Saturday, September 10, 2011

 

Herriman Saturday

Friday, February 14 1908 --Sports roundup, with Cravath and Carlisle signed by the Boston Red Sox but the owner of the Angels predicts he'll replace them easily; wrestling is becoming popular in LA, Occidental College athletics are in gear, and some of the leading lights of boxing go on a hunting trip.

Saturday, February 15 1908 --Guy Barham, a social leader in LA, contributes the brilliant idea that to break up the trusts we should ignore them. Hoookay.... Barham, a pal of William Randolph Hearst later went on to be appointed publisher of Hearst's 1922 acquisition,. the LA Herald. Barham promptly died within the year. 

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Friday, September 09, 2011

 

Ink-Slinger Profiles: Bil Dwyer



William Raphael Louis "Bil" Dwyer, Jr. was born in Ohio on January 29, 1907, according to the North Carolina Death Collection, 1908-2004 at Ancestry.com. In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, he lived with his parents, William and Minnie, in Portsmouth, Ohio at 57 West Second Street. Dwyer Sr. was employed as wire chief at the telephone company; his full name was found on his World War II draft card.

Dwyer lived in Perrysburg, Ohio at 348 First Street, according to the 1920 census. The household included his sister and maternal grandmother. His father was a telephone engineer. In the book Milton Caniff: Conversations (2002), Caniff said he enrolled, in Fall 1925, in Ohio State University, where he met Dwyer and Noel Sickles. Presumably, Dwyer had taken art classes during his four years of college (U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938–1946, Ancestry.com).

Dwyer was unemployed in 1930; he lived with his parents and two siblings in Paint, Ohio on Blazer Road. The date of his move to New York City is not known, but he produced material for King Features. In 1932 he took over the strip Dumb Dora from Paul Fung; an excerpt from Milton Caniff: Conversations of Will Eisner's interview with Caniff, which was first published in Will Eisner's Spirit Magazine, numbers 34 and 35:


Caniff: …[in 1932] when I reached New York I called Bil Dwyer who had also worked on the Columbus Dispatch.

Eisner: Oh—he did Dumb Dora, that was it.

Caniff: Well, it's pertinent here. I called him just socially and told him I was in town to say hello. I didn't know where he lived, on Christopher Street. I didn't even know where Christopher Street was. So he said, "My God, I'm glad you called! I've got a problem here. Come on down!" This was like the first night I was in town and he had been submitting things to King Features and selling gags, by the way, to the magazines, Colliers and the New Yorker. Anyway, he had submitted a gag-type strip to King Features and he got a call back saying that Paul Fung was being pulled off Dumb Dora and Dwyer had the assignment. Here he was suddenly with six strips and a Sunday page to do and he'd never done anything except single panels.

Eisner: Oh boy!

Caniff: And he was in trouble. Frank Engli was helping him.

Eisner: Frank Engli...He was a sports cartoonist, right?

Caniff: No, he did lettering. He later on did a strip called Looking Back, about stone age characters—

Eisner: Oh, I see.

Caniff: —very well done cartooning. But his lettering was especially good. So I went down to see them and they were laboring away at the first release. Bil was a good gag writer, but he'd never had this kind of assignment before. So he said to me, "Will you sit in on this thing and especially draw the girls?" So I laid out the first batch of stuff and again, it was not hard for me to do because I had those eleven o'clock deadlines every morning. And so then I inked the girls and he inked the other characters; very simple drawing.

Eisner: Who wrote the stuff?

Caniff: Dwyer. He was a very good gag man. Chic Young had originated the character and then Paul finally took over from Chic when Chic started Blondie. Paul was drawing it before Dwyer. I never did find out, by the way, why he withdrew.

Eisner: Dumb Dora was a very successful strip in its day.

Caniff: Maybe Fung had a fight with King Features. I don't know and I never did ask. So we made the deadline, which was the thing that was bothering Dwyer, but in the mean time I had to go to work the next morning at eight o'clock....




Dwyer's first Dumb Dora daily appeared on September 5, 1932, and his first Sunday on October 30, 1932 (see above); the strip was cancelled in 1936. He was living in Pinellas County, Florida, when he was enlisted in the army, on August 27, 1943. Where and how long he served is not known.

He produced the syndicated strip, Sandy Hill, which ran from 1951 to 1954. The date of his move to North Carolina is not known. The Laurel posted an article about Highlands, North Carolina where Dwyer lived. The author walked on Main Street and recalled his memories of him:



How about more recent times? Leeann and Charlie Maybury moved from Florida and opened the Cheese Shop in the old Talley and Burnette Building, a dry goods store owned by Harvey Talley and Johnny Burnette now occupied by Paoletti’s Restaurant, on Main Street. It was across Main Street from Bill [sic] Dwyer’s Merry Mountaineers shop in what had been Louis Edwards’ wood work shop, later the Bird Barn and now a new building for the Acorns Shop.

I digress.

The Cheese Shop was famous for their piled high sandwiches, much like those of the Sports Page today. Another favorite was their loganberry fruit drink. No carbonation but so different from the other soft drinks. Worth Gruelle, of Raggedy Ann and Andy fame like his father Johnny Gruelle, favored the loganberry fruit juice. He would buy two glasses and walk across the street to see his friend Bill Dwyer and share the juice. Bill was in his second retirement with his wife Louise. He had been a newspaper comic strip artist that included Dumb Dora as well as doing cartoons for many national magazines. He also worked with Walt Disney on a number of animated feature films. He and Worth would sit on the bench in front of the Merry Mountaineer and have many interesting discussions.


Among his books are Dictionary for Yankees and Other Uneducated People (1971); Southern Appalachian Mountain Cookin' (1974, with Louise); Thangs Yankees Don't Know (1975); Southern Sayin's for Yankees and Other Immigrants (1976); 2001 Southern Superstitions (1978); How Tuh Live in the Kooky South Without Eatin' Grits: A Fun Guide Book Fer Yankees (1978); Cookin' Yankees Ain't Et (1980, with Louise); Southern Folks Yankees Should Know (1981); Sexy Birds of the South: Fun Book For Yankee Bird Watchers (1982).

Dwyer passed away on December 13, 1987, in Highland, North Carolina, according to the North Carolina Death Collection and Social Security Death Index.

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Thursday, September 08, 2011

 

Ink-Slinger Profiles: H.C. Greening


Harry Cornell Greening was born in Titusville, Pennsylvania on May 30, 1876, according to Who Was Who in America: With World Notables, 1969-1973 (1973); his World War I draft card has the same birth date. In the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, Greening was the oldest of two sons born to Samuel and Margaret, and they resided in Titusville, Pennsylvania at 56 Monroe. His parents were Canadian and his father was a traveling salesman. Who Was Who in America said he had a public school education, “attended night class Art Students' League, New York. First work appeared in New York Herald, 1896, and sold drawings to Truth and Life same year; on staff New York Journal comic supplement, 1898; subsequently connected with Judge, Puck, Life, Harper's, Scribner's, etc.”

In 1900 the family lived in East Orange, New Jersey at 38 Hollywood Avenue. Two more sons were in the family. Greening’s occupation was cartoonist. Who Was Who in America said he was the “originator of various comic series, including Prince Red Feather series for St. Nicholas; drew Percy page series for New York Herald.” Other strips, this decade, include Joco and Jack, Uncle George Washington Bings, and Prince Errant.



Lexington Herald (Kentucky), 5/20/1906


He illustrated The Gentle Grafter by his friend, O. Henry. In 1907 ten stories appeared in the San Francisco Call: June 9;  June 16; June 23; June 30; July 7; July 14; July 21; July 28; August 4; and August 11. The stories were collected and published in 1908. It can be viewed at Project Gutenberg.

In 1910 Greening, his parents and youngest brother stayed in East Orange at 9 North Grove Street. He was a cartoonist for periodicals. His strip, Majah Moovie, for the New York Herald, was advertised in the Evening Post (New York) on December 19, 1914; from the ad: “A new comic in full colors by H.C. Greening, ‘Majah Moovie’ wishes to preserve a reel diary for posterity and prepares everything in advance.” In 1918 his strip Fritz von Blitz was published. He signed his World War I draft card on September 9, 1918; his occupation was cartoonist at the New York Herald. His description was tall height, medium build with brown eyes and hair. Who Was Who in America said he “was officially sanctioned by the U.S. Govt. and was used abroad for the A.E.F. [American Expeditionary Force]; made cartoons for the govt.”

