Saturday, December 08, 2018

 

Herriman Saturday


October 30 1909 -- Without the associated story, I can only assume this Herriman cartoon is referring to a celebrity baseball game put on by the local dramatis personae. Unfortunately this microfilm clipping was missing a prose story by Herriman, always an interesting different take on his talents.

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Well, Frohman (upper right corner) is probably a reference to Charles Frohman, the well-known Broadway producer. Leading me to think that the fellows depicted are probably LA-based theatrical personalities.

Silk O'Loughlin was a very well-known MLB umpire of the era.
 
Bob Milliken might well be the same fellow who, among other things, starred in the 1911 Victor Herbert musical "The Duchess." Curiously, he would play an umpire in the 1910 musical "Up and Down Broadway" (which also had Irving Berlin and Eddie Foy in the cast). I've seen a bunch of things for him in the 1910-1912 era.
 
I'm pretty sure I've got Catlett nailed. That's Walter Catlett -- the picture of him in Wikipedia is a dead ringer for Herriman's caricature. Catlett started on stage in 1906 (a few years before this cartoon), and was in the 1917 edition of the Follies, the original production of Sally, and introduced the Gershwin song "Oh, Lady Be Good!" He's also the constable locking everyone up in "Bringing Up Baby." According to Wiki, he also did opera, hence Herriman's comment.
 
Based on a 1911 article in the San Francisco Call, Jay Raynes appears to have been a well known Pacific Coast musical director. (San Francisco Call, August 13, 1911, California Digital Newspaper Collection).

I see a reference to a "Bob Leonard" as part of the Edgar Temple Opera company in the April 4, 1908 edition of the San Bernardino Daily Sun. The previous day's edition lists him as a comedian in that company's production of "The Filibuster." There's also a "Bob Leonard" who appears to have been an actor/director in a number of films in the 1910s, including some of the first Universal productions.
 
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Friday, December 07, 2018

 

Wish You Were Here, from Nate Collier


After saying a few months ago that I only had one Nate Collier postcard example, I found another one lurking in the collection. This one is much more forthcoming on publishing details. It was issued in 1912 by Taylor Pratt and is marked as "T.P. Red Border Series 892".

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Frank Young has a new article on Elmo and it's artist Cecil Jensen. Pt. 1 is now posted on website of The Comics Journal.

https://www.tcj.com/the-enigma-of-cecil-jensen-part-one-the-road-to-elmo/
 
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Thursday, December 06, 2018

 

News of Yore 1961: Editorial Cartoonist Carey Orr Profiled

 

50 Years at Drawing Board -- Orr Says Cartoons Use 2 Basic Arts

by George A. Brandenburg (Editor & Publisher, 7/29/1961)

A newspaper cartoon is a combination of two basic arts­ -- the art of writing and the art of drawing -- and the best car­toon is one with the best idea expressed by a snappy caption and good craftsmanship, says Carey Cassius Orr, recent Pul­itzer Prize winner, who has been drawing daily editorial cartoons for nearly 50 years.

Mr. Orr, 71, is in his 45th year of cartooning for the Chi­cago Tribune. Prior to that he was an editorial cartoonist for the Nashville (Tenn.) Tennes­sean, starting in 1912 as a young artist of 24. He had pre­viously graduated from the Chi­cago Academy of Fine Arts and had done some cartooning for the old Chicago Examiner.

91-Day Campaign

When he went to Nashville he set some sort of a record by drawing a daily cartoon involv­ing the gubernatorial race, fea­turing the leading contenders each day for 91 days in suc­cession. The rival candidates were backed respectively by the two rival newspaper publishers, Col. Luke Lee of the Tennes­sean and Major Stahlman of the Nashville Banner. Orr's man, Tom Rye, won.

Over the years, Carey Orr has been in the midst of many a political battle, editorially, drawing hard-hitting cartoons in support of Chicago Tribune policies, including such bitter fights as attacking the late Wil­liam Hale Thompson, then mayor of Chicago, prohibition, and later FDR and the New Deal, prior to World War II. His 1960 Pulitzer Prize win­ning cartoon dealt with the spread of communism to the Af­rican Congo.

