Saturday, October 20, 2018


Herriman Saturday

October 2 1909 -- This microfilm was in such bad shape I ended up throwing in the towel on the clean-up work, but the art isn't so much the attraction as the gag, anyway. LA is talking about banning chickens within a hundred feet of residences. One inventive backyard flockster has come up with the bright idea of attaching chicken coops to balloons so that the cluckers can reside overhead and be within the letter of the law.


Comments: Post a Comment

Friday, October 19, 2018


Wish You Were Here, from Walter Wellman

Here is a 1906 card by Walter Wellman, showing an unexpected tender side to the normally wacky humor I associate with him. The card is copyrighted to Charles Rose, but as I am slowly coming to understand, Mr. Rose was generally the publisher, and the card printing was done by others. This one offers no clue to the printer, but it is R. Kaplan that is most often associated with him.


A lot of cards were licensed by a local printer. Syndicated, you might say. This is most commonly seen in view cards, where a local outfit woul have a big company run off x number of cards using their ready to go images, with the name of the local merchant/tourist trap that commissioned it.

in this card the small "COPYRIGHT 1906" in the artwork probably means that Wellman owned the image, and it was licensed out to Chas. Rose.
Post a Comment

Thursday, October 18, 2018


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: E.C. Felton

Eugene Clair Felton was born on October 25, 1926, in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio according to his Social Security application which named his parents, Harold R. Felton and Margaret Knallay.

The 1930 U.S. Federal Census listed Felton as the youngest of two sons. The family lived in Cuyahoga Falls at 1647 Olive Street. Felton’s father was an accountant at a rubber company.

According to the 1940, the Feltons moved from Cuyahoga Falls to Findlay, Ohio sometime after 1935. Felton and his parents resided at 131 18th Street. His father was a traffic manager at a rubber company.

Felton was a Michigan resident when he enlisted in the Army on February 12, 1945 at Fort Sheridan, Illinois.

After his service, Felton lived in or near Washington, D.C. He was a member of the Washington Society of Landscape Painters from 1947 to 1955. The Evening Star (Washington, DC), December 24, 1950, covered the Landscape Club’s exhibition at the Arts Club. The review said “Eugene Felton’s ‘City’ and Carl Nyquist’s ‘Dead End’ (street) convey moods of despair and mediocrity, respectively.” Information about Felton’s art training has not been found.

Felton was a commercial artist. His posters for Steak Ranch Restaurant were cited in a 1956 issue of Art Direction, a graphic arts magazine.

The Evening Star, February 13, 1959, named the new officers of the Creative Graphic Services Association of Washington. Felton was its secretary.

Felton Design Studio produced the design and art for Athelstan Spilhaus’s publication, Turn to the Sea, in 1959. In the book, Navy Surgeon (1959), author Herbert Lamont Pugh acknowledged Felton’s contributions, “These drawings were made for me by Eugene C. Felton, a member of the Audio- Visual- Educational-Aid Section of the Bureau….”

Felton was listed in Who’s Who in Commercial Art and Photography: A Guide to Artists, Photographers, Agents, Studios, Representatives and Buyers of Art in the Graphics Field (1960) 

FELTON, Eugene C. DI 7-8692
1700 - 1 St., NW, Washington, D. C.
and in the 1964 edition
Felton Design Studio FE 8-4294
1830 Jefferson P1. N.W., Washington, D.C.

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Felton was the second of four artists to draw Our New Age which ran from September 21, 1958 to October 26, 1975. Carl Rose, as Earl Cros, produced the Sunday strip from September 21, 1958 to May 7, 1961. E.C. Felton did the Sundays from May 14, 1961 into 1962. Gene Fawcette continued the Sundays and later the dailies after Ray Evans, Jr. who did the dailies during 1962. Dr. Athelstan Spilhaus wrote the series for Publishers-Hall Syndicate.

Felton copyrighted his book and filmstrip Deep Frontier.

