Monday, October 22, 2018

 

Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Ray Evans Jr.




1933


Raymond Oscar “Ray” Evans Jr. was born on September 11, 1913, in Baltimore, Maryland. The birth date is from Evans’ Indiana death certificate and the Social Security Death Index. The birthplace is based on the 1920 U.S. Federal Census and the Ohio State University Monthly, October 1913, which announced his birth, “Born to Raymond Oscar Evans, ’10, and Mrs. Evans (Helen Holter, Ex-’13), a son, Raymond Oscar Evans Jr. Mr. Evans is cartoonist of the Baltimore American Maryland.”

In the 1920 census, Evans lived with his parents and sister in Baltimore at 2215 12th Street. The 1922 Baltimore city directory listed the Evans family at 3308 Elgin Avenue. Soon, Evans’ father returned to his birthplace.

The 1923 Columbus, Ohio city directory said the Evans family resided at 91 West Lakeview Avenue and Evans’ father worked at the Columbus Dispatch. The following year’s directory had their address as 137 Crestview Road. The same address was recorded in the 1930 census.

Like his father, Evans attended Ohio State University. Freshman Evans contributed caricatures to the 1933 yearbook, The Makio.






In Evans’ junior year, he was a member of Beta Theta Pi (He pledged in 1933.). He was a year behind future editorial cartoonist Bill Crawford. The Ohio State University Bulletin, Volume 40, Issue 7, 1935, had this listing: “Evans, Ray, Jr., Arts 3, Columbus, 1176 Bryden Rd.”

On April 13, 1936, Evans married Maxine Adelle Van Dyke Walley in Franklin County as recorded in the Ohio County Marriage Records at Ancestry.com.

Evans was named in the Catalog of Copyright Entries, Part 1, Group 2, Pamphlets, Etc. 1937 New Series, Volume 34, Number 9. 

Johnson (Eleanor M.) 30883–30891
Nip, the bear. Diagnostic reading workbook, [no. 1] By E. M. Johnson; illustrations by Paul Burchfield and Ray Evans, jr. © Sept. 1, 1937; AA 244340.
The 1938 Columbus city directory listed the couple at 43 Lexington Avenue. Evans was an artist at the American Education Press Inc.

According to the 1940 census, Evans, his wife and two-year-old son, Michael, were Columbus residents at 85 Hamilton Avenue. Illustrator Evans earned $2,400 in 1939 and had three years of college. Cartoonist Evans’ address in the 1941 directory was 722 Chelsea Avenue. The same address was in the 1945 directory and his occupation was editor at the American Education Press, Inc.

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Evans drew Out of Line, from October 7, 1945 to January 13, 1946, for the Columbus Dispatch.

The Catalog of Copyright Entries, Third Series, Volume 1, Part 1A, Number 2, Books, July–December 1947 said Evans contributed scientific text and illustrations. 

De Grouchy, William John, 1889– ed.
Science is in the air; an inspirational textbook told almost exclusively in pictures. Artists: Ray Evans, Jr., Robert Powell; authors : Ray Evans, Jr., Alfred M. Klein. Ed. by William J. de Grouchy. New York, Street and Smith Publications, c1947. 158 p. illus., maps. 20 cm. © Street & Smith Publications, inc.; 16Sep47; A1615C.
American Newspaper Comics said Evans was one of four artists to draw Our New Age, which debuted September 21, 1958. The first was Carl Rose (as Earl Cros) who was followed by E.C. Felton then Gene Fawcette. Evans did the daily panel from January 1 to December 29, 1962. Dr. Athelstan Spilhaus wrote the series for Publishers-Hall Syndicate.

The Omaha World-Herald (Nebraska), December 27, 1961, announced the upcoming start of Our New Age and said in part:
An eminent scientist and a writer-cartoonist have joined talents to produce a new cartoon panel.

…The team is Dr. Athelstan F. Spilhaus and Ray Evans.

…Mr. Evans is an editorial cartoonist and science writer for the Columbus, O., Dispatch.

Mr. Evans explained the cartoon:

“We hope to show in capsule form, quickly for everybody, how science impinges on everyday life and how extremely interesting it is.

“Science is the most entertaining subject in the world. We shall try to show how entertaining it really can be made.”
The Long Island Star-Journal (Long Island, New York), December 29, 1961, announced it was going to run Our New Age and said about Evans:
Ray Evans, editorial cartoonist for the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch, as was his father before him, founded and edited Current Aviation, a technical weekly, started a “space science” series and recently introduced a n«w science feature, “science explains,” for the Dispatch
A family tree at Ancestry.com said Evans remarried on an unspecified date. His first wife remarried in 1966.

Evans passed away July 26, 1982, in Richmond, Indiana, according to his death certificate.



—Alex Jay

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Saturday, October 20, 2018

 

Herriman Saturday


October 2 1909 -- This microfilm was in such bad shape I ended up throwing in the towel on the clean-up work, but the art isn't so much the attraction as the gag, anyway. LA is talking about banning chickens within a hundred feet of residences. One inventive backyard flockster has come up with the bright idea of attaching chicken coops to balloons so that the cluckers can reside overhead and be within the letter of the law.

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Friday, October 19, 2018

 

Wish You Were Here, from Walter Wellman


Here is a 1906 card by Walter Wellman, showing an unexpected tender side to the normally wacky humor I associate with him. The card is copyrighted to Charles Rose, but as I am slowly coming to understand, Mr. Rose was generally the publisher, and the card printing was done by others. This one offers no clue to the printer, but it is R. Kaplan that is most often associated with him.

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A lot of cards were licensed by a local printer. Syndicated, you might say. This is most commonly seen in view cards, where a local outfit woul have a big company run off x number of cards using their ready to go images, with the name of the local merchant/tourist trap that commissioned it.

in this card the small "COPYRIGHT 1906" in the artwork probably means that Wellman owned the image, and it was licensed out to Chas. Rose.
 
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Thursday, October 18, 2018

 

Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: E.C. Felton


Eugene Clair Felton was born on October 25, 1926, in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio according to his Social Security application which named his parents, Harold R. Felton and Margaret Knallay.

The 1930 U.S. Federal Census listed Felton as the youngest of two sons. The family lived in Cuyahoga Falls at 1647 Olive Street. Felton’s father was an accountant at a rubber company.

According to the 1940, the Feltons moved from Cuyahoga Falls to Findlay, Ohio sometime after 1935. Felton and his parents resided at 131 18th Street. His father was a traffic manager at a rubber company.

Felton was a Michigan resident when he enlisted in the Army on February 12, 1945 at Fort Sheridan, Illinois.