Back in the 1920's and early '30's, one of his best known edi­torial cartoon characters was the long-nosed, lean-visaged in­dividual representing "Prohibi­tion." This dry law enforcement character as conceived by Mr. Orr was a combination of Tor­quemada, head of the Spanish Inquisition, and Cotton Mather, Massachusetts blue law en­forcer in the early days of the Puritans. His clothing was mix­ture of those worn by a ham actor and our Puritan forefathers. He was a most unpopular character of that period as far as "drys" and many good-in­tentioned church people were concerned.

Gets TV Surprise 

Upon his return recently from the convention of the As­sociation of American Editorial Cartoonists in Los Angeles, where Carey was the honored guest on Ralph Edwards' NBC "This Is Your Life" television program, Mr. Orr took time to tell E&P about his working philosophy as practitioner and teacher of editorial cartooning.

He has had a part in helping to train some of the younger cartoonists of today, including Vaughn Shoemaker, Herblock and Shaw McCutcheon, son of the late John T. McCutcheon, who encouraged Col. Robert R. McCormick to offer Carey Orr a spot as "number two" man on the Tribune's editorial car­tooning staff. He was a young artist when he joined the Trib­une in 1917. He drew an eight­-column strip, called "Tiny Trib­une," for several years before "graduating" to the daily edi­torial page cartoon.
"Formerly cartoonists just 'happened,' " he recalled, "but now my profession is past the 'barber-doctor' stage and has become a language in itself."

Pioneered Color Cartoons 

After years of meeting a daily deadline and pioneering with ROP color cartoons, which have become a hallmark of the Tribune's front page, Mr. Orr still thinks a "snappy caption" is equally as important as the vehicle drawn to express the idea.

"A cartoonist is often a cru­sader but he must believe in what he's crusading for to be effective," said Mr. Orr. "Un­like a specialized newspaper writer, he must have a cath­olicity of interests. He must know the basic ideas, at least, behind political, social and eco­nomic problems."

But reportorial and writing experience are not necessary be­yond the ability to come up with a good caption. Sketches are the 'words' with which a cartoon­ist works. The idea that a man is born an artist is a fallacy.

Anyone who really cares to can learn to draw. Among begin­ners, the cartoonists who even­tually succeed are the ones who sketch a lot and are not afraid to work."

Pictures Vs. Words 

Mr. Orr does not necessarily subscribe to the old Chinese proverb that one picture is worth a thousand words.

He said, for instance, no pic­ture is as forceful as Lincoln's Gettysburg address. "Yet when people read that speech they 'see' the battlefield before them," he added.

Carey Orr front page color cartoon, 1945
"Nor is there a writer who has been as graphic as when Leonardo da Vinci portrayed Jesus Christ and his Disciples in a manner that was an in­spiration to those who saw the painting, 'The Last Supper,' lifting the Christian religion out of the Dark Ages."

"It is fortunate," he said, "that cartooning represents a combination of the two arts of writing and drawing, just as the movies improved when talkies were added and just as television is superior to radio today, because two arts are em­ployed. The combining of two arts, to a great extent, is a modern invention."

Wrote One Serial 

Carey Orr, incidentally, had one brief venture into litera­ture after World War I when Col. McCormick suggested he do a "story" about a young West Pointer who goes to war. Carey struggled with his manuscript for two months and had pro­duced only the first two chap­ters, when the Colonel asked how the story was progressing.

Carey showed him his copy and Colonel McCormick laughed and said he had meant for Carey to draw a "story" in a series of pictures. However, the Colonel liked what Carey had written and the manuscript continued, winding up as "Borrowed Glory," running in installments in the Chicago Tribune.

"Leon Stolz (now chief editorial writer at the Tribume) was kind enough to say that it was a good story," Mr. Orr remembered with a chuckle, but he recalled that when the Colonel asked for a second serial, Carey told him he preferred being a cartoonist.

