Saturday, October 13, 2012
The Hen Berry 'weazel hat' sidebars are getting downright kabuki-like.
Labels: Herriman's LA Examiner Cartoons
Friday, October 12, 2012
Ink-Slinger Profiles: Blake Haddon
Blake Smith Haddon was born in Lebanon, Pennsylvania on January 12, 1892. His birthplace was recorded in the U.S. Army, Register of Enlistments, 1798-1914, and his birthdate was recorded in the Pennsylvania, Church and Town Records, 1708-1985, both at Ancestry.com. In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, he was the only child of Fred and Jesse, who lived in Lebanon at 810 Chestnut Street. His father was a laundryman. He had a listing in the Lebanon Directory 1909: “Haddon Blake, laundry 1017 Cumberland h 221 S 4th.”
The 1910 census recorded Haddon in Hagerstown, Maryland at 206 Locust Street, where he boarded. His occupation was laundryman. According to the U.S. Army, Register of Enlistments, he enlisted on February 18, 1912. His description was five feet five-and-a-half inches, blue eyes and dark hair. He received an honorable discharge February 15, 1915. The Oswego Daily Palladium (New York), February 13, 1915, reported his plans.
Corporal Blake Haddon of Company C, Third Infantry, and well known cartoonist, will be discharged from that regiment tomorrow afternoon. Mr. Haddon will leave for his home in Lancaster, Pa., and will then leave to study his particular line of work at one of the drawing schools in Boston. Mr. Haddon’s drawings, while member of the Third Regiment, have attracted considerable and have appeared in the Palladium. It is said that he had had offers to do magazine work while in Boston and will probably accept.
He has not been found in the 1920 census. In 1930, he lived in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Tenth Street. He was a “commercial traveler” for a wholesale paper company. The Minneapolis Tribune published his Gopher Tales beginning in October 1935. His follow-up panel was recorded in the Catalog of Copyright Entries, Part 1, Group 2, Pamphlets, Etc., 1937 New Series, Volume 34, Number 11: “Haddon (Blake Smith)* Minneapolis. Badger tales— © Sept. 23, 1937: A 84589 37761”. The badger is Wisconsin’s state animal. [Badger Tales as yet unfound in any newspaper -- please let me know if you locate it -- Allan]
That panel was followed by one for Iowa. The Ogden Reporter (Iowa), July 7, 1938, announced the new feature.
Nearly everyone is acquainted with the globe-trotting Bob Ripley and daily feature of drawings regarding unusual happenings throughout the world.
Starting this week The Reporter hopes to make its readers as well acquainted with Blake Haddon who, although, not yet a globe-trotter, combines his artistic ability with authentic facts in presenting a feature entitled “Tall Corn Tales”.
This is a sketching which combines words and drawings to tell of little known and unusual facts regarding our own Hawkeye state of Iowa. The facts are all historically correct, and besides being entertaining, the feature will prove of much educational value to readers.
It also offers a means whereby Reporter readers may obtain extra pin money by submitting actual facts to Mr. Haddon who pays one dollar for each historical fact or oddity pertaining to Iowa history which he accepts for publication. Valuable documents should not be sent as he is unable to return any contributions.
Mr. Haddon has run a similar feature pertaining to Minnesota history in the Minneapolis Tribune for the past two years. Instead of giving exclusive publication rights to daily papers in this state he is giving weekly papers the opportunity of purchasing that privilege in each county. The Reporter has such publication rights in Bone county.
These and many other unusual bits of interesting information are contained in the “Tall Corn Tales” feature which starts in The Reporter this week on page two.
In September 1940 Haddon discontinued Tall Corn Tales in favor of a new feature titled It's In The Bible, which began the first week of October.
Two new weekly features are now appearing in this paper. “It’s in the Bible,” by Blake Haddon, is the artist’s non-sectarian portrayal of little known facts to be found between the covers of the “Good Book.” Romance, adventure, politics and statesmanship are linked with modern times and the historical past. Mr. Haddon will pay one dollar to the contributor of any Biblical item accepted by him for use in the future.
Also, by the same artist, is ”Iowa Oddities,” presenting interesting facts about people, places and things throughout the Hawkeye state in pictorial draftsmanship.
The Waterloo Daily Courier (Iowa), May 30, 1946, noted his marriage:
At Caledonia, Minn., May 25, Mrs. Claribel Hendrickson, former Decorah music teacher, and Blake Haddon head of the Midwest Newspaper Feature syndicate, LaCrosse, Wis., were married. Mrs. Haddon conducts piano classes in LaCrosse and Holmen, Wis. Haddon was formerly connected with the Minneapolis Tribune art staff.
