Saturday, March 19, 2022
Herriman Saturday: March 24 1910
March 24 1910 -- Former President Teddy Roosevelt is in Egypt, delivering speeches but not talking about the subject on everyone's minds back home -- will he run again?
Labels: Herriman's LA Examiner Cartoons
Friday, March 18, 2022
Firsts and Lasts: There Oughta Be A Law ... against feature cancellations
Here's the final daily panel of There Oughta be a Law, published on April 13 1985. Mort Gerberg, who had taken over the panel for the final year and a half of a forty year run, plucks skillfully at readers' heart-strings in the swan song.
Labels: Firsts and Lasts
Thursday, March 17, 2022
Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Dick Kirschbaum
Dick Kirschbaum, STR cartoonist who created the famous character of Glutz, and Rod Lehigh, news writer, have written an aviation march which they have dedicated to the 44th Division Aviation, U. S. A. “Wings of Victory [sic],” as it is known, will be published by Famous Music Corp. and will be used in the Paramount feature, “I Wanted Wings.” Above, left to right, are Kirschbaum, Capt. Russell Gray, Col. E. H. Lindstrom, Lieut. Joseph Davis. Seated are Lieut. Gen. Hugh A. Drum and Lieut. Col. R. L. Copsey.
N A A has a song for aviation: a marching song with a lift to it. Music and lyrics were composed by Dick Kirschbaum, Aviation Editor, and Rod Lehigh, both of the Newark News.Dick brought it to the All-American Air Maneuvers at Miami where it became an instant hit, and N A A is glad to sponsor it as the N A A official song. It has been adopted also by the 119th Observation Squadron, 44th Division Aviation. It is published by the Famous Music Corp., 1619 Broadway, New York. Good work, Dick and Rod!
Viola Gentry of 1501 Dorchester Road gave a cocktail party Tuesday afternoon at the Hotel Roosevelt, Manhattan, in honor of Rod Lehigh and Dick Kirschbaum whose song, “Wings to Victory,” was dedicated that afternoon to the 119th Observation Squadron, U. S. Army Air Corps and the 44th Division Aviation.Thirty officers of the 119th Observation Squadron were present and adopted the song for the Air Corps. Rod Lehigh, who wrote the music, is a native of Bay Ridge. Both Mr. Lehigh and Mr. Kirschbaum are aviation editors of the Newark Evening News. ...
Major ‘Dick’ Kirschbaum on Convalescent Leave From ChinaMajor Richard Kirschbaum (reporter, publicist and cartoonist affectionately known in the industry as Dick Kirschbaum through his famous character, “Glutz,” featured character in cartoons published by STR up to the time of his re-entry into the Army two years ago) returned on a 10-day convalescent leave to his Newark home last week from Ashland General Hospital, White Sulphur Springs. Major Kirschbaum served in the China, Burma, India theatre since last February—first as Assistant Public Relations Officer of the entire CBI and later as Public Relations Officer with the 14th Air Force, commanded by General Claire L. Chennault, and still known in China as the Flying Tigers. While in China Kirschbaum suffered attacks of malaria and dengue fever.
Labels: Ink-Slinger Profiles
Wednesday, March 16, 2022
Obscurity of the Day: Sky Figures
Lucky for me, some kid in Newark who was crazy about flying decided to keep a scrapbook of newspaper and magazine clippings about the subject. And lucky for him, the Newark News had a weekly page for kids about that very subject. And lucky for Dick Kirschbaum, a flying-mad cartoonist, he was contracted by the News to pen a weekly panel cartoon about his favorite subject, flying and flyers.
I have not indexed the Newark News, and as far as I know it is not yet digitized, so my information on Dick Kirschbaum's Sky Figures is based solely on the crumbling clippings from this scrapbook and a few scant mentions online. All my samples of Sky Figures seem to be from 1937, but for all I know the feature could have run much longer. But on the other hand, maybe not because in 1941 Kirschbaum published a retrospective of his cartoons. The book, Fifty Famous Flyers, offered only fifty cartoons (obviously), which would have been just short of a year's worth. So maybe they all ran in 1937? Can anyone supply running dates for this very well done local panel cartoon series?
Tomorrow Alex Jay weighs in with an Ink-Slinger Profile that will offer tantalizing information about Kirschbaum's other cartooning work.
Tuesday, March 15, 2022
News of Yore 1946: William Donahey Profiled
Donahey Talks About His Teenie Weenies
By George A. Brandenburg (Editor & Publisher, June 15 1946)
Some old screws, which served as his boyhood soldiers, plus an inherent interest in what makes children “tick,” served as guiding lights in the creation of the ‘‘Teenie Weenies.” 32-year-old Sunday
color feature drawn by William Donahey, top-flight watercolor artist with the Chicago Tribune - New York News Syndicate.
As a kid in New Philadelphia, O., Bill Donahey was what he today terms a “lone wolf.” He played by himself a lot and among his favorites were an assortment of screws which he imagined were soldiers. One screw head had some red paint on it and Bill made him the general. A broken screw, which wouldn't stand on end, was called the dunce.