After his service, Felton lived in or near Washington, D.C. He was a member of the Washington Society of Landscape Painters from 1947 to 1955. The Evening Star (Washington, DC), December 24, 1950, covered the Landscape Club’s exhibition at the Arts Club. The review said “Eugene Felton’s ‘City’ and Carl Nyquist’s ‘Dead End’ (street) convey moods of despair and mediocrity, respectively.” Information about Felton’s art training has not been found.

Felton was a commercial artist. His posters for Steak Ranch Restaurant were cited in a 1956 issue of Art Direction, a graphic arts magazine.

The Evening Star, February 13, 1959, named the new officers of the Creative Graphic Services Association of Washington. Felton was its secretary.

Felton Design Studio produced the design and art for Athelstan Spilhaus’s publication, Turn to the Sea, in 1959. In the book, Navy Surgeon (1959), author Herbert Lamont Pugh acknowledged Felton’s contributions, “These drawings were made for me by Eugene C. Felton, a member of the Audio- Visual- Educational-Aid Section of the Bureau….”

Felton was listed in Who’s Who in Commercial Art and Photography: A Guide to Artists, Photographers, Agents, Studios, Representatives and Buyers of Art in the Graphics Field (1960) 

FELTON, Eugene C. DI 7-8692
1700 - 1 St., NW, Washington, D. C.
and in the 1964 edition
Felton Design Studio FE 8-4294
1830 Jefferson P1. N.W., Washington, D.C.



American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Felton was the second of four artists to draw Our New Age which ran from September 21, 1958 to October 26, 1975. Carl Rose, as Earl Cros, produced the Sunday strip from September 21, 1958 to May 7, 1961. E.C. Felton did the Sundays from May 14, 1961 into 1962. Gene Fawcette continued the Sundays and later the dailies after Ray Evans, who did the dailies during 1962. Dr. Athelstan Spilhaus wrote the series for Publishers-Hall Syndicate.

Felton copyrighted his book and filmstrip Deep Frontier.

Felton passed away October 6, 1998 according to the Social Security Death Index. His last residence was Silver Spring, Maryland. Felton’s ex-wife died November 13, 2008. 




—Alex Jay

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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

 

Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Earl Cros


Earl Cros was the pseudonym/anagram of Carl Rose who was born on February 21, 1903, in Odessa, Russia. The birth information was on his World War II draft card. The same birth date is at the Social Security Death Index. According to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census, Rose’s family emigrated in 1907. 
His father was German and his mother Russian. Their naturalization papers have not yet been found at Ancestry.com. It’s possible Rose’s surname changed when he was naturalized.

Rose has not yet been found in the 1910 and 1920 censuses.

City Life Illustrated, 1890–1940: Sloan, Glackens, Luks, Shinn, Their Friends and Followers (1980) said Rose “studied at the Art Students League from 1923 to 1926 and again in 1928 under Boardman Robinson and John Sloan. According to his wife, Dorothy W. Rose: ‘There were other teachers, but these two had the greatest influence on him.’ In 1925, while still a student at the Art Students League, Rose began drawing for the New Yorker. During his career over 600 of his cartoons were published in the New Yorker….From 1927 to 1929 he worked for the New York Evening World. them he drew political cartoons for the Boston Herald from 1929 to 1932 and for a short-lived newspaper called P.M.”

Rose and Dorothy M. Wilson obtained a New York City marriage license on June 9, 1928.

The 1930 census recorded newspaper artist Rose and Dorothy in Boston, Massachusetts at 112 Revere Street.

In the 1940 census Rose’s home was at 197 Rowayton Avenue in Norwalk, Connecticut. According to the census, Rose resided in New York City in 1935. The self-employed commercial artist had two children: seven-year-old Paul, a Massachusetts native, and two-year-old Margaret, a New Yorker.

On February 16, 1942 Rose registered with the draft board in Rowayton, Connecticut. He stood five feet five inches and had hazel eyes and gray hair.

American Newspaper Comics (2012) 
said Rose was the first of four artists to draw Our New Age which ran from September 21, 1958 to October 26, 1975. Rose, as Earl Cros, produced the Sunday strip from September 21, 1958 to May 7, 1961. He was followed by E.C. Felton, Gene Fawcette and Ray Evans, who did the daily panel during 1962. Dr. Athelstan Spilhaus wrote the series for Publishers-Hall Syndicate.
 


City Life Illustrated said “Rose illustrated light stories for the New York Sunday World, New York Times Sunday Magazine, American Legion Magazine, Atlantic Monthly, Collier’s, and Saturday Evening Post.” Rose was a member of the National Cartoonists Society. Rose’s art appeared in Life Magazine issues May 9, 1938October 5, 1942 and August 29, 1960.

The Connecticut Death Index said Rose passed away June 20, 1971, in Norwalk, Connecticut. American Legion Magazine, August 1971, said “Artist and cartoonist Carl Rose died at Rowayton, Conn., on June 20 — aged 68 — after a long illness. Carl wasn’t a Legionnaire, but his work was familiar to our readers. The last job he ever did in his life was the line-drawing illustrations for our June 1971 cover article, ‘The Pentagon’s Alliance with Industry,’ which he worked on from his hospital room….”


Further Reading
Sunday Funnies Blast Off Into the Space Age

Biographical Sketches of Cartoonists & Illustrators in the Swann Collection of the Library of Congress



—Alex Jay

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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

 

I Learned it in the Funnies: Our New Age

There have been quite a few attempts to popularize science in the funnies, but without a doubt the most successful of them was Our New Age. Most strips tried to personalize or inject fun into the learning process, but that was never the approach of this strip, which took a no-nonsense approach. That's odd, because creator Athelstan Spilhaus was, besides behind a noted scientist, inventor and futurist, most definitely a bon vivant. He delighted in popularizing science for the common man, and it is strange that he didn't make more of an effort in Our New Age to be personable. Nevertheless, the strip was a big success.

Our New Age was perfectly timed for that success when it debuted from Hall Syndicate on September 21 1958. The newspaper-reading public was intensely fascinated by science and discovery since the Soviets had launched Sputnik less than a year before. They wanted to know what our own scientists we were up to, and how exactly they were going to shape the future. If they could get that information in a well-drawn comic strip, with clear and exciting explanations of the wonders to come, so much the better.

Athelstan Spilhaus had a big personality and a big brain. He was all over the map as a scientist because he was interested in just about everything, and he seemed able to make a major mark at anything to which he put a hand. The life story of this fascinating man is told in With Tomorrow in Mind, by Sharon Moen. It's an interesting read, and very reasonably priced in the Kindle edition.

