Saturday, June 30, 2012


Herriman Saturday

Wednesday, March 11 1908 -- The Great White Fleet continues to be wooed by Los Angeles. Right now the fleet is down in Coronado Bay near San Diego, doing gunnery exercises, and won't be leaving there for a month. But L.A. just wants to make sure they don't forget to visit.


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Friday, June 29, 2012


Ink-Slinger Profiles: Joe Bowers

Joe Bowers was the pseudonym of Hugh Joseph Deeney, who was born on April 18, 1894 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, according to his World War I draft card. In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, he was the oldest of three sons born to John and Sarah, both Irish emigrants. They lived in Philadelphia at 3813 Olive Street. His father was a railroad conductor.

In the 1910 census, the family remained in Philadelphia but at 3703 Brown Street. Information regarding his education and art training has not been found. According to Deeney's undated World War I draft card, he was a self-employed artist in Chicago. He gave his Philadelphia address as his home address. His description was short height, medium build with blue eyes and dark hair. The date of his move to New York City is not known.

In the 1920 census, Deeney was a lodger on Manhattan's west side, 138 62 Street, and worked as an artist. At some point he returned to Philadelphia and produced Dizzy Dramas under the name Joe Bowers.

The 1930 census recorded Deeney at his parents home, 3813 Olive Street, in Philadelphia. He was an "artist publishing a newspaper". Who's Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999 said he worked in the comic book industry. According to the Grand Comics Database, Dizzy Dramas appeared in some issues of the comic book Famous Funnies.

The Day 7/2/1934

The Morning Leader 3/24/1930

Deeney served in the military during World War II, although a draft card has not been found. He was stationed at Camp Blanding, Florida, a National Guard reservation. The Best of Yank, the Army Weekly, 1942-1945 (1980) published his letter:

Dear Yank,
I am enclosing a picture of me before I got my "rating." Here you see me as latrine orderly with my helpmate. That building in the background is "it." Inside, you know, is where all the rumors generate. Well, I must stop now because they are yelling for me. One hillbilly sergeant is shouting, "Deen—ah! Deen—ah! Private Fuss Class Deen—ah! Come yeah out of that thar hut 'fo ah beats yo' end off!"

-Pfc. Hugh Deeney
Camp Blanding, Florida

The book, The CCC Chronicles: Camp Newspapers of the Civilian Conservation Corps, 1933-1942 (2004), mentioned the comic strips in the CCC newspaper Happy Days:

…In keeping with the propensity of Happy Days to use talent from the field, and to help keep the paper fresh and current, a new cartoon strip by R. Lemon, "The Little Sarge," began appearing in the paper on May 6, 1939. This also reflected an emerging military orientation. Similarly, in early 1942, Pvt. Howard Amend, then in the Army, introduced his strip "Beansy O'Brien," depicting the trials and tribulations of young soldiers. "Rear-Rank Ralph" by Joe Bowers also emphasized the foibles of rank and file servicemen in both the Army and Navy.

The character, Rear-Rank Ralph, appeared earlier in a Dizzy Dramas published in the Toledo Blade, November 18, 1941. Deeney's life came to a tragic end as reported in the Trenton Evening Times, May 12, 1943:

Comics Artist Killed on Camp Rifle Range
Philadelphia, May 12 (AP). Hugh J. Deeney, 41, Philadelphia artist, who drew the comic strip "Dizzy Dramas" under the name Joe Bowers, was killed accidentally yesterday on the rifle range of Camp Blanding, Fla., the War Department notified his family.

Deeney was actually 49 at the time of his death.


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Thursday, June 28, 2012


Dan Smith's Fairyland Cover Series

By the scope rules of Stripper's Guide, the series above does not quite qualify for inclusion in my index. However, by the scope rules of art appreciation, I must share these incredible illustrations with you.

Dan Smith, noted illustrator of 1890s-1920s, drew this series called Fairyland for the covers of Hearst's American Weekly Sunday newspaper supplement in 1926. Although I do include many such series in the Stripper's Guide listings, I generally limit them to ones that tell a story, typically through a series of drawn vignettes with captions. Fairyland is obviously a series with a common theme, but lacks the storytelling aspect of the series I do include in Stripper's Guide. Dan Smith's covers are meant to be appreciated primarily for the beauty of the drawing, not really for a story or gag.

