Monday, July 18, 2016


Can You ID This Mystery Artist?

I was just contacted by a researcher who is writing a book on female war correspondents of WWII. As a tangential part of that project, she is trying to identify the cartoonist/illustrator "Irwin" who provided the illustrations for some newspaper articles. I could not ID the artist for her, and now throw the matter open to you folks, the real brains of this operation.

All the illustrations are from 1943 articles syndicated by Hearst's International News Service, so I'm assuming it was someone working in their bullpen.

compare the 'Irwin' with Irwin Hasen's signature.

I don't know if we can place him on a Hearst originated project, but he was editing an army camp newspaper at the time.
but then, Fort Dix NJ was hardly far away and go-to guys would have been thin on the ground in 1943.
the style doesn't tell us yay or nay as his Green Lantern doesn't look much like his Dondi.
Hi Eddie --
I kinda felt Hasen was eliminated based on his not usually signing as "Irwin" and him being in the military at the time. But if he spent the war at Ft. Dix, he was certainly in range, as you say. And he might have been worried about signing his name while in the military -- I guess they might have looked down their noses at moonlighting. So I'm prepared to take that ID as a very distinct possibility.

As you say, Hasen was enough of a chameleon that the style difference doesn't eliminate him. In fact even these samples above are in two very different styles.

Thanks, Allan and Eddie. Looks like it is Hasen.

See his signature here, too, off of a print selling at eBay right now.

I'll keep looking for examples of his war-time work. It looks like he did do freelance work during the war, as well as work editing the Fort Dix Post.

I have an inquiry pending with Ohio's collection, which is not fully processed and may have more leads. I'll keep you posted if you are interested.

And, Allan, I replied to you by email as well.

Thanks again!
P.S. There's a great interview with Hasen (which was one reason I first thought it wasn't his work, because he doesn't mention writing for Hearst/INS and his signature line in the book appears as "Hasen") in The Alter Ego Collection, and now that I'm rereading/reconsidering it, it doesn't rule him out after all. Here's the link to the Google book.
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