Our New Age by 'Earl Cros', in which the principles of CD technology are obliquely discussed

 Our New Age debuted as a Sunday-only strip, with striking art by one "Earl Cros". If that name rings no bells, it's because there's no such cartoonist -- it is an anagram of Carl Rose. The famous New Yorker cartoonist evidently preferred to do this project under the radar so as not to dilute his star power as a magazine gag cartoonist. The brightly colored and stylish art just about jumps off the page, and was no doubt a big asset to getting the strip its initial large newspaper clientele. Rose added much-needed humor to the strip by humanizing Spilhaus's often coldly explained predictions of the future.

Rose bowed off the strip with the Sunday of May 7 1961, and was replaced by E.C. Felton. Felton was not nearly as accomplished a cartoonist as Rose, but he followed the example that bright colors and a bit of levity would help to get across Spilhaus's ideas.

Our New Age with art by E.C. Felton

Starting on the first day of 1962, Spilhaus added a daily version of the feature to his repertoire. The daily was a one-column panel, quite tall, and the rather minimal art was supplied by Ray Evans Jr.


1962 saw an additional change in the creative line-up. Starting on April 15, the Sunday art began to be credited to "Gene Felton". As later events would make plain, this name presumably indicates that E.C. Felton was now assisted by the man who would soon take over the feature, Gene Fawcette.

Our New Age by 'Gene Felton'
Felton's and Fawcette's very different styles were expertly combined in the 'Gene Felton' Sundays, with Fawcette's style slowly but surely taking over as weeks went by. From July 15 to September 2 all art credits disappeared from the strip (presumably this is Fawcette alone now), and then starting September 9 Fawcette was allowed to sign his work. Fawcette's art on the feature is very different than his predecessors. He employs a classy sketchy illustrative style with rarely a speck of humor evident. Instead of humor, Fawcette tried to attract eyes by drawing scantily clad women when possible, a not at all bad tactic. If the original art style was an important selling point for the strip, the change seemed to not have any negative impact on sales. In fact the strip apparently gained clients after the switch to Fawcette.

The final artist change was soon made. Ray Evans Jr. ended his stint on the daily after one year, and Gene Fawcette took it over with the December 31 1962 panel. Why all the artist changes? My theory, based on a reading of Spilhaius's biography, is that the man was hell on wheels to work with, as is often the case with geniuses. Although I have no documentary evidence for why Rose, Felton and Evans left the strip, it wouldn't surprise me a bit if it was clash of personality. Apparently this was never a problem for Fawcette, who would stick with the feature to the end, even outlasting Spilhaus himself.


The daily never did well in comparison to the Sunday, in fact it is a rather rare item. Spilhaus apparently decided it was no longer worth his time and he bowed out as writer on it on July 22 1967. Undaunted, the syndicate continued the daily panel with cartoonist Gene Fawcette now apparently handling the writing as well. In an attempt to make it a paying proposition, Fawcette and the syndicate began monkeying with it. On the first day of 1968, the title of the panel was changed to Now. Evidently that wasn't the magic bullet, so six months later, starting June 3, there was another name change, this time to New! Despite that exciting exclamation point, the change was greeted with indifference. Finally the syndicate (now Publishers-Hall since 1967) gave up and dropped the daily on May 3 1969. But Gene Fawcette decided that it still had some value, so he began self-syndicating it. He did so until November 30 1970, when Canada Wide Features took on the syndication of New! They supplied it both north and south of the border to very few clients until it was finally cancelled on July 6 1974.

The Sunday, with Spilhaus and Fawcette still at the helm, continued with a healthy client list through the end of the 1960s. It then began to falter. Whether this was because Spilhaus was running out of material, or readers were losing interest in cutting edge technologies I don't know. But there's no doubt that the distribution of the Sunday trails off in the 1970s. By 1974, Spilhaus decided he'd had enough. His last byline appeared on the Sunday of March 31 1974. Fawcette then took over all duties on the Sunday, but the writing was on the wall. Without the Spilhaus name clients were disappearing quickly. The Sunday was finally ended on November 26 1975. Art Lortie says that the last few Sundays were reprints of earlier material.

When President Kennedy needed someone to popularize science and technology at the Seattle World's Fair he called on Spilhaus to take on the huge project. When Spilhaus asked Kennedy why he'd been chosen, Kennedy reportedly said, "The only science I ever learned was from your comic strip in the Boston Globe." Athelstan Spilhaus is justly famous for many accomplishments, but he admitted that he would most likely be remembered primarily as the writer of Our New Age.








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Monday, October 15, 2018

 

Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Dave Gantz


David “Dave” Gantz was born on December 6, 1922, in the Bronx, New York, according to an interview, conducted by Jim Amash, in Alter Ego #13, March 2002. Gantz said he started drawing when he was six years old.

In the 1925 New York state census, Gantz was youngest of two sons born to Ben, a baker, and Esther, both Russian emigrants. They resided in the Bronx at 1411 Stebbins Avenue.

According to the 1930 census, the Gantz family numbered five with the addition of another son. They remained at the same address.

Gantz said he was twelve-and-a-half when enrolled in the High School of Music and Art. Gantz finished when he was sixteen-and-a-half. He received a scholarship at the National Academy of Design but left after six months. Gantz went on to study at Iowa University where he stayed a year. His father had suffered a heart attack and Gantz had to help support the family.

The 1940 census said Gantz, his parents and siblings were Bronx residents at 30 Buchanan Place.

In 1940 Gantz said he collaborated with Al Jaffe, a freelancer, on a few projects. Gantz showed his published work at Timely Comics and got a staff job. He worked mainly on the humor and funny animal titles. Gantz said he did some work on the super-hero books.

During World War II, Gantz enlisted in the army on October 27, 1944. Gantz’s art background allowed him to stay stateside. He painted a portrait of the camp general and ran the silk screen printing shop at another camp. Gantz continued to produce work for Timely while in service. After the war, Gantz freelanced for Timely and other comics publishers into the 1950s. Some of his work is listed at the Grand Comics Database and Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999.


According to the New York City, Marriage License Indexes, at Ancestry.com, David Gantz and Doris Ezersky got a Bronx marriage license on June 26, 1945.

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Gantz drew Dudley D. from March 5, 1961 to March 4, 1964 which was distributed first by New York Herald-Tribune then Publishers Syndicate. For the New York Times Special Features, Gantz did Don Q which debuted September 15, 1975 and ran several years.

Gantz Glances ran in Newsday. In 1998 Gantz received an National Cartoonists Society (NCS) award for Best Newspaper Panel for Gantz Glances produced in 1997. After Newsday, Gantz did editorial cartoons for the weekly New York newspaper, Courier.

Gantz’s NCS profile said he wrote and illustrated over 75 children’s books and did work for Boy’s Life, MAD, Pro Quarterback and Ziff-Davis. Gantz also did fine art sculpture and printmaking.

Gantz did Jews in America: A Cartoon History which was published in 2002.

Gantz passed away December 14, 2007. He was a resident of Floral Park, New York.


—Alex Jay

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Saturday, October 13, 2018

 

Herriman Saturday


September 26 1909 -- Herriman contributes another cartoon in the Examiner's crusade to get LA residents to buy school bonds.

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Friday, October 12, 2018

 

Wish You Were Here, from Dwig


This Dwig card is a high-class embossed Tuck production, from the "Cheer Up" series, #176. There is no copyright year, and the postmark is faded, but I'm guessing around 1909-1910. Dwig shows a surprisingly good understanding of color in lady's fashion for a fellow of the age.

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Thursday, October 11, 2018

 

Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Frank Borth


Frank Mellors Borth was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on April 1, 1918. His birth date is from the Social Security Death Index. Borth identified his birthplace in interviews at the sites American Dream Show and The Catholic University of America (2006). Borth’s middle name, Mellors, was his mother’s maiden name which was recorded on his marriage certificate.

In the 1920 U.S. Federal Census, Borth was the only child of Frank and Mabel. His father was a automobile machinist. The family resided in Cleveland at 7018 Clark Avenue, the same address was in the 1930 census.

According to the 1940 census, the Borth family address was 3126 West 73 Street in Cleveland.

Regarding his education Borth said:

I attended Cleveland high schools and graduated, then attended the Cleveland School of Art. That’s where I learned to be an artist. It’s a four year term same as college. After the four years was up, I wanted to get into some employment for all of this artwork that I knew that I could do. You see, cause I had paid my way through art school by being a sign painter….
One of his classmates was Reed Crandall. Borth graduated in 1940 and moved to New York City in 1941 at the urging of Crandall. They shared an apartment on 37th Street near the Empire State Building. In the early 1940s, Borth’s comic book pages were published by Marvel, Harvey, Lev Gleason, Quality and others. After World War II, Borth drew numerous stories for Treasure Chest comic books from the 1950s through the 1960s.

During World War II, Borth enlisted in the army on March 1, 1943.

Borth married Barbara Ann Stroh on July 1, 1944 in Dauphin, Pennsylvania, according to the Pennsylvania marriage record at Ancestry.com. Their marriage was noted in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 2. A longer article about Borth’s marriage appeared July 16.

Home from their son's wedding in Harrisburg, Pa., are Mr. and Mrs. Frank G. Borth, 3126 W. 73d Street. The wedding took place July 1 in Messiah Lutheran Church. The bride is the former Miss Barbara Ann Stroh, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles H. Stroh. The bridegroom is Tech. Sergt. Frank Mellors Borth who is stationed at Indiantown Gap Military Reservation. His grandmother, Mrs. Katerine Borth, was among the Clevelanders at the wedding along with Mrs. Frank W. Flurry and Mrs. C.H. Keller.

Miss Priscilla Stroh was maid of honor for her sister, and the bridesmaid was Miss Janet Carpenter. Corp. Nicolai Shutorev was best man, and the ushers were Sergt. Constantine Callenicos, Segt. John Grietzer, Sergt. Edward Robbins and Sergt. Hyman Wasserman. A reception followed at the bride's home.

Miss Stroh received her bachelor's degree from Wilson College, Chambersburg, Pa., where she majored in biology. She is now assistant seed analyst in the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. Mr. Borth was graduated from the Cleveland School of Art and was an illustrator in New York before entering the army. He has recently completed a mural for the post service club.
Borth was discharged February 15, 1946.

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Borth created the strip Ken Stuart which ran from September 8, 1947 to 1949. It was distributed by the Frank Jay Markey Syndicate. Later, Borth worked on There Oughta Be a Law which began with art by Al Fagaly who was followed by Warren Whipple. The strip was initially written by Harry Shorten. Borth did the scripting from 1971 to 1983.

In the 1980s and 1990s Borth’s illustrations appeared in publications including Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, Amazing Stories, Cracked and Monsters Attack.

Borth passed away August 9, 2009, in Newville, Pennsylvania according to a September 2, 2009 obituary at Hamptons.com. The Social Security Death Index said Borth’s last residence was Dedham, Massachusetts, which was his son’s home town. 


—Alex Jay

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

 

Obscurity of the Day: Ken Stuart









The Frank Jay Markey syndicate was basically a one-man operation (that would be Frank himself, natch). As far as I know, the only real success for the firm was Mr. Markey's own column, which was not even by any means a blockbuster. Still, the syndicate operated for many years in the 1930s and 40s, so the cash flow must have been at least modestly positive. Markey liked comic strips and dabbled in a few releases. Their biggest mark in that realm was talking Rube Goldberg into syndicating Lala Palooza through them in 1936, but the strip was another commercial failure for Rube, who by then seemed to chafe at being the wild and wacky funny cartoonist.

Markey's only foray into serious strips was in 1947 with Ken Stuart, written and drawn by Frank Borth. The daily-only strip debuted on Spetember 8 1947*. Borth was primarily a comic book cartoonist at this time and it shows in this strip, which is very much like the lower-end comic books of the day. When I say that, I mean that the art looks rushed and the stories tend to be action-packed but rather dopey. Why did Borth squander this chance at the big time, the dream of most comic book cartoonists? Probably it is because Borth was making so little money off it that he was trying to juggle it along with a heavy schedule of comic book work to pay the bills.

The strip is about a sailor, Ken Stuart, who owns and operates a sailboat for hire. The adventures come with his clientele, who get him into all sorts of jams. Military maritime strip Don Winslow of the Navy was a success, but civilian boating adventures were tried several times in comics, never leaving much of a wake. The earliest I can think of is Coulton Waugh's Dickie Dare, which took to sea under Coulton Waugh's watch and pretty much never looked back. In the 1950s there was Marlin Keel, and in the late 1960s, Kevin the Bold changed focus to become Up Anchor. While some of these strips ran for a long time, none were exactly syndication powerhouses.

Markey and Borth gave Ken Stuart plenty of time to catch a strong wind in its sails, but the strip remained stubbornly becalmed. After a year and a half, they reluctantly pulled the plug and let the ship go down. The final strip was April 30 1949**.


* Source: St. Petersburg Times
** Source: Boston Globe

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Tuesday, October 09, 2018

 

Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Bill Bailey



Bill Bailey may have been a common name but, as it turned out, there were very few artists with the Bailey name. Usually I use the keywords cartoonist or artist plus the surname in a search of census records. Bailey plus cartoonist produced Bill's brother Henry/Harry in 1930 and 1940. Bailey plus artist resulted in a William Bailey who decorated tin objects and another William who was born in 1903, too young to have drawn Kiddie Kapers. So there was just one William/Bill Bailey who was a commercial artist and worked in animation. The other possibility is "Bill" was a nickname for a name other than William.—AJ



William Owen “Bill” Bailey Jr. was born on December 9, 1887, in Woods Hole (village), Falmouth (town), Massachusetts. The birth date is from two Massachusetts birth records at Ancestry.com, The American Descendants of Chrétien Du Bois of Wicres, France, Parts 13–16 (1977) and his gravesite. However, Bailey’s World War I and II draft cards have the year 1888. The birth records said Bailey’s father was a signal observer.

In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Bailey, age 12, was the oldest of three sons born to William, a lieutenant in the Signal Corps, and Mary. Bailey’s brothers were Eugene, 10, and Henry, 8. The family lived in St. Paul, Minnesota at 694 Edmund Street.

According to the 1910 census, Bailey, Eugene and their retired father were Brooklyn, New York residents at 12 Lafayette Avenue. Bailey was an engraver in the jewelry trade.

The 1915 New York state census said Bailey, his parents and siblings, Henry and Dorothy were living in Mount Vernon, New York at 315 North 7th Avenue. Bailey and his brother were artists.

On June 5, 1917, Bailey and Henry signed their World War I draft cards. Bailey resided in Mount Vernon at 317 North 7th Avenue and was an artist in New York City at 20 East 42nd Street; his employer was not named. Henry was married and made his home in Mount Vernon at 406 Union Avenue. Henry aka Harry was employed as an artist at the animation shop, Bray Studio. He passed away in 1958.

The Daily Argus (Mount Vernon, New York), June 25, 1917, reported Bailey’s enlistment, “William O. Bailey, Jr., of 317 North Seventh avenue, a promising young artist and winner of a scholarship at the Art Students’ League in New York, has enlisted in the Ambulance corps and is in training at Allentown, Pa.”

Bailey’s service record, at the New York State Archives’ World War I Veterans' Service Data and Photographs, had his birth information (birth year 1889), parents names and home address. The artist was inducted at Governor’s Island in New York City on June 16, 1917. Bailey was a private in Army Ambulance Corps, Company 567 which was attached to the 40th Division of the French Army. He was stationed at Camp Crane in Allentown, Pennsylvania. On January 8, 1918 Bailey was sent overseas. He was in the battles at Champagne, Marne (July 1918) and Meuse, Argonne (November 1918). Bailey was wounded July 15, 1918 at Champagne Epreuay. He received the Croix de Guerre twice: first at Champagne, Marne, July 15, 1918, and second at Meuse, Argonne, November 11, 918. Bailey was discharged April 23, 1919 at Fort Dix, New Jersey.

The Daily Argus, November 23, 1918, explained how Bailey was wounded.

...From a hospital on July 19, young Bailey wrote home that he was stasioned [sic] just back of the front lines when a terrific fight was commenced. He did not specify the exact sector, but from information subsequently obtained his parents are of the impression that it was at Chateau Thierry, or somewhere between the Marne and the Aisne rivers. It was July 15 and word came for the corps to go forward and get the wounded. For six hours they had been under a terrific gas attack from the Germans, but unmindful of that the ambulance drivers, doctors and stretcher bearers went on. Back and forth went the ambulances, one of which, it is reported, was driven by the Mount Vernon man. While these ambulances proceeded in their humane duty, German aircraft followed them, dropping bombs here and there.

Private Bailey was driving over the shell torn field with some wounded men when he was struck in the chin by a bullet from a machine gun which was attached to one of the Huns’ aircraft. The wound was not of a serious nature, but extremely painful. Howeevr [sic], the Mount Vernonite could not stop there. He continued to the lines and was later taken to a base hospital. He had the satisfaction, it is reported, to see the Hun craft from which the bullet that struck him was fired, brought to the earth, enveloped in flames....
American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Bailey produced the Kiddie Kapers panel in 1918 for the National Cartoon Service. It ran into the 1920s through two other syndicates, U.S. Feature Service, and Columbia Newspaper Service.

The 1920 census recorded Bailey, his parents and sister at 317 North 7th Avenue in Mount Vernon. Bailey was a motion pictures artist.

Bailey’s marriage was reported in the Daily Argus, October 4, 1922.





The Bronx, New York City was Bailey’s home in the 1925 New York state census. His address was 3279 Hull Avenue. Bailey and his wife had a one-year-old daughter, Ruth.

Bailey won the Women and Missions’ cover contest; a 1926 issue said

Our “Permanent” Cover
With this first magazine in our third volume, we use for the first time the cover selected in the cover contest held last fall. The artist is William O. Bailey, Jr., of New York. Mr. Bailey’s entry in the competition was chosen by the cover contest committee, first for its suitability—the main essential; second, for its ecclesiastical conception and dignity, and third, for excellence of workmanship and flexibility of use. It is not our plan to use this cover regularly—we shall continue our picture covers, which have proved so popular the past two years. There are times, however, when suitable pictures are not readily available and it is well to have a “permanent” cover to fall back upon. Also, some of our readers have had a bit of regretful fondness for the uniform covers of the “old” magazines, Woman’s Work and Home Mission Monthly, and they have written us of their desire to “see the same cover” occasionally. Again, this new cover will allow us a little more opportunity in the use of color, for not all colors are satisfactory on our paper in connection with all-over pictures. The space occupied on this cover by the picture of the Mount of Olives—a truly Easter view—will occasionally be taken by announcements of articles or verse. A brief account of Mr. Bailey is printed elsewhere in this magazine.
In the same issue was a profile of Bailey.
Mr. William O. Bailey, a professional artist in New York City, was the successful winner of the $50 prize offered in the cover contest held by Women and Missions last fall. Mr. Bailey says that his attention was first directed to the announcement of this competition in the July 1925, Women and Missions by his mother-in-law, Mrs. W. A. Miles of Mt. Vernon, N. Y., a member of the Presbyterian missionary society. Mr. Bailey was baptized a Presbyterian by Dr. Nichols, in St. Louis, and in response to a request for a brief biography, he says emphatically: “I believe in the church and all it represents.”

He was horn in Woods Hole, Mass., in 1889 [sic], and at the early age of thirteen set out to earn his living. His desire for art led him to become apprentice to an engraver but while learning and working here, he went at night to study art in the Art Students’ League of New York. There he won a scholarship, and soon began to “get experience” in the art department of an advertising agency During the World War. Mr. Bailey served overseas, being wounded at the Battle of the Marne. He later returned to the front, and finally went with the Army of Occupation into Germany. He was decorated with two citations for the Croix-de-Guerre.
The 1930 census said advertising artist Bailey, his artist wife and two daughters, were in the household of Walter A. Miles, his father-in-law. Also in the household were Miles’ wife, daughter and two sons. They lived in Mount Vernon at 37 South Eleventh Avenue.

