Saturday, October 26, 2013

 

Herriman Saturday

Saturday, May 3 1908 -- $1100 was pulled in by a benefit performance for the Actors' Fund. Included on hand is the eventually to be well-known movie actor Charles Ruggles. I gather actor William Desmond, if this does in fact refer to him, didn't show up. I can't ID any of the rest.

I can, however, save you a trip to the dictionary -- whiskerando refers to a bearded person.

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Friday, October 25, 2013

 

Sci-Friday starring Adam Chase

Adam Chase (c) renewed 2013 by Russ Morgan. All rights reserved.

Adam Chase strip #44, originally published April 2 1967. For background on the strip and creator, refer to this post.

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

 

Ink-Slinger Profiles: Joseph A. Lemon


Joseph A. Lemon was born in Kansas in May 1870 according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. At this time little is known of his childhood, family and education. The Wichita, Kansas Directory 1888 said he resided at 145 North Emporia and was a student at the Lewis Academy.

In the 1890s he was listed in Trow’s New York City Directory for the following years:


1891-1892, Lemon J. artist, h 210 W. 105th
1895, Lemon Jos A. artist, 4 W. 14th, h 235 W. 123d
1896, Lemon Jos A. artist, 126 W. 23d, h 235 W. 123d
1897, Lemon Jos A. artist, 152 W. 23d, h 270 W. 119th
1898, Lemon Jos A. artist, 53 W. 24th

The census said he married Caroline in 1897 and lived at 312 West 18th Street in Manhattan, New York City. His occupation was artist. The American Art Directory, Volume 3 (1900) listed him, “Lemon, Joseph A., 270 West 25th St.” He was a member of the Blue Pencil Club and contributed to the club’s Blue Pencil Magazine, which debuted February 1900. In the May 1901 issue were brief descriptions of the contributors including Lemon: “Joseph Lemon.—Not so sour.”

Blue Pencil Magazine, May 1901

Blue Pencil Magazine, Thanksgiving Number 1901


Blue Pencil Magazine, Thanksgiving Number 1901

Broadway Magazine, June 1903, published a description of him:

With a broad brimmed, black Stetson hat, big Joseph Lemon looks the artist, his flowing black tie adding to the impression. This makeup does not prevent his wielding a prolific pen which costs the McClure syndicate newest freak element in New York humor, and furnishes the aviary department in the live stock humor of the “American.”

Lemon contributed illustrations to several books including Toothsome Tales Told in Slang (1901), The Man with the Grip (1906), and Colonel Crook Stories (1909).

He produced several comic strips including How Would You Like To Be John?, Mrs. Worry, Willie Cute, Hop Lee (only one by Lemon I think -- Allan), The Adventures of Dennis O’Shaugnessy and Professor Bughouse (a one-shot I believe -- Allan).



Art Young mentioned Lemon in his book, Art Young: His Life and Times (2007):

On the walls among the array of weapons were framed drawings which had illuminated Sunday World feature stories that Will had written, and originals done by the artists on the World staff; also drawings for the “funnies” of that era, by Dick Outcault, George Luks, Anderson, Bryans (whose silhouette pictures were then popular), Tony Anthony, Gus and Rudy Dirks, Joe Lemon, Walt McDougall; and illustrators such as Will Crawford (he made comics as well, but always seemed too dignified and artistic to be classed as such), “Hod” Taylor, Al Levering, and others.

Lemon has not been found in the 1910 census. The New York Herald, August 17, 1910, reported the passing of his wife:

Mrs. Caroline G. Lemon, wife of Mr. Joseph A. Lemon, magazine illustrator, of No. 953 Fox street, the Bronx, died yesterday in the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of mastoiditis. She was born in Rhode Island thirty-six years ago and had been married fourteen years.

At some point he lived in Wiscasset, Maine; maybe it was a summer retreat. There he met Daisy Palmer; they married on June 7, 1915, according to Maine Marriages, 1892-1996 at Ancestry.com. Earlier, the former Daisy Beach asked for a separation from her husband, William F. Palmer, as reported in the Oakland Tribune, November 13, 1912. R.L. Polk’s Trow General Directory of New York City, for the years 1916 and 1917, listed Lemon’s home address as “1919, 7th av.” The periodical Metal Record and Electroplater, December 1918, published the following notice:

Joseph Brown Beach, 67 years old, head of the sales force of the International Silver Company, with which he had been associated for forty-two years, died yesterday at his home, 302 West Thirtieth Street. He was born in Connecticut, and lived in this city [New York] twenty years. His daughter is the wife of Joe Lemon, the artist.

