Monday, September 01, 2014


From the Sub-Basement of the Archives: Jimmy Walker Bio by Hearst Cartoonists

Found a photocopy of this neat strip in one of my ginormous "to be filed" piles. All the leading lights of the Hearst syndicates are represented -- George McManus, Harry Hershfield, Tom McNamara, Ad Carter, Walter Hoban, Jimmy Murphy, George Herriman, Jack Callahan, Chic Young, Ed Verdier, Cliff Sterrett, Tad Dorgan, Milt Gross, Billy DeBeck, and filling in all the unsigned panels, Rube Goldberg.

Jimmy Walker was mayor of New York City from 1926 to 1932, and based on the age cited in the next to  last panel, this strip was produced in early to mid-1928. I'm guessing this was drawn for the program of some ceremony or banquet, but the photocopy gives no clue regarding the original source.


Comments: Post a Comment

Sunday, August 31, 2014


Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics


And think of the joy that you brought countless others -- myself included. Well done, sir and it ain't over yet!
I feel that way about what I ended up doing.....Used Books.
I did write cartoon gags for a couple years....which was wonderful too!
Post a Comment

Saturday, August 30, 2014


Herriman Saturday

Tuesday, August 18 1908 -- Another six days passes in the Examiner without a major Herriman cartoon, then this effort signals his return as a regular.

The L.A. Republican convention happens today, and the few remaining Lincoln-Roosevelters have been seated all the way at the back of the hall, after their candidates were mostly routed by corporate machine picks, led by machine boss Parker.


Comments: Post a Comment

Friday, August 29, 2014


Sci-Friday starring Connie

Connie, March 14 1937, courtesy of Cole Johnson. 
Follow the Connie story every Friday here on Stripper's Guide.


Hi Allan,
You rat! (not really, of course):

Connie, daring young modern girl....and the Cosmic Accumulator - wonderful!!
Now, I will have to go back and read all of your Friday entries.... the drawings are great. A bit like Harrison Fisher or Howard Chandler Christy....turn of the century stuff - very nice.

I have already started into your archived blogs - thru 2005's.
joe t.

Post a Comment

Thursday, August 28, 2014


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: C.D. Russell

Clarence David Russell was born in Buffalo, New York on August 19, 1896, according to his World War I and II draft cards. The same birthdate was recorded in U.S. Veterans Gravesites, ca.1775-2006 at

In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, he was the first of two children born to Hamilton and Elizabeth. They lived in Buffalo at 43 East Balcom Street. His father was a bookkeeper.

In the next census, the Russells remained in Buffalo, but at 143 North Pearl. Russell’s father was a claims agent. Their address was the same in the 1915 New York State Census.

The Buffalo Evening News, June 24, 1915, said Russell graduated from Lafayette High School that evening. According to Russell’s obituary in the New York Times, October 25, 1963, he studied at the Chicago Art Institute.

Russell signed his World War I draft card on June 5, 1918. He resided at 136 West 16th Street, Manhattan, New York City. He worked for the Western Electric Company, and named his father as his nearest relative. His description was medium height, slender build with blue eyes and light brown hair. History of Buffalo and Erie County, 1914-1919 (1920) had this entry: “Russell, Clarence D.—1st-class Pvt., Co. F, 11th USM.”

The Western Electric News published one of his cartoons in its August 1918 issue.

The Buffalo Courier-Express, October 23, 1918, noted Russell’s achievement as a cartoonist.
Buffalo Boy’s Cartoons Make Hit with MarinesCorporal Clarence D. Russell, 143 North Pearl street, is making a reputation for himself as a cartoonist in the Marine corps. He enlisted in this branch of the service last May and after a short period of training at Paris Island, was sent to the camp at Quantico where he soon be came associated with the Marines’ newspaper, The Leatherneck. 
A short time ago Corporal Russell was ordered to France. Before he sailed he sketched the officers and some of the rookies in the camp and these pen pictures will be distributed in a booklet to be published by the Marines. He will remain a member of the staff of The Leatherneck while “over there.”
“Russell will be part of the outfit which will compile a daily history of the regiment under the supervision of Colonel Van Ordence and Captain John H. Craige, intelligence officer,” says The Leatherneck in a recent issue. 
Russell is a graduate of the Lafayette high school with the class of 1915.
The American Review of Reviews, November 1918, reprinted one of his Leatherneck cartoons.

The Buffalo Evening News, November 7, 1918, printed this item:

Word has been received by Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton Russell of the safe arrival of their son, Corporal Clarence D. Russell, who embarked will the Intelligence Staff of the 11th regiment, U.S.M.C.
The New York, Abstracts of World War I Military Service, 1917-1919, at, said Russell was stationed in France from October 26, 1819 to July 29, 1919. He was discharged on August 11, 1919.

Russell has not been found in the 1920 census. A visit from his mother and sister was reported in the Buffalo Courier Express, January 31, 1922:

Mrs. [sic] Oliver M. Russell left yesterday for New York where she will join her mother, Mrs. Hamilton Russell who has been there for a fortnight visiting her son, Clarence D. Russell.
In 1924 Russell produced cartoon advertisements titled Electrified History for Western Electric. According to Famous Artists & Writers (1949), "…in the early Twenties [he] worked for the old New York Evening Post and Evening Mail….Russell's professional interest in tramps began around 1927…'I began drawing tramps for Judge, the old humorous magazine…and pretty soon Pete [the Tramp] began to evolve…." (The entire profile is here.)

