Thursday, May 23, 2013
Ink-Slinger Profiles: Milt Youngren
Milton Dewey “Milt” Youngren was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on January 11, 1899, according Who’s Who in the Midwest (1958).
In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census he was the youngest of six children born to Peter and Ida. His father was an engineer. They lived in Baltimore at 32 Lakewood Avenue.
The census of 1910 recorded Youngren, the sixth of eight siblings, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at 299 25th Street. His mother was a widow. Who’s Who said he graduated from West Division High School. He attended the State Teachers College in Milwaukee, the Wisconsin School оf Fine Arts, and the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. During World War I, he served for 25 months with Company D, 107th Engineers, 32nd Division. Eighteen months were spent overseas with six months on the front in the Alsace, Chateau Thierry, Oise-Aisne, Soissons, and Meuse-Argonne sectors; and eight months with the Third Army of Occupation on Rhine. He was a member of the American Legion’s Disabled Veterans of World War I.
In 1920 he was unemployed and lived with six siblings in Milwaukee at 405 Albion Street. His oldest sister was the head of the household. The 1922 Milwaukee City Directory listed him, as a cartoonist, plus his siblings at 324 Farwell Avenue.
According to Who’s Who, in 1921 he began at the Chicago Tribune as an assistant art manager, and western art director of Liberty (a weekly Tribune publication). He also was the Tribune’s want ad cartoonist. American Newspaper Comics (2012) said he produced the Sunday Tribune panel, The Last Word on Etiquette, from November 9 to December 7, 1924. He married Sarah Taylor Weidner on September 22, 1925. A passenger list at Ancestry.com recorded their arrival, on October 8, in New York City, having visited Bermuda. Their address in Chicago was 1235 Greenleaf Avenue.
Who’s Who said he was on the faculty of the National Academy of Art, from 1925 to 1929, and contributed gag cartoons to various national publications, and created the Sunday feature, Rambling Through the Want Ads, as well as Want Ad Wanda, and Wow! Ain’t Life Sweet?. For Editors’ Feature Service he produced Caesar Bonaparte Smythe from December 1926 to July 16, 1927. Editor & Publisher, October 13, 1928, reported his new contract: “Contracts for two new features were signed by King Features Syndicate this week….The other is a three-column block cartoon called ‘Cholly, the Classified Kid,’ to be used on classified pages. It is the work of Milton D. Youngren of Chicago.” Who’s Who referred to the strip as Classified Cholly.
He and his wife had a three-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, as recorded in the 1930 census. His occupation was comic artist in advertising. They lived in Niles, Illinois at 4827 Greenleaf. The 1935 Evanston City Directory listed him as an artist at 260 Hawthorne Avenue. Who’s Who said he was an associate with the Swan-McComb Studio and the R. J. Grauman Studio, Chicago, as staff cartoonist, from 1934 to 1940. He produced the panel Fair Exchange from 1937 to 1939.
Who’s Who said he the creator of humorous ideas and drawings for the Hallmark Greeting Card Company since 1951, and the inventor and designer of Squeezem, Wheelzafun, DoFunee devices.
In the 1960s, his cartoons appeared on the back of Kool-Aid packets, here and here.
The Baltimore Sun, February 22, 1969, reported the death of his older brother Harold. Named as one of the survivors, his residence was Milwaukee. According to the Social Security Death Index, Youngren passed away May 1969, and his residence of record was Glencoe, Illinois. An obituary has not been found.
Labels: Ink-Slinger Profiles
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
The Chicago Tribune Comic Book: Lew Loyal
Creator Milt Youngren gave the Trib a lot for their money, too. Those four page adventures read like an over-excited kid trying to tell a story. The events pour out at breakneck speed, and in the process cause and effect become jumbled and important plot points are missed and muddled.
Another apt comparison that can be made is with the typical lesser grade comic book stories of this period. And, of course, that's basically what the Chicago Tribune wanted in their Comic Book section. They must have been tickled pink when Youngren's submissions got the thumbs up as being "just like comic books" from the editors' kids.
Although there is precious little expository material in the strip, I surmise that Lew Loyal (the fellow in the red sweater) is a youngish teen. He and his Uncle Mack, who seems to be some sort of government agent, are constantly stumbling onto nefarious criminal plots to kick-start their adventures, and then when the war begins, Axis saboteurs pop out from every dark doorway and abandoned warehouse. Lew's friend Becky tags along on most of his adventures. The kids are often ducking hails of bullets, while fighting back with their wits alone, usually doing more to bring the villains to justice than their uncle.
Lew Loyal got a demotion in 1942, down to two half-tab pages per issue. The strip outlived the Comic Book section, which ended in April 1943, but didn't last long in the Tribune's regular comic section. Lew Loyal went into retirement as of the October 31 1943 episode.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Ink-Slinger Profiles: Jack Ryan
John J. “Jack” Ryan was born around 1912. His name was in the Chicago Tribune, March 12, 1975, obituary which said he was 63 at the time. The 1940 U.S. Federal Census recorded his birth in Illinois. Ryan has not yet been found in the 1920 and 1930 censuses.
In Garyn G. Roberts’s book, Dick Tracy and American Culture (2003), Chester Gould’s first assistant, Dick Moore, was profiled and said he attended the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts in the early 1930s. Before he was kicked out, he met Ryan at the academy. The Tribune said Ryan graduated. Years later Moore recalled seeing Ryan: “…I met him on the street one day and he had just seen the ‘X-Nine’ drawn by Alex Raymond. He felt I would be out of a job in a month or so because ‘X-Nine’ was so much better than ‘Tracy.’ ”
Robert said about Ryan: “…In the early 1930s, Jack Ryan, along with Ed Moore, assisted Norman Marsh on Dan Dunn, a comic strip which debuted on September 25, 1933, and which was highly derivative of Dick Tracy….”
In the 1940 census, Ryan, his wife Johanna had two sons, James and John Jr., lived in Chicago at 408 East 74th Street. He had four years of high school and his occupation was cartoonist for a publishing syndicate. On September 8, 1940, his strip, Streamer Kelly, debuted in the Chicago Tribune Comic Book. His strip ended, temporarily, on October 3, 1943.
