Monday, July 22, 2019
Obscurity of the Day: Nate Collier's Daily Panel Cartoon Series
Associated Newspapers began offering a daily cartoon series penned by Donald McKee in May 1919, but something went awry in September 1920, because the series was abruptly passed along to Nate Collier. Collier's first cartoon seems to have appeared on September 7 1919 (a Tuesday)*.
Collier offered up his take on the Clare Briggs / H.T. Webster style of feature, using various rotating titles. Sophisticated urbane humor was mixed with liberal dollops of homespun wisdom and nostalgia for days past. He picked up the flavor of the Briggs/Webster school so deftly that you would have thought that it had been his specialty for years. But that's just how good Collier was.
Not only was his humor closely patterned on other successful features, his cartooning style also underwent a magical transformation. His more typical bigfoot style was shelved for this feature and all of a sudden he was drawing in a very attractive cross between H.T. Webster and Frank King.
Despite the superior quality of the feature, perhaps its 'me-too' nature was too much for editors to overlook. Whether for that or other reasons, this feature ran in very few papers, much like the McKee version before it. Collier or his syndicate pulled the plug after less than four months on January 1 1921** after which the same format was passed along to Herbert Johnson who managed to keep it up for about two years.
* Source: Akron Evening Times, which could have been running a day late.
** Source: Boston Globe.
Saturday, July 20, 2019
December 28 1909 -- Another Mary's Home From College strip, this one seemingly slammed out by Herriman without much thought .... so where did this diploma come from???
Labels: Herriman's LA Examiner Cartoons
Friday, July 19, 2019
Wish You Were Here, from Dwig
Here's a Dwig card from Tuck's "Smiles" series, #169. The drawn whipstitching and shadow on this card gives it a marvelous three dimensional effect.
Labels: Wish You Were Here
Gout was generally represented as a rich man's disease, linked to indulgent food and drink and consequently more karma than bad luck. Victims of the highly uncomfortable condition were thus considered fair game for comedy. The movie "Captain Blood" presents a self-pitying aristocrat with the affliction, while the Chaplin short "The Cure" gives lecherous Eric Campbell a sensitive foot for Charlie to abuse. And of course the dyspeptic geezers referenced by Mr. Johnson, the bandaged foot being a shorthand declaration of wealth and bad temper.
Ollie himself suffered from this condition in "THEM THAR HILLS" (1934).
A Porky Pig cartoon featuring a Claude Gillingwater-esque Gouty Goat was seen in "PORKY'S HOTEL" (1939). I'm sure there's probably dozens more incidences of it in the movies from the days of political incorrectness and big belly laughs.
Thursday, July 18, 2019
Mystery Strips: George Lemont in San Francisco Call-Bulletin
Radio Humorist Turns Cartoonist
George Lemont, a radio and television humorist, is doing a daily panel cartoon for the San Francisco News-Call Bulletin. It’s a return to his first love. George always wanted to be a cartoonist. At the age of 12 the San Francisco Call-Bulletin printed one of his drawings.
After his military service was ended, Mr. Lemont found no newspaper takers for cartoons. He did a television drawing show for youngsters over KRON-TV. Next came mixed television and radio station duty for 11 years. A period as night club entertainer followed.
His drawings with one-line captions satirizing radio and video situations have been accepted as a regular feature. Syndication is forecast.
Labels: Mystery Strips
That title ???
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Pierre J. Kinder
Pierre Jermain Kinder was born on May 3, 1882 or 1883, in Tolono, Illinois.The Ohio Births and Christenings Index, at Ancestry.com, had 1882 as the birth year but his World War I draft card and Social Security application have 1883; the application also had his birthplace. The year 1885 was on his World War II draft card. Both cards and application had his full name.
The 1899 Toledo, Ohio city directory listed Kinder as a student residing at 1027 West Woodruff Avenue.
1900 U.S. Federal Census recorded Kinder, his parents Stephen and Catherine, and younger sister Marguerite in Toledo, Ohio at the Schmidt Apartment House. Kinder’s father was a railway freight agent.
Kinder attended Toledo High School where he was in Freshman Class A, according to the school yearbook, Centurion 1900.
The Toledo city directories for 1901 and 1903 said Kinder was an assistant at the public library. Hubbell’s Toledo Blue Book, 1903–1904, listed Kinder and his sister at the The Vienna.
In 1904 Kinder was found in two city directories. In Detroit, Kinder was an artist staying at 109 Abbott. The Toledo directory said Kinder still had his job at the public library.
It’s not clear where Kinder studied art but he was a cartoonist in the 1905 Evanston, Illinois city directory, which included Wilmette, and listed his address as 418 9th. The 1909 directory said he was a Chicago Daily News cartoonist.
American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Kinder produced two series for the Chicago Daily News and filled in on other comics. Thomas Augustin “Gus” O’Shaughnessy created Tiny Tinkles on July 23, 1903. Kinder drew it from June 12 to August 25, 1905. The series ended in 1911. Kinder created Burglar Bill which ran from January 9 to March 27, 1906. It was followed by Curious Cubby which debuted August 29 and ended September 7, 1906. Ed Carey’s Brainy Bowers and Drowsy Duggan started January 30, 1901 and ended May 19, 1915. Kinder’s run lasted from August 27, 1914 to the end date. Kinder produced one strip, dated June 5, 1915, for Austin C. Williams’ Red and Skeeter.
