Saturday, May 15, 2021
Herriman Saturday: February 2 1910
February 2 1910 -- Ad Wolgast is gunning for Battling Nelson's title, but Nelson ups the ante to offer him a chance. Forget 10 rounds, or 20 rounds, if you want a shot at the title you need to sign up for 45 rounds and guarantee him a $12,000 purse. Much to Nelson's surprise, Wolgast agreed to his terms.
The fight, set for February 22, would become known as one of the greatest title fights of all time, not to mention one of the most vicious.
Labels: Herriman's LA Examiner Cartoons
For those, like me, who never heard of this match, I offer a snippet from Wikipedia:
...On 22 February 1910 he [Wolgast] won the World Lightweight Title with a technical knockout (TKO) during the 40-round [bout with] Battling Nelson. After the California bout, both fighters were arrested and charged with violating the anti-prizefighting law.
Friday, May 14, 2021
Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Jack Betts
John George “Jack” Betts was born on March 21, 1904 in Brooklyn, New York, according to his World War II draft card. His middle name is from a family tree at Ancestry.com. Betts’s parents were Steven H. M. Betts, a machinist, and Alice Ethel Stevens, who married on October 1, 1901, in Jersey City, New Jersey. Betts’s father was born in Brooklyn, New York, which was his residence in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. Betts’s sister, Ethel (1907–1982), was three years younger and born in Brooklyn.
In the 1910 census, Betts and his sister were living with their maternal grandparents, John and Anne Stevens, whose two sons, daughter and daughter-in-law were part of the household. They resided in Jersey City, New Jersey, at 257 Union Street. The family tree said Betts’s mother had passed away February 9, 1910 in Brooklyn, New York, about two months before the census enumeration (April 15). Betts was six years old at the time. His father has not been found in this census; he passed away in 1970.
Betts’s education and early art training was in Jersey City. He was a Boy Scout who contributed spot illustrations to the Jersey Journal’s “Scouting” column. His debut was March 26, 1918.
Fellows, be seated.
I want you to meet our new artist. He’s Tenderfoot Scout Jack Betts of Troop 17, and he’s the Art Editor of this department of the Jersey Journal. You’ll meet him here every Tuesday.
It’s only natural that you’d want to get a view of the Scout who drew the three pictures that appear to-day. So I said: “Jack, old man, just draw a picture of yourself making your bow to the audience.”
And this is what Jack drew:
But just between you and me, he doesn’t look a bit like the drawing. That’s just his way of having his little joke.Below is a detail of the column from the April 2, 1918 issue.
We—that is, Jack Betts, the art editor, and I—sat down yesterday to plan this week’s Scouting news.And this was Jack’s idea of mercy:
“How shall we start it, Jack?” I asked.
“Well,” said Jack, “last week you had a little fun with the showing them how I don’t look; now it’s my turn.”
“What do you mean?” I asked, growing pale.
“I mean,” Jack said in determination, “that this week we’ll let them see how you look.”
“But listen, Jack, old man—we can’t do anything like that.”
“We’re going to” said Jack, and he reached for his pencil.
“Jack,” I said, weakly, “have mercy.”
Farmer and the Scout: Scout and the Bug
Since I told you last week that Troop 17 was going to go farming, I’ve been hearing every day of Scouts who are going to go forth and tackle the pesky cut worm, and the cabbage worm, and the ferocious potato bug.
“What do you think of it, Jack?” I asked Jack Betts, our trusty cartoonist.
“Great stuff,” said Jack.
“Can you draw a picture of a battle between a cut worm and a Scout?’
Jack said he could. He did. Here it is:
After that we know for a fact that a Scout is brave.One of Betts’s drawings earned him a mention in the national periodical, St. Nicholas, February 1919.
In the 1920 census, Betts’s maternal grandmother was the head of the household which included two of her children and her two grandchildren. They lived in Jersey City at 219 I [eye] Avenue. The census recorded Betts’s name as John.
At this time, very little is known about Betts in the 1920s. He married around 1925 and was credited for an illustration in the October 1928 issue of College Life.
According to the 1930 census, Betts was married to “Ester”, a Swedish emigrant, and had two children, Joan, age four-and-a-half, and Jack, age one. They resided in Jersey City at 37 Clendenny Avenue. His occupation was artist at an advertising agency. At some point Betts’s marriage ended in divorce.
The News and Observer (Raleigh, North Carolina), January 10, 1936, reported Betts’s second marriage.
