Saturday, February 03, 2007


Jim Ivey's Photo Album, Part Five

One last look at Jim Ivey's photo album today. If you'd like to see a great selection of Jim's cartoons you are in luck. Robin Snyder's magazine "The Comics - The Original First Person History" starts publishing a retrospective of Jim Ivey's cartoons in the current issue, with the cartoons personally chosen by Ivey along with his commentary. You can subscribe to "The Comics", which apparently does not have a website, by sending $28 ($35 foreign) for a 12-issue subscription to:

Robin Snyder
3745 Canterbury Ln #81
Bellingham WA 98225-1186

To be safe you might mention that you wish to start your sub with the first Ivey issue, but it is the current issue as this is written. And Snyder's publication is well worth the small price, as it features all sorts of really interesting material from all genres and phases of cartooning history. Highly recommended.

Jim Ivey throws a birthday party for Frank King in 1968. Unfortunately invisible in this photo is that the cake is decorated with an image of Skeezix. Frank wonders which one of his assistants is responsible for the bad likeness.

Cartoonist Dick Hodgins Sr., who was for awhile assistant curator of the Cartoon Museum, at the grand re-opening in 1974. Dick is apologizing for only wearing the tie from his Cartoon Museum uniform.

Jim Ivey's luxurious art studio at the San Francisco Examiner, 1965.

Jim Ivey decorates a Sunset Beach bar with caricatures in 1954. Anything for free drinks.

The Cartoon Museum's Bull Plaza location being shut down in 1981. The Museum would reopen in south Orlando at Weatherford Square.

C.C. Beck enjoying libations at the open bar at Orlandocon 1979. And you thought the cartoonists flocked to O'Con for the panel discussions.

Fred Lasswell is asked to accept Dik Browne's Ignatz Award at Orlandocon when Dik couldn't make it. Fred just happens to have this costume with him.

A cartoonist get-together at the San Francisco Press Club in 1964. Top row, John Holm, Gus Arriola, Lee Holley, Frank O'Neal, unknown, Darrell McClure. Second row, Jim Ivey, unknown, unknown, Bob Barnes, unknown, Jimmy Hatlo. In front Tack Knight.

The king in his castle, 1976.


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Friday, February 02, 2007


Jim Ivey's Photo Album, Part Four

More from Jim Ivey's photo album:

Jim shares some words of wisdom and encouragement with an aspiring cartoonist at the grand opening of the Cartoon Museum in 1967. A scene that was replayed thousands of times over the years (and no, not just with this guy).

St. Petersburg Times cartoonist and writer Dick Bothwell with Jim at the 1967 grand opening. Jim speaks softly but carries a big stick. That stick, by the way, was carved by McKee Barclay of the Baltimore Sun and features caricatures of political figures.

Jim and Dick Hodgins Sr. compare sizes at the Cartoon Museum in 1977. Yeah right, Dick.

Disney artist Ralph Kent (foreground) being introduced by Ivey at the 1974 Orlandocon. Kent fights his way through autograph seekers to get to the lectern. He swears they're not his kids.

Ivey publicity photo from the St. Petersburg Times circa 1955. Jim was worked like a dog there in his first years, producing a paper that seemed to have an Ivey spot drawing or cartoon on every page. Poor guy didn't even have time to light his cigar.
Group portrait at Orlandocon 1979. You've already been introduced to a lot of these folks, a few you haven't are Fred Wagner at extreme left, actors Bob Cummings and Kirby "Sky King" Grant crouched in front holding Ignatz bricks, and caricaturist Jack Rosen (father of hotelier Harris Rosen) far right holding paper.

Washington Post editorial cartoonist Herblock pays a visit to Jim at the St. Petersburg Times in 1958. Ivey sports a pompadour that was, thankfully, not a long term choice.

Zack Mosley with a fan at Orlandocon 1978. "Dude, like, Smilin' Jack totally rocks!"

Jim Ivey gets shafted on meeting Satchmo. Louis Armstrong visits the St. Petersburg Times in 1956 to be presented with an Ivey caricature, but Jim was on assignment at the state capital that day, so cartoonist Arnie Mossler presents the piece to the jazz legend.


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Thursday, February 01, 2007


Jim Ivey's Photo Album, Part Three

More from Jim Ivey's photo album:

Mrs. Bill Crooks and Mrs. Leslie Turner abandoned at the Cartoon Museum in 1968. Off commiserating in the corner are Jim, Frank King, Dick Moores, Les Turner and the ladies' husbands.

Jim Ivey has an audience with one of his idols, Rube Goldberg (the dapper gent in the center) in 1961. Also basking in the Goldberg presence are Tack Knight and Bert Whitman. Bert is the fellow on the right, who need never worry about anyone making fun of his plaid jacket.

Jim on his last day at the Washington Star, 1953. He's off to St. Petersburg to become editorial cartoonist of the Times.

Ralph Dunagin has a very unexpected fan encounter at Orlandocon 1977 -- the kid in the Spider-man shirt has brought a selection of Dunagin's People cartoons for him to autograph. Edmund Good, right, wonders where the Scorchy Smith fans are all hiding.
Jim Ivey's buddy from his San Francisco days, the excellent cartoonist and art collector John Coulthard. Behind John you can see a small sampling of the treasure trove of originals he owned.

Jim Ivey is interviewed on television in 1975. The wonders of pancake make-up...

Finnish cartoonist Kari Suomalanien visits Jim in San Francisco in 1960. Looks to me like Kari may be sending a subtle signal that he's not fond of his caricature. Note his left hand.

Harvey Kurtzman gets first shot at a jam mural created at Orlandocon 1975.

Roy Crane makes a book-signing appearance at the grand reopening of the Cartoon Museum in 1974 (it moved from Madeira Beach to the Crealde Art Center in Winter Park). Crane is making some time with a gorgerous babe until...

...the lady sees Jim's sonic boom of a jacket and the mood is ruined.
Jim Ivey when he joined the Orlando Sentinel in 1970, trying to think up Orlando editorial cartoon ideas before Disney arrived and made it easy.


It's all Jim Ivey's fault I tell ya. About 30 years ago I got his Wash Tubbs book, ever since I have been a sincere believer the Roy Crane's Captain Easy is the best adventure strip ever! No, I cannot be dissuaded; and it's all Jim Ivey's doing!
These are absolutely terrific Allan ---many thanks for posting them. I especially appreciate those that have pertained to caricature, caricaturists ---an art form of foremost interest not only to Jim but myself as well.

Hope you'll be sharing more.....

Side note: Jim & i both worked at the old S.F. Examiner, albeit 25 years or so apart.
It was there (while on staff as an illustrator) that i first discovered his work, the impact of which lead to many an hour (& on the Examiner's dime naturally ;-) ) down in the paper's archives making copious copies of his caricatures & political cartoons so that i could develop a nice collection of them to admire & learn from.....
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Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Jim Ivey's Photo Album, Part Two

More photos from Jim's scrapbook:
A 1948 party of the Washington Star editorial art department staff. From left to right, Jim Ivey, Del Truitt, Zang Auerbach, 'Pappy', Bill Perkins, unknown, unknown. A wild night of debauchery did not ensue...

At the 1974 Orlandocon Jim Ivey auctions off a C.C. Beck Captain Marvel original. Roy Crane has entered an opening bid and attempts to stare down anyone bidding against him.

At the 1967 grand opening party of the Cartoon Museum Jim Ivey ruins the market for his own original art by drawing caricatures of all the attendees. Swift move, Jim!

Dapper young Ivey has to erect a barricade of chairs to ward off a swarm of adoring women at the 1967 grand opening of the Cartoon Museum.

In 1968 the National Cartoonist Society sends a delegation of members to visit the Cartoon Museum. From left to right, Ivey, Ray Helle, Les Turner, Mel Graff, Dick Hodgins Jr. The Cartoon Museum squeeks by on the inspection, gets written up for improperly stored meat, dirty oil in the fryers.

The San Francisco Museum of Art stages an exhibit of international editorial cartoons with material put together by Jim Ivey in 1962. Attendence seems to be less than overwhelming.

Caricaturist 'Pancho' (squatting) presents sketches to a group of syndicated cartoonists at the San Francisco Press Club in 1960. Standing, from left to right, are Jim Ivey, Al "Priscilla's Pop" Vermeer, Jimmy "They'll Do It Every Time" Hatlo, George "Grin and Bear It" Lichty, Charles "Peanuts" Schulz, Frank "Short Ribs" O'Neal, Bob "The Better Half" Barnes. Every one of the standing cartoonists is thinking, "I coulda done better than that."

Curator of the Cartoon Museum hard at work, circa 1975. Yes, his cash register really was an old cigar box.

French political cartoonist Tim visits Ivey in San Francisco in 1962. The pair shoot a TV pilot about two gritty, hard-bitten caricaturists on the mean streets of Frisco.