Felton passed away October 6, 1998 according to the Social Security Death Index. His last residence was Silver Spring, Maryland. Felton’s ex-wife died November 13, 2008. 

—Alex Jay


Comments: Post a Comment

Wednesday, October 17, 2018


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Earl Cros

Earl Cros was the pseudonym/anagram of Carl Rose who was born on February 21, 1903, in Odessa, Russia. The birth information was on his World War II draft card. The same birth date is at the Social Security Death Index. According to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census, Rose’s family emigrated in 1907. 
His father was German and his mother Russian. Their naturalization papers have not yet been found at It’s possible Rose’s surname changed when he was naturalized.

Rose has not yet been found in the 1910 and 1920 censuses.

City Life Illustrated, 1890–1940: Sloan, Glackens, Luks, Shinn, Their Friends and Followers (1980) said Rose “studied at the Art Students League from 1923 to 1926 and again in 1928 under Boardman Robinson and John Sloan. According to his wife, Dorothy W. Rose: ‘There were other teachers, but these two had the greatest influence on him.’ In 1925, while still a student at the Art Students League, Rose began drawing for the New Yorker. During his career over 600 of his cartoons were published in the New Yorker….From 1927 to 1929 he worked for the New York Evening World. them he drew political cartoons for the Boston Herald from 1929 to 1932 and for a short-lived newspaper called P.M.”

Rose and Dorothy M. Wilson obtained a New York City marriage license on June 9, 1928.

The 1930 census recorded newspaper artist Rose and Dorothy in Boston, Massachusetts at 112 Revere Street.

In the 1940 census Rose’s home was at 197 Rowayton Avenue in Norwalk, Connecticut. According to the census, Rose resided in New York City in 1935. The self-employed commercial artist had two children: seven-year-old Paul, a Massachusetts native, and two-year-old Margaret, a New Yorker.

On February 16, 1942 Rose registered with the draft board in Rowayton, Connecticut. He stood five feet five inches and had hazel eyes and gray hair.

American Newspaper Comics (2012) 
said Rose was the first of four artists to draw Our New Age which ran from September 21, 1958 to October 26, 1975. Rose, as Earl Cros, produced the Sunday strip from September 21, 1958 to May 7, 1961. He was followed by E.C. Felton, Gene Fawcette and Ray Evans, Jr. who did the daily panel during 1962. Dr. Athelstan Spilhaus wrote the series for Publishers-Hall Syndicate.

City Life Illustrated said “Rose illustrated light stories for the New York Sunday World, New York Times Sunday Magazine, American Legion Magazine, Atlantic Monthly, Collier’s, and Saturday Evening Post.” Rose was a member of the National Cartoonists Society. Rose’s art appeared in Life Magazine issues May 9, 1938October 5, 1942 and August 29, 1960.

The Connecticut Death Index said Rose passed away June 20, 1971, in Norwalk, Connecticut. American Legion Magazine, August 1971, said “Artist and cartoonist Carl Rose died at Rowayton, Conn., on June 20 — aged 68 — after a long illness. Carl wasn’t a Legionnaire, but his work was familiar to our readers. The last job he ever did in his life was the line-drawing illustrations for our June 1971 cover article, ‘The Pentagon’s Alliance with Industry,’ which he worked on from his hospital room….”

Further Reading
Sunday Funnies Blast Off Into the Space Age

Biographical Sketches of Cartoonists & Illustrators in the Swann Collection of the Library of Congress

—Alex Jay


Comments: Post a Comment

Tuesday, October 16, 2018


I Learned it in the Funnies: Our New Age

There have been quite a few attempts to popularize science in the funnies, but without a doubt the most successful of them was Our New Age. Most strips tried to personalize or inject fun into the learning process, but that was never the approach of this strip, which took a no-nonsense approach. That's odd, because creator Athelstan Spilhaus was, besides behind a noted scientist, inventor and futurist, most definitely a bon vivant. He delighted in popularizing science for the common man, and it is strange that he didn't make more of an effort in Our New Age to be personable. Nevertheless, the strip was a big success.