Credits Colonel For Color

Mr. Orr credits Colonel McCormick with the idea of introducing ROP color into the front-page cartoon. The effectiveness of color cartoons first strikingly illustrated the Tribune on May 5, 1932, when the paper printed one of Orr's drawings in two colors on page one.

The color work was done on a black background with red and white stripes of an American flag in the upper left hand corner and the red flag of communism being held in the hand of the late U.S. Senator Huey Long of Louisiana.

The cartoon attracted national attention. Even Senator Long was impressed and insisted the cartoon be entered in the Congressional Record without benefit of color, however. Since World War II, front-page color cartoons have become a daily feature in the Tribune. These cartoons are prepared and submitted two days in advance of publication normally, although on occasion the Tribune has turned out a four-color cartoon for the next day's issue.

In the early 40's, when the Tribune was experimenting with color vs. black-and-white cartoons, readership studies showed that when color was used, 85% of the men readers noted the cartoon and 82% of the women saw the color drawing, Mr. Orr recalled.

Get Rid of Tags

Mr. Orr told E&P he was impressed with the serious attitude and professional journalistic approach to their daily work as evidenced by the editorial cartoonists' discussion at the recent Los Angeles convention.

"Cartoonists today are seeking to get rid of tags, such as the GOP elephant, Democratic donkey and Uncle Sam," he observed. "These tags have been over used and, in most cases have outlived their usefulness or have become somewhat corny."

He is hopeful that more newspapers will employ staffs of cartoonists in the future, rather than relying on one or two cartoonists to turn out the work. The exactions of the profession, he says, together with the complexities of the times, are such that it is nearly impossible for one artist to "ring the bell" with a cartoon seven days a week.

Carey Orr front page color editorial cartoon, 1960
Three cartoons a week that are really good should be the goal of each cartoonist, he said, noting there should be more balance between the serious cartooning subjects, dealing with world problems, and human interest ideas which will give the reader some "relief" from the worrisome problems found daily on the front page.

Inspired by Tramp Artist

Carey Orr's interest in drawing dates back to his boyhood days on his grandfather's farm in Ohio when a tramp artist came to the house and begged for an evening meal. "My grandfather was opposed to feeding tramps because if you fed one there was the grapevine that led others to our door," said Carey. "However this particular tramp sat on the porch and drew for me a fine likeness of Jesus Christ. I begged my grandfather to feed him and he did. For the rest of the summer I tried drawing pictures, too."

Later young Orr went to live with his father in Spokane, where the elder Orr ran a saw mill and had married again following the death of Carey's mother. Carey would copy the cartoons drawn by Morris for the Spokane (Wash.) Spokesman-Review and when Carey was 17 he took the W.L. Evans cartooning course by correspondence. As a result, he would occasionally sell a cartoon to the old Life magazine, but received more rejections than acceptance checks.

After graduating from high school and taking special college tutoring in mathematics and engineering, Orr became a semi-pro baseball pitcher, earning $15 per game, and acquiring quite a local following as a possible big leaguer.

Saves Baseball Money

His father wasn't too impressed, however, with Carey becoming a professional ball player. He wanted him to study to be a mechanical engineer at the University of Washington. Carey wanted to be a cartoonist and had been saving his pitcher's salary for tuition to attend the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts.

"My father's impression of an artist was of a man living in a cold garret, starving to death, or coming home with tuberculosis," Carey recalls. ''But he didn't want me to be a ball player, either. So· I won out and came to Chicago to study art."

His first newspaper job was with the Examiner, where he and three other art students were given $15-a-week jobs for six months, when the best of the four would then be hired for $60. Carey made the grade, but the art editor lost his job, so young Orr was still getting only $15 a week.

At the age of 24, he joined the Nashville Tennessean as fulltime editorial cartoonist. In those days, the old Literary Digest was a cartoonist's best friend. 'To have your cartoons reprinted in the Digest was a mark of distinction. Orr sent his cartoons to the Digest every week and more and more of them were used.

Missed His Second Honeymoon

Carey Orr was married in 1912, but the Orrs didn't go on a honeymoon trip because funds were scarce. Two years later -- August, 1914 -- Carey had a two-week vacation coming and the Orrs were planning to make it their second "honeymoon." But war was beginning to erupt in Europe.

