Tuesday, November 22, 2011

 

Ink-Slinger Profiles: Larry Antonette


Lawrence Jospeh "Larry" Antonette was born in Washington on August 31, 1909, according to the Social Security Death Index and the 1910 U.S. Federal Census. The census recorded him as the only child of Joseph and Florence. They lived in Tacoma, Washington at 4051 South Tacoma Avenue. His father emigrated from Italy and was a grocery salesman. They family remained at the same address in 1920.

In the 1930 census, the family of three lived at 1912 South M in Tacoma. Antonette's father was a salesman for a mining company. According to Lambiek, "…He graduated Washington State University in 1931 and attended the Grand Central School of Art [in New York City]". The date of his move to New York City is not known. In 1935 Antonette produced three strips. The first was Bozo and the Baron for the Van Tine Features Syndicate. The Catalog of Copyright Entries, Part 1, Group 2, Pamphlets, etc., 1935 New Series, Volume 32, Number 9 had this entry:
Antonette (L.) Bozo and the baron. v. 1. © July 16, 1935; AA 184135; Van Tine features syndicate, inc., New York. 27211

Marysville Tribune (Ohio), 11/17/1936

His second strip Biff Baxter's Adventures, syndicated by Lincoln Newspaper Features, followed in December 1935. The Catalog of Copyright Entries, Part 1, Group 2, Pamphlets, etc., 1935 New Series, Volume 32, Number 12 recorded the registration:
Antonette (Lawrence) Biff Baxter's adventures, by Bob Dart [pseud.] © Dec. 6, 1935; A 69964; Lincoln newspaper features, inc., New York. 37491

Key West Over-Sea Sunday Star (Florida), 4/12/1936

Less than two weeks later, Dash Dixon was the third strip, also syndicated by Lincoln, to be copyrighted. The following entry is from the Catalog of Copyright Entries, Part 1, Group 2, Pamphlets, etc., 1936 New Series, Volume 33, Number 1:
Antonette (Lawrence) Dash Dixon, by Dean Carr [pseud.] © Dec. 19, 1935 : A 70681 ; Lincoln newspaper features, inc., New York. 204
Key West Over-Sea Sunday Star (Florida), 4/12/1936

Since Antonette's name was on Van Tine's Bozo and the Baron, two pseudonyms were used for his strips from Lincoln Features, which was operated by H.T. Elmo. It's not known who came up with the pseudonyms "Bob Dart" and "Dean Carr"; my guess would be Elmo since he was the owner. Another artist, Jack Kirby, drew Facts You Never Knew for Elmo's syndicate and signed the strip as "Bob Dart".

A few years later, Antonette found work in the comic book industry. An overview of his comics career can be viewed at Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928–1999. Some of his comic book work is identified at the Grand Comics Database.

He collaborated with fellow artist Carl Pfeufer; their work was recorded in the Catalog of Copyright Entries, Part 4, Works of Art, etc. 1945 New Series, Volume 40, Number 10.
Antonette, Lawrence J. & Pfeufer, Carl T. 11466, 11467
Pfeufer, Cart T. :
Alfy and Bugs. — Alfy and Bugs. They hit the water. © 1 c. each Oct. 8, 1945 ; G 46256, 46257.
This feature, assuming it was a newspaper comic of some sort, has not yet been found running in any newspaper.

Eventually, Antonette returned to Tacoma, Washington where he was the director of the Northwest School of Art at 3605 South 52nd Street. The school offered classes in commercial and fine art, and was advertised in American Artist magazine.

Antonette passed away on February 23, 1997 in Tacoma, according to the Social Security Death Index. His wife Eileen predeceased him by 22 months. The date of their marriage is not known. Their Social Security numbers were issued in New York state, so it's possible they met and married in New York City. They are buried at Calvary Cemetery in Tacoma.

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