Our New Age was perfectly timed for that success when it debuted from Hall Syndicate on September 21 1958. The newspaper-reading public was intensely fascinated by science and discovery since the Soviets had launched Sputnik less than a year before. They wanted to know what our own scientists we were up to, and how exactly they were going to shape the future. If they could get that information in a well-drawn comic strip, with clear and exciting explanations of the wonders to come, so much the better.

Athelstan Spilhaus had a big personality and a big brain. He was all over the map as a scientist because he was interested in just about everything, and he seemed able to make a major mark at anything to which he put a hand. The life story of this fascinating man is told in With Tomorrow in Mind, by Sharon Moen. It's an interesting read, and very reasonably priced in the Kindle edition.

Our New Age by 'Earl Cros', in which the principles of CD technology are obliquely discussed

 Our New Age debuted as a Sunday-only strip, with striking art by one "Earl Cros". If that name rings no bells, it's because there's no such cartoonist -- it is an anagram of Carl Rose. The famous New Yorker cartoonist evidently preferred to do this project under the radar so as not to dilute his star power as a magazine gag cartoonist. The brightly colored and stylish art just about jumps off the page, and was no doubt a big asset to getting the strip its initial large newspaper clientele. Rose added much-needed humor to the strip by humanizing Spilhaus's often coldly explained predictions of the future.

Rose bowed off the strip with the Sunday of May 7 1961, and was replaced by E.C. Felton. Felton was not nearly as accomplished a cartoonist as Rose, but he followed the example that bright colors and a bit of levity would help to get across Spilhaus's ideas.

Our New Age with art by E.C. Felton

Starting on the first day of 1962, Spilhaus added a daily version of the feature to his repertoire. The daily was a one-column panel, quite tall, and the rather minimal art was supplied by Ray Evans Jr.

1962 saw an additional change in the creative line-up. Starting on April 15, the Sunday art began to be credited to "Gene Felton". As later events would make plain, this name presumably indicates that E.C. Felton was now assisted by the man who would soon take over the feature, Gene Fawcette.

Our New Age by 'Gene Felton'
Felton's and Fawcette's very different styles were expertly combined in the 'Gene Felton' Sundays, with Fawcette's style slowly but surely taking over as weeks went by. From July 15 to September 2 all art credits disappeared from the strip (presumably this is Fawcette alone now), and then starting September 9 Fawcette was allowed to sign his work. Fawcette's art on the feature is very different than his predecessors. He employs a classy sketchy illustrative style with rarely a speck of humor evident. Instead of humor, Fawcette tried to attract eyes by drawing scantily clad women when possible, a not at all bad tactic. If the original art style was an important selling point for the strip, the change seemed to not have any negative impact on sales. In fact the strip apparently gained clients after the switch to Fawcette.

The final artist change was soon made. Ray Evans Jr. ended his stint on the daily after one year, and Gene Fawcette took it over with the December 31 1962 panel. Why all the artist changes? My theory, based on a reading of Spilhaius's biography, is that the man was hell on wheels to work with, as is often the case with geniuses. Although I have no documentary evidence for why Rose, Felton and Evans left the strip, it wouldn't surprise me a bit if it was clash of personality. Apparently this was never a problem for Fawcette, who would stick with the feature to the end, even outlasting Spilhaus himself.

The daily never did well in comparison to the Sunday, in fact it is a rather rare item. Spilhaus apparently decided it was no longer worth his time and he bowed out as writer on it on July 22 1967. Undaunted, the syndicate continued the daily panel with cartoonist Gene Fawcette now apparently handling the writing as well. In an attempt to make it a paying proposition, Fawcette and the syndicate began monkeying with it. On the first day of 1968, the title of the panel was changed to Now. Evidently that wasn't the magic bullet, so six months later, starting June 3, there was another name change, this time to New! Despite that exciting exclamation point, the change was greeted with indifference. Finally the syndicate (now Publishers-Hall since 1967) gave up and dropped the daily on May 3 1969. But Gene Fawcette decided that it still had some value, so he began self-syndicating it. He did so until November 30 1970, when Canada Wide Features took on the syndication of New! They supplied it both north and south of the border to very few clients until it was finally cancelled on July 6 1974.