"I told my wife," said Mr. Orr, "Honey, this war scare won't last too long, but I want to be here to draw some cartoons about it, so we'll take our vacation later. So you can see how smart I was. As the war progressed up to 1917, my cartoons continued to appear in the Digest and, subsequently, I had offers from Pulitzer, Hearst and Col. McCormick. I joined the Tribune in the Fall of 1917."

Mr. Orr was awarded the U.S. government gold medal for his prize-winning cartoon of the Fourth Liberty Loan drive. On the recent TV "This Is Your Life" program, Ralph Edwards told Orr:

"Through your pen and wit, you fight against the things you hate and for the things you love. You attack gangsterism, and the causes of evil, waste in government and corruption in high places. You crusade for public safety. You are one of the first to call wide attention to the dangers of communism."

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Wednesday, December 05, 2018

 

Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: T.O. McGill


Thomas Owen McGill was born on February 4, 1869, in Mifflintown, Pennsylvania, according to his death certificate (viewed at Ancestry.com) which had his full name and birth information.

In the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, McGill was the oldest of two sons born to Richard and Jennie. His father was a baker. The family lived in Kirwin, Kansas. Herringshaw’s American Blue-Book of Biography (1926) said McGill was educated in public schools.

Herringshaw’s said McGill married Elizabeth Ehrmann in 1900. The Daily Inter Mountain (Butte, Montana), May 26, 1900, noted McGill and his wife at the McDermott Hotel. The 1900 census (enumerated June 6) recorded journalist McGill and his wife in Butte at 101 East Granite Street.

McGill was a New York City employee. The City Record, May 12, 1902, had this note, on page 2711, under Bureau of Buildings.

Thomas Owen McGill resigned as Secretary to the Superintendent of Buildings for the Borough of Manhattan on May 9,. 1902, and on the same day appointed as Chief Inspector of Buildings at a salary of $3,000 per anum.
The Fergus County Argus (Lewistown, Montana), October 29, 1902, reported McGill’s arrest and release. 
Butte, Oct. 22.—P.A. O’Farrell, editor, and A.W. Brouse, business manager of Heinze’s campaign sheet, generally known as the “Reviler,” must appear before the federal grand jury and answer a charge of sending obscene matter through the mails. A decision to that effect was rendered at 10 o’clock this morning by United States Commissioner W.J. Naughton after due consideration of the evidence presented before him yesterday afternoon.

R.A. Pelkey, an employee of Brouse, and Thomas O. McGill and W.D. Wilmarth, cartoonists with the Heinze sheet, were discharged from custody. They were arraigned yesterday with O’Farrell and Brouse….

…O’Farrell, Brouse, Pelkey, McGill and Wilmarth were arrested Saturday by Deputy Marshal Meiklejohn on the complaint of Postoffice Inspector E.D. Beatty of Great Falls. His charge was the result of a cartoon representing Senator W.A. Clark and several other prominent men in an alleged obscene pose and which appeared in the Reveille a short time ago. 

The paper is said to have been sent through the mails and the prosecution was brought under the statute prohibiting the sending of obscene matter through the mails….
The Denver Post (Colorado), October 30, 1903, published an article about McGill’s time in Butte and said in part
…Mr. McGill is by profession a cartoonist and newspaper artist. Now that he is out of what is called journalism and has become tainted with commercialism, the cartoon is merely a side line with him, but at the time he went to Butte it was on a journalistic mission of the higher class. 

Mr. McGill stayed in Butte, Mont., nine months. Although he has many intimate friends, he rarely goes into the details of those nine months. 

“In the words of the play bill,” is all Mr. McGill will say, “nine months are supposed to have elapsed.”

“But you have nothing to say for or against Butte?” he may be asked.

“I have nothing to say against Butte,” Mr. McGill will reply with decision. 