According to the 1910 census, newspaper cartoonist Kinder lived with his parents and sister at 418 9th in Wilmette Village, New Trier Township, Cook County, Illinois.
American Carpenter and Builder, December 1913, published Kinder’s The Builders’ Alphabet.
Cartoons Magazine, October 1915, noted Kinder’s travels, “P. J. Kinder of Chicago, cartoonist for the Santa Fe Magazine, has been making a tour of the Pacific coast cities, and visiting the expositions.”
Around 1918 Kinder’s father passed away. On September 12, 1918, Kinder signed his World War I draft card and lived at his mother’s home. His description was medium height and build with brown eyes and hair.
Kinder married artist Gertrude S. Spaller in Cook County, Illinois on July 29, 1922. They lived with Kinder’s mother at her home.
In the 1930 census, Kinder’s household included his wife, daughter, son and mother-in-law. They all resided 2815 Grant Street in Evanston, Illinois. The commercial artist’s house was valued at $18,000.
Kinder’s residence was the same in the 1940 census and the household of six included his mother.
Kinder signed his World War II draft card on April 27, 1942. He was described as five feet eight inches, 148 pounds with hazel eyes and balding gray hair. His address was unchanged.
Kinder passed away February 16, 1944, in Cook County according to the
Illinois Death Index. Curiously, Kinder was listed in the 1948 Evanston city directory as an illustrator residing at 201 Michigan Avenue. Perhaps the directory was referring to Mrs. Pierre J. Kinder, who married Harry Waters Armstrong on June 29, 1949 in Cook County, Illinois. She passed away March 12, 1970 in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Labels: Ink-Slinger Profiles
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Obscurity of the Day: Burglar Bill
Artist Pierre J. Kinder, who signed himself "Kin", was apparently a mainstay at the Chicago Daily News for many years (at least 1905-15), but in that time he only contributed to a handful of their many comic strip offerings.
One of only two series he originated himself, Burglar Bill was a generic take on the burglar strip, one of the mainstays of the early comic sections. Kin does a serviceable job on the strip, which ran for a mere seven installments from January 9 to March 27 1906.
Monday, July 15, 2019
Which Newspaper Strip Was Distributed by the Most Syndicates?
Here's a question (that nobody ever asked but me). What strip went through the most different syndicates? I think it might be Wee Pals. It started as a Lew Little, then became a Register & Tribune, then King Features, Then United Features, then Field Enterprises,News America, North America and finally Creators.Of course that's the sort of question that fascinates me, so there are at least two completely incurable comic strip geeks in this old world, Mark.
I thought it would be the work of a mere moment to answer the question. But then I realized that I couldn't seem to query my database directly for that information.Oh well. So I spent a few hours manually paging through the listings to come up with some information, and in the process realized that the answer is by no means cut-and-dried.
There are a few ways that a feature might change syndicates. One, obviously is that the cartoonist shops around for a better deal from a different syndicate. That's a no-brainer. Another is when a syndicate goes out of business or sells off its feature distribution to someone else. Still counts, no problem.
However, what about when two syndicates merge, like Bell and McClure did? There's a name change, of course, but does it count? Certainly in this case the McClure strips did in fact change syndicates, as Bell was the purchaser of the McClure properties, but did the Bell Syndicate strips change syndicates? This stuff can get too complex to be a fun question anymore. Starts to sound like work.
If we keep things simple and just say we'll count any old name change, how far down that slippery slope can we fall? What about when a syndicate change is when a syndicate is renamed under presumably the same management? In other words, does it count as a syndicate change when Chicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate changes to Tribune Media Services and then to Tribune Content Agency, or when Universal Press Syndicate becomes Universal Uclick and then Andrews McMeel Syndicate?
This can lead to a ludicrous contender like Katzenjammer Kids, which was a Hearst feature all along. You can get six syndicate changes for this feature: W.R. Hearst, American-Journal-Examiner, Star Company, Newspaper Feature Service, International Feature Service, and King Features Syndicate.
I've now gone way down the rabbit hole on this question, and all the fun is drained out of it. So to heck with all the caveats, footnotes, whys and wherefores. Let's dispense with technicalities and talk comics.
First of all, I was amazed just how many features went through six syndicates; so many that I gave up noting them. So let's go straight to seven:
Mark Trail: New York Post Syndicate, Post-Hall Syndicate, Hall Syndicate, Publishers-Hall Syndicate, Field Enterprises, News America Syndicate, North America Syndicate
Miss Peach: New York Herald Tribune Syndicate, Publishers Syndicate, Publishers-Hall Syndicate, Field Enterprises, News America Syndicate, North America Syndicate, Creators Syndicate
Tumbleweeds: Lew Little Enterprises, Register & Tribune Syndicate, King Features Syndicate, United Feature Syndicate, Field Enterprises, News America Syndicate, North America Syndicate
Word-a-Day: Chicago Times, Sun and Times Company, Field Enterprises, Publishers Syndicate, Publishers-Hall Syndicate, Field Enterprises, News America Syndicate
Steve Canyon: Field Enterprises, Sun and Times Company, Publishers Syndicate, Publishers-Hall Syndicate, Field Enterprises, News America Syndicate, North America Syndicate
A surprise entry from the olden days, with the slight caveat that there were gaps between some of these runs:
Foxy Grandpa: New York Herald, W.R. Hearst, American-Journal-Examiner, Publishers Press (C.J. Mar), Associated Newspapers, New York Press, New York Herald (again), Philadelphia Bulletin
At a count of eight syndicates we have Wee Pals standing alone, but it fails to take the crown. Here are two features that made it to the pinnacle of syndicate-hoppiness at nine syndicates:
Fred Basset: Hall Syndicate, Publishers-Hall Syndicate, Field Enterprises, News America Syndicate, North America Syndicate, Tribune Media Services, Universal Press Syndicate, Universal Uclick, Andrews McMeel Syndicate
Grin and Bear It: Chicago Times Syndicate, United Feature Syndicate, Sun and Times Company, Field Enterprises, Publishers Syndicate, Publishers-Hall Syndicate, Field Enterprises, News America Syndicate, North America Syndicate
And our Fred Basset listing doesn't even take into account foreign syndication, which in its case maybe should count, so you might call it ten syndicates with the Daily Mail.