Later a Chinaman moved to town and opened a laundry. The Chinaman was an object of great curiosity among all the kids in New Philadelphia, including young Donahey, who, in turn, tied a piece of string on a screw for a queue and he dubbed this one “Mr. Chinaman.”
In later years, these same “characters‘’ and a group of others were to take form as the Teenie Weenies, then unbeknown to their creator.
Donahey was not a poor boy, in the sense that he was obliged to play with screws instead of toys. His father was a well-to-do cattle raiser and a respected politician.
Bill’s two older brothers became famous in their own right. The late A. V. Donahey, ten years older than Bill, was elected three times governor of Ohio and also served in the U.S. Senate. J. H. Donahey, eight years Bill's senior, has been editorial cartoonist on the Cleveland Plain Dealer for many years.
Bill‘s father taught him the value of money early in life. "My father never gave me money, but he would ‘loan’ me his lawn mower or snow shovel and after I had made good use of them, I was paid accordingly.” Mr. Donahey told Editor & Publisher.
Later, when Bill went to Cleveland School of Art, his father advanced him the money as a loan through a series of 4% notes. "This also kept me from spending money extravagantly,‘’ remarked Donahey, “for I knew I was obligated to pay it back to my father.“
Upon finishing art school and after some private tutoring, Donahey was hired as an illustrator on the Plain Dealer in the days when artists covered the big news events, theatrical openings. etc., instead of photographers. Always striving for perfection, he soon found that he had a lot to learn about illustrating and for the first 2 1/2 years he was on the Plain Dealer he worked 20 hours a day, spending all his spare time practicing and perfecting his artwork. “During those first 2 1/2 years on the paper I seldom slept more than four hours a night and I didn’t take a vacation until after I had been with the Plain Dealer three years.” he said. “It was fascinating work, but required terrific speed and good draftsmanship, all of which had to be accomplished under great pressure.”
Marries Mary Dickerson
About this time, Donahey became acquainted with Mary Dickerson, a talented reporter and feature writer, who had already won recognition on the old New York Journal and old New York World. She was then a reporter on the Plain Deaier.
She and Bill decided to get married. But Bill first went to his father and offered to pay back the money he had borrowed while going to school. When he presented the money, his father declined, tearing up the 4% notes he had with his son's signature.
In those days, a newspaper artist really earned his salt,’‘ remarked Donahey. “l had my regular daily assignments, plus a Sunday color page, and some special drawings for the editorial page, together with theatrical openings and a few other odd jobs.”
Donahey aspired to be either a magazine illustrator or a cartoonist. He noticed, however, that the Sunday color comic sections of those days didn't offer too much in the way of a wholesome appeal to children. Most of the comics were of the slapstick variety and played up the pranks of youngsters, rather than appealing to their better
Attracts Patterson's Attention
He pointed out this fact to the Plain Dealer managing editor, whose first reaction was: “0h, kids are just little savages anyway and they like this kind of comics.” Donahey kept “working” on his superior, however, and finally got him to consent to let Donahey draw a color page for the Sunday comics which would feature Mother Goose characters, “modernized” by special children’s verses, written by Donahey.
The beautiful color work, plus the kids’ verse in simple style, became immediately popular with Cleveland children. Donahey’s attractive color pages caught the eyes of Capt. Joseph Medill Patterson, late publisher of the New York News, then with the Chicago Tribune. As has been the case with so many of the Tribune-News comic features, Patterson encouraged Donahey to develop a new children’s page for the Sunday paper.
At this point, Donahey’s boyhood “playmates,” the screws, came back to his mind and the characters such as “the General,” the “Dunce” and “Mr. Chinaman” took form in the tiny folks whom he called the Teenie Weenies. Although the Donaheys have no children of their own. Bill had a deep fondness for kids, having watched his oldest brother’s family of 12 children grow up.
Began in May 1914 (actually June--Allan)
Donahey drew three pages, showing the Teenie Weenies busy in ttieir little way in the big world about them. Capt. Patterson was away when Donahey brought his drawings to the Tribune. He showed them to the Sunday editor, who took one look at them and said; “These stink, take ’em away.” Donahey waited for Patterson’s return and submitted them again. Patterson was so impressed that he ordered the page to run immediately in black and white in what was then called the Hint Section.
“But that section is already made up and we have advertising scheduled for that page,” protested the Sunday editor. “Put the ads somewhere else in the paper and get the Teenie Weenies in,” ordered Capt. Patterson. Soon after, in May, 1914, the Teenie Weenies became a regular feature in the Sunday paper and they have been there ever since, except for a short period a few years ago when Donahey tried to retire, but the demand for the feature was so great that he returned to his delightful job of keeping youngsters and oldsters amused.
The popularity of the Teenie Weenies was so great that Patterson urged Donahey to develop a daily strip as well, but Donahey declined, saying that once a week was enough. “This way I enjoy doing it and the kids like it, too; if I try to do a daily feature as well, I'll tire of it and so will the ktds," he explained.
