Saturday, February 18, 2012

 

Herriman Saturday

Saturday, February 29 1908 -- Pretty self-explanatory, Stanford meets the St. Vincent Saints in a collegiate baseball game.

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SVC was Herriman's alma mater. I always wonder if he is lampooning any of his old associates in these St. Vincent's sports comics, or what it was like when he went back to his old school to attend games as a Hearst cartoonist.
 
I like the goat wondering what's going on, anyway. I sure animals think that about humans all the time.
 
Nothing too funny there (mostly inside jokes, I guess) but it's neat to see this. I think it shows that people were much more connected to their teams in the past. I imagine a lot of readers on the sports page knew who all these people were. --Matt
 
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Friday, February 17, 2012

 

Ink-Slinger Profiles: Garfield T. Haywood




Garfield Thomas Haywood was born in Greencastle, Indiana on June 15, 1880, according to his World War I draft card. The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis (1994) said he "moved with his family to Indianapolis as a child, locating in the Haughville neighborhood. He was educated at School 52, attended Shortbridge High School…" His artistic talent was noted in The Recorder (Indianapolis, IN) in its July 15, 1899 issue: "Young Haywood, the artist, is making rapid progress, being patronized by both white and colored[,] office 934 Bismark avenue."

In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Haywood was the oldest of six children born to Bennet and Penann. They lived in Indianapolis, Indiana at 948 Bismark Avenue. He was a day laborer. The Freeman (Indianapolis, IN) published this item on March 1, 1902: "G.F. [sic] Haywood, artist on the Recorder, and Miss Ida Howard, were married last week." According to the Indiana Marriage Collection, 1800-1941, at Ancestry.com, the couple married on February 11, 1902. The exact date of Haywood's departure, in 1902, from The Recorder is not known.

His front-page editorial cartoons appeared in The Freeman beginning on December 20, 1902. The paper followed up with an article on January 3, 1903:


Garfield A. [sic] Haywood

Young Haywood, the artist, was "discovered" and his talents brought prominently before the people about a year ago by Geo. P. Steward, editor of the Indianapolis Recorder. He is a moulder for the Malleable Iron Works company, and it is only at odd moments that he is prepared to make his drawings, which have attracted so much attention and favorable comment lately. Not since the palmy days of Moses L. Tucker have we had so excellent an artist of color among us as Mr. Haywood. The frontispiece of the holiday number of The Freeman is a drawing from his pen, and is an illustration of what a young man may do when he centers his mind and his efforts on some object catering to his fancy.


The Colored American (Washington, DC) profiled Haywood (see photo) on February 21, 1903; an excerpt:


A Hoosier Artist
A Promising Colored Cartoonist Who Is Making His Way to the Front

...One of our most promising young men is Mr. Garfield F. [sic] Haywood, of Indianapolis, Indiana, who has already made an enviable record in the artistic world. With but little, if any instruction, but with a native gift to be recognized. In his earlier years his bent seemed to be drawing and his marvelous fidelity to nature soon attracted wide attention. He was born in Greencastle, Indiana, in 1880, but soon found the necessity for a wider field, and coming to Indianapolis found not only remunerative employment in humbler walks of life, but opportunity to develop his remarkable talent. There his wonderful felicity as a cartoonist brought him prominently before the people. The Recorder and The Freeman of his adopted city has availed itself of his services on several occasions….


The entire profile can be read at Chronicling America. The Freeman Gallery was an art and text feature focused on stage performers; it debuted on September 16, 1905. The first three and sixth portraits were unsigned, so, probably, they were not drawn by Haywood. His first signed portrait was on October 7, 1905. The poems were by Charles Marshall. The last three weeks of April 1906 were written by someone named Duncan. Haywood assumed the writing on May 5, 1906. The Gallery ended with him on September 21, 1907. The Freeman praised the artist on November 11, 1905.


A Leading Young Artist of the West

The Past and Present Career of Garfield T. Haywood, Present Cartoonist of The Freeman—The Greatest Known Artist of His Race—Several of His Successes Here Produced.

The above sketch is one that Mr. Garfield T. Haywood recently made of himself during a few of his leisure moments. Those who have seen him as he generally appears in every day life will say that it very much resembles him.

To look back over the course of three or four years and to remember the steady climb Cartoonist Haywood had made since then amid all sorts of struggles, is indeed gratifying. How often newspapers and other publications had refused his work is almost countless, but with his iron faith, he went on until he conquered. George P. Stewart, publisher of the Indianapolis Recorder, was the first to take hold of him and put him before the public. From the very first cartoon of his that was published he was pronounced a winner, and he won praise from his town, State and nation. His work has appeared in white publications as well as colored. For some time he was staff artist for Dignam's Magazine of Richmond, Ind., and occasionally he received checks from Bobb-Merrill's Reader Magazine, and has done a great amount of illustrating for book concerns. Probably his most effective work has been done since he has been connected with The Freeman as cartoonist. His cartoon work has received a great deal of praise in the last year or so, and seems to be gaining more from the evidence we gain from the mail. The world has become very familiar with his "Jim Crow" and "Scare Crow," and many children have laughed at his humorous sketchings and says of his parrot. Mr. Haywood has assumed a style of cartooning that is purely his own and that no one has been able to imitate. There are a few who know that he has produced some very clever oil paintings of his own, which adorn the walls of his palatial residence 944 Bismark avenue, where he is surrounded by a happy little family consisting of a wife and a four year old daughter.