And what beauties they are! These incredible images come from the collection of Cole Johnson, who actually has the original proof sheets to the covers -- I am so jealous! The printed covers would have nowhere near the luminosity or sensitive coloring of these proof sheets, which are absolutely breathtaking. Thanks Cole!


Smith was fantastic!
Mark Wheatley has a Facebook album devoted to Smith, including a coupe of originals. The scans are nice and big when you download them. He also has a couple in his Wall album.
These are great to see! Thanks for sharing!
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Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Ink-Slinger Profiles: Rolfe Memison

Rolfe Memison, aka Rolfe Mason was born Rolfe Julius Memisohn in Berlin, Germany on November 5, 1905. His birthplace was on a 1923 passenger list at, and his birth date is from the Social Security Death Index and the books, Die Ausbürgerung deutscher Staatsangehöriger 1933-45 nach den im Reichsanzeiger veröffentlichten Listen, Volume 1 (The Expulsion of German Citizens in the Kingdom After the 1933-45 Gazette Published Lists), and Deutschland, Index von Juden, deren deutsche Staatsbürgerschaft vom Nazi-Regime annulliert wurde, 1935-1944 (Germany, Index of Jews Whose German Nationality was Annulled by Nazi Regime, 1935-1944), which recorded his name as “Rolf Julius Israel Memisohn”.

Rolfe, a merchant, sailed with his maternal uncle, Paul Saloschin, and his family, from Hamburg, Germany on October 3, 1923; they arrived in New York on October 14. His uncle lived at 57 East 96th Street in Manhattan. (In the 1920 U.S. Federal Census, Saloschin was a detective.) America was to be Rolfe’s permanent home.

He has not been found in the 1930 census. At, a London phone book has a listing for a “Rolf J. Memison”. It’s not known how long he was in London or if he became a British citizen. ListeBerlinL said his mother, “Memisohn, Luise genannt Lucy” emigrated to England in 1937. A profile in Editor and Publisher, October 21, 1939, said:

…Born in England in 1906, Rolfe came to America for the first time in 1923, and it was here that he received his first artistic encouragement. He copied a Rembrandt at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, taking two days from his job of packing radio receivers, and the reproduction sold for $5. It determined him on an art career.

Three years later he went to Paris to study art and then came several years of traveling and painting through France, Italy, Denmark and Norway. Then to Spain for five years and back to England when Spain revolted. He continues:

“Last summer I returned to the U. S. to make this my permanent home, and settled in a studio on top of a midget Gotham skyscraper (six floors). It contains a drawing table, easels, Spanish pictures, bullfight posters, two guitars, a black cat and a blond girl with blue eyes named Barbara.

“She’s an Indiana girl, reared in Florida. We were married last year, and she has become a whiz at cooking ‘Paella Valenciana’ and bouillabaisse, and posing in a Spanish shawl.”

Rolfe hid his German roots from the public. His strip, Brenda Breeze, debuted in 1939. At some point he moved to California, where he became a naturalized citizen on August 13, 1943. His name was recorded as “Rolf Julius Memison”, and he resided at 3331 Blair Drive, Los Angeles. When his younger brother, Fritz Theodor Memisohn, was naturalized on August 11, 1944, he changed his name to Frederick Theodore Mason. His mother, as Lucy Memison, was naturalized on March 9, 1945 in Los Angeles. She passed away January 26, 1954. At some point Rolfe adopted the Mason name.

In the 1960s he produced the panel Shopping Around. Rolfe J. Mason passed away July 23, 1985 in San Luis Obispo, California, according to the California Death Index at


Rolfe Mason was a friend of mine..until his death..

I have some of his art of cartoons..He was a wonderful soul with a great spirit..I personally spent many hours with him in his life.

I have many photos of he aged...

Gennafer Pryor
Thanks for having this post about him
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Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Obscurity of the Day: Shopping Around

We still don't know whether the creator of Brenda Breeze is more properly referred to as Rolfe Mason or Rolfe Memison: for discussion of that question, see these posts (or check back tomorrow, when Alex Jay will present the results of his sleuthing). Whichever last name Rolfe prefers to go by, we now have two features by the guy. In addition to Brenda Breeze, Cole Johnson has sent me some samples of this feature, Shopping Around.