Life magazine, August 14, 1944, devoted several pages and photographs on Chester Gould, whose assistant was Ryan. A typical work week was described:
On Monday morning he [Gould] bounces into his studio, a cluttered room on the 14th floor of the Tribune Tower in downtown Chicago, at 8:15. His assistant, a capable young artist named Jack Ryan, has arrived before him. After lighting a cigar, removing his coat, loosening his tie, unbuttoning his shirt, unbuckling his belt, dropping his garters and untying his shoelaces, Gould shuffles over to his drawing board on which Ryan has placed a piece of clean white Bristol board into ruled rectangles. This will become the Sunday page that readers will see 10 weeks hence….His first step is to write, in longhand, all of the dialog for the Sunday page. By lunchtime he has finished an hands the page to Ryan, who letters the dialog in ink. Gould next writes dialog for the six daily strips…
With the creative chore out of the way, Gould spends the rest of his work week at the rather tedious and mechanical job of drawing….Working in his downtown studio, Gould devotes Tuesday to sketching in pencil and then finishing in ink, the characters in the Sunday page….After drawing the other characters, Gould hands the page back to Ryan who completes it by filling in background objects such as lampposts and buildings, and inking in solid black spaces…
The article revealed that Ryan had named the villain, The Brow. Volume 7 of the Complete Chester Gould’s Dick Tracy (2009) has a photograph with this caption: “Jack Ryan (left) and ‘Andy’ Anderson (right) flank Chester Gould in his Tribune office, as the cartoonist works on the ‘Vollman’ story included in this volume. Both assistants also worked in the Trib’s art department.” How long he assisted Gould is not known. Streamer Kelly resumed in the Tribune on April 7, 1946 and ended December 31, 1950.
The Tribune said Ryan also drew Harold Teen for a time. He worked for the Chicago Sun-Times from 1952 to 1961. For a period in 1961, he returned to Dick Tracy then went back to the Sun-Times. In 1971 he received the Chicago Newspaper Guild Stick-O-Type award for best work by an artist. Ryan passed away March 10, 1975, at his home in Evergreen Park, Illinois.
Labels: Ink-Slinger Profiles
Monday, May 20, 2013
The Chicago Tribune Comic Book: Streamer Kelly
This strip makes me wonder -- kids were (and are?) definitely fascinated by firemen, so why weren't there more features telling the tales of the profession? I guess I answered that question for myself when I read a big batch of Streamer Kelly strips in preparation for this post, and found that the most of the plots revolved around firebugs. When push comes to shove, I guess there's not all that many different plots available that involve firefighting. Oh well, so much for yet another of my million dollar ideas.
One of Streamer Kelly's firebugs is noteworthy, though, for their nom de guerre -- The Joker (see sample #2). The Batman's nemesis predates Streamer Kelly's villain by a good solid year, but still, kinda neat. Unfortunately, given that the creator, Jack Ryan, was also producing comic books in the early 1940s, I have the sinking feeling that he did not come up with the idea independently.
The Streamer Kelly strip had two separate runs. The first, in the Chicago Tribune Comic Book, survived after that section ended by graduating to the main comic section, but the flame was put out on October 31 1943.
This might have been because Jack Ryan was called into service, because after the war was over Streamer Kelly reappeared in the Chicago Tribune, starting April 7 1946. The strip ran there until December 31 1950. Considering that I have never seen the strip running in any other paper, I think it's safe to say that the Tribune was uncharacteristically liberal in affording it comic section space all that time.
PS -- the term 'joker' -- used in two different senses in our samples -- deserves explanation (well, at least I was confused). Turns out that the most popular municipal fire alarm system in the U.S., until the 1970s or so, was the Gamewell system. For reasons unknown it was known as the 'Gamewell Joker'. Okay, so maybe Jack Ryan did come up with his Joker character independently after all, taking a cue from the Gamewell device's name.
PPS -- the top sample has been reformatted for this blogpost -- originally the top and bottom halves appeared on separate pages of the Chicago Tribune Comic Book.
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics
I believe Jim did a Sunday Comic about Coulthard. Unfortunately I don't have them indexed, so you'll have to search.
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Labels: Herriman's LA Examiner Cartoons
Friday, May 17, 2013
Sci-Friday starring Adam Chase
Adam Chase strip #21, originally published October 23 1966. For background on the strip and creator, refer to this post.
Labels: Adam Chase Sci-Friday
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Ink-Slinger Profiles: E.B. Sullivan
Estill Bradford “Sullie” Sullivan was born in Palmyra, Missouri on August 28 1905. His birthplace was found on a 1927 passenger list which had his birth date as “June 4, 1905.” His birth date was found in the Social Security Death Index and a public record index at Ancestry.com.
In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, he was the only child of T.B. (Theodore B.) and Maggie (Margaret). They lived in Palmyra. His father was a “real estate dealer” who passed away in 1911.
The 1920 census recorded him and his mother in Palmyra on Main Street. She was unemployed. Information about his early education has not been found. In the University of Missouri Bulletin, General Series 1926, No. 1, he was listed as a first year journalism major. In the yearbook, The Savitar 1927, he was a senior and member of Sigma Delta Chi. (see photo) The University of Missouri Bulletin, Journalism Series, Issue 50, 1928 had this listing: “Sullivan, Estill Bradford, B.J. ’27; now on European tour; home address, Palmyra, Mo.” A passenger list said he returned on September 3, 1927 at Quebec, Canada before entering the U.S.
Sullivan has not yet been found in the 1930 census.
In 1940 he lived in Chicago at 1235 Loyola Avenue since 1935. His occupation was cartoonist at a commercial artist agency. In E&P's syndicate directories he was credited with the comic strips Gargoyle and Gadget (1936-1945), and Abe Martin Junior (1938-39) (neither feature has yet been documented as actually running in a newspaper). Both were distributed by National Newspaper Syndicate which was based in Elkhart Indiana. As 'Sullie', he may be the creator behind Bucks McKale, which ran in the Chicago Tribune Comic Book from June 30, 1940 to April 11, 1943. (Some sources named Vin Sullivan as Bucks creator.) Regarding his art training, he may have attended the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts or the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the late 1920s or early 1930s.
His mother passed away in 1941. At some point he moved to Missouri. On March 31, 1942 he enlisted in the Army Air Corps at Lockbourne Army Air Base in Columbus, Missouri. Where he served and how long is not known.
Presumably he remained in the art field after World War II. His whereabouts from the 1950s onward is not known. A public record at Ancestry.com had this address: “1320 W Columbia Ave, Chicago, IL, 60626-4361,” but no date was stated.
Sullivan passed away January 13, 1982 according to the Cook County, Illinois Death Index, 1908–1988. An obituary has not been found. He was buried in the family plot at Greenwood Cemetery, Palmyra, Missouri. He was listed in the 1984 Annual Report of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Labels: Ink-Slinger Profiles
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
The Chicago Tribune Comic Book: Speed Berry
The Sunday-only comic strip began in the Chicago Tribune Comic Book section on April 27 1941, then titled Bush Berry. The strip was intended to be about baseball. As is typical of baseball strips, we began with a farm boy who has a rocket for an arm. Called up by a major league team, he seems to be on the road to fame and fortune as the star hurler of the Chicago Eagles. Naturally there are some unforeseen bumps in the road, but 'Bush' Berry has everything going for him.
However, creator Evans Krehbiel apparently saw the writing on the wall in mid-1941, and he had Bush Berry enlist in the Army, where his nickname received a promotion, on October 12 1941, to Speed Berry. At first Speed's life doesn't change all that drastically. His chums and enemies from the Chicago Eagles all seem to have enlisted with him, and his job in the Army is -- what else -- to play baseball.