According to Memoirs of Wayne County and the City of Richmond, Indiana (Western Historical Association, 1912), Dignam's Magazine was published from September 1904 to August 1906. The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis said, "As a young man Haywood was very active in religion, serving as Sunday school superintendent for the Methodist and Baptist churches. In 1907, Haywood attended a gathering of Pentacostals in Indianapolis and became part of that movement. Two years later, he founded the Christ Temple Apostolic Faith Assembly. Haywood, who published numerous articles and tracts on behalf of his faith, rose to become Presiding Bishop of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World."

In 1910 the Haywoods lived in Indianapolis at 1101 Fayette Street. He was a preacher at a church. He signed his World War I draft card on September 12, 1918. He lived in Indianapolis at 1924 Boulevard Place, and was a minister at a church on "Senate and 11th, Indianapolis." His description was medium height and build with brown eyes and black hair.

In 1920 they lived in Indianapolis at 1902 Capitol Avenue. He was a "minister of the gospels." Several years later, he took his family overseas. Aboard the S.S. Leviathan, they departed Southampton, England on June 21, 1927 and arrived in New York CIty on June 27.

The couple remained at the same address in 1930. He was a "Minister, Pentacost Church." He and his wife spent time in Jamaica. They returned on the S.S. Metapan to New York City on February 18, 1931. Less than two months later, Haywood passed away on April 12, 1931 in Indianapolis, Indiana, according to The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis.

Apostolic Archives International has a profile of Haywood.

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

 

Obscurity of the Day: Don Powers


The eight-page color comic section produced for the Pittsburgh Courier is the only attempt I'm aware of to do a color comics section in a black paper.* Although the Courier's section, produced by the Smith-Mann Syndicate of New York City, did have an all-black cast of characters, quite a few of the strips were drawn by whites.

One black creator who did get space was Courier regular Sam Milai. Milai's work appeared in the paper for over three decades, starting in 1937.  By 1950, when the color section began, Milai was already practically an institution at the paper. He was an ambidextrous cartoonist, quite at home with both bigfoot humor and straight illustration. Milai sought to show off his ability to do a realistic adventure strip for the color section, and came up with a sports feature titled Don Powers. The strip featured a clean-cut hero who is the Joe DiMaggio of baseball, Muhammad Ali of boxing, and Red Grange of football all rolled into one. He gets into all sorts of scrapes with gamblers, gangsters, rivals and so on, and triumphs mainly by being so pure and faultless.

The strip debuted with the new color section on August 19 1950, and outlived the section by many years. After the color section was dropped in August 1954 the strip switched to black and white, slowly reduced in size to a daily-style strip, and lasted in the Courier until November 1 1958.

Thanks to the University of Michigan Special Collections Library for photos of their collection of Courier color sections. They have the only known run of the early color sections from 1950-51, and were very gracious in sharing photos of the strips in their collection with me. Above are the 1st, 2nd and 4th strips in the Don Powers series.

* There was one other color comic strip, but it was just a single strip, not a section.

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These are really great. These Courier color section examples are really fascinating
 
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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

 

Ink-Slinger Profiles: Sam Milai



Ahmed Samuel Milai was born in Washington, DC on March 23, 1908, according to a family tree at Ancestry.com. In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, he was the youngest of three children born to Mohamed and Sarah; his name was recorded as Elisha S.H. Milai. The family lived in Locust Dale, Virginia. The census said his father, a traveling artist, was born in "Spain Hindi"; he immigrated in 1898. Milai's paternal grandparents were born in "India Hindi." His mother and maternal grandparents were born in Virginia; in the 1880 census under the column, Color of Race, her family was classified as mulatto. In 1910 the Milai family was described as mulatto.

Milai's father painted the murals for the Central Baptist Church in Charleston, South Carolina. A report documented the history of the church with photographs of the church exterior and interior, and the murals.

In 1920 the family lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at 174 Auburn. Milai's name was recorded as Samuel, and his father's name was Amohamed, who was born in India. According to the family tree, Milai's father passed away on March 1, 1924 in Detroit, Michigan.

Milia has not been found in the 1930 census. Shortly after the census, Milai married Bernice Rucker. The family tree said their son, Ahmed Samuel Jr., was born in Pittsburgh on August 23, 1931. According to the Delaware Death Records at Ancestry.com, Milai's mother passed away on April 15, 1932 in New Castle.

Milai found work as a cartoonist at the Pittsburgh Courier, which published his strips Bucky (1937), Your History (1940), Don Powers (1950) and others.