The New York, New York, Marriage Indexes at said Russell married Ruthelma Stevens on April 27, 1925. She was an actress. According to the 1925 New York state Census, they resided at 15 Sheridan Square in New York City. Their marriage ended in divorce and both remarried.

Advertising Arts & Crafts (1926) said Russell’s studio was located in New York City at 195 Broadway, Room 1202.

Russell has not been found in the 1930 census. Famous Artists & Writers said, “He signed a contract with King Features in 1930.” According to E. Simms Campbell’s obituary in the New York Times, January 29, 1971: “…C.D. Russell, creator of ‘Pete, the Tramp,’ encouraged and advised him….”

According to American Newspaper Comics (2012), Russell’s strip Pete the Tramp, began on January 10, 1932. Snorky was one of three toppers he used on Pete the Tramp.

The Citizen Advertiser, (Auburn, New York), January 24, 1933, carried Sam Love’s New York Inside Out column which said:

I suppose they don’t really, but comic artists give me the impression that they lead cheerful, irresponsible lives. C. D. Russell, who inks out a handsome living drawing scape-grace dogs and tramps, conducts a household at Brewster, a suburb, which is overrun with dogs. Russell has six at the moment, collies and pointers of excessively friendly and roistering dispositions. Oddly enough, he has no small Sealyham such as his cartoon character.
Putnam County Courier (Carmel, New York), February 10, 1933, noted Russell’s whereabouts.
Mr. and Mrs. C. D. Russell, have rented the home of Dr. and Mrs. Jewitt in Kent, “Stonywold.” Mr. and Mrs. Russell have lived here for about one year, coming from New York city. Mr. Russell is a “cartoonist” in the Daily Mirror.
A 1937 issue of the Judge printed instructions for Russell’s word game.
Before the paper and pencils are put back in the desk drawer, a neat game for groups of two, three or four is “Letter-Go,” an invention of cartoonist C.D. Russell, who is also the inventor of Pete the Tramp. Each player rules off, free-hand, a box containing twenty- five squares. This is done by making six horizontal lines about a half inch apart and crossing them with six more half inch apart vertical lines. The players then take turns in calling out letters. Each letter, as it is called, must be placed by each player in any one of his twenty-five squares, and no erasing either. The object is to make words horizontally and vertically. When all the squares have been filled in, papers are exchanged and scores totaled. A five-letter word counts 10, a four-letter word 5 and a three-letter word 2. Two-letter words don't count at all. Neither do proper names nor foreign words. Also, adding an “s” on the end of a singular word to make it into a plural is just a waste of time. Your opponents will only allow you the singular. A perfect score is 100 — five five-letter words each way. But in stiff competition you should be able to pick up the marbles with anything in the neighborhood of 70.
Russell has not yet been found in the 1940 census. Russell signed his World War II draft card on April 27, 1942. He lived in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and was a cartoonist for King Features. His description was 5 feet 8 inches and 165 pounds, with blue eyes and gray hair.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle 11/27/1945

Brooklyn Daily Eagle 12/31/1945

Russell was involved in the founding of the National Cartoonist Society in 1946.

When the Buffalo Courier, December 31, 1962, noted the death of Russell’s sister, he was living in Fort Lee, New Jersey.

Russell passed away October 22, 1963, according to the New York Times: “…[Russell] died of cancer Tuesday [October 22] in Kingsbridge Veterans Hospital, the Bronx. He was 67 years old and lived in Fort Lee, N.J.” However the date on his headstone is October 23. He was buried at Long Island National Cemetery in Farmingdale, New York.

Pete the Tramp ended December 12, 1963. A list of his comic book credits is at the Grand Comics Database.

—Alex Jay


Comments: Post a Comment

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Mystery, um, Thing

Going through some old Jim Ivey files, I encountered a folder of Japanese comics and editorial cartoons. Lurking in the folder I found this lovely and beguiling print. It is printed on tissue-thin paper (rice paper?), and it has the luminous colors that I associate with woodblock prints, though I see no evidence of woodblock lines. As you can see it's not exactly in mint condition -- pretty badly foxed on one end, dirty, and seems to have some age to it (minimum 60 years old, but I suspect quite a bit older).

There is some pretty odd imagery here, especially the giant grey hairy broccoli floret in the middle. Not to mention old guys with wings, a monster, and a couple of wolfmen.

I realize this is somewhat off-topic to the blog, but this thing is intriguing. I'm assuming it is comics of some sort. Can anyone tell me something about it? (Jim's memory of it is hazy -- his vague recollection was that there was a big book of these pages, and they did form some sort of continuity).


While I can't tell you what it is or where it's from, I did see some evidence (I think) that it's a woodblock print. Looking closely at the lower grey area and the upper blue area, is that wood grain from the block that I see? It sure looks like it to me. It sure is an interesting piece.
Hi Ben --
Interesting observation! Those gradations you're referring to are not nearly as noticeable on the actual print. But you sure are right, in the scan they do give the impression of woodgrain. Neat!

Hello Allan,

Firstly, I wish to congratulate you for your superb work and thank you for your willing to share it using your blog! :)
I asked for a translation in reddit for this print and a very solicitous person answered. It seems that it is an ukiyo-e from the series "Comic Pictures of the Floating World" by the artist Tsukioka Yoshitoshi.
I guess further information may be asked at the site Since it seems that they don't have a scan for this specific print, I'd be great if you send scans of it to them.

