Saturday, January 05, 2013
In weazel-hat news, Tony Schwamm is the latest to leave the party, and mysterious guest #13 is run over in the street on his way in.
Labels: Herriman's LA Examiner Cartoons
Friday, January 04, 2013
Sci-Friday starring Adam Chase
|Copyright renewed (c) 2013 Russ Morgan. All rights reserved.|
Labels: Adam Chase Sci-Friday
Thursday, January 03, 2013
Ink-Slinger Profiles: Renny McEvoy
In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Renny, his mother (an actress) and younger brother, Harold, and maternal grandfather, Thomas W. Crotty, lived in Cleveland at 1567 East 41st Street. His father was not been found in the census. Some time later, his parents divorced. On September 10, 1918, his father signed his World War I draft card which said he lived in Denver, Colorado. He was a theatrical performer with the Western Vaudeville Managers Association, Majestic Theater Building, Chicago, Illinois, and named his mother as his nearest relative.
The 1920 census recorded Renny, his brother and paternal grandparents as part of his Uncle Harry and Aunt Bessie’s household. They resided in Fremont, Ohio at 527 Jackson Street. His mother was married to Chicago Tribune writer, Joseph Patrick McEvoy. The couple had a son, age 18 months, and daughter, age three-and-a-half. They resided in Deerfield, Illinois at 202 Linden Avenue. Renny attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. According to the 1928 school yearbook, Recensio, he was a sophomore; assistant on the Recensio staff; and member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. In 1929 he was a cheerleader; member of the dramatics club, Ye Merrie Players; vice-president of the Varsity Social club; and an organizer on the junior prom dance committee.
Renny was counted twice in the 1930 census. He lived with his divorced mother, recorded as “Mamye”, in Chicago, Illinois at 7106 Sheridan Road, where both were unemployed. In Elyria, Ohio, he was part of his Aunt Bessie’s household at 246 Eighth Street. Renny moved to Elyria and was listed in the 1931 city directory: “Wurnelle Reynold clk [clerk] J E Thatcher r[esidence] 1004 East av”.
It’s not known when Renny met his stepfather and changed his surname. The name changed, at least professionally, around 1932. The Miami Student (Miami University, Oxford, Ohio), March 5, 1948, profiled him and said: “…He left Miami, broke, in 1929, and hitchhiked to New York where he went into acting on Broadway…” However, his Broadway debut came later according to the Brooklyn Eagle (New York), February 24, 1951: “…A budding cartoonist, he made his Broadway debut in a musical, “Americana.” The book for the show was written by his father, who, however, was unaware for a considerable time that one of the minor roles was being played by his precocious offspring.” The Internet Broadway Database said there three Broadway productions of Americana, two of which were during his college days. The third one was in 1932. The Daily Star (Long Island City, New York), September 12, 1932, elaborated on Renny’s role in Americana:
When J.P. McEvoy’s new “America” [sic] opens in Philadelphia this Thursday, it will carry the hopes of more than one McEvoy with it. For Renny McEvoy, twenty-year old [sic: 27] son of J.P., is being introduced to Broadway via his father’s show.
Young McEvoy, besides having four bits of his own to do is acting as assistant stage manager and his first song will be heard in “America.” It is called “Bronx Cheer-Up.”
Young McEvoy had broadcast over WABC and stations in Cleveland. He can sing and he can dance but his real passion is song writing.
Another source is the St. Petersburg Times (Florida), December 2, 1943: “…McEvoy…has written continuity for the strip [Dixie Dugan] for 11 years…” The article suggests that in 1932 he started on the strip, which began October 21, 1929.
The Chronicle-Telegram (Elyria, Ohio), February 14, 1936 noted the following:
Announcement was made today that Renny McEvoy, who is known to Elyria by the name of Renny Wurnelle, will team with Bob Ballin as “Two Public Enemies” and will sing and patter for CBS starting Tuesday at 10:30 A.M. When in Elyria this young man lived with his aunt Mrs. H.E. [Bessie] Ranker. He was well known here for his work in the entertainment field with Dick Hancock.
His brother died April 30, 1935. In the mid-1930s, he married Pamela Shipley Sweeney, according to the family tree. The Coshocton Tribune (Ohio), April 6, 1938, published Charles B. Driscoll’s column “New York Day by Day” which said:
There are two McEvoy babies, eleven months apart in age. J.P., novelist, screen writer and playwright, and his wife, Peggy Santry, have gone to Hollywood, leaving the month-old Patricia, in care of a nurse at their Connecticut estate. Renny McEvoy, stepson of J.P., also a writer, is the father of a year-old girl named Pamela for her mother. Renny has given J.P. a lot of advice about baby-rearing, altho the elder McEvoy has two almost-grown children. J.P. accepts the advice gravely, as if it were from an expert instead of an enthusiast.