Fred Lasswell presents Ivey with the National Cartoonist Society Silver T-Square Award. Ivey supplies his own captions for the dignified ceremony.


I was unaware of the amazing history of Jim's store. I'd only visited during the tail end of its existence. I had no idea it was born the same year as me and had seen so many illustrious visitors.
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Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Jim Ivey's Photo Album, Part One

For those of you who don't know Jim Ivey, here's a capsule resume. Jim was a groundbreaking editorial cartoonist, internationally known for his unique style. He worked at the Washington Star, San Francisco Examiner, St. Petersburg Times and Orlando Sentinel, a distinguished career spanning over three decades.

In 1967 he opened the Cartoon Museum, a gallery and collector's haven for cartooning fans, offering original art, books, comics, tearsheets and ephemera, even cartooning classes. It wasarguably the first establishment of its kind, and always unique in its scope and atmosphere.

In 1974 Ivey started the Orlandocon annual convention series, ostensibly a comic book convention, but actually far more eclectic and far-ranging, embracing all phases of the cartooning art. The roster of guests over the years was a who's who of cartooning, most of whom were attracted by the presence of Ivey, one of their own -- it was one of the few events, other than National Cartoonist Society events, where cartoonists could meet and enjoy each other's company.

After many successful years of operation, both the Cartoon Museum and Orlandocon succumbed in the 1990s due to the comic book industry implosion. Though Ivey never focused exclusively on comic books, that portion of the business unfortunately financially overshadowed the rest.

Ivey is now in his eighth decade, mostly retired though he does do occasional freelance cartooning jobs. He tries to read a book a day, and keeps both his wit and drawing pen sharp through writing correspondence liberally peppered with cartoons.

Jim Ivey is a raconteur, bon vivant and a very dear friend. We have known each other for a quarter century now, ever since I wandered into the Cartoon Museum as a teen. Jim taught me his love of cartooning, just as he did for so many others, and with Stripper's Guide I carry on in his footsteps. If you enjoy this blog, you have Jim Ivey to thank. He imparted to me a fascination with comic strip history, an appreciation for scholarship, and the importance to always remember that cartoons are supposed to be fun, so don't get too all-fired serious about the whole thing.

Jim has agreed to allow me to share with you a big batch of photos from his scrapbook, which I think you'll find are a darn sight more entertaining than those snapshots of Aunt Millie's vacation you have to look through each year. The photos came to me in a big stack, in no particular order, and because I'm lazy, I'll present them in no particular order. I'll identify the culprits as we go along, and throw in some commentary which is 99% pure baloney. Here we go...

Will Eisner (right) lectures Jim Ivey on some fine point of graphic storytelling at Orlandocon 1979. Jim adopts Thoughtful Pose #3. With his back to us is local radio and TV personality Bill Berry, who hasn't a clue what Eisner's going on about.

Jim Ivey and C.C. Beck discuss the relative merits of cigars versus cigarettes at the first Orlandocon in 1974. C.C. seems to have Jim on the ropes in this debate, or is it just one too many vodka gimlets?

Three cartoonists from Red China make a pilgrimage to the Cartoon Museum in 1990. They tell Jim that they are the creators of the only science fiction comic book published in China. Ivey is in no position to dispute their tale.

Photo copyright Charlie Roberts, 1975.
Harvey Kurtzman in his studio, 1975. That impish grin is a direct result of how much he is paid to produce the page he's pointing at.

Jim Ivey about to cold-cock Burne Hogarth with an Ignatz Award at the second Orlandocon in 1975. Ivey designed the award, a brick sporting a brass plaque, as an homage to some comic strip or something.

Even the honored guests at Orlandocon 1974 were obliged to stand in line to go to the bathroom in the overtaxed facilities. From left to right, Edmund "Scorchy Smith" Good, Mel Graff, Les Turner, Ralph Dunagin, and the lucky stiff at the head of the line, who's dashed out of frame as a vacancy has opened up in the loo.
Comics historian and author Ron Goulart interviews Les Turner at Orlandocon 1974. Turner is telling Goulart about an idea he's mulling over for a new comic strip he's thinking of calling "Star Hawks". Goulart takes copious notes.

Jim Ivey snatches away the last Dunkin donut in a rare etiquette gaffe at Orlandocon 1982. C.C. Beck and daughter Gladys look on dejectedly as the pastry disappears.

