Friday, December 07, 2012

 

Ink-Slinger Profiles: Carl Schultze



Carl Emil “Bunny” Schultze was born in Lexington, Kentucky, on May 25, 1866, the son of Charles and Jane, according to Who’s Who in America, 1903–1905. The Encyclopedia Americana (1919) said his surname was pronounced with two syllables. The 1870 U.S. Federal Census recorded his full name; he was an only child who lived in Lexington, where his father was a music teacher. Little Visits with Great Americans (1904) said he was educated in the public schools of Lexington, Kentucky (not New York) and Cassel, Germany. 

In the 1880 census he was the oldest of three children. His father continued teaching music in Lexington. The Lexington Herald, January 9, 1907, said Schultze’s father had lived in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1855, before moving to Lexington in 1860. After 25 years, he returned to Indianapolis some time after his wife’s death.

…Professor Schultze has a son, Carl E. Schultze, who has distinguished himself as a newspaper cartoonist, being the author of the “Foxy Grandpa” illustrations of the comic section of the New York American.

Mr. Schultze’s wonderful gift as a delineator of the comic side of life was discovered in a most peculiar way. Residing at Indianapolis with his father in the fall of 1889, the news was flashed over the wires of the fatal duel at Lexington, Ky., in which Col. W.C. Goodloe and Col. A.M. Swope both lost their lives. Young Mr. Schultze happened to be in the office of one of Indianapolis’ leading newspapers when the editor asked if it was possible to secure photographs of the two men, from which cuts could be made for publication the following day. Young Mr. Schultze immediately responded, and said that as he had lived in Lexington and knew both men personally, he believed he could draw a sketch from memory. He was told to do so, the cuts were made and the picture of each of the duelists appeared in the paper the next morning.

In a few days the Lexington and Cincinnati papers appeared with cuts of the two men from their latest photographs, and when compared to the production of Mr. Schultze, was found to be much inferior likenesses. Mr. Schultze was well paid for his work and at once began the development of his rare gift and is now one of the highest salaried artists of the country….

Other accounts of his early newspaper career make no mention of Indianapolis. Little Visits with Great Americans said:

…On his return to America he studied art under Walter Satterlee, of New York. For some time later he seems to have been undecided as to how to apply his gifts, but an accidental sketch submitted to a Chicago paper, resulted in his being forthwith engaged by that publication. After remaining in Chicago on several newspapers for some years, he took a trip to California, doing further artistic work in San Francisco….

...After a struggle, during which he did work on Judge and other New York publications, he became a member of the staff of the Herald

The New York Sun, January 18, 1939, said: “…When he was eighteen [1884] he was sent to New York to study art. He wished to become a portrait painter, but he returned to Louisville and obtained a job in a lithographer’s shop. He failed at this work and drifted to Chicago, where he went to work on the Daily News….” The New York Times, January 19, 1939, said Schultze “…got his start with The Chicago News at $16 a week. Among his colleagues were Peter Finley Dunne, John T. McCutcheon, George Ade and Richard F. Outcault.”

The date of his move to New York has not been determined. Who’s Who said he married Mary Greenlee Brown in November 1899, in New York. The marriage was his first and her second, according to the 1910 census.

On January 7, 1900, his Sunday features, Foxy Grandpa and The Herald Vaudeville Show, debuted on the same page in the New York Herald; the strips were signed “Bunny”. (Foxy Grandpa in other newspapers is hereSome original art can be viewed here.) The origin of the Grandpa’s name was explained in the New York Sun:

…Schultze often told the story of the naming of Foxy Grandpa. He said that he owed it to the late William J. Guard, press representative for the Metropolitan Opera, who was assistant to Edward Marshall, Sunday editor for the Herald in 1900. Schultze had explained to the Herald that he wanted to draw a comic strip which would create an old man who could turn the tables on the youngsters.

“I just called him Grandpa at the start,” he said. “Then Guard added Foxy to it and it stuck.”



The debut of both strips

The vaudeville feature underwent title changes and ended in 1901. Schultze has not been found in the 1900 census. Soon Foxy Grandpa was adapted for the stage as mentioned in the New York Tribune, August 4, 1901:

Asbury Park Thronged.
…Carl E. Schultze, the New York cartoonist, is a newcomer at the Hotel Columbia. Mr. Schultze came to the Park to witness the initial performance of “Foxy Grandpa” at the local theatre….


New York Herald 8/3/1901

Who’s Who said he resided at the Hotel Beresford, 1 West 81st Street, New York City. Foxy Grandpa’s popularity made Schultze a celebrity. Frank Leslie’s Popular Monthly, September 1903, published an amusing anecdote and photograph (top). 