The Sunday, with Spilhaus and Fawcette still at the helm, continued with a healthy client list through the end of the 1960s. It then began to falter. Whether this was because Spilhaus was running out of material, or readers were losing interest in cutting edge technologies I don't know. But there's no doubt that the distribution of the Sunday trails off in the 1970s. By 1974, Spilhaus decided he'd had enough. His last byline appeared on the Sunday of March 31 1974. Fawcette then took over all duties on the Sunday, but the writing was on the wall. Without the Spilhaus name clients were disappearing quickly. The Sunday was finally ended on November 26 1975. Art Lortie says that the last few Sundays were reprints of earlier material.

When President Kennedy needed someone to popularize science and technology at the Seattle World's Fair he called on Spilhaus to take on the huge project. When Spilhaus asked Kennedy why he'd been chosen, Kennedy reportedly said, "The only science I ever learned was from your comic strip in the Boston Globe." Athelstan Spilhaus is justly famous for many accomplishments, but he admitted that he would most likely be remembered primarily as the writer of Our New Age.

Comments: Post a Comment

Monday, October 15, 2018


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Dave Gantz

David “Dave” Gantz was born on December 6, 1922, in the Bronx, New York, according to an interview, conducted by Jim Amash, in Alter Ego #13, March 2002. Gantz said he started drawing when he was six years old.

In the 1925 New York state census, Gantz was youngest of two sons born to Ben, a baker, and Esther, both Russian emigrants. They resided in the Bronx at 1411 Stebbins Avenue.

According to the 1930 census, the Gantz family numbered five with the addition of another son. They remained at the same address.

Gantz said he was twelve-and-a-half when enrolled in the High School of Music and Art. Gantz finished when he was sixteen-and-a-half. He received a scholarship at the National Academy of Design but left after six months. Gantz went on to study at Iowa University where he stayed a year. His father had suffered a heart attack and Gantz had to help support the family.

The 1940 census said Gantz, his parents and siblings were Bronx residents at 30 Buchanan Place.

In 1940 Gantz said he collaborated with Al Jaffe, a freelancer, on a few projects. Gantz showed his published work at Timely Comics and got a staff job. He worked mainly on the humor and funny animal titles. Gantz said he did some work on the super-hero books.

During World War II, Gantz enlisted in the army on October 27, 1944. Gantz’s art background allowed him to stay stateside. He painted a portrait of the camp general and ran the silk screen printing shop at another camp. Gantz continued to produce work for Timely while in service. After the war, Gantz freelanced for Timely and other comics publishers into the 1950s. Some of his work is listed at the Grand Comics Database and Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999.

According to the New York City, Marriage License Indexes, at, David Gantz and Doris Ezersky got a Bronx marriage license on June 26, 1945.

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Gantz drew Dudley D. from March 5, 1961 to March 4, 1964 which was distributed first by New York Herald-Tribune then Publishers Syndicate. For the New York Times Special Features, Gantz did Don Q which debuted September 15, 1975 and ran several years.

Gantz Glances ran in Newsday. In 1998 Gantz received an National Cartoonists Society (NCS) award for Best Newspaper Panel for Gantz Glances produced in 1997. After Newsday, Gantz did editorial cartoons for the weekly New York newspaper, Courier.

Gantz’s NCS profile said he wrote and illustrated over 75 children’s books and did work for Boy’s Life, MAD, Pro Quarterback and Ziff-Davis. Gantz also did fine art sculpture and printmaking.

Gantz did Jews in America: A Cartoon History which was published in 2002.

Gantz passed away December 14, 2007. He was a resident of Floral Park, New York.

—Alex Jay


In the late 60’s David was my boss. He owned a business called Design Complex. He was kind & talented & shared his knowledge freely. A man to be remembered.
Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]