Best regards!
Thank you very much, zhamison, for your research on this subject! Wonderful to know what it is. I have emailed the yoshitoshi folks the image and asked for some details on the series from which it comes. Naturally Jim must have been attracted to this by 'comic pictures' being in the title! If I learn more, I'll post it here.

Thanks, again, Allan
Post a Comment

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Fred T. Richards

Frederick Thompson “Fred” Richards was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on May 27, 1864, according to Who’s Who in New York City and State (1905). In the 1870 U.S. Federal Census, he was the second of three children born to David and Janet They resided in Philadelphia.

The 1880 census recorded the Richards family in Philadelphia at 1708 North Eighteenth Street. His father was involved in wholesale dry goods.

According to Who’s Who, Richards was a pupil of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and studied with Thomas Eakins and Edmund B. Bensell. The 1885 Philadelphia City Directory listed him as an artist at 524 Walnut, and his residence at 1626 Jefferson; the same information was found in the 1886, 1889 and 1890 directories. Who’s Who said he married Odile A.S. Hudry on October 21, 1890, in Philadelphia. At some point they moved to New York City where he joined the staff of Life magazine in 1899.

In the 1900 census, Richards, his French-born wife, and their daughter lived in Manhattan, New York City at 144 West 13th Street. His occupation was artist. Who’s Who said his work was exhibited at the Paris Exposition 1900. The New York Times, July 9, 1921, said he was cartoonist for the New York Herald in 1901 and 1902.

In 1901 Richards was involved with two books: The Idiot at Home Three Other Farces was co-authored with John Kendrick Bangs and published by Harper Brothers; and The Royal Game of Golf, published by R.H. Russell.

The New York Dramatic Mirror, November 4, 1905, published a list of recently copyrighted plays which included one by Richards: “Akhoond; comic opera in three acts. Book and lyrics by F.T. Richards; music by F. Dewey Richards. Copyrighted by Frederick T. Richards.”

In the following census, he remained in Manhattan but at another address, 37 West 22nd Street, where he continued as an artist. Some of his neighbors were artists and illustrators: Frank Bittner, William Lippincott, Bertha Low, George Reevs, and Ada Budell.

His wife passed away October 19, 1912, at Sellersville, Pennsylvania, according to death notices, published October 22, in the New York Herald and Philadelphia Inquirer.

Richards was included in Empire State Notables 1914 which said he was on staff at Life since 1888 and at Collier’s Weekly, and cartooned for the New York Herald and New York Times.

He illustrated and Charles Jay Budd wrote The Blot Book, which they published in 1915. According to American Newspaper Comics (2012) Richards produced, in the late teens, News Item 
for the Philadelphia North American.

Life, 9/30/1915

The 1920 census said Richards was the head of the household in Philadelphia at 1815 North 22nd Street. With him was his widow sister, his nephew and his wife, and his niece with her husband and four children.

Richards passed July 8, 1921 in Philadelphia. His death was reported the next day in the New York Times:

Philadelphia, July 8.—Frederick T. Richards, an artist, for the last nine years on the staff of The North American, died at his desk in his home today of heart disease while at work on a drawing. He was born in this city in 1864, but had spent much of his life in New York, having made drawings for Life for twenty years. He had also been cartoonist for The New York Herald in 1901 and 1902, and had done similar work for The New York Times and Evening Mail. He was the author of “Color Prints from Dickens” and “The Blot Book.”
He learned his profession at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts under Thomas Eakins, and at the Art Students League in New York. He belonged to the Players, Friars and Dutch Treat Clubs in New York.
—Alex Jay


Comments: Post a Comment

Monday, August 25, 2014


From the Sub-Basement of the Archives: Comic Strip Characters Behind the Iron Curtain

From the giant "to be filed" piles: a clipping from a circa 1960s English language magazine that seems to be a USSR government publication that extols the virtues of the country to Americans.

This bizarre comic strip features Little Orphan Annie, Fearless Fosdick, Albert the alligator and Winnie Winkle, all discovering the wonders of Russia's permanent winter. Forty below? Book me a flight!

Maybe something ... a lot ... got lost in translation.


So, in other words, Ronald Reagan was just jealous of our frosty friends from Friedland.

Looks like it's from the pages of the communist satirical magazine KROKIDIL. (Note thrir mascot crockidile in the last panel)That "Fearless Fosdick" looks more like Col. Bullmoose. Is there a second page to this? It seems kind of pointless.
Hi Cole --
This was just an isolated page I found, already clipped out of a magazine. If there was a second page to it, the information is lost to history.

The alligator character made me think it might be Krokodil, too, except that the reverse of this clip is a rather high-brow article (in English) about the museums of Leningrad. I didn't think that sort of thing was fodder for Krokodil. But maybe the highbrow magazine took this as an excerpt from Krokodil (since Commies don't care about copyrights).

A hello from the Hinterlands (joe from San Diego) - I have a copy of a compilation from Krokidil - 1950's..can't lay my hands on it at the moment.