So that's it. Now it would be my delight to throw the question open to you folks. A real comic strip fan should be able to argue this question ad infinitum. Let's rumble!
Lew Little Enterprise was still listed even in strips that King syndicated, but not the United Features ones. I guess Lew Little subcontracted to King, right?
"Tumbleweeds" probably falls in that category. It was with King Features for a few years, then after a string of different syndicates spent its final years with North America Syndicate, which was essentially just King Features with a different name anyway.
I think that Little's name stopped being seen because the ownership of the strips shifted to their authors.
Saturday, July 13, 2019
December 27 1909 -- Herriman offers a one-shot comic strip giving the boss's perspective on the Christmas holiday.
Labels: Herriman's LA Examiner Cartoons
Friday, July 12, 2019
Wish You Were Here, from Rudolph Dirks
Here's a postcard given out by Hearst's New York American as a Sunday paper premium in 1906.
Labels: Wish You Were Here
In 1906, a paddling with a stick would be seen as a just punishment for the pair, not only because we'll take it for granted that they are in a perpetual state of "needing it", but corporal punishment was standard child-rearing mode then anyway. I'm sure to tender current sensibilities, this might look like some kind of a crime against children.
Thursday, July 11, 2019
Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Dorothy Hughes
Dorothy McClennan Stuart Hughes was born on November 25, 1897, in Boston, Massachusetts. Her birth information is from the Massachusetts Birth Records at Ancestry.com.
In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Hughes was the only child of Edward, a salesman, and Lucile. They resided on North Street in Randolph, Massachusetts.
At some point the family moved to New York City. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, September 17, 1909, listed Hughes as a new member of the New Humane Club.
The 1910 census recorded Hughes, her parents and Rhode Island-born four-year-old sister, Jessie, in Brooklyn, New York at 1447 Pacific Street.
Hughes was a regular contributor to the Daily Eagle’s Junior Eagle section. The February 16, 1910 edition announced her as twenty-five credit puzzle winner. The March 4 Daily Eagle published Hughes’ letter asking if her sister could join the humane Club. Hughes was listed as a puzzle winner on March 30, April 13, and August 10.
Apparently Hughes’ first published drawing was in the August 16, 1910 Daily Eagle. The Daily Eagle would publish over 40 drawings by Hughes.
Hughes also sent artwork to St. Nicholas magazine which included her in its August 1910 issue.
Hughes was reported as a Junior Eagle puzzle winner in 1912 on April 3, April 10 and April 17.
By October 22, 1912, the Daily Eagle had published eight drawing by Hughes. The editor of the Junior Eagle section, “Aunt Jean”, looked forward to meeting Hughes. On November 6, 1912, Aunt Jean announced Hughes’ paper doll.
Over two dozen drawings and paper doll outfits by Hughes would appear in the Junior Eagle in 1913. In the same year Hughes submitted art to St. Nicholas magazine which featured her Gold Badge award illustration, Through the Window, in January. The magazine listed her in its February, March, April, June, July, August and October issues.
In the Daily Eagle, February 3, 1914, Aunt Jean wrote
… One boy and two girl contributors to the Junior Eagle celebrated their sixteenth birthday last year and their work no longer adorns the pages of our little paper, as credits are given only yo boys and girls under 16. I am sure you know who they are, for we miss the superior contributions from their pens—they are Dorothy Hughes, Harry Diehl and Florence Chadeayne.The Daily Eagle, February 26, 1914, reprinted Hughes’ first “Drawings to Be Accepted by a ‘Grown-up’ Magazine [Motion Picture Story Magazine, March 1914].” Her last drawing appeared in the June 1915 Motion Picture Magazine.
I hope they will be occasional contributors, for we do not want to forget these talented little nieces and the nephew. …
The 1915 New York state census said the Hughes family lived at 1014 Park Place in Brooklyn. The household included a servant.
Four days after the state census, the June 5 Daily Eagle said
Dorothy Hughes, of 1014 Park place, whose contributions of drawings were a feature of The Junior Eagle only a few months ago, has taken the gold medal for artwork in Adelphi Art School. Dorothy is only 16 years old and until she entered the art school she never took a drawing lesson, and her only experience was gained through drawing pictures for the weekly edition for children of The Eagle.The June 7 Daily Eagle reported the student art exhibition at Adelphi and said
Her drawings, when she contributed, were well executed, and even at that time the girl, then between the age of 13 and 15, was called an artist of real ability. Scarcely a week went by that one of Dorothy’s drawings did not appear in the paper and each seemed far better than the last.