He has not been found in the 1920 census. His address was 47 Greenwich Avenue in Polk’s Trow’s New York City Directory 1924-1925. Sometime later Lemon moved to Woodstock, New York, where he passed away December 3, 1927; his death was reported two days later in the Kingston Daily Freeman (New York):

Joseph A. Lemon, a member of the artist colony in Woodstock for some times, died at the Kingston City Hospital on Saturday, December 3, in his fifty-ninth year. He is survived by his wife and one brother, Courtney Lemon, of New York city. The remains were removed to Woodstock and later taken to Union Hill, N.J., for cremation.


His age of 59 would mean he was born in 1868 which differs from the census date of May 1870.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

 

Obscurity of the Day: Elwood










Rarely will you find a comic strip whose creation was quite as bloodless as Elwood. The strip about a high school kid who is also an aspiring rock star was created by the prolific team of Tom Forman (writer) and Ben Templeton (art).

In Cartoonist Profiles #63, Forman explained:

Elwood was not conceived from a creative whimsy or from a sudden inspiration -- Elwood was objectively created to fill a marketing hole which we believe needed to be filled to attract new readers to newspapers when the industry is getting stiff competition from television. 

Forman then reels off a laundry list of statistics that prove, with geometric logic, that Elwood is the strip that will bring teenagers back to the newspapers. That didn't happen, of course, but he certainly managed to convince the editors at Chicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate, where the Forman-Templeton team had already placed three other features.

The strip debuted on July 11 1983. Forman says the strip got "a big initial buy" and that the client list, as of the 1984 interview, was still growing. I don't know just how much truth there is to that statement, but he claimed that the strip had created enough buzz that Hollywood had come calling and the team were in the process of adapting the strip into a new Saturday morning cartoon show.

I find the strip about as colorless and too obviously 'targeted' as Forman's explanation of its genesis would indicate. Despite bouncing ideas off of focus groups, and watching their own teenage kids for ideas, the gags seem about as hip as the Lawrence Welk Show. The art is up to Ben Templeton's usual high standard, but the style seems too conventional to strike teens as cool. Teenagers can smell this sort of sham from a mile off. Although the strip lasted until sometime in 1990, it failed to make any real impression on most newspaper readers, teenage or otherwise.

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I knew I'd seen ZITS somewhere before- it's a more low class, annoying update of ELWOOD.
 
Almost reads like a very bland "Archie," with jokes that seem more in place a long time ago...
 
Some teens did like the strip, thanks for posting these.Would love to see the last strip again.
 
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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

 

Ink-Slinger Profiles: C.A. Voight


Charles Anthony Voight was born in Brooklyn, New York on April 28, 1887, according to his World War I and II draft cards, which also had his full name. In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, he was the oldest of three children born to Anthony, a railroad engineer, and Louisa. They lived in Brooklyn at 228 Dresden Street. Information regarding Voight’s education and art training has not been found.

According to American Newspaper Comics (2012), Voight’s cartooning debut was Little Annie Rooney, which ran in the New York Evening World in 1902. About five-and-a-half years later, the Evening World ran his Tilly Tawker. Later that same year, Voight began producing several strips for the Boston Traveler; Gink and Dink started October 24, 1908. Gink and Dink continued in the pages of the New York Evening Globe followed by the Evening Mail.

Joining Gink and Dink were Mrs. Worry, beginning December 12, 1910, and Friday, starting December 16, 1910, both in the New York Evening Globe. The trio of strips also appeared in The Washington Times (District of Columbia), in February and March 1911.

In the Saturday Evening Post, February 11, 1928, Fontaine Fox explained how he created the Toonerville trolley after a trip to see Voight.

...After years of gestation the idea for the Toonerville Trolley was born one day up in Westchester County when my wife and I had left New York City to visit Charlie Voight, the cartoonist, in the Pelhams. At the station we saw a rattletrap of a streetcar, which had as its crew and skipper a wistful old codger with an Airedale beard. He showed as much concern in the performance of his job as you might expect from Captain Hartley when douching the Leviathan.
I asked another passenger if he could tell me how to reach Voight’s house, and he suggested that I ask the motorman.
“He knows everything,” he said.
I appealed to the motorman then and he told me he would stop the car when it was time for us to get off; but he did more than that. He got off with us, led the way to the top of a knoll, then pointed to the house and waited to make sure I understood, before he returned to his carload of passengers.
By the time we had returned to our home the idea for the Toonerville Trolley was developed.

Voight has not yet been found in the 1910 census. His parents and siblings remained in Brooklyn at 1229 Broadway. In the 1915 New York State Census, he was counted twice. Voight, his wife, Nina, and a servant, resided in Pelham, New York at 457 Pelham Street. Voight’s widow mother was the head of the household, which included him and two daughters, in Brooklyn at 830 Halsey Street.

A passenger list at Ancestry.com said Voight and his wife, Nina, returned to New York City from Europe, by way of Liverpool, England, on July 19, 1914. The Green Book Magazine, July 1916, published a photograph of Voight (below, far right) with Earl Derr Biggers and his wife in Volendam, Holland.