The Bailey family of four made their home in Eastchester, New York at 67 Archer Drive, as recorded in the 1940 census. In 1939 Bailey worked 52 weeks and earned $2,600 as an artist in the theater industry.

Bailey signed his World War II draft card on April 25, 1942. His home address was 305 Sixth Avenue in Pelham, New York. His employer was Paul Terry, located at 271 North Avenue, in New Rochelle, New York. Bailey’s description was five feet ten inches, 145 pounds with blue eyes and gray hair, and “gun shot wound right lower jaw”.

A photograph of Bailey, from a Christmas card, is here.

Bailey’s watercolor paintings were mentioned 
frequently in the Daily Argus. The November 11, 1948 edition reported the exhibition at the Westchester Woman’s Club and said
One is almost immediately in a world of fantasy when viewing a watercolor done by William O. Bailey, showing a steep bluff reaching into the sky with a narrow peak. Overhanging this peak on both sides is a crumbling frame house. Grotesque arms of naked trees are thrust out from either side of the bluff. An unusual sensation of “waiting” for a catastrophe is created by the painting.


Daily Argus 6/1/1949

The Daily Argus, March 14, 1951, said Bailey won a blue ribbon, first prize for his watercolor, “Light Snow”, at the annual Westchester Woman’s Club exhibition.

Bailey passed away May 27, 1964. He was laid to rest at the National Cemetery in Beverly, New Jersey.



—Alex Jay

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Monday, October 08, 2018

 

Obscurity of the Day: Kiddie Kapers





Kiddie Kapers may not offer a lot of obvious interest, sporting as it does rather weak cartooning and lackluster poetry, but there is an interesting aspect to this feature. If you're not a real newspaper comics geek, you can go ahead and stop reading now, because I'm not going to be telling you that creator Bill Bailey was the actual guy the famous song was written about or anything exciting like that. No, what I find interesting is that Kiddie Kapers helps to shed some interesting light on a few hole-in-the-wall syndicates.Those not already nodding off, please continue reading.

The feature was originally syndicated by National Cartoon Service, which only had a handful of known offerings. They seemed to have come onto the scene in early 1915 with a short list of three features, and added a few more features later that year and in subsequent years. Their schtick was to number each episode, and sell the material in batches -- this was seen as a useful thing by some small papers that were more interested in filling holes than in running an every day regular comic strip. It also allowed NCS to resell their few offering year after year. Ken Kling's Hank And Pete, debuting in 1916, was the closest thing the syndicate ever had to a success. Kiddie Kapers appears to have been the final new feature offered by NCS, first appearing as best I can tell in February 1918*.

Kiddie Kapers may have been a Johnny-come-lately at the faltering syndicate, but in comparison to their other features creator Bill Bailey cranked out material at a much faster clip if the numbering of the panels is any guide.  By the time NCS seems to have called it quits in mid-1919, the numbering of Kiddie Kapers was already up into the 100s.

When NCS was shuttered, much of their material was sold to another hole-in-the-wall syndicate, called the US Feature Service. That is my presumption, but maybe US Feature Service was actually a more generally named continuation of National Cartoon Service -- I can find no evidence one way or the other. In any case, US Feature Service used the same business model as NCS, numbering their strips and reselling them for years. I used to presume that the NCS material they inherited was sold only in reprints, but further research shows that Kiddie Kapers, at least, was still being cranked out by Bill Bailey for the new company. The numbering on his panels grows to at least the 300s in the newly-categorized "A" series, and at least into the 200s for a B series.

At some point most of US Feature Service's material migrated over to yet another hole-in-the-wall outfit, this one called the Columbia Newspaper Service. Unlike the others, Columbia seems to have never produced any new material -- they merely resold old stock. The date on this changeover is much harder to pin down. Kiddie Kapers seems to have made the transition in 1922, at least that's when it starts appearing with the panel numbers and US Feature syndicate stamps removed, but other features didn't seem to make the transition until later. Either that or Columbia didn't even bother to take the old syndicate stamps off some material.

It is hard to tell just how long Columbia continued reselling their material, because papers that bought these big batches could run them literally years after making the purchase. However, the last year that Columbia advertised their moldy old wares was in the 1930 edition of the Editor & Publisher Syndicate Directory.

* Source: Salisbury Evening Post.

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Saturday, October 06, 2018

 

Herriman Saturday


September 25 1909 -- The Pittsburg(h) Pirates are going to the World Series to face off against the Detroit Tigers, an occasion that warrants a rare Herriman cartoon about the major leagues. The vast bulk of Herriman's baseball cartoons cover the Pacific Coast teams.

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Friday, October 05, 2018

 

Wish You Were Here, from Charles Dana Gibson


Here's another card from that Gibson line published by Detroit Publishing, this one being #14006. Odd thing about this card is that the reverse is completely blank. I have several like this. Maybe these postcards were also sold as notecards?

This famous Gibson cartoon with its unusual perspective has always reminded me of Andrew Wyeth's famous painting, Christina's World.

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It is unusual that the card is blank on one side. Ordinarily my guess would be that it might be a Mutoscope card, one that could be used as a post card if you chose, but Detroit Publishing seems to be too classy for that. I know that this is a post card, the "14,006" is fitting with the Gibson series cards.
You may have a rare misprint, or perhaps, half-print.
Incidentally, this cartoon was the centerspread of LIFE's 1 October 1896 ish.
 
Just a question. Where do you guys draw the line between cartoon and illustration? This would be a ill in my book.
 
I think there's a pretty vast gray area. Is Hal Foster's Prince Valiant cartooning or illustration? What about McCay's editorial cartoons? In fact, is anything not going for a laugh automatically illustration?

The answer, to my thinking, lies in that illustrations are meant to provide graphic definition to what are primarily written works, whereas cartoons rely on the graphic, and the words are important but secondary. Therefore the McCay example is definitely illustration, whereas Foster is very much straddling two worlds. The illustration and prose are almost 50/50 collaborators in his case. As to the Gibson card? I think it is a cartoon.

All that being said, I can very easily see counter-arguments.

Good question anonymous. --Allan
 
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Thursday, October 04, 2018

 

Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Lillian Steinert


Lillian Currier Steinert was born on July 26, 1878, in Manhattan, New York City, according to Find a Grave. Her full name was published in History of the Mohawk Valley, Gateway to the West, 1614–1925: Covering the Six Counties of Schenectady, Schoharie, Montgomery, Fulton, Herkimer, and Oneida, Volume 4 (1925). Her parents were Howard Gray Steiner and Fannie Beers.