Your History


Milai passed away on April 30, 1970 in Pittsburgh. A photo of Milai was published in African Americans in Pittsburgh (2006). The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, at Ohio State University, mounted the exhibition, Sam Milai of the Pittsburgh Courier in 2008.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

 

Obscurity of the Day: Woody Woodenhead


The Pittsburgh Courier color comics section was so full of adventure strips, they almost forgot the humor element. However, they did grudgingly allocate one page for gag strips, one of which was Woody Woodenhead (the other was Sunny Boy Sam by Wilbert Holloway). This feature had a simple formula -- a dimwitted kid innocently puts his foot in his mouth and faces the wrath of an adult. It wasn't exactly Shakespearean in depth, but the strip was always nicely executed and the gag well-told.

The creator, Edo Anderson, I know nothing about except that he did a few things for Smith-Mann Syndicate and the Courier, chief among them being Woody. He certainly did have an interesting drawing style -- note for instance the noses on the characters which look like they were chiseled out of a block of wood.

Woody Woodenhead debuted along with the Smith-Mann color comics section on August 19 1950 and ran until August 4 1956, outliving the color section in the Courier by two years. After the first few years the title of the strip was often abbreviated to just Woody.

Thanks to the University of Michigan Special Collections Library for photos of their collection of Courier color sections. They have the only known run of the early color sections from 1950-51, and were very gracious in sharing photos of the strips in their collection with me. Above are the first two strips in the Woody Woodenhead series.

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Happy Birthday to Oliver Wendell Harrington, born 100 years ago today.
Sorry for the digression.
 
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Monday, February 13, 2012

 

Ink-Slinger Profiles: Wilbert Holloway

First Sunny Boy Sam in color, 8/19/50


Wilbert Louie Holloway was born in Indiana on August 11, 1899, according to his World War I draft card. In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, he was the only child of John and Lucy, who lived in Jeffersonville, Indiana. His father was a day laborer.


In 1910, the family remained in the same city where he was the oldest of three children. His father was involved in car work. The date of their move to Indianapolis, Indiana is not known. Holloway signed his World War I draft card on September 12, 1918. His address was 1413 East 16th in Indianapolis, and attended the Indianapolis Technical Institute. His description was medium height and build with brown eyes and black hair.

Holloway, his father and brother Neely were recorded in the 1920 census. They lived in Indianapolis, Indiana at 1413 East 16 Street. His father had divorced and worked at a brass foundry. His brother was employed at a meat packing company. He was unemployed. At Ancestry.com, the Indiana Marriage Collection recorded Holloway's marriage, on June 12, 1922, to Fannie Belle Smith. In Hale Woodruff: 50 Years of His Art (1979), "Woodruff shared a small studio with Wilbert Holloway who also had attended the Herron Art School." In Notable Black American Men: Volume 1 (1998), Jessie Carney Smith wrote about artist Hale Woodruff, and said he was "…Sharing evening studio expenses with artists Wilbert Holloway (who was the only other African American student in the class of about 40 students at Herron) and John Wesley Hardrick…" From an interview in Hale Woodruff: 50 Years of His Art, Woodruff recalled his time with Holloway.


Wilbert Holloway, who was a cartoonist for the "Pittsburgh "Courier," and I went to art school together. We had a funny little studio together back in Indianapolis in the early 1920's. One day he said, "Man, this fine art is too much for me. I'm going to get into something where I can deal with the people." So he wrote to Mr. Robert L. Vann, who was editor of the "Courier" in Pittsburgh, and got a job that paid him $50 a week as cartoonist.


The date of his move to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is not known. In 1928, his strip Sunny Boy Sam began in the Courier.

In the 1930 census, he, Fannie and two daughters lived in Pittsburgh at 1238 Monticello Street. A Black National News Service: The Associated Negro Press and Claude Barnett, 1919-1945 (1984) published this account of Holloway's attempt to get his strip syndicated.


In January 1930, Wilbert Holloway, who was drawing "Sunny Boy Sam" for the Pittsburgh Courier, wrote the director asking if ANP [Associated Negro Press] could handle "my strip which embodies clean, wholesome humor." While lauding the imagination and execution of the strip, Barnett turned down Holloway's proposal. "For some time we have been attempting to work out a plan whereby we might syndicate cartoons and pictures. Thus far we have not been successful. The papers have not shown an interest. We shall continue our efforts and if we succeed, you shall be one of the first we will contact."

With America's entry into World War II, the January 31, 1942 issue of the Courier printed a letter to the editor from James C. Thompson of Wichita, Kansas. The letter was reprinted in the April 11, 1942 issue. Staff artist Holloway's contribution was described at America's History in the Making.

The Pittsburgh Courier's "Double V" idea, created in the mind of James G. Thompson of Wichita, Kansas, and brought to glowing light through the brilliant pen of Wilbert L. Holloway, Courier staff artist, has swept the nation like wildfire.


An image of the Double V is at Double Victory Campaign. Weeds: An Environmental History of Metropolitan America (2011) reprinted one of his editorial cartoons from 1943.

Holloway was still drawing Sunny Boy Sam when he passed away in April 1969, in Pittsburgh, according to the Social Security Death Index. A photo of him is at Salute to Pioneering Cartoonists of Color, and a newspaper award is named after him.

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Sunday, February 12, 2012

 

Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics

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