When she became too old to send in contributions for the Junior Department, she matriculated in Adelphi Art School at the age of 16, and there, for the first time, was given actual instruction as to the way to draw. She grasped the mechanical part of drawing easily and soon showed such marked superiority over her classmates that her work was watched carefully by the teachers. For that reason she was awarded the prize and her victory in the competition was very popular.
The medal Dorothy received is the only medal of gold given for first-year classes, and it is prized the more because it brings with it the assurance that the competent critics of the pupils’ work saw in her a girl with ability and the power and desire to learn.
In charcoal drawing from the cast there are on the walls about 200 works on Whatman paper and the arrangement is such that all of the drawings are in good light. The prizes were as follows: To Dorothy Hughes, gold medal for full length nude, “Aphrodite” …In the same issue, Aunt Jean wrote
Readers of the Junior Eagle have not forgotten the exquisite drawings contributed by Dorothy Hughes which adorned the pages of the Junior and won for the little artist words of highest praise from older and competent judges. Great success in the field was predicted if Dorothy chose to adopt art as a profession. This she decided to do, and entered the Adelphi Art School, where her natural talent improved and won for her the distinction of the award of this year’s gold medal for antique drawing, the only gold medal given to the first year students.In 1916 St. Nicholas listed Hughes in January and published her art in March.
Members of the Junior Eagle Art Club will learn of the success of its former member with pride and pleasure. Dorothy was always modest and retiring, but her work spoke for itself. Since entering Adelphi and having her drawings accepted professionally by several magazine, this talented girl has not forgotten the Junior Eagle, but has contributed, gratuitously, several beautiful drawings showing a steady improvement on her former work, for, like all ambitious persons, she was not content to rest on her laurels, but aimed to improve on all work she had done, even the best that she had done.
The Junior Eagle is proud to honor its gifted former Art Club member. We wish her continued success in her chosen profession, and the farm that will surely follow will have been richly deserved.
The Daily Eagle, December 22, 1918, described Hughes’ additional art training.
She took a one year’s course in the Life Room of the New York School of Applied Design for Women in New York City. From there she took up portrait painting under Joseph Boston at Carnegie Hall. Two summers were spent at Provincetown in the Art Colony studying landscape and oils under George Elmer Browne, and another year was spent at the New School for Life and Illustrations at Boston.FitzGerald’s Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám: Popularity and Neglect (2013) lists Hughes’ 1919 and 1921 illustrations for the Omar Khayyám Club of America.
Miss Hughes has not aimed to do professional work while studying, but she has had drawings published in the Motion Picture Classic Magazine and in the M. P. Magazine. At the present time fashion designs and advertising work are occupying her attention.
Before the 1920 census, Hughes’ father passed away. The 1920 census enumeration counted Hughes, her mother (the head of the household) and sister in Belmont, Massachusetts at 3 Oxford Avenue. Hughes’ occupation was commercial artist. The 1922 Belmont city directory had the same address.
In 1921 Hughes contributed art to the Boston Post which serialized previously published novels including The Wings of Youth, The Elephant’s Board and Keep, and Miss Vannah of Our Adv. Shop.
Hughes exhibited a painting in the Provincetown Art Association’s Fourteenth Annual Exhibition of Paintings, Drawings and Prints which ran from July 29 to September 8, 1928. Her listing appeared as “39. Dorothy Stuart Hughes, Commercial Street, West End.” The following year Hughes was on the entertainment committee.
American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Hughes created the panel, Angelina’s Line a Day, which ran from February 2, 1929 to April 4, 1942, in the Boston Post.
Hughes has not yet been found in the 1930 census. She and her mother were listed in the 1930 Boston directory at 60 Fenway. In the 1931 directory, commercial artist Hughes resided at “290 Mt Auburn W’town” and had a studio at “755 Boylston room 212”. The 1933 and 1934 Boston directories said Hughes was at 92A Pinckney. Two years later, Hughes lived at 352 Riverway.
In the 1940 census, Hughes resided in Rockport, Massachusetts at 34 Granite Street. She owned the house. Her occupation was commercial artist working in the newspaper industry. Hughes earned $3,315 in 1939. Gloucester and Rockport city directories, from 1939 to 1944, listed Hughes at the same address.
Records of Hughes whereabouts after 1944 have not been found. A 1955 Harvard Alumni Directory said Eric Duff Forsbergh was living at Hughes’ house in Rockport. It’s not clear if Hughes passed away or moved before 1955.
The Social Security Death Index does not have a “Dorothy Hughes” who was born on November 25, 1897 but it does have a possible match in “Dorothy Marsh”, born on that date, lived in Massachusetts and passed away April 1965.