Driscoll’s column, in the Greensboro Record, (North Carolina), April 8, 1940, noted the revival of barber shop quartet singing:
…For many years I have heard “Sweet Adeline” and “Old Black Joe” sung soulfully by a quartet composed of Charlie McAdam, I.C. Brenner, Ham Fisher and Renny McEvoy….McEvoy, actor, script writer and comic man, brings a note of youth and semi-professionalism to the group. He has even sung on the stage in musical comedies. The quartet, as now composed, recently had a record made, to entertain friends—or themselves.
Renny has not been found in the 1940 census. About his early life and performing career, the Brooklyn Eagle said:
Renny McEvoy, the cartoonist and son of the widely known author, J.P. McEvoy, was stage struck at a tender age and never got over it.
He took his first curtain bows as a cooing baby in the arms of his mother, the former May Wurnell [sic], vaudeville and musical comedy actress. Literally raised in the wardrobe trunk in his infant years, he was carried on the stage by his mother when she took her calls at the end of the night’s performance. One of her hit shows was “Peg O’ My Heart.”
…Renny’s career as a motion picture actor began [in 1944] when Cecil B. DeMille cast him as the comic and romantic sailor in “The Story of Dr. Wassell.” He has played parts of varying length and importance in nine other movies.
His movie experience was the springboard for the comic strips Hollywood Johnnie (1945 to 1948) and the Sunday topper, Movie Struck. Hollywood Johnnie was also known as Hollywood Merry-Go-Round; in 1947 the strip was retitled Screen Girl. In 1949 he wrote the Merrie Chase strip which was initially drawn by Carl Hubbell; it ended in November 1950. The Brooklyn Eagle profile also said:
...The writer of the popular Dixie Dugan comic strip and more recently creator of a second funny page heroine, called Merrie Chase, Renny is currently in makeup for his tenth movie role. He plays a taxi driver in “Cry Danger,” the Sam Wiesenthal-W.R. Frank picture starring Dick Powell and Rhonda Fleming, now at the N.Y. Paramount Theater.
The pay check he receives for the thespian chore is small in comparison to his income as a successful cartoonist. He acts because “the change is invigorating and refreshing,” he says. “I act in movies instead of playing golf. Often while doing a part I get ideas for new situations and characters for my cartoons.”
He has no trouble fitting his histrionic activities into his schedule for writing the continuity for two cartoon strips.
“I write three months ahead, so I can always find time to do a picture when one comes along,” he explains. “Besides, I never could work on a cartoon in an office. When I started doing little things on the stage 12 years ago, I used to jot down ideas for Dixie Dugan in the dressing room, using lipstick or an eyebrow pencil to write with.”
Renny created the movie star character named “Reynold Wurnell” who was rumored to be engaged to Dixie Dugan. The storyline began September 17, 1949 and Wurnell was first mentioned September 22. The story continued into 1950. The strip ended October 8, 1966.
His skill, trapping coyotes in the Hollywood Hills, was explained in Popular Science, December 1961 (photo on page 68); how he trapped the coyotes is on page 198. As his movie roles decreased, television beckoned and he found parts from the late 1950s to the late 1960s. His screen credits are here.
His father died December 22, 1969. When his mother died is not known. According to the California Death Index at Ancestry.com, his wife passed away November 9, 1983 in San Diego, California. Renny passed away April 5, 1987, in El Centro, California, according to Find a Grave.
Labels: Ink-Slinger Profiles
My father Renny McEvoy retired in 1970 and moved to El Centro, California.
Wednesday, January 02, 2013
Ink-Slinger Profiles: Paul Reinman
On May 26, 1936, Reinman’s brother and sister arrived in New York City. His address on the passenger list was 2643 Broadway. A naturalization document said he married Dora on September 4, 1938 in New York City. She was born in Reichelsheim, Germany, April 18, 1912, and emigrated April 20, 1934.
Reinman has not been found in the 1940 census. His naturalization card at Ancestry.com said he was naturalized on June 10, 1940 and lived at 611 West 163 Street, New York City. His wife was naturalized June 5, 1941 and had the same address.
The Palm Beach Daily News, (Florida), February 14, 1977, said:
...Reinman began his art career “at age three when I started drawing.” But Adolph Hitler’s rise to power in the late ’30s and the opportunities in commercial art in the U.S. brought Reinman to New York City.
“I had been working in a mail order house when the company decided to move to Chicago. So I went looking for work. I walked into MJL [sic] Comics (now Archie Comics) and found a job,” Reinman said.
In the beginning, “telling the story in pictures wasn’t easy,” but he quickly learned how to break down the synopsis of the story into four to eight pictures frames per page.
“When I began, I did nearly all of the pencil drawings and the inking, and most of the time even the synopsis of the story. But the work eventually became specialized so that six or seven people worked on a storyboard rather than three” he said.
...“When there is a great deal of dialogue I had to draw close-us of the characters and when the action quickened I had to set the scene,” Reinman explained. He attempted to pose the character in as many different angles as possible, which in many instances meant a great deal of work.
His comic strip work began February 7, 1949 with the Tarzan daily, and ended February 11, 1950, according to ERBzine. A few days before his Tarzan run ended, Reinman took over, from Carl Hubbell, Merrie Chase; his first daily was February 6, 1950 and first Sunday, February 26, 1950. More strips on the switch from Hubbell to Reinman are here. In 1949 and 1950, Reinman was an instructor at Burne Hogarth’s Cartoonists and Illustrators School. A first-hand account was described by Bob Hyde when he met Reinman in June 1949. (Scroll down to Chapter XIV, sixth paragraph) A photo of Reinman is here.
In the 1960s, he was part of the Marvel Comics superhero revival. The Palm Beach Daily News said, “…His last big job was the painting of a mural for Marvel. ‘It was a 36 foot high painting depicting all of their characters.’…Cartooning is not his entire life. Reinman also enjoys his fine art work. He has been listed since 1958 in the American Artists Eastern Division and in 1971 won the Forbes Award for a watercolor.”
Reinman passed away September 27, 1988, in Lake Worth, Florida, according to his death certificate. His first wife passed away in September 1967. He was survived by his second wife, Celia. His comic book credits are here. The remarkable story of how a Reinman drawing, found in a Jerusalem second-hand store, sparked a search to learn who he was, can be read here.
Labels: Ink-Slinger Profiles
Tuesday, January 01, 2013
Ink-Slinger Profiles: Carl Hubbell
Minor Carleton “Carl” Hubbell Jr. was born in Culver, Indiana, on July 27, 1916, according to passenger lists found at Ancestry.com. His father and mother, Elizabeth F. Callingham, both teachers, married June 12, 1915 in Spokane, Washington, as recorded on their marriage certificate.
Hubbell and his mother have not been found in the 1920 U.S. Federal Census, but his father was in Union Township, Indiana, where he was a teacher at a military school. Publications of the Modern Language Association of America, Volume 37, 1922, listed him in the appendix: “Hubbell, Minor Carleton, Head of Modern Foreign Language Department, Culver Military Academy, Culver, Ind.”
The family traveled frequently to Europe. He and his mother sailed from Cherbourg, France, June 2, 1924 and landed in New York City, June 14. In 1927, the two sailed from Le Havre, France on September 21 and arrived in New York City on the 29th. Their address was 503 Madison Street, Culver, Indiana. A similar trip was made a year later.
The 1930 census recorded Hubbell and his mother in Culver at 503 Madison Street. She was a music teacher. His father resided in Manhattan, New York City, at 122 East 33 Street; he was a travel agent in the tourist industry. In September 1931, Hubbell and his father sailed from Southampton, England to Quebec then to New York City. Their address was 522 Fifth Avenue, New York City. A 1932 passenger list had all three of them but his father’s name had been crossed out. In 1937 Hubbell sailed with his mother from Southampton. His father made at least 16 overseas trips.
At this time, little is known about Hubbell’s childhood education and art training. In 1935 he was a freshman at Ohio Wesleyan University, where his father had received a masters of art degree in 1916. The school yearbook, Le Bijou 1935, listed Hubbell as a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.
He and his father have not been found in the 1940 census which was enumerated in April; his mother was living alone in Culver. Hubbell’s father signed his World War II draft card April 26, 1942; self-employed, he operated Carleton Tours at 11 Charles Street in Manhattan, New York City. On the draft card, he named his son, who lived in Manhattan at 60 Hudson Street, Room 315, as the person who would always know his address. The Kingston Daily Freeman (New York), July 7, 1949, said:
...Hubbell came to New York in 1940 where he hoped to have a B.A. degree in fine arts and had done extensive work and study on murals. His first job, a far cry from what he had in mind, was that of apprentice to a cartoonist. He worked only half days and received $5 per week. Although he spoke of those days in an amusing tone, nevertheless, he agreed that was the beginning of his career as a cartoonist.
According to Who’s Who in American Comic Books, 1928–1999, his comic book career spanned from 1941 to 1969. A list of his credits can be viewed here. A profile of Hubbell’s wife, Virginia, appeared in the Daily Freeman, August 8, 1951. To a group of artists she explained how she and Fritzi Striebel developed their play. About Virginia the profile said:
…Early in the summer of 1943, war year, Ginny saw a sign in a window concerning barges on the Erie Canal. Married but a year to cartoonist Carl Hubbell, and having given up her job as a copy writer for advertising for Westinghouse, she pointed out the possibilities of a good berth on a barge to her husband. They obtained a Coast Guard card as a barge captain and wife and set out in a taxi with most of their possessions for the pier in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
…The Hubbells…spent the summer on the barge, making two trips to Buffalo and back, living a wonderful life aboard traveling river and canal. It took four days to make the trip from Brooklyn to Albany and an entire summer to make the two round trips…
The group of artists who listened to Ginny’s outline of the Foundation play were particularly engrossed in her fabulous plot. They might not all have been aware that plots are really her business. She produces on an average of six complete stories a month for Dare Devil Boy Comic magazines, good practice she says, for learning to tie up a plot with no loose ends.
Writing for the comic strips began shortly after her marriage to Carl in 1942 when she was working for Westinghouse during the day and Carl was working most of the night on his cartoons. Carl’s editor asked her: “Since you like to write, why don’t you write for comic books?”
A visit to the Hubbell home on Ohayo Mountain is a story book experience in itself. A knock on the door after a walk across an inviting terrace and play-yard will probably produce an eruption of three dogs, two cockers and a giant black Newfoundland, two small boys, Jonathan aged three, and Craig, aged two, and Ginny and Carl. Somehow in the midst of this lively happy household the Hubbells manage to produce comic strips, stories and in the space of three short weeks a complete script for the Woodstock Foundation play...
The October 12, 1946, Daily Freeman, noted a social visit: “Mr. and Mrs. Carl Hubbell had as their week-end guests Mr. and Mrs. Charles Biro. Mr. Biro is Mr. Hubbell’s editor.”
Minor C. Hubbell, Sr., Monson Teacher Dies
Monson, Jan. 10—Minor Carlton [sic] Hubbell Sr., 66, a member of the Monson Academy faculty, died suddenly at his home, 87 Main St., yesterday afternoon. Born May 26, 1881 at Bryan, Ohio, he was a resident of New York City for many years prior to coming here four years ago to teach French, German, and Latin. He was member of The Little Church Around the Corner in New York City and served as deacon there for many years. He leaves one son, Minor Carlton Hubbell Jr., of Woodstock, N.Y….
About seven weeks later, sadness turned to joy with the birth of their first child, Jonathan Nichols. In 1949 there were two major events for Hubbell: first was his new comic strip, Merrie Chase; and second was the September birth of Craig Timothy. The Daily Freeman, July 7, 1949, reported the upcoming release of the strip:
Hubbell’s Cartoon Is Accepted for Early Publication
Woodstock, July 7—Months of diligent work by Carl Hubbell, local cartoonist, have been rewarded by the acceptance of his comic strip, “Mary Case” [sic] which will appear daily including Sundays in newspapers across the country through the McNaught Syndicate, New York, beginning July 31.
Hubbell describes his character, Mary [sic] Chase, a beautiful blonde sleuth as the “kind of girl every mother would like her daughter to be as well as the kind of girl every girl would like to be.” The script for the cartoonist’s new strip is written by Rennie McEvoy of Hollywood, Calif.
For the past eight years, Hubbell has been cartooning for comic magazines and is particularly known for his comic book “Sniffer.” What will become of the slapstick character, Sniffer, now that Mary Chase is about to be launched, Carl would not commit himself more than to say it will continue for the present….
To keep up with daily deadlines, Carl hides away in his studio each morning and remains there until late afternoon.
In 1950 he produced the Sunday strip to February 19, and the daily to February 4. Paul Reinman succeeded him. Samples of the strip by both artists can be viewed here.
Hubbell was a musician and thespian. The Daily Freeman, November 26, 1949, said he was a member of the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra which performed at the Masonic Square Club’s dance and benefit show:
…The weird thin notes of reed instruments, camel bells and beating drums penetrated the curtains which parted to reveal a cluster of squatting white-robed Arabs. A sort of Arabian nightmare broke loose. From that point on the boys were off in a wonderful set of rhythms, from Araby to Basin Street with Clementine Nessel on the piano, John Pike with his guitar, and Dave Huffine on his amazing contraption rigged out of a washtub and a broom handle taking the beat that would be the envy of any good base fiddle slapper. Other stars in the ensemble were Sidney Berkowitz, drums; Bill Pachner, accordion; Carl Hubbell, harmonica, and John Striebel, violin….
A brief look at his acting career was told in the August 29, 1951, Daily Freeman:
Foundation Play Now in Rehearsal
…Bettina’s Promise or the Broken Divining Rod, the new play which the Woodstock Foundation is presenting Sept. 14 and 15, at the Woodstock Playhouse…
…Another first in connection with the play will be the appearance of John Striebel, noted creator of the Dixie Dugan cartoon strip, in an acting role. Striebel succumbed to the plea of Virginia Hubbell and his wife Fritzi….Carl Hubbell, the cartoonist, who plays the hero Horace, extended his theatrical experience last week by appearing at the Woodstock Playhouse as a sheriff in The Respectful Prostitute. Hubbell has had several previous goes at acting with the Island Players at Anna Amaria on the Gulf Coast of Florida, where he and his wife, Virginia Hubbell, spend their winters….
A photo of Hubbell and some cast members was published September 6, 1951.
Elizabeth Hubbell, Well Known Music Teacher, Dies
Mrs. Elizabeth F. Hubbell, 84, of Culver, died Thursday morning, March 25, at the Wesley Manor, Frankfort, Ind., where she had been staying since 1963. She had been in poor health for the past two years.
Mrs. Hubbell, a member of the Culver Methodist Church, was born Oct. 10, 1880, in San Francisco, Calif., to William and Jeanette (Callingham) Chambers. She came to Culver about 1915 and taught music here for many years. She was married to Minor Hubbell who preceded her in death several years ago.
She is survived by a son, Carlton [sic], Hubbell, Woodstock, N.Y., and many friends….
In the mid-1960s, he worked in the bullpen of Marvel Comics, and in the late 60s did work for other comic book publishers. At this time, no information on him has been found from the 1970s to the early 1990s. Hubbell passed away January 28, 1992, in Sarasota County, Florida, according to the Florida Death Index at Ancestry.com, however, the Social Security Death Index has the day as the 27th. Virginia passed away April 15, 2006 at her home in Woodstock.
Labels: Ink-Slinger Profiles
Monday, December 31, 2012
Obscurity of the Day: Merrie Chase
women in policing.
Merrie Chase was written by Renny McEvoy and drawn by Carl Hubbell. McEvoy gained entrance to the comic-stripping fraternity through his stepfather, J.P. McEvoy, creator of Dixie Dugan. By the time he created Merrie Chase, Renny was already writing that famed strip under his father's credit. He was also in the early stages of a career as an actor, though he never really advanced from playing minor TV and movie parts. Carl Hubbell I know little about, except that he drew pretty darn well, and he was not a Hall of Fame pitcher. About all I can find is that he worked in comic books in the 1950s and 60s.
I think what I like best about Merrie Chase (okay, second best after the cheesecake) is that although the strip is definitely having fun with the idea of a female cop, Merrie often comes out on top in situations, and not just because of dumb luck (as in our top sample). McEvoy evidently was willing to take the idea of a female cop seriously, despite the strip being an obvious and convenient showcase for all sorts of crass chauvinistic gags. He points out that women can have an advantage over guys in some police situations, especially in undercover work, which is a subject of some of the daily continuities.
However, Merrie Chase, which debuted on July 31 1949, never caught on. Maybe it was the sort of strip that needed time to find an audience, maybe it needed a hungrier writer who was driven to make it succeed. After just six months, Carl Hubbell was either fired or quit from the strip, and was replaced by Paul Reinman, by coincidence or not, another comic book guy. Reinman was a good cartoonist, but couldn't really duplicate Hubbell's facility with the curvaceous and cute heroine.
Just a little over a year into the run, on November 26 1950, the plug was pulled. Merrie Chase was replaced on the McNaught Syndicate roster by The Jackson Twins, a much more traditional 'girl strip' starring teenage twins.
As for Renny writing DD since 1932, do you recall where you read that? I don't doubt you're right, but I'd like a citation so I can update my records. Anxious to see any info on Renny, as there isn't much floating around the 'net about him.
I don't mention the source on my blog, but it's the St. Petersburg Times December 2, 1943 Page 9
http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=20ZPAAAAIBAJ&sjid=m04DAAAAIBAJ&pg=5932,2579871&dq=dixie+dugan+mcevoy+renny&hl=en Pardon these long links.
Another interesting factoid is that is grandson, Michael B. Anderson, is an Emmy award winning Writer, Director and Produce for the show The Simpsons. He won "Favorite Episode" for their 20 year anniversary as well.
Sunday, December 30, 2012
Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics
Labels: Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics