Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Jim Ivey's Photo Album, Part One
In 1967 he opened the Cartoon Museum, a gallery and collector's haven for cartooning fans, offering original art, books, comics, tearsheets and ephemera, even cartooning classes. It wasarguably the first establishment of its kind, and always unique in its scope and atmosphere.
In 1974 Ivey started the Orlandocon annual convention series, ostensibly a comic book convention, but actually far more eclectic and far-ranging, embracing all phases of the cartooning art. The roster of guests over the years was a who's who of cartooning, most of whom were attracted by the presence of Ivey, one of their own -- it was one of the few events, other than National Cartoonist Society events, where cartoonists could meet and enjoy each other's company.
After many successful years of operation, both the Cartoon Museum and Orlandocon succumbed in the 1990s due to the comic book industry implosion. Though Ivey never focused exclusively on comic books, that portion of the business unfortunately financially overshadowed the rest.
Ivey is now in his eighth decade, mostly retired though he does do occasional freelance cartooning jobs. He tries to read a book a day, and keeps both his wit and drawing pen sharp through writing correspondence liberally peppered with cartoons.
Jim Ivey is a raconteur, bon vivant and a very dear friend. We have known each other for a quarter century now, ever since I wandered into the Cartoon Museum as a teen. Jim taught me his love of cartooning, just as he did for so many others, and with Stripper's Guide I carry on in his footsteps. If you enjoy this blog, you have Jim Ivey to thank. He imparted to me a fascination with comic strip history, an appreciation for scholarship, and the importance to always remember that cartoons are supposed to be fun, so don't get too all-fired serious about the whole thing.
Jim has agreed to allow me to share with you a big batch of photos from his scrapbook, which I think you'll find are a darn sight more entertaining than those snapshots of Aunt Millie's vacation you have to look through each year. The photos came to me in a big stack, in no particular order, and because I'm lazy, I'll present them in no particular order. I'll identify the culprits as we go along, and throw in some commentary which is 99% pure baloney. Here we go...
Jim Ivey and C.C. Beck discuss the relative merits of cigars versus cigarettes at the first Orlandocon in 1974. C.C. seems to have Jim on the ropes in this debate, or is it just one too many vodka gimlets?
Three cartoonists from Red China make a pilgrimage to the Cartoon Museum in 1990. They tell Jim that they are the creators of the only science fiction comic book published in China. Ivey is in no position to dispute their tale.
Jim Ivey about to cold-cock Burne Hogarth with an Ignatz Award at the second Orlandocon in 1975. Ivey designed the award, a brick sporting a brass plaque, as an homage to some comic strip or something.
Even the honored guests at Orlandocon 1974 were obliged to stand in line to go to the bathroom in the overtaxed facilities. From left to right, Edmund "Scorchy Smith" Good, Mel Graff, Les Turner, Ralph Dunagin, and the lucky stiff at the head of the line, who's dashed out of frame as a vacancy has opened up in the loo.
Labels: Jim Ivey's Photo Album
Ivy is to strips what Bails was to comics.
And he ain't mad at nobody!
Thanks for the tribute, Allen.
I too knew Mr Ivey, in my teens.
I spent may an hour at the Cartoon Museum (at the various locations it resided) as well as going to many of the Orlandocons, in the 80s-90s.
Still have my programs, many with original sketches.
Thanks for the trip down memory lane.
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