Then Pearl Harbor happened, and the tone of the strip quickly changed. Soon Speed and his entourage were on their way across the Pacific, baseball all but forgotten. The strip now became a red-blooded war strip, with Speed and his buddies seemingly single-handedly winning the war. So fine a job did Speed do in the Army that he was mustered out early. The strip was cancelled on August 29 1943, about four months after it was graduated from the Comic Book section, which was cancelled, to the regular Tribune Sunday comics section.
Evans Krehbiel, son of respected artist Dulah Evans Krehbiel, either had a quickly evolving style, or he got a lot of help on this strip. The art varies from cartoony to sketchy to finely delineated over its short three year life. Krehbiel got at least one more syndicated comic strip job, the 1944-45 Wilbur Wackey. Lambiek cites two additional features, Bitsy and Becky's Senior, neither of which I have ever seen. Bitsy is only known to exist as a set of originals, none of which have copyright dates or syndicate slugs. Becky's Senior was advertised by American International Syndicate, which claimed a whole slew of features that no one's ever seen actually running in a newspaper.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Ink-Slinger Profiles: Vin Sullivan
Vincent A. Paul “Vin” Sullivan was born in Brooklyn New York on June 5, 1911, according to passenger lists at Ancestry.com. in the 1915 New York State Census, he was the second of three children born to John and Isabel. His father did clerical work at a clearing house. They lived in Brooklyn at 83 Macon Street.
The Sullivans remained at the same address in the 1920 U.S. Federal Census and 1925 New York State Census. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (New York), July 8, 1925, named the Junior Eagle’s new club members. Sullivan was in the Art Club. Four years later he was among the Brooklyn Preparatory School graduates listed in the Eagle, June 18, 1929.
In 1930 Sullivan was the third of six children. The Eagle, October 1, 1931, noted his travel with his parents: “Vincent A. Sullivan of 83 Macon St., son of Mr. and Mrs. John F. Sullivan, sailed yesterday at noon for the Bahama Islands on the Scythia.” His next voyage was with his older brother and friend, according to the September 5, 1933 Eagle: “Frank A. Sullivan and Vincent A. Sullivan of 83 Macon st. and George Hunt of 421 Hancock St. sailed Saturday on the Atlantida of the American Fruit Lines for a cruise in Caribbean waters. They will stop at Santiago del Cuba, Kingston, Jamaica, and La Ceiba, Honduras.”
National Allied Publications, founded in 1934 by Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, was the forerunner to DC Comics. The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America (2009) said Sullivan was a staff writer. In a few years Wheeler-Nicholson would leave due to financial difficulties. As the editor, Sullivan bought Superman from creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. He drew the cover of Detective Comics number one.
Vincent Sullivan Guest at Party
Vincent A. Sullivan of 717 E. 18th St. was honored at a bachelor party last night in the cocktail room of the Rivoli Restaurant. Mr. Sullivan will be married to Miss Mary Christine Patrick of 834 Lincoln Place on Saturday.
Those present were Raymond Roth, who arranged the party, Conway Brew, Joseph Clark, Thomas Delaney, D. Harmon Farrell, Craig [sic] Flessel, Gardner Fox, Fred Guardenier [sic], Fred Hammill, Alfred Harrison, George Hart, James Lawlorr, John Moody, George Patrick, J. Edgar Swanin, John Sullivan Jr. and Francis Sullivan.
Sullivan passed away February 3, 1999, in Manhasset, New York. DC Comics sent out a press release March 3, 1999.
VINCE SULLIVAN, ORIGINAL DC EDITOR, PASSES AWAY
On Wednesday, February 3, DC Comics’ first editor, Vince Sullivan, passed away after succumbing to cancer. He was 88 years old. More than sixty years ago, in 1938, Vince Sullivan was the editor of Detective Comics, the flagship title of fledgling comics publisher National Allied Publishing. He was searching for material to fill a proposed new series, Action Comics, when he saw a proposal from two young comics creators for a strip about a brand-new kind of hero — a “super-hero”. Sullivan accepted Jerry Siegel’s and Joe Shuster’s often-rejected proposal for a comic strip entitled “Superman”, and made it the cover and lead feature for the new title. When “Superman” began taking off, Sullivan turned to another young cartoonist, Bob Kane, to see if he could come up with a second costumed hero for Detective Comics. With the debut of Superman in Action Comics #1 and Batman in Detective Comics #27, Sullivan kicked off what became known as the Golden Age of American comics, and brought the world the first appearances of two of the most enduring icons of popular culture. Together, Superman and Batman would help to make National the top publisher in the industry, and keep it there over the years as it evolved into DC Comics. After leaving National in 1940, Sullivan went to work for Columbia Comics, where he launched the comics magazine Big Shot Comics, which featured the work of Gardner Fox, Creig Flessel, and Ogden Whitney, among many others. In 1943, he formed his own comic book publishing company, Magazine Enterprises, where he remained for the next fifteen years, finally leaving the industry in 1958.
After several decades away from comics, however, Sullivan was located by Golden Age comics enthusiast David Siegel, who convinced him to be a guest at Comic-Con International: San Diego 1998 last August. There he was reunited with old collaborators and warmly received by a host of comics veterans, including writer Mark Evanier, who concluded his posting of Sullivan’s passing with the following words: “He was a fine gentleman, and I was honored to spend time with him at last year’s ComicCon International. We already miss him.” Said Siegel, “I was very fortunate to find him, and very proud to help give him his last hurrah.”
Labels: Ink-Slinger Profiles
Monday, May 13, 2013
The Chicago Tribune Comic Book: Bucks McKale
Bucks McKale is a story about a fabulously rich kid. How he gained his money I don't recall, not having seen the first installments since I reviewed the material on microfilm about twenty-five years ago. However, what I can say is that despite the superficial resemblance, the feature was nothing like Richie Rich. Bucks McKale's money was rarely an important plot point, except that it sometimes gave him a convenient springboard to adventure with his buddy/mentor/manager, Smoothie. Bucks liked to fly off to exotic locales in his own planes, star in Hollywood movies that he financed, and the like. But once the money got him started on an adventure, there was rarely anything more said about it.
Bucks gained himself a sweetheart on one of his cross-country flights when he and Smoothie crash-landed in a hillbilly area. April May, one of the local yokels, fell instantly and deeply in love with him, and accompanied him on adventures from that point on.She also got to appear with him on the cover of the comic book on Sundays when he got that featured spot.
Signing the strip was someone named Sullie. I was long ago told by researcher Paul Leiffer that this was Vin Sullivan, famously primarily for having been the comic book editor responsible for Action Comics, the birthplace of Superman.
In my book I mentioned this possible ID without much comment. However, I have now looked into the matter some more. I re-read an interview with Sullivan in Alter Ego #27, and looked at the samples of his art there and on various websites. The artwork seems to be an excellent match, no doubt about that. My only problem with the ID lies in that interview. While Sullivan did leave DC Comics in 1940, right around the time Bucks McKale began, it sounds like Sullivan went pretty quickly into other comic book-related endeavors. He also states, in response to the question of whether he considers himself a cartoonist, "I haven't tried to sell comic strips of my own stuff, not as a success, really. So, yes, I think you could call me a cartoonist, because I've done some cartoons for the newspapers and also for the magazines themselves."
That doesn't sound to me like the response of a guy who had a Sunday comic strip running in the Chicago Tribune for three years. Self-effacing, perhaps? Anyway, he's so vague that the comment certainly doesn't shut the door. Unfortunately, the portion of the interview in which he discusses his career immediately after leaving DC, and which might have answered the question definitely, apparently happened during a tape recorder malfunction.
It wasn't actually Sullivan's words or art that ended up clinching it. It was the fact that as research went on with the other contributors to the Comic Book, I kept encountering cartoonists who would later be associated with Magazine Enterprises, the comic book company run by Sullivan. It seemed too great a coincidence that so many ME hands were in the Comic Book, and that a guy who went by Sullie, and drew like Vin Sullivan, was there too.
** EDIT: D.D. Degg has pointed out that Editor & Publisher, which for some reason I never checked while researching this strip, lists the creator as one E.B. Sullivan. This E.B. Sullivan fellow even has two other credits (albeit on strips so obscure they have not yet been found actually running anywhere). So the Vin Sullivan story is now all of a sudden looking a little less likely. Yes, Vin has a convenient gap in his work history (which D.D. Degg now seems to be able to fill -- see below), and yes, his style is compatible with that used on Bucks McKale, but the last thing we want to do is blithely steal a credit from another cartoonist just because the peg happens to fit well in the slot. Does anyone know of a cartoonist by the name of E.B. Sullivan who might have lived in the Chicago area?
** EDIT2: Alex Jay has found a cartoonist named E.B. Sullivan, and a profile is now on the blog. Is this our man? There is no primary source that definitely ties him to Bucks McKale, or the other two features, but he seems to be in the right place at the right time.
Serendipitously your "G" listing of Mystery Strips has a Gargoyle And Gadget by E.B. Sullivan as a daily strip from 1936-45.
Also you say that E&P lists the National Newspaper Syndicate as distributor of Gargoyle and Gadget.. If I'm not mistaken that would place it in Chicago.
That would put E. B. Sullivan in the same place and time as Bucks McKale.
Who is this mysterious E. B. Sullivan?
I don't have a clue who Mr. E.B. Sullivan is, but with him having another credit (albeit a mystery one) I definitely need to rethink this being Vin Sullivan. Very weird, though, that Vin's drawing style is similar, and there's a convenient timeframe of apparent inactivity in his life.
But he definitely was partnered with the McNaught Syndicate setting up and editing their comic book division:
(Okay, it's Wikipedia, but google Columbia Comics Corporation for more.)
Ah, I see; interesting that we come up with a newspaper syndicate connection -- but to a different syndicate! So, with perfectly circular logic, we can say that it is because of his association with McNaught that he went by the pseudonym 'Sullie' on Bucks McKale. Yippee!
Seriously though, Alex Jay has jumped into action and he has a profile of E.B. Sullivan coming up today. No definite connection established, but he was a cartoonist and spent time in Chicago. Have we found our man?
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Labels: Herriman's LA Examiner Cartoons
Friday, May 10, 2013
Sci-Friday starring Adam Chase
Adam Chase strip #20, originally published October 16 1966. For background on the strip and creator, refer to this post.
Labels: Adam Chase Sci-Friday
Thursday, May 09, 2013
The Chicago Tribune Comic Book: Introduction
Most contented themselves with purchasing a comic strip that originated or resembled those in the comic books. The new Superman comic strip, of course, was the obvious choice and a hot property. But some papers wanted to go further. Enter Bell Syndicate, Will Eisner, and their Spirit 'comic book' section. More than a few major papers decided to bite on this attempt to piggyback on the popularity of comic books. However, believe it or not (as Mr. Ripley might say), the Spirit comic book section was not the first of its kind.
No, the first came from the Chicago Tribune, which published their inaugural Comic Book Magazine section, in addition to the regular comics section, on March 31 1940 (the Spirit section debuted on June 2 of that year). However, it is my guess that the Trib was not in any sense a real originator. Bell Syndicate needed time to round up clients for their proposed comic book, while the Trib, alerted by Bell's marketing, only needed to throw together a few features and fast-track the production of a couple extra color pages in order to beat the originators to market.
It was ridiculously simple, too. The 'comic book' was simply a few color newspaper sheets that kids were supposed to cut up and form into an unbound 'comic book'. With a few simple cuts and folds kids would have a 16-page (and for awhile, 24-page) comic book. The cost to the Tribune was comparatively small, especially if they could hold down the costs of producing the material.
And boy did they do a great job of holding down creative costs. In the first issue of Comic Book Magazine, the outlay was about as close to zero as possible. The kiddies were treated to Old Doc Yak and Bobby Make-Believe strips from the 1910s; a couple of current topper strips from Tribune properties -- Tiny Tim's Dill and Daffy and Smokey Stover's Spooky; and photo montage comics from a pair of movie serials -- Drums of Fu Manchu and Overland with Kit Carson. The former was in theatres at the time, and its appearance here was almost certainly underwritten by Republic Pictures. On the other hand, the Columbia Kit Carson serial probably wasn't even in theatres anymore in Chicago, making its appearance here very odd indeed.
The Comic Book contents varied from week to week. Also regularly on tap were the Harold Teen topper Josie, Sweeney and Son topper Them Days is Gone Forever, and Corky from the Gasoline Alley Sunday. A new addition in the second week's issue was Texas Slim and Dirty Dalton. Although I long presumed these to be reprints from the 1920s series, I now wonder if Ferd Johnson might have been begun producing new episodes of the series somewhere down the line in its Comic Book run.
The inclusion of topper strips in the Comic Book would continue all through the run, but the 1910s reprints, thankfully, were replaced with other material by the end of June. The photo comics, too were phased out. Both Kit Carson and Fu Manchu changed to regular drawn comic strips before being replaced with other strips within the first three months
In June the rival Spirit section debuted, and that seems to have been a red flag to the Tribune to put their game into a higher gear. At the end of June new features were added to the section, replacing all or most of the reprint material, and cutting back the quantity of toppers. The new features definitely had a comic book flavor to them, and no wonder -- many of the creators had been pulled from those ranks. In fact, after researching the comic book careers of the creators, it seems that many had connections with Magazine Enterprises. That brings up the question of whether ME editor Vin Sullivan was perhaps acting as the packager for some of the content of the Comic Book.