I did some microfilm reading in my time.... historical research... and have found old newspapers on line now...searchable. I've been looking at the beginnings of the comic strip in various newspapers. Very interesting. And fun!
joe t.

more as I go forward and read thru the archives....there's a bunch.
Just finished 2nd couple years of Dick Tracy and am on Bloom County. (best loved so far: first book compilations of Gasoline Alley and Popeye)
Post a Comment

Sunday, August 24, 2014


Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics


Comments: Post a Comment

Saturday, August 23, 2014


Herriman Saturday

Wednesday, August 12 1908 -- Last week we asked the question "is the pen mightier than the sword" in regard to a Herriman cartoon that admonished readers not to blindly follow party bosses when voting in the 1908 California primary election.

Today the returns are in, and the new reformist 'Lincoln-Roosevelt League' of the Republican Party, which was trying to upset the corporate-driven Republican machine, failed miserably. Party bosses wanted the Southern Pacific and other large corporations to continue running the Republican Party in California, and the voters dutifully pulled the levers they were told to pull.

Question answered.


Comments: Post a Comment

Friday, August 22, 2014


Sci-Friday starring Connie

Connie, March 7 1937, courtesy of Cole Johnson. 
Follow the Connie story every Friday here on Stripper's Guide.

Comments: Post a Comment

Thursday, August 21, 2014


A Mystery Regarding the First Weeks of Long Sam -- Part II

Yesterday we presented the first nine strips of the Al Capp/Bob Lubbers strip Long Sam, and today we have the second nine. These scans originated from the collection of Bob Foster, and as I said yesterday, he feels that there is a mystery surrounding these strips.

If you haven't already guessed from my slight hint yesterday, Bob believes that there is a question regarding the art credit. He believes that there is another artist involved here in addition to Lubbers; specifically, that Frank Frazetta was lending an uncredited hand.

Bob suggests that Frazetta is responsible for most of the work in the first week of strips, with only a little evidence of Lubbers; that the second week is a mish-mosh of the two artists, and that by the third week Lubbers has mostly taken over the helm, with little input from Frazetta.

As you are probably aware, there is a close connection between writer Al Capp and Frank Frazetta. Frank began as an assistant on Li'l Abner starting around 1953, shortly before Long Sam debuted (5/31/1954). So it is certainly possible that Capp, who was calling the shots on the strip, might have instructed Frazetta to work on it. But I've not seen an interview with any of the principals where such an arrangement was mentioned, and I haven't heard of any art-spotters mentioning Frazetta's name in relation to Long Sam.

The only person besides Bob Foster that I can find mentioning a connection is a blogpost about Frazetta  by Richard Graham. It says, "he [Frazetta] was with Al [Capp] from 1952 to 1961 and is credited with a huge amount of work for Lil Abner, as well as his work on Long Sam, a strip about a baseball player." Sorry to be snarky, but the credibility of this claim is not helped by saying that Long Sam is a strip about a baseball player.

Anyhow, the evidence is before you, ladies and gentlemen. Poke and prod the strips, hold them up to the light, sniff the ink, and tell your fellow comic fans your opinion. As you know, I generally remain only an interested observer when it comes to these art-spotting questions, so I'm really anxious to have you all weigh in.

Sorry. Not really seeing it.

This looks like Lubbers at his best. Compare t his Tarzan sunday's. Both are fine line and lush.

Thanks for posting the petty pics!
Well, if you want my vote, it seems all Lubbers to me too.
Interesting theory. The first dailies are a bit a-typical and could indeed be by Frazetta (and I have seen the Tarzan Sundays too). In any case nice to see these, thank you!
Well, when you said it was a mystery, the first thing I thought was: that wouldn't be Frazetta, now would it?
Btw, what would this mean for the first Sunday? If this was some sort of leftover from the first proposal, would the Sunday not have been made as well?
Post a Comment

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


A Mystery Regarding the First Weeks of Long Sam -- Part I

Bob Foster sent me scans of the first three weeks of Long Sam, asking me to share them with you. Although the strips are worth reading on their merits alone, Bob isn't just sharing them purely for their entertainment value. He hopes to open a dialogue regarding what he considers a mystery.

So what's the mystery? Well, we'll get into that in tomorrow's post. For now, just enjoy the first half of the Long Sam introductory strips, credited to writer Al Capp and cartoonist Bob Lubbers. 

Frazetta in?
It's 100% Lubbers to me. Bob never told me he had art assistant on Long Sam, and knowing him I can tell he's very jealous of his artwork. He was hardly ever helped by others.

He admitted, e.g., that Mike Peppe had briefly inked Robin Malone, but said Wally Wood had never anything to do with that strip (Wood claimed he ghosted Robin Malone). On the other hand, Bob denied John Celardo helping him on some 1966 Secret Agent X-9 - - which I think Celardo did.

Bob is an excellent, much too often underrated artist. This is him at his very best.

Post a Comment

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Gustave Verbeck

Gustavus “Gustave” Verbeck was born in Nagasaki, Japan on August 29, 1867. His birthplace and birth date were on his Petition for Naturalization which was filed December 19, 1914, in New York City; the document was retrieved at His name, Gustavus, was found in the book, Verbeck of Japan (1900):

…Right here we may glance at Dr. Verbeck’s family. His firstborn baby daughter, Emma Japonica, and Guido, who lived to be sixteen, are no more on earth, but at this writing, June 1900, there survive, five sons and two daughters. William, Channing, Gustavus, Arthur, Bernard, Emma and Eleanor. The grandson, son of William, bears the honored name Guido Fridolin Verbeck. Emma is married to Professor Terry and dwells in Japan. Two sons in the army of the United States follow the flag in the far east, and one, Gustavus, the illustrator is well known to all who love jolly pictures.
When the above passage was written, Verbeck was the fourth of nine children born to Guido, a missionary, and Maria. His father left Holland on September 2, 1852. From New York City he made his way to Green Bay, Wisconsin. He found work as an engineer in Helena, Arkansas. He returned to Green Bay and later settled in Auburn, New York, where he prepared for the ministry. There he met Maria Manion. They married in Philadelphia on April 18, 1859. On May 7, 1859, the newlyweds sailed for Shanghai. From there, Guido would go to Nagasaki.