…Mr. Schultze looks more like a banker than a comic artist. Many of his friends who have known him for years are unaware of his connection with the Sunday Comic Supplement. One day, as he stood talking with a prominent politician of his acquaintance, a young newspaper reporter slapped Mr. Schultze on the back and hailed him as “Foxy Grandpa.” “Why don’t you punch the impudent young scoundrel’s head?” inquired the politician after the reporter had gone. “What for?” asked Mr. Schultze. “Why, what business has he to call you Foxy Grandpa? You’re not old.” “No,” replied Mr. Schultze, “Still I’m old enough to be Foxy Grandpa’s father.”

Schultze and his wife suffered a terrible tragedy which was reported in the New York Press, November 24, 1906:

Wife’ Shots Kill Husband and Self
Mrs. J.F. Delaney, Known on Stage as “Bessie Mortimer,” Uses Revolver.
Chicago, Nov. 23.—Known on the stage as Bessie Mortimer, and formerly a member of Otis Skinner’s company, Mrs. James F. Delaney, wife of the vice president of the American Shipping Company, to-day shot her husband through the brain, and then killed herself, firing a bullet into her mouth. The bodies were found in the apartments occupied by the Delaneys in the home of Mrs. Cyrus Woods, No. 490 Lasalle avenue. The shots were heard by a watchman at 5 o’clock, and it was almost noon before the rooms were entered.

The Delaneys were well known in New York, and returned from there only ten days ago. The husband frequently went East on business. Delaney was 33 years old, and his wife 27. They were eight years married, and leave no children. The wife was Elizabeth Brown, and her mother now is married to Carl E. Schultze, an artist, at Ninety-fifth street and Broadway, New York….

...Carl E. Schultze, the stepfather of Mrs. Delaney, was seen in his home at Ninety-fifth street and Broadway. He said that he was too greatly shocked to discuss the tragedy, and that his wife was so unnerved by the news of her daughter’s terrible end that she had been ordered to bed by a physician.

In 1910, his address was Manhattan, New York City at 101 West 78 Street, where he was a newspaper artist. A notice in the New York Clipper, January 13, 1912, said Schultze may be headed to vaudeville.

Carl E. Schultze, whose “Foxy Grandpa” series is well known to newspaper readers, is a possible recruit to the stage. If negotiations now pending are successful, he is to be presented in a vaudeville sketch which is to be built around a piece of lightning sculpture. it is said that something entirely different from the average sort of “rapid sketch” act has been evolved by the author, a well known local newspaper man. 

Apparently he changed his mind, as reported in the Lyceumite and Talent, March 1912: 

The announcement that Carl E. Schultze, the creator of the “Foxy Grandpa” cartoons, is to go into the lyceum is erroneous in one particular. It seems to have been made without consulting “Bunny” himself. Mr. Schultze writes Lyceumite and Talent: “I’m really not thinking even of going into vaudeville. The idea came from an interested friend who gave it to Mr. Mindel.”

However he was interested in the stage as an investment. The New York Dramatic Mirror, November 12, 1913, reported the following:

Bunny Theater to Open Soon
The Bunny Theater, Broadway and 147th Street, is rapidly being put in shape for its grand opening. Carl E. Schultze, the creator of Foxy Grandpa and Bunny, is pulling some noteworthy publicity stunts that have the Heights residents raised to high pitch of expectancy. One was a rebus, drawn in the well-known Bunny style, for the solution of which free tickets to the opening were given. The date of the opening will probably be Nov. 25. J.W. Brandon is president of the Bunny Theater Company and Carl E. Schultze, vice-president.

A few details of his business holdings were revealed in The Trow Copartnership and Corporation Directory, Boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx, City of New York (1914):

Bunny Amusement Corporation (N.Y.) (Julian W. Brandon, Pres.; Carl E. Schultze, Sec. Capital, $25,000. Directors: Julian W. Brandon, Abner B. Stupel, Carl E. Schultze) 3589 B’way

Bunny Theatre (R.T.N.) (Carl E. Schultze & Julian W. Brandon) 3589 B’way

In the 1915 New York State Census he lived in New York City at 160 Claremont Avenue. His occupation was writer. He has not been found in the 1920 census but the Commercial Register (1920) had a listing for him: “Schultze Carl E., 256 W. 57th. Cartoonist”. The Bourbon News (Paris, Kentucky), August 17, 1920, reported the death of his father. 