Some new features were designed to please the kids, others an older demographic. Brenda Starr was one of the new entries on June 30, and the series created for the Comic Book that had by far the longest and most successful run. Brenda seems meant primarily to appeal to a female audience, but creator Dale Messick knew how to attract the males as well -- Brenda had a habit of spending a lot of her on-panel life adjusting her stockings, running around in negligees and taking bubble baths.
The next year saw the Comic Book section grow incrementally stronger, with more comic book-style strips appearing. Although there was occasional backsliding into reprints, they were at least entertainingly weird choices -- for instance, to absolutely no one's demand, Tack Knight's early-1930s strip Little Folks was offered for three weeks. Even W.E. Hill's sophisticated Among Us Mortals spent a month between Comic Book covers.
The Comic Book was originally meant to serve as competition for The Spirit, but both comic book-style newspaper inserts failed to make much of a splash. The Spirit section definitely won the skirmish for subscribing papers, but was never a real cash cow. The Tribune, however, soon found that they had another reason to be offering circulation-builders. In December 1941, after a great deal of fanfare, Marshall Field's Chicago Sun newspaper debuted on the newsstand as a liberal alternative to the Tribune's arch-conservative editorial policy. Along with the different slant came a surprisingly strong Sunday comics section, also appealing to the comic book readers -- Buckskin Lad, Navy Bob Steele, Captain Midnight and True Comics were obviously meant to appeal to the Chicago Tribune Comic Book readers.
If not for the Chicago Sun, the Tribune Comic Book probably would have been phased out by the end of 1941. But with additional competition for the junior hearts and minds, its lease on life was extended. The page count, though, was reduced back from 24 to 16 in 1942. That was a minor loss, because the new material was continued while more of the secondary material was dropped.
Starting Monday, and running for about a month, we will shine the spotlight on most of the original features that ran in the Chicago Tribune Comic Book. Alex Jay has uncovered interesting biographical material on many of the creators, too, for some excellent Ink-Slinger Profiles.
I do have a favor to ask. You notice that I said *most* features? I haven't been able to do posts on two features due to lack of samples. If anyone out there can provide sample scans of the 1940 series Kit Carson (both photo and drawn versions) and the drawn version of Drums of Fu Manchu, I would be most appreciative!
Labels: Chicago Tribune Comic Book
Wednesday, May 08, 2013
News of Yore 1900: Newspaper Editorial Cartoonists Profiled
Cartoonists of America
The Funny Fellows who Furnish Pictorial Political Sermons to the Newspapers
by Miller P. Culvek
Originally published on October 21 1900 in the Dubuque Sunday Herald
Although the modern cartoonist has not exactly pushed the spellbinder and the leader writer from the stool of chief importance, he has given these worthies a hard battle in the race for popularity, and the victor is yet to be declared. The up to date reader now takes a glance at the cartoon in his dally paper as an appetizer for the elaborate details of the news column and the clinching arguments of the editorial page. A happy depiction of the subject of current interest is the great cartoonist's forte. Since the days of Tom Nast, who did "Boss" Tweed to an untimely death with his little pencil, the cartoonist has been an indispensable feature of progressive American journalism. It was the popularity of the cartoon, a popularity due to Nast's brilliant genius, which gave rise to the humorous weekly printed in colors, and as Nast's power waned, more for want of a subject than.a lapse of energy, the public looked with longing for the appearance of Puck and Judge, with their rival cartoons from the hands of Keppler, Wales, Glllam and Opper.
Opper, now one o£ the New York Journal's staff, is among the last of the old school cartoonists, yet few of his admirers would admit that he is any the worse for that. His character studies fairly talk .from the printed sheet, his tramps are redolent of trampdom and his ward politicians seem ready to step out of the saloon and haul the reader up to vote straight. Frederick Opper was born In 1857 and began work for the New York papers at the age of 20. After doing comics for Leslie and Harper, he joined the staff of Puck, where his cartoons alternated from week to week with those of, Keppler and Wales.
Homer Davenport, the westerner whom the New York Journal has been starring, is ten years younger than Opper and has been in journalism only eight years. Born and reared .in a small town, in Oregon, he had. few advantages, and owes his skill to natural genius, supplemented by hard work. There are judges who place Davenport at the head of the American cartoonists of today, but in any contest for honors in that field Mr. Pulitzer would beg to present as a rival, The World's well known artist, Charles Green Bush.
Bush is a worker who at least did not come up in the irregular way. He believes that the cartoon should be an editorial in picture form, with a dash of humor thrown In. Before Bush found his element he studied art three years in Paris, and even after that was compelled to give lessons in drawing to make both ends meet In his little household, for while abroad he found an American girl courageous enough to marry a struggling artist. While drawing weekly cartoons for the New York Telegram, Bush made a few hits that brought him fame. One of these was his "Klondike," a powerful sermon against the lust for gold which even the religious papers copied. Then he gave David B. Hill the little hat with its big streamer bearing the legend, "I am a Democrat." Being well read in the classics, Bush draws upon history and mythology for characters and settings, while the main idea of the cartoon is often developed in a chance conversation or even worked up after the artist sits down to his task with the feeling that something must be done. "Study, application and hard work" is his stereotyped advice to beginners who burn for fame and yearn for emoluments around the art sanctums of the New York press.
The career of Charles Nelan, cartoonist of the New York Herald, is an illustration of the fact that the cartoon is an old feature breaking into a new field. The press is growing, and the cartoon is essential to the new development. Nelan was an Ohio boy, and says that, after losing several positions for drawing funny pictures, he concluded that funny pictures must be his forte. He made his first cartoon for a weekly paper published in his native town of Akron. This drew the attention of Cleveland editors to the budding genius, and he got regular work there. Finally he engaged with a league of papers and manipulated the chalk in Cincinnati, St. Louis, Kansas City and Chicago, by which time his work was known in the east, and The Herald took him on the strength of his western reputation three years ago.
For a real free lance cartoonist one instinctively turns to Leon Barrit, now of the New York Tribune, hence a free lancer no longer. Barritt, like Topsy, "jest growed." He began active life as a newsboy in his native town of Saugerties, N. Y. From selling newspapers to reporting, editing and publishing was a natural step, but meanwhile young Barritt kept his eye upon art. He had learned wood and photo engraving, and, working at that in Boston for a year, returned to journalism and finally launched his bark upon the troubled sea of Gotham life as a contributor of cartoons to any paper which would buy. His name appeared regularly in nearly every daily of consequence, and, his ideas not being narrowed down to the requirements of a single sheet, his work had a wide range.
A newspaper man whose, name is known to the public as a clever correspondent from the seat of war in the Philippines and South Africa is John T. McCutcheon of the Chicago Record. His letters have been extensively copied, but it was only the accident of happening to be in the Pacific when Dewey sailed to Manila that caused him to put pen to paper as a journalist. He says that while at school in his native town of Lafayette, Ind., he developed cartoon symptoms, and they have stuck to him ever since.
Crane, the Boston Herald man. is new to that paper, but his work is well known In New York, having appeared in The Recorder, now defunct; The World and The Herald. He was art editor of the Philadelphia Press four years and held the same position on the New York Herald two years.