The original sponsors of Orlandocon. From left to right, pulp illustrator Neil Austin, collector and dealer Charlie Roberts, film buff Rob Word, and Jim Ivey. Surrounding them is about $100,000 worth of original art, value then a tiny fraction of that. Among other items, there is a Little Nemo Sunday in the foreground, on the wall behind a Hogarth Tarzan, a Foxy Grandpa Sunday, a Krazy Kat Sunday, a Happy Hooligan Sunday, and a Segar Thimble Theatre Sunday.

Photo copyright 1974 Charlie Roberts
Roy Crane and Hal Foster at Orlandocon 1974, looking understandably glum after being mobbed by Disney fans who think they're Walt and Roy Disney. Well, it is Orlando after all.


Years ago, whenever I was in Orlando, I'd spend a evening and a bottle with Jim at the Muesum.

Ivy is to strips what Bails was to comics.

And he ain't mad at nobody!

Thanks for the tribute, Allen.
Just happened to stumble upon this blog.
I too knew Mr Ivey, in my teens.
I spent may an hour at the Cartoon Museum (at the various locations it resided) as well as going to many of the Orlandocons, in the 80s-90s.
Still have my programs, many with original sketches.
Thanks for the trip down memory lane.
Keith S.
grok322 "at"
The museums were always a bit dingy and reeked of old paper and cigars. Mr. Ivey usually seemed grumpy and wouldn't hesitate to burn-down any hot-shot who dared ask for an eval of their work. But that made us better in the end. The clutter, those stogies - the harumphing... God Bless Jim and the magic he still shares in our memories!
A very happy birthday to Jim! Although we only met a couple of times when I used to visit my grandparents, he made a huge impression on me. I bought some great stuff from him as well!! Thanks for everything, sir!!
Still keeping up with the good girl art!!! Remember dining at Steak n Ale.Hope school guy still has my Ward art!!!(She'in/Sky'in haha)
I really enjoyed seeing the pictures of the still-missed OrlandoCons, as well as any chance to read more abut Jim, but I do need to make a clarification. The first picture of Jim and Will Eisner includes a man correctly identified as Bill Berry, then a long-time fixture in local TV and radio, and (still) my Dad. However, while it makes a cute caption, please understand that Dad did indeed know his way around comic strips. He was a longtime Caniff and Crane fan, a friend to quite a few strip cartoonists, even writing continuity for Les Turner on Cap'n Easy in the '50's, and a student/practicioner of cartooning in many forms. I attended that particular O'Con with him, and can personally assure you that he knew what they were talking about. That said, thanks again for making these wonderful photos and memories available. John Berry Winter Park, Fl.
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Monday, January 29, 2007


News of Yore: Big Ben Bolt Debuts

Norman Rockwell Model To Produce Comic Strip

E&P - 1/28/50

At 15 John Cullen Murphy modeled for Artist Norman Rockwell and the picture became a cover on the Saturday Evening Post.

In the years that followed, Mr. Murphy went off to art school and the established artist took an interest in his work. During summers in Vermont, he let the younger man use his studio near New York. Before 1940, Mr. Murphy was in a class where he could draw covers, instead of sit for them.

Now, the 30-year-old artist will draw a daily strip, "Big Ben Bolt," featuring a prizefighter ("a prizefighter who is highly intelligent but unsophisticated") and drawn in realistic style. King Features will release it Feb. 20.

One of his earlier free lance jobs was drawing sports cartoons for Madison Square Gardens, Inc. He also used to hang around Stillman's gym to sketch fighters in training.

Writing the continuity for the adventure strip will be Elliott Caplin, brother of cartoonist Al Capp and writer for "Dr. Bobbs."


Does anyone know which Rockwell cover he posed for?
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Sunday, January 28, 2007


Obscurity of the Day: It's Only Ethelinda

The pretty girl comic strip genre didn't really take off until the 1920s. Before then some cartoonists, George McManus for instance, were noted for their lovely damsels, but very few strips made them the main characters. It's Only Ethelinda was one of the few strips of the oughts that focused on a curvaceous beaty. Not that Ethelinda paraded around in deshabille like the flapper girls of later strips, of course -- the 1900s was not a decade that countenanced that sort of wanton sexuality. Back then a short-sleeved frock and a glimpse of ankle was about as close to promiscuity as could be dared.

It's Only Ethelinda ran 8/23/1908 to 7/17/1910 in the Philadelphia North American. The strip, on the rare occasions when it was signed, gave credit to 'Grif'. Some have conjectured that this is Syd B. Griffin, but I'm not convinced since the style doesn't look right and this strip dates a full five years after his other known newspaper strips, all of which were done for New York City syndicates.


What a delightful strip -- and considering how rough some strips of the era looked, all the more a wonder!
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