Mason/Memison was evidently casting about for work in the waning days of his long-running Sunday Brenda Breeze feature, and NEA threw him a bone (a very small, dry one) in the form of a weekly panel for their Pony Service. Rolfe came up with a theme with plenty of possibilities; that great American addiction, consumption.

It wouldn't have made much difference what the panel was about though, because the NEA Pony Service (a bargain service that catered to small weekly papers) offered many good, bad and indifferent strips and panels over the years, and very few subscribing papers used them, for reasons I don't really understand. Shopping Around is yet another one that fell into that black hole. It was advertised in E&P from 1961 to 1963.

Thanks to Cole Johnson for the samples!

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Monday, June 25, 2012


Ink-Slinger Profiles: Edd Ashe

Edmund Marion "Edd" Ashe Jr. was born in Connecticut on August 11, 1908, according to the Connecticut Death Index at In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, he was the only child of Edmund and Estelle. His father was an artist. They lived in Manhattan, New York City at 320 West 111 Street. His parents maintained a home in Norwalk, Connecticut, on Wolf Pit Avenue, according to city directories dated 1908, 1910, 1923 and into the 1940s.

Ashe has not been found in the 1920 census, and little is known about his childhood education except that he graduated from the Franklin-Marshall Academy, according to the New York Times, June 15, 1941.
In the 1930 census, he lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at 1241 Murdock Street. Classics Illustrated Artists said, "…His father, E. M. Ashe, was a renowned illustrator (until the early years of the Twentieth Century) and then a fine artist. He was also the head of the art department of Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie-Mellon) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania." The Carnegie Institute of Technology yearbook, The Thistle 1931, had this entry for Ashe (see photo).

Edmund M. Ashe
Westport, Connecticut
Painting and Decorating
Beta Theta Pi
Tau Sigma Delta
Pi Delta Epsilon
Puppet 3–4
Art Editor Thistle 3

Ashe was among the graduates mentioned in the the New York Times, June 10, 1931, article "Carnegie Institute Graduates 750". He was one of three students awarded the Jansen Prize. The New York Evening Post, November 5, 1932, reported "Mrs. Louise G. Ashe sues for divorce from Edmund M. Ashe Jr., New York illustrator…" Beginning in 1939 he found work in the comic book industry. His credits are at the Grand Comics Database.
The New York Times reported his marriage on June 15, 1941.

Beatrice Bishop a Bride
Married to Edmund M. Ashe Jr., Illustrator, in Smithtown, L.I.

Smithtown, L.I., June 14—Miss Beatrice Bishop, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Elliot F. Bishop of Palm Beach and Montauk Manor, Montauk Point, L.I., was married to Edmund M. Ashe Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Ashe of Charleston, S.C., here today in the Presbyterian Church Manse. The Rev. Raymond A Case performed the ceremony in the presence of the two families.
The bride attended Ogontz Camp School and the Erskine School, Boston. Mr. Ashe, an illustrator, was graduated from Franklin-Marshall Academy and Carnegie Institute of Technology.

The couple will reside in Westport, Conn.

The couple was listed in the Norwalk Directory 1946 at Wolf Pit Avenue. He continued working for comic book publishers.

In the 1950s, he drew the comic strips Mark Hunt and Guy Fortune. Ashe played a minor part in the formation of the Society of Comic Book Illustrators, according to Of Comics and Men: A Cultural History of American Comic Books (2010).

The date of his move to New Milford, Connecticut is not known. He had a listing in the New Milford Directory 1960. In the 1983 directory he lived at 105 Buckingham Road. Ashe passed away September 4, 1986, in New Haven, Connecticut, according to the Connecticut Death Index. Additional art credits are at Who's Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999. Two of his murals are here.


Moved to New Milford CT 1956
I have 2 drawings and they are signed Edd Ashe. One is of the Cornwall Bridge and another is of a waterwheel on the side of a house in bridge water CT. My mother had them on her wall Who can verify if these are indeed Edd Ashe drawing for me?
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Sunday, June 24, 2012


Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics


Jim may be right about the death of the paper newspaper. My hope is that comics (including political cartoons) find a spot in the digital world. Although, I must admit that I don't read newspapers or comics digitally yet... I like the feel of paper!

PS - I was also a paperboy!
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