The family of four remained at the same address in 1920. Greening was still a newspaper cartoonist. According to the World Encyclopedia of Cartoons (1980) he drew “for the McClure Newspaper Syndicate (a kid strip, Eb and Flo) and the Illustrated Daily News of Los Angeles. He was the inventor of Sporty Sam and Funnyfishes toys and developed the Wishbone Man Game, which was based on his Eb and Flo strip, as was a storybook.” [Allan's note: I can find no evidence that The Wishbone Man was ever officially titled Eb and Flo or syndicated by McClure -- as best I can tell it originated with Cornelius Vanderbilt's CV Syndicate]  The Catalog of Copyright Entries, Part 1, Books, Group 1, New Series, Volume 21, Number 71, October 1924 has an entry, on page 640, for Greening.

Greening, Cornell, 1876—
The Wishbone Man; a fairy story for the right kind of boys and girls, by Cornell Greening. New York & London, The Century co. [1924]
31, [110] p. illus. 17 1/2 x 23 1/2. $1.00
© Aug. 15, 1924; 2c. and aff. Aug. 19; A 800520; Century c.
(24-19414) 4401


The Wishbone Man comic strip, Hamilton Daily News (Ohio), 4/10/1925

The date of Greening’s move to Los Angeles, California is not known. He was recorded in the 1930 census as a newspaper cartoonist in Los Angeles at 335 Fremont Avenue. He was in the news when a drawing of him was returned; the Times-Picayune (Louisiana) had the story on April 4, 1930.

Artist Gets Lost Drawing by Caruso
(By the Associated Press)

Los Angeles, Cal., April 3.—Enrico Caruso, the tenor, before his death a few years ago, exercised his hobby by making a crayon sketch of Harry Cornell Greening, pioneer comic strip artist.

Caruso autographed the picture, sent it to Greening, and a few days later it disappeared. Wednesday, from New York, Greening received the sketch in a letter, which did not disclose the name or address of the sender.

The date and place of Greening’s death is not known at this time. The World Encyclopedia of Cartoons said it was circa 1930, while AskArt.com has it at circa 1945. Greening was alive in 1941 and lived well into the 1940s. The New York Times published a death notice, on December 5, 1941, on his youngest brother.

Greening—On Thursday, Dec. 4, 1941, Edward H., son of the late Samuel H. and Margaret Greening of 181 North Oraton Parkway, East Orange, N.J., in his fifty-third year, brother of Charles H. and Harry C. Greening….

The New York Times published, on May 9, 1945, a letter from Greening who wrote, on April 26, from a New York address. On the September 12, 1945 letters page of The Sun (New York, N.Y.) a reader responded to a Greening letter regarding British food. It appears Greening moved to New York City in the 1940s.

Greening was mentioned in the end notes of the book, The Unknown Night: The Genius and Madness of R.A. Blakelock, an American Painter (2003). The Encyclopædia Britannica said artist Ralph Albert Blakelock, “suffered a breakdown in 1891 and spent most of the remainder of his life in New York state mental hospitals. During his confinement his fame burgeoned, and his paintings began to bring high prices. The National Academy of Design made him an academician in 1916, three years before his death.”

The Unknown Night has a chapter on Blakelock’s time in East Orange, New Jersey, where Greening once resided. When Blakelock was released from the asylum it was a major news story, and no doubt, Greening was aware of it. He corresponded with New York Times art critic, Edwin A. Jewell, and two of his letters are noted in the book on page 324, “…letter from H. Cornell Greening to Edwin A. Jewell, 1/13/1942…”; and “Letter from H. Cornell Greening to Edwin A. Jewell, 1/4/1946…” Greening was mentioned on page 325, “…More reliable, in this case, is H.C. Greening, who lived across the street and described the 'extensive' Johnson garden, where he said Blakelock had a studio.”

The Post-Star (Glens Falls, New York) reprinted a Greening letter on September 25, 1946.

City Is Given Boost in Ed Sullivan’s Column
The City of Glens Falls is highly complimented in a letter printed in Ed Sullivan’s famous “Little Old New York” column in the New York Sunday News. The letter, which classifies Glens Falls “as neat a little town as we have in this country.” follows:

“Dear Ed: Noted you line that your family comes from the Saratoga country of New York State, and like it. Me too. I've lived all over the world, excepting Australia, but I know of no finer place than this section. Never had an appetite, yet landed in this section, I want six meals a day, including a double breakfast. My great, great grandfather, Col. Robert Harpur, had a “farm” of 180,000 acres up near Saratoga, according to a book in the public library. He was born in Scotland, went to Dublin U. as a professor, fell in love with the Irish and when he came to America to joint the staff of Kings College, he got the idea of bringing over large groups of Irish. He was a man of means, so he brought over three shiploads of immigrants and put them to work raising flax. How this turned out I don’t know, but Troy, Amsterdam and many other towns in upstate New York still specialize in shirts and collars. Glens Falls, near Saratoga, is as neat a little town as we have in this country. Cordially, Cornell Greening.”

He was not listed in Manning’s Glens Falls, South Glens Falls, Hudson Falls and Fort Edward [New York] Directory for the available years 1941, 1942, 1944, 1946, 1948 and 1949. He was alive in 1946, and, apparently, into the following year. The FictionMags Index has a listing for the periodical, Blue Book, February 1948, which had an article, “New Evidence”, written by Cornell Greening and Richard March; it was about “curious circumstances in the life of John Booth just before his crime.” What became of Greening is still a mystery.

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Wednesday, September 07, 2011

 

Obscurity of the Day: The Wishbone Man









Oh, I wish I could give you all the dope on The Wishbone Man by H.C.Greening. If only I had a Wishbone Man of my own I'd yank his legs and make him do the splits until he granted my wish.

H.C.Greening was an old-timer in the comic biz by the 1920s; he'd been around since Yellow Kid days, and though that was less than thirty years before, it probably marked him as a bit of a fossil. His success in the 1910s was limited to various incarnations of his crazy robot strip, Percy, and that funny but repetitive feature got him through the whole decade but came to an end in 1919.

By the 20s it appears his reasonably well-known name wasn't even an asset. On The Wishbone Man, his last newspaper strip series, he went by the name Cornell Greening.

Or maybe he was just a little sheepish. I first find The Wishbone Man as a product of the CV Newspaper Service, quite a step down from Greening's previous post at the New York Herald. This syndicate was the byproduct of a rather brattish young fellow who wanted to be a journalist over the objections of his fabulously rich family. Cornelius Vanderbilt IV started a modest but feisty chain of newspapers in 1923. Unable to secure the use of syndicated material for his newspapers, he started his own syndicate. Neither the syndicate nor the newspapers did at all well and the CV Newspaper Service is about as obscure as they come. Based on the chain member San Francisco Daily Herald, The Wishbone Man had a very short run, less than two months, from December 10 1923 to January 26 1924. Yet a reprint book was issued by the Century Company based on this run, which seems outlandish for such an ephemeral item.

A clue may lie in Richard Marschall's write-up on Greening in the World Encyclopedia of Comics. He says the strip was with McClure Syndicate. I have not found any evidence of this, but perhaps there was a McClure run before the CV run. (As an aside, he also seems to say that the strip may have been known as Eb and Flo during that run).

After leaving the Vanderbilt organization and publishing the book, the feature shows up again, this time at the very bottom of the barrel -- Bernarr MacFadden's New York Evening Graphic. The strip runs there from February 22 to November 13 1926 (these dates are from the Philadelphia Daily News, a part of the MacFadden chain, and may not be the same dates as the home paper).

Greening's final strip may have been well-travelled, but it's not all that great, and besides, it's just a little creepy. Children making wishes by pulling on a weird old dude's legs strikes me as something that would have parents chasing down the author with torches and pitchforks these days. As a diversion for the smaller kids in that simpler time, though, I'm sure it was well-received and Greening need not be ashamed of his last feature (only a little abashed at the venues in which it ran).

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Hey Allan,

Also interesting is the fact that Greening made a few Percy cartoons for JR Bray in the late 'teens, you can see the art from one on my pal Tom Stathes' Bray Animation Project website.
 
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Tuesday, September 06, 2011

 

Ink-Slinger Profiles: Ed Grinham




Edward "Ed" Grinham was born in London, England on August 19, 1883, according to a passport application filed on January 15, 1920. The family emigrated to the United States in December 1889. In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, the Grinham family of six resided in St. Louis, Missouri at 2620 Laclede Avenue. Grinham, an artist, was the third of four sons born to James and Harriet. His father was a laborer for the railroad. The Cleveland Plain Dealer (Ohio) published the following article on December 24, 1908.


Newly Weds Are Wedded

George McManus, the artist who created the Newlyweds, Panhandle Pete, the Jolly, Jolly Girls and many other comics for the past four years, was married tonight to Miss Florence Bergere, the original Mrs. Newlywed. The ceremony was performed at the Hotel Belleclaire by Rev. Arthur C. McMillan, rector of the First Presbyterian church of Yonkers.