Verbeck spent his first ten or eleven years in Japan. The American Art Annual, Volume III, said he had some art training there.

His father wrote about his two trips to the U.S.:
Since I was first sent to Japan in 1859, this will be the first time that I leave it at the mission’s expense. In 1873 I travelled at my own expense; and in 1878 I returned home with my family and lived a year with them in California, altogether at my own charges. It was only since my leaving California, in August, 1879, that I became again chargeable to the mission both for myself and family.
The 1880 U.S. Federal Census recorded Verbeck (whose first name was misspelled “Gusstavus”), his mother and seven siblings in Oakland, California at 767 18th Street. All of the children were born in Japan, except one: three-month-old Bernard was born in California.

At some point Verbeck returned to Japan more than once. His name was Gustave on the naturalization petition which said he came back to the U.S., by way of San Francisco, on February 15, 1883, aboard the S.S. City of Tokio. Another petition with the same first name, filed December 21, 1916, had the arrival date as July 15, 1883. The petition stated that Verbeck had resided in New York beginning December 1, 1889. At a later date he moved to Paris.

According to the American Art Annual, Verbeck studied under “Constant, Laurens, Blanc and Giradot.” The Times, December 6, 1937, said Verbeck drew cartoons for several French newspapers. Lambiek said: “…Drawn towards the Cabaret du Chat Noir, Gustave Verbeck designed a shadow-play titled ‘Le Malin Kangourou’, and in 1893/1894, he created several illustrations for the newspaper Le Chat Noir.” In September 1894, art critic Henry McBride stayed at Verbeck’s apartment, located at 131 Boulevard Montparnasse.

A passenger list at listed Verbeck as a steerage passenger in compartment number two for single men. He arrived in New York City on November 5, 1894, aboard the S.S. Bourgogne, which sailed from the port of Le Havre, France. His occupation was painter.

On his return to the U.S., Verbeck produced illustrations for several periodicals including the American Magazine, Harper’s, McClure’s and the Saturday Evening PostThe Monthly Illustrator, May 1895, published the article, “Technical Tendencies of Caricature”, with his illustrations. Verbeck had six illustrations in the July 1899, Pearson’s Magazine.

Regarding the alternate spelling of Verbeck’s surname the Times explained: “During part of his life, Mr. Verbeck spelled his surname “Verbeek,” the form used by his grandfather, Carl Heinrich Willem Verbeek of Zeist, Holland.”

The Times, January 2, 1927, reviewed Verbeck’s exhibition at the Ferargil Gallery and quoted his autobiographic note in the catalogue:
Born in Japan, came to California, revisited Japan three times, knew native artists, tried their way of drawing with brush, acquired a pronounced Oriental slant in art. In San Francisco at Academy studied still life and sketching under Emil Carlsen. Came to New York and entered DeForest Brush’s class at the League. Became acquainted with Bridgman just back from the Beaux Arts and worked with him from models on Sundays. Met George Luks. We had adjoining studios. Low rental, no furniture, slept on floor.
Next went to Paris three years, worked under Constant, Laurens, Giradot, Blanc and Freytel, at Julian’s and Calarossi’s [sic]. Back in America, exhibited a little, got encouragement but not many sales. Did not know how to get a dealer. Illustrated, painted, moved all over country, lost paintings, painted more.
The New-York Tribune took note of Verbeck’s work on November 21, 1896: “...The only other artistic productions in the corridor are Mr. Verbeck’s ‘Enchantment,’ a roughly painted but artlessly clever sketch…”; and on March 5, 1898: “…Take the nine somewhat fantastic sketches by Gustave Verbeek. They are original, piquant little productions. Some day they will be of greater value to collectors, we imagine, than they are now.” Verbeck’s art in the nineteenth exhibition of the Society of American Artists, at the Fine Arts Building, drew the attention of the New York Herald, March 28, 1897: “In Gustave Verbeek’s ‘Fantaisie Hellenique’ a pretty young lady in vivid red is seen, gracefully reposing on nothing.”

