Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: George Brenner
George Edward Brenner was born in Brooklyn, New York, on September 9, 1908, according to a death notice posted on the RootsWeb message board. Brenner’s birth information was also found in the New York, New York Birth Index at Ancestry.com.
In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Brenner was the oldest of two sons born to Walter and Catherine. His father was sheet-metal worker at a cornice maker. The family resided in Brooklyn at 625 60th Street.
Brenner has not yet been found in the 1920 census. The 1925 New York state census recorded the Brenner family of five in Brooklyn at 959 Franklin Avenue. The census enumerator noted that Brenner attended Alexander Hamilton High School which trained and graduated many art students.
The Brenners home in the 1930 census was 2062 East 29 Street, Brooklyn. Brenner’s father passed away September 19, 1933, as noted in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, September 20. The New York, New York Death Index, at Ancestry.com, has a Catherine Brenner who passed away March 29, 1945, in Brooklyn.
Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999 said Brenner’s earliest work appeared in 1936. He produced Biff an’ His Pals which appeared in editor Jerry Iger’s Wow, What a Magazine!. When the magazine folded, after four issues, that year, Brenner joined Iger’s studio which was a partnership with Will Eisner. Brenner’s stay was brief.
Brenner copyrighted his comic strip, Bing and His Buddies, which was listed in the Catalog of Copyright Entries, Part 1, Group 2, Pamphlets, Etc. 1936 New Series, Volume 33, Number 8. Below is the entry:
Brenner ([Edward]) Bing and his buddies. © July 23, 1936; A 74649; General features syndicate, Inc., New York. 28159The strip was published in the weekly Hastings News (Hastings on the Hudson, New York) from March 19, 1937 into 1938. Some strips had Brenner’s byline and a few were signed. His strips appeared from July 2 to November 26, 1937, and on January 28, 1938. I believe Brenner produced just one month of strips.
The syndicate found another artist to continue the strip. The artist was Tap Goodenough, who drew the Sports Parade; his profile appears tomorrow.
According to the 1940 census, Brenner was married to Grace and had a two-year-old son, John. He owned his parent’s Brooklyn home at 2062 East 29th Street. His occupation was freelance artist and he had completed four years of college. According to the Quality Companion (2012), Brenner graduated from Villanova University.
Brenner’s livelihood was in the comic book industry, as an artist and editor, until his death. The Connecticut Death Index, at Ancestry.com, said Brenner passed away September 13, 1952 in Greenwich, Connecticut.
The Quality Companion blog has additional information on Brenner and has been contacted by Brenner’s son, John.
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