Burlington, Jan. 9—In a quiet ceremony Miss Trixie Dameron and Jack Betts were united in marriage on Monday, December 30, at the Methodist parsonage in New York City. Rev. Mr. Devine heard the vows in the presence of the immediate family. Mrs. Betts wore a black crepe daytime frock with white trim with which she wore a black caracul coat and matching accessories. Mrs. Betts is the daughter of Mrs. Rosa Dameron of his city and received her education at the Anderson High School. Mr. Betts, of New York city, received his education at the National Academy of Design and Art Students League. He is a commercial illustrator now connected with Hanff-Metzger Advertisement Company of New York where the couple will make their home.In October 1936, the American Distilling Company launched a major advertising campaign to promote its Old American Brand whiskey. Betts illustrated the two-panel advertisements which featured “Prof. Jim Crack”. The advertising agency Hanff-Metzger created the campaign, which was copyrighted and recorded in the Catalog of Copyright Entries, Part 4, Works of Art, etc., 1936 New Series, Volume 31, Number 3, on pages 135 and 139.
The New York Times, April 29, 1939, noted that Betts leased an apartment at 2 Horatio Street, and that was his address in the 1940 census. This was the first time, in the census records, his name was recorded as Jack. His occupation was freelance artist and he had completed three years of high school. Betts’s first wife and children lived in Miami, Florida.
The 1940s was a busy decade for Betts. He produced advertising comics for Ben Gay, Nestlé, and Super Suds.
Betts signed his World War II draft card on February 16, 1942. He was a self-employed commercial artist who worked at home at the same address. He was described as five feet eleven inches, 180 pounds, with gray eyes and brown hair.
Betts illustrated the poster Don’t Fall for Enemy Propaganda which can be viewed here and here.
The New York Times, April 15, 1944, noted Betts’s new business arrangement: “Bruce Stevenson, artists’ representative, will move his studio to 415 Lexington Avenue on May 1. Noel Sickles and Jack Betts have joined his staff.” Stevenson advertised in 26th Annual of Advertising Art (1947) and 28 Annual of Advertising Art (1949). Betts’s listing in the Official Directory, American Illustrators and Advertising Artists (1949) said: “Jack Betts 2 Horatio St. CH 2-1927 New York 14, N. Y. Humorous Illustration, Continuities. Rep. Bruce Stevenson”.
Betts was one of the artists who illustrated the adaptations of Book-of-the-Month novels that appeared in newspapers. In 1946 he drew the panels for Britannia Mews.
Betts drew spot illustrations for several magazines including American Legion, Collier’s Magazine’s Keep Up with the World column, This Week Magazine, and Bluebook.
The books and pamphlets Betts illustrated include Footprints of the Trojan Horse (1942), I Am an American (1946), New Footprints of the Trojan Horse (1952), and Who? Me? (1954).
A 1957 Manhattan, New York City directory listed Betts at 2 Horatio Street.
The New York State Death Index, at Ancestry.com, said Betts passed away on August 3, 1957. His residence was in Rye, New York. An obituary has not been found.
A photograph of Betts and a greeting card by him can be viewed at Fabulous Fifties.
Labels: Ink-Slinger Profiles
Wednesday, May 12, 2021
Selling It: Mrs. Drear and Mrs. Cheer
After a long and lucrative career, Rose O'Neill by 1932 was out of fashion and becoming financially strapped. The creator of the Kewpie doll was reduced to taking a job illustrating a series of Oxydol ads under the running title Mrs. Drear and Mrs. Cheer. O'Neill did excellent art for these ads, but to add insult to injury, some of the ads in this series have her signature cut off. Evidently her name was not considered any particular draw.
O'Neill produced twelve ads for the series. It must have been considered a successful campaign, because the series was run three times; March to May 1932, then September to October, then March to May 1933. In all three series the ads were the same batch, just reruns.
Labels: Advertising Strips
Monday, May 10, 2021
Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Seymour Reit
Joe was an associate of mine years ago, when we were both employed at the Fleischer Animation Studios in Miami. He was a fine artist and animator; however, he was not the creator of “Casper the Friendly Ghost,” Joe created the actual cartoon of the character—but the concept, series idea and plotline were mine, prior to Joe’s involvement. Joe played an important part, but I was Casper’s legit “Poppa.’” ...“At that time,” Reit recalled, “Fleischer paid a few bucks for Popeye jokes submitted speculatively by the staff. People also tried their hands at writing short stories for use in the series called Fabletoons. One weekend I wrote a three to four-page story I titled ‘Casper the Friendly Ghost.’ The story was mine—every last word. Shortly after, I gave it to Joe Oriolo, who wanted to develop visuals, and perhaps peddle it either to the studio or to a children’s book publisher.”
Labels: Ink-Slinger Profiles
Sunday, May 09, 2021
Wish You Were Here, from Dave Breger
Here's another card from Dave Breger's "Mister Breger on Vacation" series, issued by Nyack Art Pictures. The code on the back of this one reads 604 / 89367. Yet another unused card, and no copyright date, so we continue to assume these were issued most likely in the mid- to late-50s.
Labels: Wish You Were Here