The last evidence of It's In The Bible running is found in July 1947, and for Iowa Oddities the latest found is from October 1946, though there is indirect evidence as late a February 1947.
Labels: Ink-Slinger Profiles
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Ink-Slinger Profiles: Rick Fletcher
Richard Eugene “Rick” Fletcher was born in Burlington, Iowa on June 1, 1916. His birthplace is from his National Cartoonist Society (NCS) profile, and his birthdate is from the Social Security Death Index.
In the 1920 U.S. Federal Census, he was the youngest of two sons born to Russell and Maude. They lived in Burlington, Iowa at 604 South Gunnison Street. His father was a railroad foreman. The 1925 Iowa State Census recorded him in Burlington at 418 South Leebrick Street. He was the second of three children.
The 1930 census recorded Fletcher in Burlington at 909 Garfield Avenue, where he was the second of four children. His father remained with the railroad. In the book, Dick Tracy and American Culture: Morality and Mythology, Text and Context (2003), Garyn G. Roberts wrote, “Fletcher started his career at age 18 as the one-man art department of Tri-City Star in Davenport, Iowa. He had no formal art training but learned his craft by studying art books in the public library of his native Burlington, Iowa.” The Official Nebraska Government Website has samples of Fletcher’s artwork used on flour sack puppets, “while he was an artist for the Rudy Moritz Advertising Co. in Davenport, Iowa.”
Fletcher has not been found in the 1940 census. He enlisted September 29, 1942, according to U.S. Veterans Gravesites at Ancestry.com. On his NCS profile it said, “During WW II served in the ETO in 5 campaigns with the 83d Inf[antry] Div[ision], a Bronze Star and a Captain's rating. In 1946 joined art staff of the Chicago Tribune. Studied comic strip technique under the late Carey Orr, Pulitzer Prize winner.”
Roberts said, “From 1953 to 1965, Fletcher drew the well-known historical strip ‘The Old Glory Story’ for the Tribune Syndicate….in collaboration with Athena Robbins…” According to Ron Goulart, in The Funnies: 100 Years of American Comic Strips (1995), the Tribune had the distinction of having two cartoonists named Richard Fletcher. Today’s subject is Rick Fletcher. Dick Fletcher was the artist of Jed Cooper. The Park Forest Star (Illinois), February 3, 1953, profiled Rick Fletcher but referred to him as Dick.
But they aren’t nearly so excited as Dick and Beverly Fletcher are themselves over the fact that the strip which has been in the making for two years has finally made its debut and has already been syndicated and placed in newspapers in Philadelphia, Boston, Seattle, Baltimore, Fort Worth, Kansas City and Brooklyn.
The strip is in color and is called “The Old Glory Story.” It is “different” in that it will give the children—and the adults—who follow it real history about the flag of this country. In Saturday’s first installment readers saw the landing of Columbus in America and the flags which he brought to these shores.
Dick is 37 and, with his wife and two-year-old Kathy, has lived in Park Forest almost two years. They lived in a rental unit at 27 McCarthy road before moving to their present three-bedroom home on Marquette street.
One of those bedrooms has been converted into a studio for Dick. It is here that he works on the strip. A gate at the door keeps Kathy in hearing distance but discourages any direct “help” at the drawing board.
On Saturday night Dick and Bev went to a gathering at a friend's house where they met another couple whose son was a Cub Scout. The youngster had read the first of Dick's strips on the flag that morning and liked it so much that he had already started a scrapbook.
“That really thrilled me,” said the happy Mr. Fletcher.
The NCS profile said, “In 1963 began his 15 year association with the Dick Tracy comic strip, as Chester Gould's assistant. On Dec 26, 1977 Fletcher took over as sole artist on the strip when Chet retired. Max Collins of Muscatine Iowa does the writing….”
Roberts wrote, “…On Friday, March 11, 1983, Rick Fletcher produced his final work for Dick Tracy. The next day, he went into Memorial Hospital for McHenry County near his home in Woodstock, Illinois. On Wednesday, March 16, 1983, the greatest comics artist of guns, hardware and machinery in the history of the medium died….” The Tribune reported his death the following day and made a correction on April 3.
Labels: Ink-Slinger Profiles
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Obscurity of the Day: Laff-a-Day
The idea sounds great. Your paper gets a daily gag cartoon by the same guys you see in the New Yorker, Saturday Evening Post and all those other great magazines. The only problem is that these cartoons are the ones rejected by all those great and glorious magazines. Once Cartoonist X has sent a stinker around to all the major markets, and then to the second tier markets, and then maybe some trade publications, he then stuffs it into yet another envelope and sends it off to every newspaper syndicate which runs one of these gag cartoon features (most did). Assuming that there is some vaguely discernable gag, or in the case of the really famous A-list cartoonists, some random ink blots on the paper, one of the syndicates will accept it and put it in their daily gag cartoon feature.