However there are inklings that Mr. McGill found Butte one of the most interesting places he has ever visited. A small book of cartoons, distributed among his friends, lends color to the impression. Mr. McGill did not write for general circulation, and as the number of copies of “Sketches with Pen and Pencil at Butte, Mont.,” are rare, they are the more highly prized…
Around 1903 McGill’s newspaper career began at the New York Evening World where he contributed comic art and humor articles. In 1906 two McGill columns were Dominick, the Head Waiter and Two-Minute Talks with New Yorkers.



The first photograph (left), used in July, was replaced August 1. 

McGill produced over a score of comics for the Evening World. The Jollys’ Bull Pup was the longest running series from October 15, 1908 to September 6, 1909. Others include Affable Aleck; Dan Ticker Sure Is a Queer Old Man; Everybody Works for the Captain; Hasty Helen; A Later Edition of Mother Goose; Peter Kettle, the Boy Who Couldn’t Grow Up; Silly Mary; and The Three Terrors.

The Fourth Estate, April 11, 1908, said McGill was one of six men in charge of entertainment at the reunion dinner of “comic artists, cartoonist, caricaturists and writers associated with humorous publications and with the humorous departments of newspapers and other publications…”

According to Editor & Publisher, April 9, 1910, McGill was elected president of Amen Corner.

The 1910 census recorded McGill and his wife in Manhattan, New York City, at 2173 Broadway.

McGill was in Stockholm, Sweden, when he applied for an emergency passport (viewed at Ancestry.com) August 1, 1913. He planned to visit Russia. On August 21, 1913, McGill departed Liverpool, England and arrived August 30 in New York City. His address was 2173 Broadway, New York.

McGill has not yet been found in the 1920 census.

The Fourth Estate, May 29, 1920, said McGill was one of several people honoring the Morning Telegraph editor’s birthday.

The Fourth Estate, September 10, 1921, said McGill was a director, executive director and secretary of Amen Corner.



Herringshaw’s said McGill was vice-president of the White Rock Mineral Springs Company, and secretary of the Gaynor Memorial Association. He was a member of the Manhattan Club, the Belleclaire Golf Club, and the United Hunts Association.


The 1930 census said McGill was a writer at a publishing company. At some point he remarried a woman who was twenty years his junior. The couple resided in Manhattan at Bretton Hall, 2350 Broadway.

A 1936 passenger list said McGill’s address was 201 West 79th Street. He traveled solo from August 22 to September 3 on a cruise originating and ending in New York.

McGill has not yet been found in the 1940 census.

McGill passed way November 30, 1947 at St. Mary’s Hospital, Evansville, Indiana. The death certificate said the cause was heart attack and he had bladder cancer. McGill and his wife, Suzette Dunlevy McGill, resided at 803 S. E. Riverside in Evansville. His occupation was recorded as advertising art for newspapers. McGill was laid to rest at Crown Hill Cemetery in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. An obituary in the Evansville Courier, December 1, 1947, said McGill 

spent his youth in Denver Colo. He later moved to New York City where he had a varied career as reporter, art editor and chief cartoonist for both the old Morning and Evening World.

He was instrumental in writing and supporting the bill which created the Port of New York Authority. He served as chief inspector of the Bureau of Buildings for the borough of Manhattan, and for 10 years was advertising manager for White Rock Mineral Water company. 

Mr. and Mrs. McGill returned to Evansville in 1941 and his activities since coming here have been confined chiefly to art work. 

McGill’s father, a Civil War veteran, passed away November 26, 1925 (headstone application at Ancestry.com) and was laid to rest at Riverside Cemetery in Denver. Information about McGill’s mother’s fate has not been found. 


—Alex Jay

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See one of my comments on your previous entry: I found him in the 1900 census.
 
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Tuesday, December 04, 2018

 

Obscurity of the Day: The Jollys' Bull Pup



T. O. McGill is known to have worked for the New York Evening World at least 1903-1911, and perhaps much longer. The only bit of biographical data I've been able to find on him is that he was named as manager of their art department in 1908. Except for that one little mote of knowledge, all the evidence I can find for his existence are the comics he produced for the Evening World. He created eleven series in that nine year period, and the only one that ran more than a handful of times was The Jollys' Bull Pup. so he must have been primarily active in other art duties for the paper,  and comic strips were just an occasional sideline. Not to worry, though, as Alex Jay has turned up quite a bit of material on him, which we'll be acquainted with tomorrow.

