Friday, August 15, 2008
News of Yore: A Collection of 1952 E&P Short Items
Cartoonist Uses Drawing Board As His Pulpit
Waco, Tex. - The biggest job and least remunerative for Jack Hamm, a member of the art faculty of Baylor University here, is syndicating free of charge a weekly religious cartoon to more than 300 newspapers in English-speaking countries around the globe.
Mr. Hamm's life story is one of vocational conflict. He wanted to be a cartoonist and he wanted to be a preacher. He has done both. He preached in small churches in his native Kansas and in and around Chicago while he attended Moody Bible Institute.
But financial rewards in churches were not enough to meet expenses. He turned to art and filled several good jobs on syndicated strips. He illustrated "Let's Explore Your Mind" and also helped on such strips as "Boots and Her Buddies," "Alley Oop," "Horace and Babe" and "Bugs Bunny." When a syndicated asked him to start a detective strip of his own. Mr. Hamm declined. He figured it would mean he would have to give up a drive to preach the gospel. So he packed his bags, resigned, went to Baylor to study religious work. He preached at a rural church near Waco. During World War II, he spent 18 months as editor of the Army newspaper in the Aleutians. After the war he took his degree and joined the Baylor art faculty.
Finally, he reached a decision to reconcile his desire to be a preacher. He would use his drawing board as a pulpit. It costs Mr. Hamm and his friends over Texas about $100 a week to supply the newspapers with the free cartoons, all of which emphasize faith in God as a solution to all problems - personal, national and world. Sometime, he digs deep into his own income to meet the weekly expense.
Said Dr. Daniel A. Poling, noted clergyman in New York: "No better example of the cartoonist's art dedicated to faith in God and country has been seen in this generation."
Mr. Hamm recently won $200 from the Freedoms Foundation for a cartoon to promote the American way of life.
Why doesn't he charge newspapers for his drawings? Says Mr. Hamm: "If I charged newspapers for the service, many would be unable to use it, and I believe this tension-filled world needs any word of hope it can get."
King Features Offers Stalin Story Strip
"The Story of Stalin," a seven-part story strip originally released in 1939, has been brought up to date and is offered for release at will by King Features Syndicate. The original drawings by the late Clifton Crittenden have been brought up to 1952 by Alfred J. Buescher, and William Ritt, author of the series, has updated his text.
The series includes the complete life of the Soviet dictator up to his conjectured death, and may be used immediately or when the big news comes. KFS is also distributing a matted picture page on Stalin for obit use.
[Note: I've been unable to find any examples of this short-run strip in either the 1939 or 1952 run. Anyone have samples? -- EDIT -- Found the 1952 version -- 1939 version anyone?]
KFS to Syndicate Walt Disney Page
"Walt Disney's Treasury of Classic Tales," a new color Sunday page, is offered as a continuing feature for first release July 13 by King Features Syndicate.
The strip will feature a completely new story every four or five months. Some of the stories will be realistic adventure stories, while other will be fantasies or fairy tales. First release scheduled is "Robin Hood," which will run for 25 weeks. Among other stories planned are "Peter Pan," "When Knighthood was in Flower," "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea" and "Sleeping Beauty."
Eisenhower Story Strip From Mirror Syndicate
"The Life of General Ike," a 36-installment story strip, is offered for release on or after May 19 by Mirror Enterprises Syndicate, Los Angeles. Drawn by staff artist Bill MacArthur, the strip covers the life of General Eisenhower from his birth to the present day. Available in five-column mat form with manuscript text or in reproduction proof form with manuscript text.
[Note: another short-run strip I've been unable to locate. Anyone? -- EDIT -- Found in San Mateo Times, running 7/21 - 8/30/52]
Top Ten in Salina
The top 10 comic strips and panels in the Salina (Kan.) Journal, according to a reader preference poll conducted recently, were:
Among men: "They'll Do It Every Time," "Blondie," "Dick Tracy," "Gasoline Alley," "Neighborly Neighbors," "Henry," "Li'l Abner," "Smilin' Jack," "The Nebbs" and "Jane Arden."
Among women: "Blondie," '•They'll Do It Every Time," "Dick Tracy," "Jane Arden," "Henry," "Gasoline Alley," "Neighborly Neighbors," "Li'l Abner," "The Nebbs" and "Little Orphan Annie."
Cartoonist Is Dead
Phoenixville, Pa.-Cartoonist W. Kemp Starrett, 62, died July 9 at his farm, "The Grindstone,"
near here. His first cartoon was published in the Brooklyn (N. Y.) Eagle when he was 18. He drew the "Vignettes of Life," a feature which has appeared in many newspapers. He started his career as a political cartoonist on the Philadelphia Times about 1916. Later he held similar positions on the New York Tribune and on papers in Albany, N. Y., and Providence, R. I.
Ralph Yardley Retires After 57 Years
Stockton, Calif.-Cartoonist Ralph Yardley has retired from the Stockton Record after 57 years of newspaper work.
Mr. Yardley, now 73, was the Record's first cartoonist and has been on the staff for the past 30 years. Prior to his Record career, the artist drew for the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Call, San Francisco Bulletin, New York Globe and Honolulu Advertiser, His first job was with the Examiner.
Offers 'Hell Bomb' Strip
Timed to tie in with newly-announced atomic weapons tests at Eniwetok this fall, NEA Service has issued a picture-story strip on "The Hell Bomb." In 12 daily releases it describes the Hydrogen Bomb-including its devastating potentialities, its peacetime use and its underlying principle.
The picture strips are by writer Jay Heavilin and artist Ralph Lane, who have collaborated on several other NEA story strips. First release is Oct. 6.
Labels: News of Yore
According to the March 10, 1953 Warren (Pa) Times-Mirror (page 5) the half fumetti/half art strip I think you have found is from AP.
The intro slug to the strip reads:
"This picture strip is the first in a series of six on the life of Stalin.It is made up in part of idealized conceptions by Soviet-blessed artists, plus several photographs, and three drawings by AP staff artist Ed Gunther. The running story is by Charles Mercer, an AP Staff writer"
That is at odds with the KFS strip described above.
So reads the introduction at the top of page seven of the April 12, 1952 issue of The Mansfield (Ohio) News Journal. That page prints all seven of the strips under the heading "The Story of Josef Stalin"
and distributed by the Central Press Association.
That is the 1952 edition as described in your post. It is closer to a real comic strip than the AP version, which was more a series of panels (drawings and photographs) above several columns of text.
I couldn't find the 1939 series.
Thanks very much for double-checking me on that Stalin strip. I thought I smelled a rat on that 1953 series which was mostly fumetti but in the papers I found it in I saw no credits so pretty much just shrugged it off and made stupid assumptions.
And not only did you fix my mistake, you found the right series as well! Thank you doubleski, comrade DD!