Steinert has not yet been found in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census.

The 1900 census recorded the family trio in Manhattan at 1966 Seventh Avenue. Steinert’s father was a customs inspector. Information about Steinert’s art training has not been found.

Steinert was a contributor to the International Syndicate’s illustrated humor page. Her illustrations appeared in the Louisville Courier-Journal (Kentucky), on October 12, 1902. It’s likely her drawings appeared in other publications.

Steinert may have been a public school teacher. A “Lillian Steinert” was listed in the Estimates of the Departments: Board of Education, Judiciary and Officers of the City of New York for the Year 1906.

In 1906 Steinert married Nelson Beach Greene who was also an artist and historian. Their daughter, Sarah, was born April 4, 1907. (Steinert should not be confused with artist Lillian S. Greene who was also born in New York but in 1856. Her husband was William Greene.)

According to the 1910 census the family of three were Manhattan residents at 617–619 West 144 Street. Steinert and her husband were self-employed artists.

At some point they moved upstate. The 1915 New York State census listed Steinert and her family in her father’s household on Piermont Avenue in Orangetown, Rockland County, New York.

The quintet were in Manhattan at 633 West 148 Street in the 1920 census. Steinert was no longer working. Her husband was a poster artist with the United Cigar Company.

Steinert’s mother was the head of the household in the 1925 New York state census. The family of four resided in Fort Plain, Montgomery County at 5 West Street. Steinert’s husband was an author and newspaperman.

Steinert has not yet been found in the 1930 census.

Steinert contributed to her husband’s publication, 34 Poems: 21 Poems with Fort Plain and Mohawk Valley Themes. The publishing date in not known.

The 1940 census said Steinert and her husband, a newspaper editor, lived at the same address recorded in the 1925 state census. Their house was valued at six-thousand dollars. The census said Steinert completed four years of high school education and did not attend college.

Steinert passed away December 8, 1945, in Fort Plain, New York, according to the New York Death Index at Ancestry.com. She was laid to rest at the Fort Plain Cemetery.

Steinert’s husband passed away November 11, 1955 in Fort Plain. Greene knew the author Stephen Crane and they shared a studio with others.

Greene’s illustrations appeared in many publications including Collier’s Weekly, Puck, and New York Tribune
Maybe Steinert lent a hand in some of Greene’s work. 

Greene was mentioned in The Sun and the New York Herald. As a historian he wrote about Mohawk ValleyThe New York Times, May 5, 1963, reported the Fort Plain restoration and said the dedication of the Nelson Greene Memorial house occurred almost two years earlier. 

—Alex Jay

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Wednesday, October 03, 2018

 

Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Charles E. Bell




Charles E Bell was born in August 1873, in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The birth date is from the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, however his age in later censuses suggest a birth in 1874. The New York Times, June 12, 1935, said Bell was born in Williamsport.

In the 1880 census, Bell was the third of five children born to C. E. [Charles Edward], a contractor, and Fanny C. The family lived in Williamsport at 106 Upper Vim St.

The New York Times said Bell “joined The [Philadelphia] Inquirer in September, 1898, as an assistant in the art department. His portraits of politicians, sports figures and stage performers became familiar features of the newspaper.”

The 1900 census recorded the Bell family of eight in Williamsport at 523 5th Avenue. Twenty-six-year-old Bell was working as an artist.

Pennsylvania marriage records, at Ancestry.com, recorded the union of Bell and Isabelle T. Foley on July 23, 1900 in Philadelphia.

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Bell produced three series for the Inquirer. Happy Bridget ran from August 18 to October 6, 1901 with assistance by Clare Dwiggins on September 15. Foolish Questions appeared in the spring of 1909. Third was Isn’t This the Funny World?, running from January 28, 1912 into 1913.

Bell contributed a drawing to Bohemia: Official Publication of the International League of Press Clubs for the Building and Endowment of the Journalists’ Home (1904).

According to the 1910 census, Bell resided in Philadelphia at 5922 Cedar Avenue. He was a newspaper art director. His daughter, Kathryn, was six years old. Bell’s address and occupation were the same in the 1920 census.

Newspaper cartoonist Bell and his family lived in Cheltenham, Pennsylvania at 8225 Manor Road as recorded in the 1930 census.

The Inquirer, May 10, 1935, reported the celebratory activities of “Philadelphia on Parade” at Convention Hall and Commercial Museum. At the Inquirer’s exhibit was Bell.

...But what drew the crowds was the work of Charles E. Bell, Inquirer cartoonist, who in rapid succession sketched well-known figures. Hardly had he started when requests began to flow in. The cartoonist obligingly drew his conception of ball-players, movie actors and other favorites and presented the sketch to the one who had asked that it be made….
Bell passed away June 11, 1935, in Avalon, New Jersey. The Inquirer said Bell was at his summer home. The cause was heart disease.
“Charlie” Bell, as he was known to innumerable intimates and to more than a generation of newspapermen and readers, was as much a historian of the first three decades of Philadelphia’s 20th century with the brush and pen as were his colleagues “on the news side” with their pencils and typewriters.

…Primarily a cartoonist, Mr. Bell had a talent for portraiture, and his heads of persons prominent in the news—politicians, sports figures, men and women of the stage—were familiar features of The Inquirer for many years…

—Alex Jay

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Tuesday, October 02, 2018

 

Obscurity of the Day: Foolish Questions





Charles Bell was a sports cartoonist for the Philadelphia Inquirer in the 1900s-30s, working in tandem at that paper with the sports cartoonist with the greatest pen name ever -- Jim Nasium. Nasium was the better cartoonist of the two, and maybe that had something to do with Bell trying to garner some attention by adding to his repertoire a panel cartoon titled Foolish Questions.

How Bell expected to shine up his reputation by making a bald-faced copy of Rube Goldberg's famed Foolish Questions is anyone's guess, but he did indeed do just that. The first panel of the series, run March 20 1909*, actually had a nod toward originality by creating a character who would ask the dumb questions. That first panel, titled Inquisitive Hector, was the beginning and ending of what might have been an entertaining twist on Goldberg's concept.

Foolish Questions rarely ran more than once a week, sometimes appearing separately and sometimes as part of Bell's sports cartoon. In terms of pure humor, Bell did a pretty good job of copying the Goldberg brand of lunacy that made the panel so popular. This is more than some other copycats did, like Ray Ewer's rather bland Those Ridiculous Questions. However, Bell either didn't have the chops to offer the panels more often, or the Inquirer was less than interested in courting a lawsuit. Therefore, Foolish Questions last ran on June 14, having not run more than a dozen times in those three months.


