Monday, January 02, 2023


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: William Reusswig


Henry William Reusswig Jr. was born on July 22, 1902, in Somerville, New Jersey, according to his World War II draft card. 

The 1905 New Jersey state census said Reusswig, his parents and older brother were residents of Bridgewater Township of Somerville, New Jersey at 154 Cliff Street. His father was a druggist. 

The 1910 United States Census recorded Reusswig, his widow mother and brother in Utica, New York at 371 Genesee Street. His mother was a vocal teacher. 

According to the 1915 New York state census, Reusswig’s mother had remarried to Norton J. Griffith who owned a canning company. The family of four were Utica residents at 8 Greenwood Court.

In the 1920 census, Reusswig was at the same address and had a half-sister. 

Reusswig graduated from Amherst College in Massachusetts. He was in the class of 1924. 

The 1925 New York state census recorded the family of five in Utica at 1102 Parkway. Reusswig’s occupation was “art league school”, probably in New York City. 

The Central New Jersey Home News (New Brunswick, New Jersey), November 8, 1927, reported Ruesswig’s upcoming marriage. 
Reusswig to Wed in New York Church
New York, Nov. 8.—St. Agnes’ Church in New York City will be the scene of the wedding on November 15 of Henry William Reusswig, twenty-five, an artist, a native of Somerville, the son of Henry and Edith Norton Reusswig, and Miss Martha Louise Sawyers, twenty-two, also an artist, who has a studio at 360 West Twenty-second street, New York City. The couple obtained their marring license here yesterday. Mr. Reusswig’s present address is 215 West Thirteenth street, New York City. Miss Sawyers was born in Corsicanna, Texas, the daughter of Alie and Inez Sawyers.
On November 16, 1927, Reusswig married Martha L. Sayers in Manhattan, New York City. Evidently they honeymooned in Europe. On December 30, 1927, the newlyweds were aboard the steamship American Banker when it departed London. They arrived in the port of New York on January 9, 1928. The passenger list said their address was 360 West 22nd Street, New York City. 

Reusswig was a self-employed artist in the 1930 census. His address was 110 East 84th Street. 

Reusswig painted many pulp magazine covers. Redbook, January 1934, published a photograph of Reusswig at work. His illustrations for “We’re All a Year Older” begin here

On August 26, 1937, Reusswig and his wife arrived in San Pedro, California from Yokohama, Japan. 

The 1940 census enumeration counted Reusswig and his wife in Manhattan, New York City at 71 East 77th Street. 

On February 15, 1942, Reusswig signed his World War II draft card. His address was 434 East 52nd Street in Manhattan. Reusswig was described as five feet nine inches, 172 pounds, with brown eyes and hair. He enlisted in the New York Guard Service on June 24, 1943 and was assigned to Company B, Seventh Regiment. 

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Reusswig, in 1944, drew the Book-of-the-Month adaptation of Paris Underground by Etta Shiber. He started Book-of-the-Month’s Tarawa by Robert Sherrod and completed just six strips. The remaining eighteen were by John Mayo. Both series were from the King Features Syndicate which offered Reusswig the opportunity to document the war in Europe. So, Reusswig left Tarawa and packed his bags for Europe. Apparently Reusswig’s full-page drawings began on August 13, 1944 in the Pictorial Review of several newspapers. During the series, Printers’ Ink, June 29, 1945, published an advertisement with a photograph of Reusswig.

Reusswig was mentioned in The Greenwood Library of American War Reporting Volume 5 (2005).  Reusswig returned to the U.S. on December 25, 1944 at Washington, D.C. He flew on an Air Transport Command plane. 

In early 1945, Reusswig went to the Pacific Theater to continue documenting the war for King Features. Apparently his first set of drawing appeared August 5, 1945 and last set November 11, 1945 (below). 

On September 22, 1945, Reusswig and his wife, Martha Sawyers, were aboard the S.S. Topa Topa when they departed Calcutta, India. They arrived in New York on October 20, 1945. She was a WAC captain and war correspondent for Colliers in India. 

The 1950 census said Reusswig and his wife lived in Manhattan, New York City at 434 East 52nd Street. He was a freelance magazine illustrator.

Reusswig passed away on June 22, 1978, in San Antonio, Texas. An obituary appeared in the Victoria Advocate (Texas), June 23, 1978. 
Graveside services for Henry V. Reusswig, 76, San Antonio artist and writer, will be conducted in Hillside Cemetery at 3 p.m. Friday. The Rev. John II. Bert, pastor of Grace Episcopal Church, will officiate. Burial will be under the direction of Freund Funeral Home. 

Mr. Reusswig died at a San Antonio nursing home Thursday. He was a member of the Illustrators Club and the Artists and Writers Club of New York City, the National Academy of Fine Arts and Phi Delta Theta. 

Mr. Reusswig, a graduate of Amherst College, was born in New Jersey, July 22, 1902, son of Ernest and Edith Reusswig. He married Martha Sawyers in New York City in 1927. Survivors are the wife; a sister, Mrs. Aurelia Batty of Arlington, Va., and a brother, Norton Reusswig of New York. 
Reusswig was laid to rest at Hillside Cemetery

Further Reading and Viewing
Field Guide to Wild American Pulp Artists
Internet Archive, Reusswig credits and illustrations


Martha Sawyers, Reusswig's wife, was also a successful painter and illustrator. While an art student in New York an attack of wanderlust led her to move to Bali, where she painted the Balinese people. A gallery exhibit of her portraits led to a job as an illustrator of "Asian subjects" for Colliers magazine. During WWII she painted morale posters. She and her husband continued wandering the Far East and collaborated on two illustrated books. Here's a biographical outline at the Cuero (Texas) Heritate Museum:
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