Art collector Pincus Chock exhibited his collection at the American Art Association. Works by Verbeck were noted by the Times, March 6, 1898: “…Among the newest names is that of Gustave Verbeek, a young Dutch-Japanese-American who began to study in Nagasaki and passed several years in Paris, bringing with him to France that color sense and that charming composition which delights us in the colored drawings of the Japanese. There are nine examples of this clever painter…”

Verbeck may have had a room at 106 East 23rd Street, in Manhattan, which was the scene of a suicide. The New York Press, January 17, 1898, reported the incident:

…She was seen in the hall yesterday morning about 9 o’clock. At 3:30 p.m. Gustave Verbeck, an artist, passing through the hall, smelled gas. He knocked at Mme. Valfier’s door and got no answer. He reported the matter to Henry Slocum, the proprietor of the restaurant on the ground floor. The pair went out upon the fire escape in the rear of the house. The window curtain had been pulled down half way, a sheet was over the lower portion of the window and the catch was on.
They called Patrolman Fox, who burst in the door of the room. The tenant was lying dead on the lounge with her head wrapped in a towel. The rubber hose that had been used by her for the gas stove was in her mouth, so wrapped about with the towel that little gas could escape until she was dead….
Verbeck has not been found in the 1900 census. Two volumes of the American Art Annual had listings for him. In volume three was one for painters and the other for illustrators:
Verbeek, Gustave, 1717 Chestnut St., Philadelphia. Pa.Born, Nagasaki, Japan, of Dutch parents, 1867. Early art training in Japan, later in Paris under Constant, Laurens, Blanc and Giradot. Also illustrator.
Verbeck, Gustave, 1717 Chestnut St., Philadelphia. Pa. (See Painters.) 
Volume four had a single entry:
Verbeek, Gustave (P., I.), 21 Manhattan Ave., New York.Born, Nagasaki, Japan, of Dutch parents, 1867. Early art training in Japan; later in Paris under Benjamin-Constant, Laurens, Blanc in Paris.
The New York Times, February 5, 1899, explained how Verbeck and his younger brother, Arthur, were Japanese citizens:
How the Verbeek Brothers Happen to be Full-Fledged Citizens of the Land of the Rising Sun.There are only two full-blooded white men in the world who are natural-born subjects of the Mikado of Japan. Both are at present in this city, and one of them adds to this distinction the fact that he served as an American volunteer soldier in the late war with Spain. They are brothers, and the one who wore Uncle Sam’s uniform is Arthur Verbeek, a Corporal in Company I of the Ninth Regiment, New York Volunteers. He is a young art student, and his brother is Gustave Verbeek, an artist who has just come to this country after a four years’ course of study in Paris.
...The laws of Holland, the birthplace of Prof. Verbeek, provide that after a continuous absence of five years from the fatherland one’s citizenship is forfeited, and, as he had never taken out naturalization papers in the United States, he was a man without a country when he arrived in Japan. The Government there had no naturalization law, and by the command of the Mikado a special law was framed by the Japanese statesmen very much like our own naturalization law, by which act he was made a Japanese citizen.
Both sons had in the meantime voyaged to this country, and Gustave, the elder, one, went to Paris to study art at Julien’s famous atelier. It was in that city that he first learned his true nationality. The American Consul to whom he applied, refused the customary protection, and both he and his brother, who arrived in the French capital a year later, were recorded as Japanese citizens. They applied to the Japanese Consul in Paris for credentials, which were duly forwarded to them by command of the Mikado, and copies of the same papers were filed with the Japanese Consul here when they returned to this country.
Verbeck’s first attempt to be naturalized was reported in the Syracuse Journal, April 18, 1907. He applied for naturalization papers at the United States Circuit Court in New York City.
Mr. Verbeck stated that he was a Japanese subject, and under the law this made him ineligible to American citizenship…Yet Verbeck, while a subject of the Mikado, plainly was the Dutchman his name implied….he got his papers, though not without many misgivings on the part of John Donovan, the naturalization clerk.
“I am a Japanese subject,” was Verbeck’s answer when his nationality was asked.
“A Jap!” cried Donovan, gazing open-mouthed at the man’s fair complexion and generally European appearance. “How can that be? What is your name?”
“My name is Gustave Verbeck,” said the applicant blandly. “My father was a citizen of Holland and my mother French. My father was a missionary, and by living outside the Netherlands more than ten years, he lost his citizenship in that country. I was born in Nagasaki after the ten years were up and that made me a native of Japan. I lived in Yokohama for a while and afterward in Tokio. Although I am a Japanese artist, I wish to become an American citizen, for I have opened a studio in West Twenty-third street, and this country looks good enough for me.”
The Cosmopolitan, September 1900, published his illustrations for “The Beautiful Man of Pingalap.” Verbeck’s work appeared in two issues of Good Housekeeping. In the July 1904, his initials, “G V” appear on “The Frog, the Mouse and the Hawk” and “Why the Mud-turtle Lives in the Water.” The art for “Miss Kitty Manx to Sir Thomas Angora” was signed “G. Verbeek.” Verbeck had credit line in the September 1904 issue for “The Wee, Wee Woman and Her Pig.”

Starting in February 1902 Verbeck illustrated John Kendrick Bang’s “Andiron Tales” for the New York Herald





According to American Newspaper Comics (2012), Verbeck’s first foray in comics was Easy Papa, which appeared in the New York World from May 25, 1902 to February 2, 1903. His comic, The Twinklies, had a brief run from January 4 to 15, 1903. The Upside-downs of Little Lady Lovekins and Old Man Muffaroo was produced for the New York Herald beginning October 11, 1903. When it ended in early 1905, he drew the Terrors of the Tiny Tads, which had a long run in the Herald, from May 28, 1905 to October 25, 1914.

Verbeck produced two other strips and each ran about three months. Stories Without Words debuted May 2 and ended August 1, 1909. For the New York Tribune, Loony Lyrics of Lulu started July 17 and stopped October 23, 1910.

Advertising was another outlet for Verbeck whose illustrations were used with children’s wear (below) and corsets.

East Oregonian 5/9/1907

Salt Lake Tribune 9/27/1908

Verbeck wrote and illustrated “The Diary of a Boy Inventor” for Boys’ Life, April 1915. A postcard by him is reproduced here.

Books illustrated by Verbeck include The Sprightly Romance of Marsac (1896), The Court of Boyville (1899), Donegal Fairy Tales (1900), Over the Plum Pudding (1901; “The Amalgamated Brotherhood of Spooks”), Nigger Baby and Nine Beasts (advertised in The Smart Set magazine from 1901 to 1906), The Second Froggy Fairy Book (1902) with Anne Penock, Wild Creatures Afield (1902) and Mother Goose for Grown-ups (1908) with Peter Newell.

In the Annual American Catalogue 1899 (1900) was an advertisement for publisher, Drexel Biddle. Verbeck was one of five artists who illustrated the Famous Froggy Fairy Books.

Also published were compilations of strips for The Up-Side Downs of Little Lady Lovekins and Old Man Muffaroo (1906) and Terrors of the Tiny Tads (1909). The Upside-Down World of Gustave Verbeek (2010) includes complete runs of Upside-Downs of Little Lady Lovekins and Old Man Muffaroo and Loony Lyrics of Lulu, plus samples of Terrors of the Tiny Tads, Verbeck’s paintings, drawings and more.

In 1910 Verbeck, his wife Leonore, daughter Dorothea, and a servant resided in Manhattan, New York City, at 541 West 123 Street. The 1910 New York City Directory listed his studio address at 23 West 24 Street. In 1911 his studio was at 60 West 37 Street. The 1915 New York State Census listed him in Manhattan at 125 Sherman Avenue, which would be his address into the 1930s. His occupation was artist.

Verbeck’s monotypes were praised, and one published, in The Sun, May 16, 1915. The following year, monotypes by him were in a group show at the gallery, Coupil & Co. of ParisThe Century Magazine, May 1916, featured his monotypes. Another exhibition of his monotypes was in March 1918.

The Times, January 2, 1927, judged Verbeck’s exhibition, at the Ferargil Galleries, of special merit:
...Mr. Verbeek may seem a little old-fashioned, because his painting is “beautiful” and all on the surface. But what matter! Mr. Verbeek has a distinctive decorative gift, and that, nowadays, is mighty rare.
What Mr. Verbeek does is to weave, with an exceedingly fluent and persuasive brush, the surface beauties of a romantically seen world into rich tapestries of color. In these tapestries you can discover, as through gauze, nude girls joined in their dance by an exhilarating rain; girls in the arms of Galahadish young men. Or there are landscapes in which red and blue and yellow hats of picnicking ladies are woven together by Mr. Verbeek’s subtle brush with shadowy trees, dark green foliage, guitarists furtively plucking music and a young Watteauesque pair dancing.
The fact…that when in Japan he acquired “a pronounced Oriental slant in art” is easily apparent. This is not to say that Mr. Verbeek’s painting is Japanese. It is not. In fact, the little gaps of weakness and uncertainty that now and then destroy the unity of his compositions may, in this instance, be accounted for by the irrefutable (geographical) conclusion of a certain poet—“East is East,” &c. That is, Mr. Verbeek sometimes seems to try two methods of painting a canvas, and when he fails to join up “East” and “West” the twain naturally do not meet. But when he hits off canvases such as “Rain” and “Dance in the Wood” neither East nor West is visible, only painting of a high decorative order.
About six months before Verbeck’s death was an exhibition of his monotypes at Adelphi College in Garden City, Long Island, as reported by the Times, May 23, 1937.

Verbeck passed away December 5, 1937, “…in the Home for Incurables, Third Avenue and 183d Street, the Bronx, where he had been a patient for two months. He had been ill for two years,” as reported in the Times the following day.

—Alex Jay


Comments: Post a Comment

Monday, August 18, 2014


From the Sub-Basement of the Archives: Mary Worth 'Visual Scripts'

Stumbled across some photostatic negatives of comic strip roughs today in one of my huge 'unfiled' piles. Couldn't quite ID them, so I scanned them in and inverted to produce these readable scans. Then did some online searches based on the dialog to verify my guess about what these are.

Allen Saunders produced 'visual scripts' for Mary Worth artist Ken Ernst, and this above represents the week of August 3rd 1970. I have to say that Ernst's later work on Mary Worth, stiff as a board, can't hold a candle to Saunders' delightful loose sketches.


Comments: Post a Comment

Sunday, August 17, 2014


Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics


Comments: Post a Comment

Saturday, August 16, 2014


Herriman Saturday

Tuesday, August 11 1908 -- On primary day Herriman admonishes voters to think for themselves. Throw off the shackles and blinders and do what your conscience tells you, not what the local party boss does!

Next week's Herriman Saturday cartoon will answer the question if (at least in this case) the pen is mightier than the sword.

Comments: Post a Comment

Friday, August 15, 2014


Sci-Friday starring Connie

Connie, February 28 1937, courtesy of Cole Johnson. 
Follow the Connie story every Friday here on Stripper's Guide.