The traditions of life in America are rather reversed by the career of Felix Mahony, cartoonist of the Washington Star. Born In New York of cultured ancestry, he passed through school and college and began the study of art in Washington. Mahony Is now 30 years old and has delighted readers of The Star with cartoons and caricatures for the past three years.
A. J. Van Leshout now enlivens the Chicago Inter Ocean with a pencil once devoted to rough caricatures of railroad men who came under his notice while a telegraph operator. Finally his contributions to the press were accepted and he abandoned the key to become a cartoonist. After working two years on the staff of the New York Press, he engaged with The Inter Ocean.
Ryan Walker, whose signature—a black cat—has become famous in the St. Louis Republic, where he is the all round "funny man," is a Kentuckian 30 years old. He worked at everything from engraving to pork packing, from publishing to reporting, in order to study human nature. He turns out two or three cartoons a day, besides managing the comic supplement and doing outside work.
W. R. Bradford, who contributes an occasional cartoon to tho Chicago Tribune, is a machinist by trade and a cartoonist by nature, having inherited skill with the pencil from his father.
Hedrick of The Globe-Democrat has had a varied career as a. self-taught newspaper artist. He emigrated from the Texas prairie to the St. Louis sanctum three years ago.
"Donnie", J. H. Donahey of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, began work as the "devil" of the Ohio Democrat, and by hard study has won reputation for high art in his cartoons.
A glance at a cartoon signed "Bart" (C. L. Bartholomew) in the Minneapolis Journal is like a hasty survey of a well ordered dinner table: the beholder is conscious of being up against a feast, details of which may be left for future investigation. He is the pioneer cartoonist of the northwest, and The Journal set the pace in the matter of printing a daily cartoon.
Harper's Weekly clings to the feature which made it a power in the fight against Tweed 30 years ago. The cartoons now appearing- in that journal are the work of one of the editors—W.A. Rogers—who, like Opper, is something of an old timer. Rogers worked on The Daily Graphic in the seventies. He made a hit with a political cartoon in the Garfield-Hancock campaign, and his pencil has never since been idle. He is an all round illustrator for the weeklies and magazines.
Labels: New of Yore
Tuesday, May 07, 2013
Ink-Slinger Profiles: Jack A. Warren
Alonzo Vincent Warren aka Jack A. Warren was born in Montgomery County, Indiana on April 20, 1886. There are two family trees, at Ancestry.com, devoted to him. One tree cites the Montgomery County, Indiana, Index to Birth Records, 1882-1920, Volume III, page 147, for the birth information. His parents were Ora and Mary who divorced in 1886. His mother remarried in 1891 to John L. Vanarsdall, a farmer.
The 1900 U.S. Federal Census recorded the family in Union, Indiana. The Hastings News (Hastings on Hudson, New York), February 7, 1936, said he was born in Crawfordsville and
…In his youth Mr. Warren accompanied his father, Ora Warren, a stock man, to Montana and Wyoming. From those wide, open spaces they brought back wild horses. These they tamed and divided into their proper classes: saddle stock, light harness and farm horses. They then took them to the great horse markets in Indianapolis.
It was not long, however, before Jack Warren, who really wanted to paint, left for Cincinnati, the Queen City of the Middle West, to study art at the Art Academy in Eden Park. There he studied under the great American painter, Duveneck. Later he came east to complete his studies at the Art Students’ League of New York.
A profile in the Chatham Courier (New York), February 21, 1952, said he studied commercial art at an unnamed school in Michigan. That school may have been the Lockwood Art School in Kalamazoo.
Warren was recorded twice in the 1910 census: in Crawfordsville with his parents, and in New York City. In Manhattan, he, artists Bert Carmichael and a Japanese man boarded at 147 West 84th Street. At some point he returned to Indiana.
The family tree said he married Dorothy in 1911. According to his World War I draft card, signed September 12, 1918, they lived in Indianapolis at 2219 North Alabama Street. He was a commercial artist employed by R.W. Franklin, 424 North Meridian Street. Warren returned to New York City.
In 1920 he, his wife and four-year-old son, John, lived in Manhattan at 42 West 92nd Street. He was an artist working at home. The Knickerbocker News (Albany, New York), February 12, 1952, said he did work for the The Sun. His drawing appeared in the Urbana Daily Democrat (Ohio), August 26, 1922.
The 1925 New York State Census recorded him and his family, which included four-year-old daughter, Mary, on Lefurgy Avenue in Greenburgh, Westchester County, New York. He was a commercial artist. In this decade, according to the family tree, his father passed away in 1921 and his mother in 1929.
According to the 1930 census they resided in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York at 40 Fairmount Avenue. He was a magazine artist. According to American Newspaper Comics (2012) Loco Luke was his first comic strip, which ran from July 5, 1935 to April 4, 1936. Next, he and writer, Tex O’Reilly, transformed the strip into Pecos Bill which ran from 1936 to 1937. Both would be reprinted (or continued? -- Allan) in comic books, a field to which he contributed much material in the 1940s.
For the Works Progress Administration he painted a mural for the high school in 1936. And as a band leader, the Hastings News said he did fundraising for the local Boys Scouts.
If plans do not fail him, Jack A. Warren, cowboy-artist leader on the 2-R Cowboy Band, will be taking his boys, known as the Explorer’s Group, to Camp Wiccopee, the official Hendrick Hudson Boy Scout Camp near Cold Springs, next summer.
“We’ve got to get a chuck wagon, otherwise known as a truck, to carry our duffle, and we’ve got to get teepees to establish a 2-R outpost at the camp,” he told a reporter of the News.
…The band, an unique musical group, was organized several years ago through the suggestion of Dr. Theodore Myers, principal of the Hastings High School, who was instrumental in stimulating the growth of the Scout movement here.
Mr. Warren, who is particularly suited for leadership of the band, was appointed by the Hendrick Hudson Council of Boy Scouts of America to the position….
…The boys of the band, following the tradition of Camp Wiccopee, wear costumes patterned after clothes worn on the Western frontier during pioneer days.
“They get a big kick out of it,” Mr. Warren. “Because, you know, all boys of the ages of sixteen to twenty like to identify themselves with the cowboys and Indians of early American days. It provides the romance, color and heroic feeling they need.”…
He has not been found in the 1940 census. The Chatham Courier, October 19, 1944, profiled Warren’s daughter, Betty. (In the 1920 Federal census and 1925 New York State Census her name was recorded as Mary.) At the time her parents lived in Elmridge Farms.
The Knickerbocker News, March 19, 1949 reported his new job:
Ex-New York Artist Joins Albany Firm
Jack A. Warren, former New York City free lance artist, has become art director of Argos Associates Inc., Albany advertising and public relations firm.
In nearly 40 years of advertising art experience Mr. Warren has worked for the New York Sun, trade publications such as Iron Age and Motor Boating and the George Matthews Adams and King Features syndicates. He has free lanced for New York City agencies in national advertising campaigns.
The Albany City Directory 1950 listed his address as Malden Bridge, and his occupation as art director.
His daughter was director of the Palm Tree Art Gallery in Sarasota, Florida, and she exhibited her father’s work including drawings from his book, Horse and Buggy Days. The exhibition was announced in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, February 1, 1953.
According to a family tree, Warren passed away November 1955 in Albany. An obituary has not been found. His daughter was profiled in the Schenectady Gazette (New York), January 9, 1987, She passed away November 9, 1993. His grandson, Michael Lancaster is a ceramicist.
Labels: Ink-Slinger Profiles
Monday, May 06, 2013
Obscurity of the Day: Loco Luke
I don't know whether Adams, who was running a small but successful syndicate, had some angle that he thought would put the idea over, but the fact was that in the middle of the Great Depression, small papers were just as poor, if not poorer, than their unemployed and underemployed readership. But even if a small paper editor had the desire and finances to get in on this color comics section scheme, the minute he saw it he'd probably bust out laughing -- and not because the comics were so funny.
Although the art in these comic strips was generally professional, most of the writing is almost too bad to be believed. The editor of this section seemed to be entirely without a clue. Although today's obscurity, Loco Luke, was one of the brighter lights in the section, the top sample is a good case in point of a gag that just never seemed to happen. Where was the editor to ask Jack Warren what rock the gag was hidden under?
Loco Luke, as you can see, is a slapstick, zany cowboy strip. The venue makes sense because, according to a short bio by his grand-son submitted to Lambiek, apparently Jack Warren was quite a fan of all things western. That really shows in the Cowboy Primer topper, which has some interesting tidbits to share about cowboy lore and legend.
The bio also states that Loco Luke is a child, but I think that's just a misreading of Jack Warren's character design on the strip. I believe Warren was just going for a rubbery, loose, animated feel to the characters, and the result makes the characters look a bit like kids, I suppose.
Loco Luke ran in the George Matthew Adams color Sunday section from July 5 1935 to April 4 1936, the entire (known) life of the ill-fated experiment. When the section ended, only two features hadn't entirely worn out their welcome at the syndicate. Al Carreno's Ted Strong was eventually reprised as a daily strip, while Jack Warren's Loco Luke was revamped into Pecos Bill, and a writer was added to prop up the quality of the gags. Unfortunately, even with the addition of a gag-man, Pecos Bill came and went in a hurry, but that's a discussion for another Obscurity of the Day post.
Jack Warren then made the shift into comic books where he produced a great quantity of material, including a lot of work for Novelty Press. His humor strips were a real leavening to the otherwise deadly serious (and often quite dull) doings of Dick Cole, Edison Bell, and The Cadet.
Sunday, May 05, 2013
Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics
Saturday, May 04, 2013
Herriman meets and caricatures America's #1 clown, sans makeup, Spader Johnson, and Herb Cornish, Shrine circus star, among others.
Labels: Herriman's LA Examiner Cartoons
Friday, May 03, 2013
Sci-Friday starring Adam Chase
Adam Chase strip #19, originally published October 9 1966. For background on the strip and creator, refer to this post.
Labels: Adam Chase Sci-Friday
Thursday, May 02, 2013
Obscurity of the Day: The Diary of a Lady's Maid
In this series, Fish uses the device of a maid's diary entries to tell of the ridiculous excesses and adventures of a particularly rowdy British upper-class family, the Tumwaters.
EDIT: Mark Johnson alerts me to an earlier Fish series, Social Advice from Aunty Climax, from 1928. Thanks Mark!
Wednesday, May 01, 2013
Ink-Slinger Profiles: Hype Igoe
Hype Igoe, Skinny Kid, Nicknamed by Man on San Francisco Examiner
Summit, N.J., Sept 19.–Now, with your kind permission, I will present to you Mr. Herbert Anthony Aloysius Igoe.
In his youth in San Francisco Mr. Igoe was two pounds lighter than a Panama hat.
He was so skinny that every time he stepped into the elevator of the old Examiner building big, fat Gus Rapp, the elevator man, would go through the pantomime of shooting a charge into his arm with a hypodermic syringe, and would sing out “Hy-p-o-o!”
Gus Rapp had a high, shrill voice. Indeed, he was the tenor in the Examiner engravers’ quartet. He sang baritone. Of course Gus Rapp’s pantomime was libelous, but he gave Mr. Igoe a tag that has stuck to him for many a year and which he has made famous all over the world.
Mr. Igoe has been using the “Hype” as a signature to his cartoons and newspaper articles for upwards of 37 years. He is one of our most celebrated sports writers, and of a vintage that brings him dangerously close to the title, “dean of the corps.”
Mr. Igoe is short, and his form would no longer suggest tissue wasting practices, even to Gus Rapp. In fact, Mr. Igoe is shaped like a man who has inadvertently swallowed a watermelon. His hair is thinning, but still coal black. He is on the lee side of 50, but his mind and spirit remain eternally young….
Walter Winchell, in his column “On Broadway”, published in the Brownsville Herald (Texas), August 9, 1941, wrote: “…The most mispronounced name in the [sports] profession is Hype Igoe’s. He is called everything from Hip Igoe to Hype Ego. The gentleman’s name is Herbert Igoe and when he first came here to New York from San Francisco, his East Side off boy used to call him ‘Hoib.’ This was gradually transformed into ‘Hype’ and he adopted it as the first half of his by-line.”
So far, the earliest use of Hype was found in 1915 when he was with The Sun. Before Hype, his first name was shortened to Bert.
On the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, his name was recorded as “Albert” and was the oldest son of John and Catherine [sic]. His father worked for the gas company. The family lived in Santa Cruz. The census listed a younger son, John, who died apparently at an early age as he was not listed in the 1900 census.
The undated book, Who Is Who on The World, had an entry for Igoe which said in part:
Igoe, Herbert A.; b. Santa Cruz, Cal., June 13, 1885; attended district school at Felton, Cal., until ten, when family moved to San Francisco; grad. from Franklin Grammar School in that city and attended Polytechnic High School for two terms, leaving that institution to join staff of San Francisco Examiner...
The birth year was incorrect. Edan Hughes said, in his book Artists in California, 1786-1940: “Igoe studied art under Maria Van Vleck while a student at Polytechnic High School in San Francisco and continued at the Mark Hopkins Art Institute.” Igoe started his newspaper career at as a copyboy, at age 15, on the San Francisco Examiner, according to the San Mateo Times, February 12, 1945. Igoe was involved in the annual ball of his alma mater, Franklin Grammar School, which was mentioned in the San Francisco Call, December 1, 1895. In the 1897 Crocker-Langley San Francisco Directory, he was listed as an artist who resided at 337 10th.