*Source: all dates from Philadelphia Inquirer.

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I notice that three of the four cartoons reprinted here have the answer on the left and the question on the right, as though the English language weren't written left to right.

Was it not yet a standard practice that the dialogue in comics should generally be read left to right like everything else in English?
 
Joshua --
Though left to right reading balloons seem obvious today, it is amazing how long it took some cartoonists to get on the bandwagon. You often see 'backwards' dialog in the 1900s, even from some of the greats. Winsor McCay was an occasional offender! --Allan
 
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Monday, October 01, 2018

 

Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Louis G. Ferstadt




1937

Louis Goodman Ferstadt was born on October 7, 1900 in Berestechko, Russia, according to Who’s Who in American Jewry (1933). Ferstadt’s parents were Harry Wolf Berkowitz Ferstadt and Jennie Gahr. Ferstadt emigrated in 1910. A passenger list at Ancestry.com listed a Ferstadt family of five who arrived in Philadelphia on April 7, 1910. Tente and her four children had departed aboard the steamship Breslau from Bremen, Germany on March 24. The oldest child was Chane, an eleven-year-old female, followed by three males, Berel, ten; Mojsche, nine; and Leiser, one. Mojsche, I believe, was Louis Ferstadt. The passage was paid by Tente’s husband Chaskel Ferstadt who resided at 14 O’Brien Street in Chicago, Illinois.

Who’s Who in American Jewry said Ferstadt studied at Chicago’s Hull House from 1916 to 1917. The Chicago Daily Tribune, June 27, 1918, published lists of graduates from several high schools. Ferstadt completed the Four Year General Course program at Medill. He continued his art training at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 1918 to 1923. Ferstadt was on the Chicago Tribune art staff from 1918 to 1919.

St. Nicholas, January 1918, included Ferstaft, for his drawing, on its Roll of Honor.

In the 1920 U.S. Federal Census, Ferstadt, his parents, Harry and Jennie, and two older siblings, Dora and Ben, were Chicago residents at 1612 South Lawndale Avenue. His father was a dry goods salesman. Ferstadt was unemployed.

Works by Ferstadt were included in The Book and Catalogue of the Second Retrospective Exhibition of the Art Institute Alumni Association (1922) and The Thirtieth Annual Exhibition of the Works of the Art Students League of Chicago (1923).

Who’s Who in American Jewry said Ferstadt won a scholarship, in 1923, to the Art Students League in New York City. Who’s Who in American Art (1935) said Ferstadt was a pupil of Harry I. Stickroth (Art Institute of Chicago) and Kenneth Hayes Miller (Art Students League, New York).

The 1925 New York state census recorded artist Ferstadt and his brother Benjamin, a bookbinder, in Brooklyn, New York at 91 Hicks Street.

American Newspaper Comics (2012) aid Ferstadt drew The Kids in Our Block aka Our East Side Gang, beginning in 1926, for the New York Evening Graphic.

Eastern Edition of Advertising Arts and Crafts (1927) had this listing, “Ferstadt, Louis G., 108 East Ohio, Sup 3666 Chicago, Ill.”

Who’s Who in American Jewry said Ferstadt married Sophie Freedman on January 16, 1930 in Brooklyn.

According to the 1930 census, Ferstadt lived alone at 178 Clinton Street in Brooklyn. He was a self-employed portrait painter.

The Kingston Daily Freeman (New York), November 26, 1931, covered recent exhibitions and said

…There is another opening this week, that of paintings by Louis G. Ferstadt at the Studio Gallery in New York. Mr. Ferstadt is a talented young painter who is better known in New York than he is in Woodstock, where he lived and worked the past two or three summers. Ferstadt combines a modern technique with something of the emotional imagination.
Ferstadt was listed in volume 29 of the American Art Annual (1932), “Ferstadt, Louis Goodman, Public Theatre Bldg., 66 Second Ave.. New York; h. 166 Ross”. 

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts’s Catalogue of the Thirty-Second Annual Water Color Exhibition and the Thirty-Third Annual Exhibition of Miniatures, November 4–December 9, 1934, included a work by Ferstadt, “Students” (Lithograph, scratched on Solid Black). His address was 66 Second Avenue, New York City.

Two pieces by Ferstadt were shown in the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Second Biennial Exhibition, Part Two: Watercolors and Pastels, February 18 to March 18, 1936.  His address was 242 East 19th Street, New York City.

Who’s Who in American Jewry said Ferstadt wrote scenarios for animated cartoons in 1935. Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999 said Ferstadt worked at the Eisner and Iger studio from 1937 to 1939. Ferstadt formed his own studio and produced material for several comic book publishers. Ferstadt copyrighted Bob Kodar, The Hoppers, and Peter Gritt.

Architecture critic Lewis Mumford mentioned Ferstadt in his review published in The New Yorker, April 17, 1937. Mumford’s review was reprinted in Sidewalk Critic: Lewis Mumford's Writings on New York (1998). 

…The most important innovation in wall decoration, however, was the design for a colored sign by Louis Ferstadt for the whole outside wall of a building. This is the first time, so far as I know, that a serious artist has attempted a wall decoration in electric lights, and though Ferstadt’s design was in the nature of a comic strip, I think this sort of thing need not be passed off with a Wrigley laugh. Is there any reason glass or pre-cast concrete tile should not be equipped with sockets so that entirely new effects could be worked out in colored lights, using smaller bulbs, placed more closely together?
Ferstadt produced a subway mural for the 1939 New York World’s Fair.

Ferstadt has not yet been found in the 1940 census. During the 1940s Manhattan city directories listed Ferstadt’s address as 2 West 45th Street. In 1953 his address was 510 West 124 Street and in 1959 it was 110 East 99th Street.

Who’s Who in American Art, Volume 9 (1953) said Ferstadt was an art director at Fox Features Syndicate and affiliated with the Federal Art Project.

The copyright for Ferstadt’s Sir Hokus Pokus and Junior was held by his wife, Sophie. The success of the book was reported in Publishers Weekly, March 8, 1947. 

Louis Ferstadt’s first book, “Sir Hokus Pokus and Junior” which he published late last fall, has now sold 60,000 copies. 
Mr. Ferstadt who did both the illustrations and text for “Sir Hokus Pokus and Junior” started his own firm, Louis Ferstadt Productions, in August 1946 (PW, August 31). Now that the first title has been launched, the firm plans to do a second printing of the same book, another story about “Sir Hokus Pokus” and other children’s books.
Ferstadt passed away August 18, 1954 in Phoenicia, New York. The New York Times, August 20, 1954, said the cause was a heart attack at a summer camp. Ferstadt lived at 110 East 99th Street in Manhattan.


—Alex Jay

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