Dorothy Hughes’ Brooklyn Daily Eagle Illustrations and Paper Dolls
August 16, 1910: The Three Little Travelers
April 21, 1912: A Vision of Spring
April 30, 1912: “Yum Yum”
May 14, 1912: Among the Blossoms
May 25, 1912: This Is Patricia, Our New Doll
June 12, 1912: A Charming Pose
June 24, 1912: A Good Catch
June 26, 1912: Her Pet
October 7, 1912: Off to School
October 22, 1912: A Yachting Girl
November 9, 1912: Baby Bunting, His Clothes and Toys
January 6, 1913: The Twins
January 11, 1913: Jessie—Her Outfit
January 18, 1913: Dolly Jessie’s Outfit
February 14, 1913: Valentines and Young Artists Who Drew Them
March 19, 1913: Mistress Mary
March 22, 1913: The Easter Girl
March 29, 1913: Lucile—Part of Her New Spring Clothes
April 5, 1913: Lucile’s New Spring Clothes
May 29, 1913: Spring Maid
May 31, 1913: Jeanette—Some of Her New Summer Clothes
June 5, 1913: The June Bride
June 7, 1913: More of Jeanette’s New Summer Clothes
June 18, 1913: The Bathing Beauty
June 21, 1913: The Sweet Girl Graduate
July 9, 1913: The Tennis Girl
July 19, 1913: Fair Margaret and Her Up-to-Date Clothes
July 23, 1913: A Summer Girl
July 26, 1913: More Dresses for Margaret, the Popular Doll
August 5, 1913: A Summer Day’s Treat
August 26, 1913: The Midsummer Girl
September 30, 1913: Feeding the Squirrels
October 7, 1913: The New Fall Hat
October 23, 1913: Autumn
October 31, 1913: Prize Winners in the Eagle’s Halloween Contest
November 7, 1913: The First Peep
November 13, 1913: The Bumped Head
February 26, 1914: Former Junior Member Successful
March 13, 1914: “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep”
December 24, 1914: Under the Mistletoe
January 2, 1916: Baby’s Five Senses, No. 1—Sense of Light
January 9, 1916: Baby’s Five Senses, No. 2—Sense of Taste
January 16, 1916: Baby’s Five Senses, No. 3—Sense of Hearing
January 30, 1916: Baby’s Five Senses, No. 5—The Sense of Smell
December 22, 1918: The Junior Eagle Hall of Fame No. IX.—Dorothy Hughes
Dorothy Hughes’ Motion Picture Magazine Illustrations and News
Answers to Inquiries
page 146: Togo.—You ask what happened to Dorothy Hughes. Nothing, except she doesn’t submit drawings any more.
page 154: Nellie, Montreal.—Dorothy Hughes does not submit drawings to us any more. She is studying art.
Labels: Ink-Slinger Profiles
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Obscurity of the Day: Angelina's Line a Day
Dorothy Hughes' single-panel cartoon series, Angelina's Line a Day, ran in the Boston Post from February 2 1929 until April 4 1942. Despite the good quality of the drawings and gags, the feature seems to have never been offered in syndication.
Trina Robbins has original art samples of a few later features created by Hughes, but if they ever saw newsprint I'm not aware of it.
The title of this panel series is a mystery. First, the panel ran twice per week for all of its existence as far as I know, so where does the "Line a Day" come in? And second, who the heck is Angelina? As far as I know, there was no continuing character by that name in the feature.
In the 1920s, there was a Dorothy Hughes who was a beauty queen, a model, a showgirl and an actress, and married an editor of the New York Mirror tabloid. I so wanted this to be the gal who also created Angelina's Line a Day. But Alex Jay, that party-pooper, spoiled my fun. More on our Dorothy Hughes tomorrow in his Ink-Slinger Profile.
Tuesday, July 09, 2019
News of Yore 1972 : Morrie Turner Profiled
Wee Pals Strip takes its Creator into Big Business
by Jim Scott (Editor & Publisher, January 15 1972)
|Morrie Turner conducts a 'chalk talk' for children in Berkeley school.|
The genial Morrie, whose voice flows as soft as sorghum, is the creator of "Wee Pals," a daily comic strip, that the Register and Tribune Syndicate, Des Moines, distributes to 75 papers, including two in Africa.
(One African girl wrote Morrie: "Is it possible to make a living selling lemonade on the street?")
"Cartooning has always been the big interest in my life," ,says Turner. "But newspapers have provided me with an extra bonus. It's prestige, prestige that opens many doors, principally the door to childhood."
Close to Children
Turner appears frequently before school children in Oakland and Berkeley for "chalk talks." He's particularly proud of the "Wee Pals Read-in," which he conducts during the summer, in Berkeley public libraries. Sometimes children refuse to believe that this kindly gentleman is an artist but their doubts vanish rapidly as he sketches Nipper on the blackboard.
He draws about 30 letters a week, about half of them from youngsters. They even send him cartoon ideas-some usable.
Morrie gets no inspiration from his own family, for his and Letha's only child Morris, is grown, gone and working for the telephone company.
Charles Schulz, of "Peanuts" fame has been Turner's hero, and he admits patternmg Wee Pals after "Peanuts." (Schulz first strip was called "Little Folks")
Like Schulz, Turner now is big in books - author of four cartoon works, "Wee Pals," "Kid Power," "Right-On, Wee Pals," and "Wee Pals Getting Together." He's also produced two children's books, "Nipper" and "Nipper Power." Moreover, he and Letha turned out a "Black and White" coloring book.
Further, Morrie authored "Freedom Is," a cartoon compilation of opinions of sixth grade pupils in Berkeley schools. Another of this stripe, bowing shortly, is 'God is Groovy," in which youngsters talk about God.
Turner also is following Schulz into television. ABC will give Nipper and his friends the full-hour treatment in the Fall.
Again like Schulz, Turner has gone into merchandising. An Oakland firm, Outta Print, is producing Wee Pals T shirts, bearing such legends as "Rainbow Power" and "Peace Loves Peanut Butter and Jelly."
A comparative little guy himself, at 5-9, 165, Turner has odd work habits. He prefers the still of the night.
He starts work at midnight and remains at the drawing board until around 4 a.m.
"I also watch television," "Rather, I listen to it. I watch the start of a movie for about five minutes to place the characters in my mind, then turn away from it to go to work. After that, I don't see the screen but simply hear the words."
He sleeps till around noon. Oatmeal is his favorite breakfast food.
The Turners occupy a two-bedroom unit in an Oakland apartment building, and one bedroom serves as his office. Plaques and trophies he has won decorate the walls.
Morrie finds plenty to do after breakfast. With Letha's help, he answers his mail. Besides his grade school visits, he teaches an adult cartoon class at night at Laney College and also serves the Volunteer Bureau, a wing of the Community Chest. And several times monthly he planes to the East or Midwest for appearances before school and parent-teacher groups.
Turner didn't make an impressive start in cartooning. In fact, he flunked an art course at Berkeley High, where his only fame came as a quarter-miler on the track team. ("We were always drawing flowers," he said. "I prefer people.")
At this time, Morrie had already started sketching friends and neighbors.
After his graduation from high school, Morrie Turner joined the Army, and it was in camp papers that his cartoons first appeared.
In Police Clerk's Job
At war's end, Morrie returned home in 1946 and married his high school sweetheart. He caught on as a police clerk in Oakland, remaining on the job 13 years.
In his spare time, Turner kept busy at the drawing board. He sold often to trade journals, then he began hitting Collier's, Look and the Saturday Evening Post.
By 1960, Morrie was making enough on his cartoons to quit his job and go fulltime into his beloved avocation. He began turning out "Dinky Fellas," for free for the Berkeley Post, a black weekly. It included only three characters; today, 11 populate Wee Pals.
Lew Little, looking for a Negro strip for his syndicate, heard about Turner's talent in 1964, checked over his Post creations and signed him up.
The Oakland Tribune and the Los Angeles Times were the first papers to accept the strip and Morrie was on his way. Since then, it has been only onward and upward.
In his Sunday cartoon, Turner early introduced "Soul Corner," in which he often salutes some outstanding Negro out of the past.
"Letha does all the research on this for me," said Morrie with a wink.
Labels: News of Yore
Here's a question (that nobody ever asked but me), What strip went through the most different syndicates? I think it might be Wee Pals. It started as a Lew Little, then became a Register & Tribune, then King Features, Then United Features, then Field Enterprises,News America, North America and finally Creator's.
Monday, July 08, 2019
Obscurity of the Day: Cinderella Suze
Jack Callahan was a real dynamo of the Hearst cartooning bullpen in the 1910s, and one of his tasks was to quickly produce substitute material when the syndicate was caught short. Cinderella Suze is a case in point.
In June 1918 the premier Hearst Sunday comics section, operating under the Star Company moniker, had the good fortune to bring on board the great Rube Goldberg, who was starting a new strip for them called Boob McNutt. At the same time, Fred Opper seems to have tired of producing Happy Hooligan, and he came up with a new strip, The Dubb Family. The Sunday section was in flux, and for some reason they needed Jack Callahan to fill in for three weeks.
Thus was born Cinderella Suze, a fun strip which features a mother and her two daughters playing out a modern version of the Cinderella story. Older daughter gets all the attention from her god-digging mother, who hopes she'll snare a rich husband, while younger sister Suze toils in rags. Of course Suze ends up turning the tables on her family in each breezy installment.
The strip ran June 2, 9 and 16th 1918, and then with the debuts of Boob McNutt and The Dubb Family the next week was presumably gone forever. However, Cinderella Suze was asked for a curtain call almost two years later on April 18 1920 when Jimmy Swinnerton was apparently unable to produce a Little Jimmy strip for that day. This time Cinderella Suze, still toiling in the shadow of her sister, ran under the International Feature Service banner for her swan song.
Do you think the 1920 strip was actually drawn in 1918, and just sat around for two years as an emergency stop-gap, as they did many times in the early 1910s, or was it a new piece of art, with an eye to maybe launching a new series?
Saturday, July 06, 2019
December 27 1909 -- According to the LA Examiner, the Delaware and Hudson Railway Company has determined based on (pseudo-)scientific research that men who weigh less than 150 pounds are unable to perform a "normal day's work" due to their slightness. The solution to the problem is simple -- they will pink slip any man of less than that weight. Apparently 19 men so far have fallen to the axe due to their lack of avoirdupois. Looking over news from subsequent months, it appears that the D&H went through with their idiotic plan and that there was no significant backlash from the employees' union.
Perhaps even more interesting in today's item is the use of a term that gained currency for a few years in the 1900s -- Oslerization. What does it mean? Esteemed Canadian doctor William Osler was making a speech in Baltimore when he happened to mention in jest that men over the age of 60 might be euthanized due to their lack of usefulness. Osler was definitely joking; he was 55 at the time, and made mention that he was uncomfortably close to the cut-off date. However, some newspaper reporter in the audience, looking for a story, chose to take his remarks as having been made in seriousness. The story made all the wire services, and soon poor Doctor Osler was being widely regarded as an inhuman monster who wanted to euthanize older men. His name even became a widely recognized term for the concept, giving us the thankfully now forgotten term 'Oslerization.' The National Post offers much more detail to this shameful story.
Labels: Herriman's LA Examiner Cartoons
Friday, July 05, 2019
Wish You Were Here, from Percy Crosby
Here's another Percy Crosby card from the uncredited series in which headline letters get blacked out in some weird unbreakable code. EDL, get it? Wink wink, nudge nudge. No? Maybe I'm looking at it wrong. AWRCKEANGE!! Ha ha, now I see.