McGill's style is a bit reminiscent of the Evening World's star cartoonist of the time, Maurice Ketten, and the fellow he in turn emulated, T. E. Powers over in the Hearst camp. Flinn's artwork is spare, angular and uses a flattened perspective that harkens back to woodcuts. Anatomy is definitely not his strong suit. And yet, there's something about his very low-key work that really appeals to me. Maybe it is how this purely functional, unadorned art style so perfectly complements his gags, which are very dry indeed. Take the second example above; a different cartoonist would make each panel all about the slapstick of people looking for their lost items. While McGill gives a nod to that, the humor he prefers to catch is in the impassive face of the bull pup viewing his handiwork with neither joy nor malice. The pup can't even really draw the connection between what he did and what has resulted. He's simply found an interesting pastime in collecting items and bringing them to the basement, completely unaware that this will have any effect on the humans. The humor is quiet but feels very true ... or perhaps I read too much into the work. McGill certainly produced more than his fair share of dopey not-even-really-gags like the top example.

The Jollys' Bull Pup ran as a weekday strip in the Evening World from October 15 1908 to September 6 1909*.


* Source: New York Evening World


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Funny,Mad Magazine ran an article "When This Nudity Trend Hits the Comics" in the late 70s and here you found a comic that printed a bare backside way back in 1909/08.
 
For what it's worth, the 1910 U.S. census lists a Thomas O. McGill, newspaper artist, 41 years of age, born in Pennsylvania, married for 10 years to a woman named Elizabeth, father Canadian-born, mother Pennsylvania-born, and living at the Hotel Belleclaire at 2173 Broadway. The search itself turns up Thomas D. McGill.
 
His passport application on ancestry.com indicates he was born in Mifflin, Pennsylvania on or about February 4, 1869. As of 1913, he was apparently a "secretary." Elizabeth is listed as his wife's name. He intended to travel in (pre-Revolutionary) Russia, for a brief visit.
 
Ancestry also notes a Thomas Owen McGill, born February 4, 1869, died November 30, 1947, buried at the Crown Hill Cemetery in Wheat Ridge, Jefferson Co. [that's near Denver], Colorado. That suggests it might be profitable to check Denver newspapers around that date to see if there was an obituary.
 
Sorry -- might have pulled the trigger too soon, based on the curious coincidence of two Thomas McGills being born on February 4, 1869. The 1869-1947 guy was supposedly born in West Vail, and died in Indiana.
 
There's a T.O. McGill living in Silver Bow Township, Butte City, Silver Bow County, MT in the 1900 census. Occupation, journalist, married to Elizabeth, born February, 1869, so I think this is the same guy that's in the 1900 census. At this point, the couple was married ca. 1 year, suggesting an 1899 marriage.
 
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Monday, December 03, 2018

 

Obscurity of the Day: The Jobs of J. Jasper Jinks Jr.




William F. Marriner settled down at the McClure syndicate about 1905 and produced most of his work there until his death in 1914. Although the majority of his time was spent producing Sambo and his Funny Noises, he threw in an extra series now and then.

This one is The Jobs of J. Jasper Jinks Jr., starring the typical Marriner waif who in this series is desperately looking for a job and failing miserably. As is generally true of Marriner's work, the funny drawing and the terrific playful writing make each strip a real treat to be savored. No wonder so many other cartoonists tried to copy his style. This is one of the many series that Marriner didn't sign, but there's no mistaking his work even with all those imitators trying to copy him.

The Jobs of J. Jasper Jinks Jr. ran in one version of the McClure Sunday section from November 7 1909 until May 8 1910*. One installment, presumably a leftover or reprint, was used much later in a McClure section of February 28 1915**.

Thanks to Cole Johnson for the scans. 

* Source: San Francisco Chronicle
** Source: Washington Herald

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