A Painstaking Worker
He did retain the book publishing rights on the Teenie Weenies and Whittlesey House is publishing his fourth book soon. It takes him from three to six weeks to do each of the book illustrations, because he is methodical in proportioning his figures and backgrounds, and he is particularly painstaking about the color work.
He seldom draws more than one Teenie Weenie feature a week for the syndicate, explaining “you must have a feeling for what you are doing and I like to do things slowly and with considerable thought.” His color prints which are turned in for guides in the mechanical department are beautiful enough to be framed.
“I’ve never missed a deadline in 47 years of newspaper work,” remarked Donahey in a recent interview at his home in Chicago. There the quiet-spoken, diminutive Donahey, with a great shock of gray hair and his inevitable pipe, works during the fall and winter months in the second-floor front room which he uses for his art studio.
Likes the Outdoors
From May to October, the Donaheys hide away in their log cabin lodge at Grand Maraias in northern Michigan near Lake Superior. Donahey loves the outdoors as much as he does little children. He likes to fish, study Mother Nature at first hand, and still keeps up his syndicate schedule. In bygone years, Donahey and the late Gaar Williams, famed Hoosier cartoonist with the Tribune, enjoyed fishing and swapping yarns together on expeditions in the northern Michigan lake country.
Mrs. Donahey. author of children's books under the name of Mary Dickerson Donahey, told Editor & Publisher that she is often given the credit for writing the stories which accompany her husband's Teenie Weenie illustrations. This is not the case, she stated, for Donahey writes his own stories.
“I ‘illustrate’ the picture with a story.” he explained. “I draw my picture first and then write a little story to tell more about the details.”
Has Interesting Collection
In his studio is an interesting collection of tiny objects which youngsters all over the world have sent te him. They include tiny knives, beds, rugs, furniture and other small articles proportioned to meet the specifications of the Teenie Weenies if they could come to life and use them. Donahey gets a great many letters from youngsters, written in their own handwriting and often addressed to "Mr. Teenie Weenie.”
“I am always fascinated by children,” he said. “I see more interesting things in children than I do in grown-ups. People over-estimate a child’s intelligence. Youngsters have very little consecutive thought; that’s why they jump from one thing to another.”
The day we visited Donahey he had gone out and bought a fish in order to get the proper markings and coloring for a Teenie Weenie episode. Sometime next summer, the fish and the Teenie Weenies will appear in bright color under the magic brush of William Donahey, who has a Sunday "date” with boys and girls of pre-teen age across
Labels: News of Yore
Monday, March 14, 2022
Obscurity of the Day: The Teenie Weenies (2nd run)
William Donahey's The Teenie Weenies is certainly no obscurity, but the aspect that is rather obscure is that the long-running Chicago Tribune feature went through three separate and quite widely separated runs.
The first run, June 1914 to October 1924, is not terribly obscure. Admittedly, tearsheets of this first run can be hard to find because the feature did not run in the Trib's regular Sunday comics section, but plenty of contemporary kids did find it, making it popular enough to spawn a few books and spin-off items.
As best as can be determined, William Donahey ended the first series as a protest against the Trib's wanting him to make the feature into a comic strip. He instead decided to explore other marketing avenues for his creation. For the Tribune he created a new feature, The Pixeys, which was quite rightly panned and hence ran only for a short while.
In 1941, Donahey's Teenie Weenies finally returned to the pages of the Chicago Tribune, and that series went on until the creator's death, ending in 1971. This is by far the most familiar series to most cartooning fans, as it appeared in the regular comics sections of the Chicago Tribune, New York Sunday News, and some syndicated papers.
Okay, so that accounts for two series, neither of which sets off the Stripper's Guide Obscurity alarm bell. No, it was a short-lived series in between those two, like the forgotten middle child, that qualifies as our Obscurity of the Day. In 1933, perhaps feeling the pinch of the Great Depression, William Donahey finally caved in to Captain Patterson of the Chicago Tribune and agreed to make a comic strip version of the panel feature. The strip debuted on October 1 1933.
The new comic strip version was quite delightful and gave no hint that its creator was labouring on it under duress. All the familiar characters were there and the art was just as wonderful as on the original series, perhaps just a little simplified. The strips, more gag-oriented than the panel version, were nevertheless gentle and delightfully witty.The half-page strip lacked only the paper dolls which were a popular aspect of the original series.
Despite Donahey's successful rejiggering of his feature, he evidently wasn't happy. He worked out his one year contract, and that was it for the strip version. It last ran on December 2 1934. Children who liked the new version would be well on their way to young adulthood before the Teenie Weenies would return. But kids had a new feature to grow up with, because The Teenie Weenies was replaced the next week by the new Sunday version of Terry and the Pirates.
Sunday, March 13, 2022
Wish You Were Here, from Albert Carmichael
Here's another Albert Carmichael postcard from the 1909 Gee I Wish I Had
a Girl series, Taylor Pratt Series #568.This kid will do just fine romantically when his size 6X body catched up with his size 14 shoes.
Labels: Wish You Were Here