Looking at this page I felt i was getting an insight into where Joe Kubert's style came from. particularly visible in the Doc's head in panel 3 and that great Connie figure in panel 8 at bottom left of the page. go in close and look at the inking.
Post a Comment

Thursday, August 14, 2014


Obscurity of the Day: G. Whiskers

Geoffrey "Fola" Foladori, a Uruguayan cartoonist, received worldwide syndication of his strip, G. Whiskers, through Press Alliance. While that syndicate may have been a selling gangbuster overseas for all I know, in the U.S. the features they handled are scarcely ever found.

Although G. Whiskers was advertised in Editor & Publisher  from 1940-58, the only samples of the strip thus far found in U.S. papers are from 1942-43 (collection of Cole Johnson). If anyone has see the strip appearing earlier or later in a U.S. newspaper, I'd appreciate hearing from you.

Foladori's strip probably went by different names depending on the country. For instance, apparently in a French-Canadian paper the strip was titled Tibi.The strip was ideally suited for international distribution because it is a strict pantomime (which means that in addition to no dialog, there are also rarely labels on objects). An impressive achievement, to be sure.

Thanks to Cole Johnson for the samples.


Great information!
Fola live his life in Uruguay and works most of his life in Argentina.
I put some links with his creation here.
Thanks for this post!
Allan, here's 2 current obscurities, both published in the Falls Church Press -

Nick Knack by N.F. Benton and Wombania by Peter Marinacci. They've been appearing for at least a year, but I think it's considerably longer. Also in the paper is Out on a Limb, Chuckle Bros. and Loose Parts.
Post a Comment

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Stanley Armstrong


Stanley Edward Armstrong was born in Muir, Michigan, on July 11, 1873 or 1879. His birthplace was found on two passport applications from 1915 and 1917. The 1915 application had 1872 as his birth year with this statement: “I am unable to procure birth certificate.” The 1873 birth year was on his 1917 application with a notarized document from his mother, Amanda. Below is an excerpt from the document:
That she is a naturalized citizen of the United States;  
That she is a resident of Compton, Los Angeles Co., California; 
That she is the adopted mother of Stanley E. Armstrong; 
That she knows of her personal knowledge that Stanley E. Armstrong was born at Muir, Ionia Co., State of Michigan, United States of America, on July 11– 1873, 
Mrs. Amanda Armstrong 

The California Death Index said Armstrong’s birth year was 1879.

The 1880 U.S. Federal Census, recorded Lester H., his wife, Amanda D., and 14-year-old daughter, Margaret, in Ionia, Michigan.

Armstrong attended the State Normal School at Los Angeles. He was listed, as a Compton resident, in the 14th Annual Catalogue of the State Normal School at Los Angeles for the School Year Ending June 30, 1896.

According to the 1900 census, Amanda was a widow living alone in Westminster, California and had no living children. Meanwhile, Armstrong, who has not been found in the census, lived in San Francisco where he attended the Mark Hopkins Institute of Art; he was a student in the University of California Register 1900–1901Armstrong knew sculptor Arthur Putnam and even posed for him.

The 1901 Crocker-Langley Directory listed Armstrong as an artist at 523 Montgomery in San Francisco. The 1904 directory said he was an artist with the San Francisco Call and resided at 821 Green.

During 1902, Armstrong illustrated numerous stories in the periodical Overland Monthly. His art also appeared in Sunset magazine.

Overland Monthly 7/1902

Overland Monthly 9/1902

Overland Monthly 12/1902

As reported in the San Francisco Call, January 9, 1905, Armstrong married Rebecca M. von Bremen on January 8.

The 1910 census recorded Amanda in Compton, California, but Armstrong has not yet been found. An early venture into comics was his Jerry the Juggler for the Chicago Tribune; the strip ran from March 2 to August 10, 1913. American Newspaper Comics said Armstrong took over Slim Jim and the Force from January 18, 1914 to June 20, 1915. Alternating with George Frink and C.W. Kahles as Sterling, Armstrong did the strip on July 25, August 1 and 8, September 26 and October 3, 1915. Armstrong’s next run on the series was from October 17, 1915 to 1940.


When Armstrong applied for a passport in 1917, his notarized statement said in part:

…that he is the owner in fee simple of the south 20 hectares of Lot number Eighty situate on the Island of Palmito del Verde, Municipality of Escuinapa, District of Rosario, Sinaloa, Mexico; that it is his intention to proceed to said Island of Palmito del Verde within the next few weeks, for the purpose of engaging in agricultural pursuits on the said property…that affiant, in the expectation of proceeding to the said Island as aforesaid has sold his house and furniture situate in the Town of Mill Valley, County of Marin, State of California…
It is not known if he was granted a passport and traveled to the island.

The 1920 census recorded Armstrong and his wife, Rebecca, in San Anselmo, California on Crescent Road. He was a syndicate cartoonist who also did illustrations for Ace-High Magazine and The Danger Trail.

Armstrong was a newspaper cartoonist in the 1930 census. He and his wife lived in San Francisco at 1120 Buchanan. American Newspaper Comics said he did Yarns of Bos ’n Bill from June 27, 1930 to November 1, 1931, and signed it under the name, “Armi”. In the late 1930s, Armstrong worked on the Kelly Kids strip.

In the 1940 census, Armstrong was unemployed. His address was unchanged and highest grade of education was the eighth grade. Artists in California, 1786-1940 said “…later in life he was a security guard…”

According to the California Death Index, Armstrong passed away March 16, 1949, in San Francisco. An obituary has not been found.

—Alex Jay


Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]

Tell me when this blog is updated

what is this?