No I don't.
I guess I'll just have to settle for Crosby's magnificent play on words. That I get. And I'd like to give it back for a refund.
Labels: Wish You Were Here
Does it appear to you this isn't really Crosby? It's pretty amatuerishly excecuted, like the misshapen hat, and feetare all wrong, unless Mr. Angle here has a gimpy right leg. This looks like maybe a redrawn sketch of a Crosby work, with his signature.
Thursday, July 04, 2019
News of Yore 1972: End of an Era -- Bell and McClure Syndicates End
Bell Features and Personnel move to United
William C. Payette, president and general manager of UFS, announced that Sidney Goldberg, president of NANA and its affiliate Bell-McClure, has joined the Scripps-Howard syndicate with the title of general executive. Goldberg, former NANA editor, has been president of the NANA-Bell-McClure operations since last February.
NANA and Bell-McClure are owned by Good Reading Corporation, and the move of the acquired features operations to UFS offices at 220 East 42nd Street is expected to be completed by the middle of the month.
Jack Anderson's Washington column, published in more than 700 dailies, is among UFS acquisitions, as are columnists Bill Vaughan, Marya Mannes, Sidney Margolius, Ernest Cuneo; Sheilah Graham and Harry Golden; the editorial cartoons of Art Poinier, TV Time, NANA and Women's News Service, and comics "Hizzonor" by Bill Feld, "Funland" by Art Nugent, "Life's Like That" by Fred Neher, and "Little No-No and Sniffy" by George Fett.
Al Hoff, NANA-Bell-McClure treasurer, has joined the United Feature staff as well as Sheldon Engelmayer, an editor of NANA, who will continue in the same function. Bell-McClure editor Martin Linehan and Donald Laspaluto, sales, are among others making the move to UFS.
Labels: News of Yore
Wednesday, July 03, 2019
Mystery Strips: Howie Reed
New Book Page Panel Drawn by Fitzgerald
Through fictitious action, Mr. Fitzgerald shows that books do things and he illustrates the humorous reactions of people to the subject matter in current and past best sellers.
The star of the panel is a gentle character, the keeper of a book store or library, as the case may be, who is witness to the most fantastic happenings imaginable in and out of books.
Mr. Fitzgerald is originally from Braintree, Mass. He early showed artistic ability and earned his first dollar at the age of eight by selling a drawing to the Boston (Mass.) Herald-Traveler. Throughout his public school days, he continued his progress as an artist and in high school was once forced to forfeit first prize in a poster contest because the judges felt he must have copied it. Despite this discouraging injustice, he continued his creative art.
The artist developed a deep interest in books at an early age and this interest has been intensified in recent years. Before he left high school, he had accumulated a library of 300 volumes. With one of his books, he taught himself to spin a baton and led two bands.
With the start of World War II, Fitzgerald enlisted in the Army but continued his two loves -- art and books. At Camp Plauche, La., he was assigned to the Graphic Training Aids unit, where he spent a year and a half working with other professional artists on posters and military training aids. Later he went to radio school and was active as a radio operator on an Army ship. While aboard ship, he started a lending library (free) to encourage reading.
In 1947, Mr. Fitzgerald joined the promotion department of the Times-Picayune as creative artist.
"I started developing the idea for 'Howie Reed' about five years ago and after much experimentation, changing, improving, trial by error, consultation with editors and finally the syndicate we arrived at the present form, which we think is just right," said Mr. Fitzgerald.
That said, I'm not finding anything panel-wise for Albert J. Fitzgerald either.
Tuesday, July 02, 2019
Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Kreigh Collins
Kreigh Taylor Collins was born on January 1, 1908, in Davenport, Iowa. The birth date is from the Social Security Death Index and his birthplace was mentioned in several profiles.
In the 1910 U.S Federal Census, Collins was the only child of Stephen and Nora, who resided in Rock Island, Illinois at 1045 23rd Street. His father was a building contractor.
The Collins family lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan at 331 Eureka Avenue S.E., according to the 1920 census. Collins’ father was a bakery merchant.
The Grand Rapids Press, June 22, 1922, reported the student recital, “Advance piano pupils of Miss Mary Lourena Davis, assisted by the Hemingway quartet, gave a recital Monday evening in the St. Cecilia studio. The following played numbers: … Kreigh Collins …”
A search of the Kent County School Census produced a single hit for Collins in the year 1924.
The Grand Rapids Public Library has a Collins archive and said “He attended high school at Cincinnati (Ohio) High, where he majored in art, but dropped out at 16 to pursue art in earnest. He studied art in Cleveland (1924-1925) and in 1925 opened his own studio.”