In 1911 Voight contributed two more strips to the Evening Mail: Better Halves and Colonel Hardup, which had a short run. He possibly created Minnie in a Minute, which was handled by the McClure Syndicate and began May 25, 1913. Once again the Evening Mail had more of his projects, including the long-runing Petey Dink which began May 19, 1914, then later moved to the New York Tribune. Betty was Voight’s longest-running strip, from 1919 to 1943, which started with the McClure Syndicate and later moved over to the New York Herald Tribune.


Evening Mail 5/24/1918

Voight signed his World War I draft card on June 5, 1917. He resided in Pelham Manor, New York at 514 Rochelle Terrace, and his occupation was cartoonist for the New York Evening Mail Syndicate. Voight named his wife and mother as his nearest relatives.

The New-York Tribune, December 15, 1919, reported Voight and other cartoonists each planned to buy their own island off the coast of Maine near Meddybemps. They would join R.M. Brinkerhoff, Clare Briggs, H.T. Webster, J.N. Darling and Charles Dana Gibson who had their own island. A press agent hinted “…that the islands were to be declared outside the jurisdiction of the officials enforcing the eighteenth amendment [the prohibition of alcohol] ….”

The 1920 census recorded Voight, his wife, and a servant at the address on his draft card. He worked at home as an artist.




Syracuse Journal 7/11/1922

Voight was one of scores of people who signed the Greenwich Village Bookshop door; his signature is at the bottom of panel four.

Voight lived alone in Manhattan, New York City at 48 West 12 Street, in the 1925 state census. He remained alone at 34 West 73 Street, as recorded in the 1930 census. His occupation was cartoonist.

A death notice in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, May 19, 1931 said his mother passed away on the seventeenth.

Voight produced comics for advertising including Buster Brown Shoes and Kellog’s All-Bran cereal. He also did comic illustrations for the “Kidville Ball Team” cards.

Voight has not yet been found in the 1940 census. The Baltimore Sun, June 6, 1940, reported that his wife filed for divorce: “Miami, Fla., June 5 (AP)—Mrs. Nina G. Voight filed suit for divorce today against Charles A. Voight, of Pelham Manor, N.Y….” Sometime after the divorce, he remarried.

On April 27, 1942, Voight signed his World War II draft card. He resided in Manhattan at 110 West 74 Street, and named the New York Herald Tribune as his employer.

Voight passed away February 10, 1947. The New York Times reported his death the following day:

Charles A. Voight; Newspaper, Commercial Artist Drew Comic Feature ‘Betty’
Charles A. Voight, newspaper, magazine and commercial artist, who drew the comic feature “Betty” for The New York Tribune syndicate before the recent war, died yesterday of a heart attack at his home, 192 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn. He was 59 years old.
Joining The Tribune syndicate at its formation in 1919, Mr. Voight remained with it until 1942, when he left to work independently. Early in his career his drawings were seen in The Evening World and The Evening Mail. 
He leaves a widow, Constance Mason Voight, and a son, Charles.

An overview of his career is here.

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C. A, Voight's son, Charles Anthony Voight - a resident of Palmyra, N.J. for 47 years, went home to the Lord on Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015. He was 72.
 
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Monday, October 21, 2013

 

Obscurity of the Day: Minnie in a Minute




In the early to mid-teens the McClure Syndicate's Sunday sections were almost always in disarray. They generally featured a couple of new features, often lackluster, and some ridiculously dated reprints from the 1903-05 era.

To make matters worse, someone at the syndicate had also come up with the brilliant idea that creators should not be allowed to sign their work. Thus the cartoonists producing new material had no overwhelming reason to give it their best effort. Minnie in a Minute is a good example of that. The strip about a lazy Scandinavian maid and her unreasonable employer began on May 25 1913. Though it was never signed, I believe the early episodes may have been by the superb cartoonist Charles A. Voight (but see below). Later in the series the art becomes cruder, and Cole Johnson believes the examples above (from September-November 1913) are by Foster Follett, an ID with which I concur.

Perhaps Follett was in reality responsible for the series all the way through -- he was certainly capable of excellent work -- but it took him awhile to get it through his head that there was no reason to bother bringing his 'A' game to this strip.

Minnie in a Minute changed to Minnie's Day Off for the October 26 and November 2 episodes, then the original title was restored. The series ended on November 23 1913.

Thanks to Cole Johnson for the samples!

EDIT: I have since seen early episodes, including the first, on newsprint as opposed to microfilm. It appears to be Follett's art throughout the series. Sorry for the bum steer about Voight.


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Isn't the middle one dated 1918? My mom (born 1916) told me that somebody in her family called her Minnie-in-a-minute because she never got anywhere on time. I'm guessing this is where it came from.
Thanks for bring back a nice memory!
 
No, the dates are all 1913.
 
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Sunday, October 20, 2013

 

Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics


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