Monday, August 29, 2016


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Carl Ryman

Carl Ryman was born Carl Adolph Reimann Jr. on May 10, 1903, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His birth information is from the California Death Index at Ryman’s birth name was found in his father’s biography from the book, German-American Artists in Early Milwaukee: A Biographical Dictionary (1997).

Reimann, Carl A., b. 3-13-1873 in Milwaukee, d. 12-17-1937 in Milwaukee. Muralist, religious painter, and designer of stained glass windows whose name is sometimes given as Charles A.F. Reimann. The son of a Swiss immigrant father and German immigrant mother, Reimann grew up in Milwaukee and was educated in Lutheran schools. He was a pupil of Richard Lorenz and later studied at the Weimar Art School under Max Thedy (1858–1924)….Reimann’s name appears in Milwaukee city directories from 1891 until his death, his occupation being variously given as artist, designer, and craftsman in stained glass. His church decoration firm, the Carl A. Reimann Company, went under during the Depression….Reimann’s son, who spelled his name Carl Ryman, was a cartoonist and gag writer living in California.
The 1905 Wisconsin State Census recorded Ryman and his parents “Karl”, an artist, and Sarah in Milwaukee.

In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Ryman, his parents and brother, George, lived at 844 Fourth Street in Milwaukee. Ryman’s father was producing art glass works.

On September 11, 1918, Ryman’s father signed his World War I draft card which had his address as 914 Island Avenue, Milwaukee.

The 1920 census said Ryman was a Milwaukee resident at 168 Wright Street. Presumably, Ryman was educated at public schools.

Ryman was married with three children in the 1930 census, which said Ryman was 21 years old when he married Edna. The family resided in Milwaukee at 1679 4th Street. Ryman was a designer of art glass.

According to the 1940 census, Ryman’s widow mother was the head of the household which was in Milwaukee at 116 East Wright Street. Ryman was the proprietor and designer of a stain glass studio. He had attended college for three years. Some time after the census, Ryman moved to California and changed the spelling of his surname.

Information about Ryman’s training as a cartoonist has not been found.

According to American Newspaper Comics (2012) Ryman produced the strip, Alfred, for the McClure Syndicate. Alfred debuted October 17, 1949 and ended in 1954. The Alfred character was developed by Foster Humfreville who produced the panel for Collier’s starting in 1942. Several Alfred panels can be viewed here. Additional information about the panel and Humfreville is here. Humfreville was a California resident and may have known Ryman.

The Catalog of Copyright Entries, Third Series, Volume 5, Parts 7–11A, Number 1, Works of Art, etc., January–June 1951, listed three cartoon characters by Ryman. The following year, Ryman and his wife, Edna, received copyrights on two cartoon characters.

Ryman illustrated a BarcaLounger advertisement in the December 1952 issue of Esquire

The Milwaukee Journal (Wisconsin), July 24, 1963, reported the passing of Ryman’s mother and said in part:
…Mrs. Reimann, the former Sarah Geiger, died Monday of a heart attack at St. Mary’s hospital. She lived at 116 E. Wright st.

Her husband, who died in 1938, operated the Carl A. Reimann Co., which specialized in church decoration. Their son, Carl, jr., Peshua Tree, Calif., is a comic strip artist. His strip, “Alfred.” formerly appeared in The Milwaukee Journal Green Sheet….
Ryman passed away September 23, 1963, in San Bernardino, according to the California Death Index.

—Alex Jay


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