Who Was Who in American Art (1985) said Collins studied at the Cincinnati Art Academy and the Cleveland Art School. In the Council Bluffs Nonpareil (Iowa), August 7, 1949, Collins said
“No brass plate indicates the place of my birth in Davenport, in 1908. And the building in which I started in the illustration world 19 years later is now, alas, a parking lot. On the third floor (walkup) of this dingy old brick structure I rented a room, called it a studio, called myself an illustrator, and hoped it would work. …”The Grand Rapids Art Museum catalog, Artists of Grand Rapids, 1840–1980, said
Kreigh Taylor Collins was born on January 1, 1908, in Davenport, Iowa. However, he grew up in Grand Rapids, attending Central High School. Although his parents were not oriented toward art, they encouraged young Collins to draw. One day he wandered into the Grand Rapids Art Gallery in the old Monument Square Building, where he saw an exhibition of landscapes that moved him deeply. The result of this experience was that he left high school to study art at the Cincinnati Art Academy. He showed great promise and around 1927, quit the Academy to become a practicing artist. …The Mansfield News-Journal (Ohio), September 15, 1934, said Collins studied at “the Julian Academy in Paris. A sketching tour of Europe took him into the mountains of Spain and into Morocco.” On June 29, 1928, Collins arrived in Quebec, Canada from Cherbourg, France. The passenger list recorded his home address as 532 Gladstone Avenue, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
It was around the end of the 1920’s that Kreigh Collins was befriended by Mathias Alten. The best-established artist in Grand Rapids, Alten discerned the promise of the youthful, sometimes impetuous Collins, and encouraged him to work further in developing his oil-painting technique. Collins, at that time, had found employment producing posters and other art work for the lobbies of local theaters, with the help of another artist friend, Lumen Winter. Like many artists in Grand Rapids at that time, Collins was much influenced by Alten. When he heard that the older artist was planning another trip to Europe, he asked to accompany him. The trip across the Atlantic in Alten's company was a great adventure for the young artist …
A family tree at Ancestry.com said Collins married Theresa van der Laan on January 19, 1929. She would be the model for many of his paintings and comics characters.
The 1930 census recorded the couple in Chicago, Illinois at 432 Belmont. Collins was a commercial artist.
On May 22, 1931, Collins and his wife departed Liverpool, England. They arrived in Quebec seven days later. Their address was 532 Gladstone Avenue, Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Grand Rapids Public Library said “… he and Theresa returned to Paris, where he worked and studied, and first began to concentrate on his landscapes.”
The Bay City Times (Michigan), February 5, 1933, said Collins would paint the covers for the early issues Outdoors.
Grand Rapids Public Library said
Upon their return to the states, the Depression was severe, but Collins did well and in 1935 painted and sold many landscapes in the small village of Leland, Michigan. Then, in 1935–1936, he contracted with a newspaper syndicate to illustrate the “Do You Know” series by Willis Atwell for the Michigan Centennial. During the next two years, he painted portraits in Ohio, eight 20' X 40' or larger murals in Dallas, and landscapes in Taos, New Mexico. All the work caught up with him, and in late 1937 he could no longer use his right arm to paint. He discovered, however, that he could make line drawings by resting his elbow on the arm rest of a chair and his forearm on the drawing board. The Methodist Publishing House, which had until then bought only a few of his travel sketches, started sending him large quantities of work. …Collins’ Informative Classroom Picture Series portfolios include Knighthood: Life In Mediaeval Times (1937); Life in Colonial America (1937); Early Civilization (1939); Our City Home and Community Life (1939); Clothing and Textiles: Clothing in Other Lands (1940); The Story of Textiles (1940); Transportation from Earliest to Modern Times (1940); How Man Has Put Himself on Record (1942) and Voyage and Discovery (1942).
According to the 1940 census, Collins, Theresa and one-year-old Eric lived in Ada Township, Michigan on Bronson Road. Collins’ parents lived next door. He was a self-employed artist.
The Holland Evening Sentinel (Michigan), July 9, 1957, profiled Collins and said
His big break came in 1940 when The Methodist Publishing Company asked him to draw comic strips, based on the Bible, to be syndicated in Church papers. So he began to draw for them. It took six months to draw his first page. But then it became easier. He drew the stories of Paul, Moses, jesus, Joseph, and others, and these became popular not only in the United States but in Australia and South America as well.American Newspaper Comics said Collins’ strip Mitzi McCoy began November 7, 1948. The Editor & Publisher, August 26, 1950, said Collins’ NEA strip, Mitzi McCoy, was scheduled to become Kevin the Bold in October. According to American Newspaper Comics, the strip was retitled Up Anchor on October 27, 1968. The topper was called Water Lore. The writing was handled by Collins, Jay Heavilin and Russ Winterbotham. The series ended February 27, 1972.
For the NEA collins produced The Legends of Christmas which ran from December 6 to 24, 1965.
Among the books Collins illustrated are: Do You Know?: An Illustrated History of Michigan (1937); Tricks, Toys and Tim (1937); Americans All: A Pageant of Great Americans (1941); For Cross and King (1941); My Neighbor, Mexico (1941); The Torch of Liberty (1941); Explorers All (1942); The Perilous Island (1942); The Book of Courage (1943); Knight of the Wilderness, The Story of Alexander Mackenzie (1943); Marconi, Pioneer of Radio (1943); The Lone Woodsman (1944); Bible Days (1948); John the Baptist and Jesus in Galilee (1948); The Church Through the Centuries (1949); Let’s Read About Mexico (1949); The Oregon Quest (1950); Sister White (1950); Uncle Arthur’s Bedtime Stories (1950); The Captive Princess: The Story of the First Christian Princess of Britain (1952); The Bible Story, Volume Three (1954); The Amazing Story of Christopher Columbus (1958); David Livingstone (1961); God Is with Us: The Church’s Teaching in the First Grade (1964) and Into the Lion’s Jaws: The Story of David Livingstone (1971).
Collins passed away January 8, 1974, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, according to the Michigan death index. The Social Security Death Index did not have the day of death. Collins’s wife, Theresa, passed away at Heather Hills Care Center in Grand Rapids on January 8, 2008.
Syracuse University Library
Labels: Ink-Slinger Profiles