Apparently he moved to Florida for a while. The Herald (Miami, Florida), September 3, 1922, said he lived at St. John’s casino in Miami Beach, and “...Writing poetry is a recent accomplishment with him, he says, which he may take up seriously under the inspiration of Miami skies.” At some point he returned to New York. He helped a missing boy reunite with his Brooklyn family. The Fourth Estate, January 16, 1926, said in closing:

…Incidentally, Foxy Grandpa who writes for the New York Evening Journal, indirectly secured for his newspaper one of the biggest and cleanest missing-boy-found “scoops” ever achieved. The Journal published details of the finding when its rivals were headlining the report was still missing.

And this feat came about just because Foxy Grandpa, in real life life as in pictures, could not pass by when he saw a shivering, ragged urchin obviously hungry on the sidewalks of the richest city on earth.

Long live Foxy Grandpa!

His move to Richmond, Virginia, was trumpeted in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, April 24, 1928, headline: “ ‘Bunny’ Comes to Richmond; Will Make His Home Here”. And another version of his newspaper debut was told:

…Mr. Schultze’s first drawing was cut with a pen knife on wood on the Lexington (Ky.) Transcript. He then began to use chalk plate, which was a newspaper process of the earlier days. He got his real start with Victor Lawson on the Chicago Morning News, which is now the Record, a start which proved auspicious even though he arrived in Chicago with only 5 cents in his pocket. When Mr. Schultze began his career on the News, John T. McCutcheon and George Ade were working there, and Eugene Field had just left….

Schultze did commercial art work and one of his projects was a coloring book for the Nolde Bros. Bakery, which was advertised in the Times-Dispatch, November 11, 1928. 


His time in Richmond was recounted in the January 19, 1939, Times-Dispatch:

...Many Richmonders will recall the tall, heavy-set Schultze, not unlike his famous creation, for he spent about a year in this city in 1928.

At that time, Schultze had hopes of creating a comic strip character which again would enshrine him in the hearts of youngsters. He did some special work for The Times-Dispatch and also was connected with E.C. Pollard in his advertising business here.

He later did a cartoon strip for the News Leader….

The 1930 census recorded him in New York at 407 West 57th Street. He was a widower; it is not known when his wife passed away. With Foxy Grandpa’s best days behind him, Schultze lived a low-rent existence. In his book, The Longest Street, Louis Sobol remembered him during his decline. 

States-Times (Baton Rogue LA), December 30, 1938, published Charles B. Driscoll’s “New York Day by Day” column who wrote:

Carl E. Schultze, creator of “Foxy Grandpa,” recently recovered from an illness that nearly carried him off, sent us a New Year card depicting him in a neck-and-neck race with the Grim Reaper. The old fellow with the scythe is falling behind at the finish. 

Schultze passed away January 18, 1939, in New York City. His obituary appeared the same day in the New York Sun:

‘Foxy Grandpa’ Creator Dies
Carl Schultze Passes Away in His Sleep Here.
Suffered a Heart Attack
His Comic Strip First Appeared in Herald 38 Years Ago.

Carl Schultze, who created the famous comic strip known to the last generation as Foxy Grandpa, was found dead today in his neat little room at 251 West Twentieth street. There the man who once made hundreds of thousands from his drawings eked out a living from occasional jobs with his faltering pencil.

Schultze had lived in the room for two years. He was always cheerful and always impressed the other boarders as being rather a prosperous man because he was so neatly dressed. On November 4 he was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital suffering from a heart attack. He seemed to recover and went back to his room. Today he was found lying in bed by a parlor maid. A surgeon from St. Vincent’s said that Schultze had died in his sleep.

Foxy Grandpa, who had side whiskers and a sharp sense of humor, was created in the comic section of the New York Herald, where it first appeared on January 7, 1900.

Its success was immediate and it lasted for twenty years. Then changing tastes and other conditions made it seem less valuable and it finally disappeared from the Sunday newspapers. Schultze tried to explain its disappearance once. He pointed out that it was a pretty, old-fashioned brand of humor, that there was no romantic angle to it and that Foxy Grandpa was “too smart to be a sugar daddy.”

He added: “I guess I must own up that perhaps I ran out of ideas for the dear old gent. But somehow he didn’t fit into today’s picture.” He signed the signature Bunny to his comic strip. Thousands of letters came to him during the palmy years. He once said that he had employed three secretaries to open them every day….

…Schultze’s wife died about twenty years ago. In 1935 he was aided by the Emergency Relief Bureau, and recently he had been on the WPA rolls. Last year Editor and Publisher printed an article in which it said that Schultze was planning to restore Foxy Grandpa to the syndicate field. He was going to be a modern grandfather.

(Some sources have Schultze’s name wrong. In Coulton Waugh’s The Comics he is “Charles E. Schultze.” The World Encyclopedia of Comics has it as “Carl Edward Schultze”. And “Charles Edward ‘Bunny’ Schultze” can be found at AskArt.com.)

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