Those present were Mr. and Mrs. Edward Grinham of St. Louis, Ray Peck, the author and his wife, and W. K. Semple of the Circle theater.

Mr. McManus being shy and bashful, had been keeping his coming marriage a secret. He had planned to be married at the city hall by Mayor McClellan but when he learned that the secret was out he decided to wed at once.



The Repository (Ohio), 4/1/1910


In 1910 Grinham and his younger brother, George, lived with their parents in St. Louis at 5005 Ridge Avenue. He was a newspaper cartoonist, and his brother was a newspaper artist. The New York Evening Telegram published Grinham's Well, I'll Wait a Little While in 1910 and I Should Say Not in 1911. The Elkhart Daily Review (Indiana) reported Grinham's visit on July 7, 1911.


Edward Grinham, press representative with the Miller 101 Ranch show, is a cartoonist by profession, and as such was engaged for a number of years with leading publications of the east. His health failed, outdoor life was advised, the present engagement offered itself, and Mr. Grinham finds himself attached to the breeziest "outenest" outdoor occupation he could have hoped fortune would throw his way. The Review herewith presents a specimen of Mr. Grinham's work.


Who's Who in Animated Cartoons (2006) said, "…in 1915…Edward Grinham…animated for newspaper maverick William Randolph Hearst's International Film Service." The book Before Mickey: The Animated Film, 1898-1928 (1993) said, "…George McManus was unquestionably the most influential source of family material. His successful strip "Bringing Up Father" was made into cartoons at I.F.S. in 1916-17 by Edward Grinham, who was hired especially for the job and was supervised by Frank Moser and Bert Green." Grinham signed his World War I draft card on September 12, 1918. He was a cartoonist for the Air [illegible] Corporation, which was based in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. He lived with his wife at 2011 Morris Avenue in the Bronx, New York. His description was medium height and build with gray eyes and brown hair.

He was not recorded in the 1920 census because he was out of the country. His passport application showed he (see photo) was an artist and salesman, and was traveling for professional work to England and France. He departed on January 24, 1920. He returned to New York, aboard the S.S. New York, on April 22, 1920, from Cherbourg, France. The passenger list showed that he was a widower, and resided at the Long Ash [sic: Longacre] Hotel in New York City.

In 1930 Grinham and his second wife, Florence, lived in Teaneck, New Jersey at 1165 Anna Street. The census showed that he was 27 years old (1910 or 1911) at his first marriage. His occupation was business manager for a photo-engraving company.

The New York Times covered the funeral of Ogden M. Reid on January 8, 1947, and mentioned Grinham.


1,500 at Funeral of Ogden M. Reid

Leaders in the political, financial and business life of the nation and many figures of social prominence were among the more than 1,500 persons who attended a funeral service yesterday in St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Fifth Avenue and Fifty-third Street, for Ogden Mills Reid. Mr. Reid, editor of The Herald Tribune and president of the Herald Tribune Corporation, died on Friday night at the Harkness Pavilion of the Columbian-Presbyterian Medical Center at the age of 64….

Other Notables Present

Jay N. Darling...Edward Grinham…H.T. Webster…


The date of Grinham's passing is not known.

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You can see another picture of him on http://beckerexhibits.wustl.edu/mini/washu-docs-1903.html That page describes a 1903 book of caricatures by seven illustrators, including the very young Grinham and McManus (both about 20 years old!)
 
Cool page! Thanks Fram.
 
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Monday, September 05, 2011

 

Obscurity of the Day: Well, I'll Wait A Little While


Ed Grinham has two comic strip series to his name, both with the New York Evening Telegram. The Telegram, evening paper of the Herald, had a lot of interesting material running in it over the years, but Grinham's work was not one of the high points.

Well, I'll Wait a Little While was a paean to procrastination. In every strip the main character put something off until finally they got bit. It's terribly formulaic stuff, as was Grinham's other feature, I Should Say Not, another strip in which the characters repeat the title mantra ad nauseum.

Well, I'll Wait A Little While ran from January 6 to September 15 1910, which is about eight months longer than any Telegram readers probably bothered to even glance at it.

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I like the art. It has a nice style and movement. Unlike too much of today's art, we saw John from a variety of angles.

Granted the art was nothing special, but while I would not bother to read the strip I would glance at the pictures.
 
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Sunday, September 04, 2011

 

Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics


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Jim's cartoon was like Seinfeld... about nothing! LOL.
 
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