In the 1900 census the family lived in San Francisco at 337 Tenth Street. His father was a pipe fitter for a gas company. Igoe was a newspaper artist and a member of the Nyght Byrds, “…an organization composed exclusively of artists and scribes on the newspapers of this city…” according to the Call, January 21, 1900. He was credited with an illustration in the December 1900 issue of The Muse. The Call, October 9, 1904, covered the newspaper artists exhibit and reproduced Igoe’s art.
The 1901 San Francisco directory said he lived at 438 Page, and in 1904 at 22 Lyon. His marriage was reported in the Oakland Tribune, June 9, 1905:
Cards are out announcing the marriage of Herbert Anthony Igoe and Florence Ethel Edmundson, who were married Wednesday [June 7], at St. Agnes Church in San Francisco. Rev. Father Collins was the officiating clergyman, and none but relatives witnessed the pretty ceremony.
The bride is a beautiful girl of the Titian blonde type, and wore a traveling gown of blue pongee, and blue picture hat. Her only attendant was Miss Antoinette King, who was gowned in pink crepe de chine. Hayes Igoe, brother of the groom, acted as best man, and the bride was given away by her brother, George Edmundson.
Mr. Igoe is a clever and popular artist of the Examiner staff, and has met with great success in his work. After a honeymoon. Mr. and Mrs. Igoe will live in San Francisco.
On June 26, 1930, the Nevada State Journal published the column, “Old Timer Says—,” which recounted the honeymoon:
“Ever know Igoe of the San Francisco Examiner? No, well kid, back in 1905 he was the ‘hot stuff’ writer and artist on the Examiner. Along in June 1905 he got married and did or tried to, spend his honeymoon at Lake Tahoe. Igoe and bride made a sneak out of San Francisco but were soon located at Tahoe. Within two days every hotel around the lake had the following notice posted in their lobbies:
“ ‘Stop Them!’
(Below were pen and ink sketches of the couple.)
“ ‘The above are excellent likenesses of Herbert Igoe and wife. Look out for them. They are a newly married couple.
“ ‘Herbert Anthony Igoe—Age 28 years; height about 5 1/4 feet; weight 114 pounds; wears his face edgewise and occasionally shaves; walks very erect as though he felt twice his real size and as though he amounted to something; dresses neatly in grey sack suit; wears flat rimmed derby. When last seen had dark brown eyes and long black hair but may be bald by this time and black and blue eyes as he was married long ago as June 7. His wife answers to the following description, that is, when she answers:
“ ‘Florence Edmundson Igoe—Age 18 years, height about five feet ten inches; weight 156 pounds; light blue eyes; bright face before marriage; brilliant hair; walks pigeon-toed after 4 o’clock in the afternoon.
“ ‘If located give them a good time and notify Cupid’s Detective Agency, Room 707, Examiner building San Francisco.’ ”
“Wonder if anybody has one of those notices today. They are worth some money. The sketches were by long since noted artists of the Examiner staff. Bob Edgren, whose signature, R. Edgren, you see to sports pictures and name to articles on sporting events; Max Newberry, now head of the art department of the Boston Herald; Knappenback [sic], one of the best color artists in the country; Mrs. Davidson, famed portrait artist; Jimmie Swinnerton, famed for his Little Bears and still drawing comics for the Hearst papers. Some others that Old Timer in the lapse of time has forgotten. Oh, yes, Alice Rix, who recently died in England, had a hand in the joke….
Who’s Who in The World said he “…worked in that paper’s [Examiner] art department until the year following the earthquake; came to New York and worked on New York American’s art staff for few years, thence to New York Sun as a writer of boxing, later to the Tribune, and for the past five years a member of The World’s sports staff. Is considered an authority on boxing in particular, but covers all angles of sport in a widely distributed series of drawings illustrating his own writings.”
Some of his artwork, from Sunset magazine, was reproduced in the book, Francisca Reina (1908). He drew Mr. Dwindle which ran in the New York American from December 16, 1909 to January 10, 1910. In Walter Winchell’s column, “On Broadway”, published in the San Antonio Light (Texas), August 13, 1941, he noted that “…Igoe…was one of the first to play ukulele in New York, bringing his beloved Hawaiian harp here from San Francisco early in the century.”
In 1910 Igoe lived with his wife, son Edmund, and servant at 4241 Broadway in Manhattan, New York City; he was a newspaper artist. According to American Newspaper Comics (2012), in 1911 he produced the panel, Our Comic Postcards for the New York American. The 1915 New York State Census had the same address and occupation. He signed his World War I draft card on September 12, 1918. On the card it said he was a newspaper writer at The World and his address was 513 72nd Street in Brooklyn. He named his wife as his nearest relative, who resided on Fort Washington Avenue in Manhattan. His description was medium height and build with brown eyes and black hair.
Igoe has not been found in the 1920 census but he had remarried, to Katharine Murphy, around 1920, according to the 1930 census. (Her name was mentioned in the Long Island Star-Journal (New York), February 13, 1945.) His family was involved in an auto accident which was reported in the Times, April 22, 1922. Their 17-month-old daughter suffered a skull fracture while in the arms of another passenger. At the time, they lived in the Bronx at 1706 Vyse Avenue. In the 1925 New York State Census, he, wife and daughters, Juanita and Gloria resided in Queens, New York, at 169-06 Highland Avenue. He was a newspaperman. The New York Times, February 12, 1945, said he rejoined, in 1927, The Journal, which later became The Journal-American.
The New York Tribune, October 28, 1921, reported the funeral service for Bat Masterson. Igoe was one of the honorary pallbearers. According to the Times, January 23, 1935, his father died in 1924.
In 1930 Igoe lived in Bayside, Queens at 35-52 222nd Street. With him was his wife, two daughters, mother and a servant. He was a newspaper writer. His mother, Katherine, died January 22, 1935, as reported the following day in the Times.
The 1940 census recorded the family of five, which included son Jack, at the same address. Igoe, a newspaper cartoonist and writer, had two years of high school. The 1942 New York City telephone directory listed him at 228 West 47th Street.
Igoe passed away on February 11, 1945. The Times reported that he had a heart ailment for over a year. The Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 12, 1945, published the Associated Press story which said: “…A confidante of champions from the days of James J. Corbett down to Joe Louis, Igoe had ‘covered’ all the championships heavyweight bouts for the last 40 years and was famous for his ‘inside’ stories. He illustrated his own yarns and was called the dean of fight writers. With the exception of Gene Tunney he predicted correctly the rise of each heavyweight champion….Damon Runyon, one of his oldest friends, declared Igoe was ‘probably the best informed writer on boxing that ever lived.’...” The Long Island Star-Journal, February 15, 1945, said he was buried in St. John’s Cemetery, Glendale, New York. He was a subject in a cartoon of the week’s news which appeared in the Fresno Bee Republican (California), February 17, 1945 (below). A selection of cartoons was provided by Igoe’s grandson, Kevin Igoe, at Yesterday’s Papers.
Labels: Ink-Slinger Profiles