was found in a family tree at Ancestry.com. The Social Security Death Index had his birth date. His parents were John and Sadie, both Pennsylvania natives.
In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Dunkel was the youngest of six children. His mother was a widow and head of the household. They resided in Baltimore at 1037 West Saratoga Street. A listing in the 1918 Baltimore city directory said Dunkel, a clerk, lived with his mother at 1728 East Chase Street.
According to the 1920 census, that address was Dunkel’s sister’s family. Sybil was married to John Dickel, who was head of the household, which included Dunkel, Dunkel’s mother and older brother John, a widower. Dunkel worked as a salesman in a grocery store.
Lambiek Comiclopedia and Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999 both said Dunkel attended the “Maryland Institute of Arts.”
The 1923 Baltimore city directory listed Dunkel as a cartoonist residing at 63 Raspe Avenue. Three years later, Dunkel’s listing was, again, at 1728 East Chase Street. Also in 1926, this classified ad appeared in the June 19 issue of the Fourth Estate:
Cartoonist, young artist with five years experience in art departments on newspapers in the East desires new connections with paper in fair sized town. Will go anywhere as long as there is an opportunity to make a name for himself. Samples of work on request. Courtney Dunkel, care Baltimore News, Baltimore, Maryland.Dunkel’s Radio Bugs was in the Editor & Publisher annual syndicate directory but it is unclear if it was ever published. According to American Newspaper Comics (2012), Dunkel produced the Fumble Family, a 1928 weekly strip syndicated by the Autocaster Service.
Dunkel has not been found in the 1930 census. The New York Sun, August 19, 1931, said Dunkel leased an apartment at 44 West Fifty-second Street. In the September 16, 1932 edition of the Sun, Dunkel’s lease was renewed. The New York Times, November 11, 1937, named Dunkel as a renter in The Wakefield.
The 1940 census recorded Dunkel, his wife, Catherine, and three-year-old daughter, Sara, in New Rochelle, New York at 46 Park Place. According to the family tree, Dunkel remarried to Alverta May Boyer on January 14, 1946.
Dunkel provided artwork for an advertising campaign according to Printers’ Ink, April 21, 1944:
Advertising campaign uses continuity comic strip
Gag comics, running under the title Tru-Fit Ticklers, created so much interest for Tru-Fit Clothes, Baltimore, that the idea was expanded into a continuity strip. The agency responsible for the campaign, Leon S. Golnick and Associates, believes it is the first tri-weekly continuity strip devoted to advertising.
The idea started with a panel of three pictures, the third invariably featuring the product and the box in which it was packed, and showing ludicrous and utterly impossible situations. From there it developed along the lines of non-advertising comics, which began with daily gag panels and then changed into continuity strips. It was Dr. Gallup’s discovery that comics were the first and most read feature of daily newspapers that led to their adoption for advertising purposes.
Now “Henry” and “Little Lulu” have pointed toward the use of pantomime and “Shipwreck Sam,” the creation of Courtney Dunkel for Tru-Fit, leads in becoming a pantomimic continuity strip.
“Shipwreck Sam” is believed by his creator to be unique in two particulars: He is a continuity advertising cartoon character and his various adventures are treated, and will continue to be viewed, from a nonsensical rather than a sober dramatic angle such as many newspaper comics seem to carry these days.
It is planned to keep the humor in good taste and with a patriotic background when that can be done unostentatiously. Artist, agency and advertiser believe that “Shipwreck Sam” will fill a need and may start a trend.
In his early 70s, Dunkel drew the daily connect-the-dots panel, Draw Your Own Conclusion, which ran from 1974 to 1979. The Working Press of the Nation, Volume 1 (1977) said Courtney Dunkel was an editorial cartoonist at the York Dispatch.
Some of Dunkel’s comic book credits can be viewed here and here. A 1973 press photograph of Dunkel is here. A journalist recalled his memories of Dunkel and the York Dispatch here.
The family tree said Dunkel passed away September 16, 1982, in York, Pennsylvania.
Labels: Ink-Slinger Profiles
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Obscurity of the Day: Too Funny for Words
I'm absolutely flabbergasted to find that in all these years I've never done a post featuring the work of the amazing and prolific Courtney Dunkel.
Actually, to call Dunkel's output merely 'prolific' seems to soft-peddle the term. This guy must have drawn cartoons 24 hours a day, awake and asleep, to achieve the output he had. What's just as amazing is how many venues you'll find running Dunkel's cartoons -- from the highest-end slick magazines to minor trade periodicals, from comic books to soft-porn mags, from the newspaper editorial page to the classified ads, from literary magazines to the crudest jokebooks. I get the feeling that Dunkel was a guy to whom it was a source of pride that no matter how bad the gag, he could always find some editor somewhere who'd pay him a buck for it.
And on top of that, the guy generally did produce excellent cartoons. He was no hack by any means. Though his art style is the soul of economy, it has lots of life and a distinct personality. You don't look at a Dunkel cartoon and easily confuse it with the work of another cartoonist. The masterly use of black areas to make the cartoon pop off the page are the first clue, and then you see those trademark big round eyes and you know you're looking at a Dunkel cartoon.
Courtney Dunkel was active (and boy do I mean active) from the 1920s until the 1970s, mostly doing gag cartoons, but sometimes putting his efforts into a newspaper series. This one is Too Funny for Words, a pantomime feature that ran from June 12 1950 until sometime in 1952 (at least until July). It was syndicated by the Los Angeles-based Mirror Enterprises Syndicate. Leave it to Dunkel to choose one of the hardest genres to work in, the wordless cartoon, for a daily strip.