King Features' version was called Laff-a-Day, and it was available from January 8 1936 to sometime in 1998. For the record, that's almost 20,000 bad cartoons sold -- and probably a few funny ones that got in the mix somehow.
And just for good measure, since sometime in the 2000s specially selected cartoons from the long and illustrious history of Laff-a-Day are now included in the King Features Weekly Service package, and, at last check, Charles Brubaker found them actually running in at least one paper, Tidbits of Madison County, a free ad rag out of Tennessee.
Our samples above are all from the first year of the feature, were hand-picked for their *ahem* humorous content, and include gems by Adolph Schus, Courtney Dunkel and some 'famous cartoonists' I don't recognize. All of whom should probably dig themselves out of the grave and go on a brain-eating zombie rampage straight to my door at the thought that quite possibly their only cartoon represented on the web is one of these stinkers.
Tuesday, October 09, 2012
Ink-Slinger Profiles: Gilbert A. Geist
Gilbert Allan Geist was born in Pennsylvania on January 29, 1879, according to his World War I draft card. In the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, he was the third child of George and Ella. They lived in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. His father was a railroad station agent. The Pennsylvania, Church and Town Records, at Ancestry.com, said he was admitted to the Presbyterian Church of Frankford on December 6, 1895.
The 1900 census recorded the family in Philadelphia at 4659 Penn Street. Geist was the third of five children. His birth was recorded as “January 1881”. In the Milwaukee Sentinel (Wisconsin), April 23, 1944, ‘Bugs’ Baer recounted an incident between Geist and Abian “Wally” Wallgren.
...The incident raises the delicate problem of how far a dramatic critic may go. I quote one from the eminent Abian Wallgren of the West Philadelphia Porch Gazette.
Speaking of the dramatic efforts of the late Gilbert Allen [sic] Geist in the Centennial Tableaux of 1906, Prof. Abian wrote, “Mr. Geist would smell on ice. And if you took him off the ice, then the ice would smell.”
Geist challenged Wallgren to mortal combat. And there was a duel with swords at 30 paces.
Neither man was injured. Or at least not enough. Got Geist lived to become a teacher at Texas A. and M., while Wallgren became the Wally of the Stars and Stripes, circa 1917.
In 1906 Geist produced In Birdsboro for the Philadelphia Press Sunday section. After his work at various Philadelphia newspapers he moved to College Station, Texas. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, August 29, 1909, published an article on college faculty changes.
Gilbert Allen Geist, whose signature upon much of the art work in the columns of the Public Ledger of Philadelphia is familiar to the readers of that paper, is to be of the teaching force of the A. & M. college of Texas. Prof. F.E. Glesecke, who is at the head of the department of architectural engineering and drawing, has secured Mr. Geist as a teacher of drawing to succeed one of the instructors who closed his engagement with the college in June. Mr. Geist took a two years course in drawing at the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art, in Philadelphia, and spent almost a year at the Art Students' League in New York. Since finishing his school work he has been connected with the art staff of the Philadelphia North American, the Philadelphia Press and the Public Ledger and has conducted a class in drawing at the Y.M.C.A. in Philadelphia.
The 1910 census recorded him on the Texas Agriculture and Mechanical College campus, where he was a teacher. On September 12, 1918, he signed his World War I draft card. He was a professor at Texas A&M and named his mother as his nearest relative.
According to the 1920 census, Geist was a widower and lived on campus. Later that year he married Emily Kurtz Dulaney on June 24, 1920 in Seaford, Delaware. According to their marriage certificate he was living in Philadelphia and she in Seaford. Emily was 13 years his junior.
In the 1930 Census the couple lived in Bryan, Texas on South Washington Avenue. He was still teaching at A. & M. College. Texas Painters, Sculptors & Graphic Artists (2000) said: “Geist was an instructor in architecture and drawing at Texas A&M College, College Station (1910-33). His distinctive illustrations appeared in student publications of the period.….”
After retiring from Texas A&M, he returned to Philadelphia where he worked as an architect for the federal government. Geist passed away September 12, 1937 in Philadelphia, as reported in the New York Times the following day. He was buried at Fairview Cemetery in Macungie, Pennsylvania according to Roots Web.
Labels: Ink-Slinger Profiles
Monday, October 08, 2012
Hogan's Alley Interview with some Guy
Sunday, October 07, 2012
Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics
Labels: Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics