Saturday, October 15, 2016
December 16 1908 -- It was a pretty sorry bunch of bouts last night at Jeffries arena. The headliners, Billy Papke and Hugo Kelly fought to a draw, and the other bouts were all 'professional debuts'. Herriman ends up finding more to sketch outside the ring than in it. I imagine most of the attendees last night were most interested in meeting the great Chicago Cub first baseman and manager Frank Chance.
Labels: Herriman's LA Examiner Cartoons
Friday, October 14, 2016
Wish You Were Here, from Dwig
This 1908 divided back postcard by Clare Victor 'Dwig' Dwiggins is copyrighted by R. Kaplan, and on the back it says Germany Serie #49. I believe the caption here is a reference to a popular song or saying of the time, but I'll be darned if I can tease Google into admitting there ever was such a saying. The reference, of course, was to wonder about people who seemed able to live well beyond their means. Can anyone supply the origin of the phrase?
This is one of my favorite postcards, not for the front, but for the message on the back. It was sent by Amelia to Florence Randtke in Rochester New York. Here is the message:
25 15 21 18 16 15 19 20 1 12 9 19 16 18 5 20 20 25 7 15 15 4 2 21 20 15 25 15 21 11 9 4 9 12 12 10 5 20 25 15 21 10 5 20 25 15 21 9 8 15 16 5 25 15 21 3 1 14 13 1 11 5 20 8 9 19 15 21 20
I'll leave it to you to figure out what that message means. Unfortunately I think Amelia's code broke down slightly in the middle of the message, but the intent is pretty clear.
Labels: Wish You Were Here
YOUR PROPSTAL IS PRETTY GOOD BUT O YOU KID
ILL JETYOT YOU I HOPE YOU CAN MAKE THIS OUT
There are a few Esperanto words in there, but I feel dirty reading such private, sensitive mail.
The phrase " Do it on $8.50 per" (or sum variant) was in common use generally then. Remember the Hall Room Boys' subhead was "how they do it on 7.50 per", back about 1907?
Thursday, October 13, 2016
Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Ving Fuller
Ving Fuller was born Isaac Filler in Kisselynn, Russia, on March 17, 1903, according to the Immigration and Naturalization Service form, Declaration of Intention, which was filed in Los Angeles, California, on August 4, 1941. The form said Fuller was a newspaper cartoonist who had sailed aboard the S.S. Canada from Liverpool, England. He arrived in Portland, Maine, on January 15, 1913.
According to the census, Rose emigrated in 1904 and her father in 1911. The rest of the family started their journey in 1912 and arrived in the U.S. in 1913, as seen on the passenger list.
The Fillers’ residence in the 1921 Worcester city directory was 5 Mott Street.
Moving Picture World magazine published “Fuller on Bray Staff” in its August 15, 1925 issue. Ving was doing animation work for J.R. Bray. Ving left Bray and found work at the newspaper, New York Graphic. American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Ving produced Laff-O-Graphics from 1927 to 1929 for the Graphic. A photograph of Ving is here.
Ving’s brother Samuel also worked for the Graphic. In the mid-1930s, Samuel moved to California and started a career in filmmaking.
Ving has not been found in the 1930 census. His mother and brother Raymond had the surname, Fuller, and lived with Rose’s family in Queens, New York, at 3825 56th Street. Rose’s second child was Stanley.
The Bridge World, February 1933, noted Ving contribution to the bridge club.
A portrait of assorted contented cows, executed by Mr. Ving Fuller, the club's artist, was unvealed [sic] shortly before the dinner.The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, August 13, 1933, reported the exhibition of Ving’s portraits.
An interesting exhibition of sketches of officers and members of the Woodmere Country Club by Ving Fuller, former cartoonist for a number of metropolitan newspapers, is now being held in the lobby of the clubhouse. The cartoons are embellished with biographies of the subjects—including their idiosyncrasies and talents. Among the portraits on display are those of Supreme Court Judge Clarence G. Galson, Lewis J. Robertson, president of the club; Timothy McCarthy, Oscar Seagar, William Meissel, Harry Ackerman, William Wolff and Ellis H. Wilner.American Newspaper Comics said Ving drew Helen Kane’s The Original Boop-Boop-a-Doop Girl from August 5 to October 21, 1934. It appeared in the New York Mirror.
Ving accepted me, probably because he had few friends. He was at least 25 years older than I and bitter that he had been reduced to ghost-drawing a comic strip called Joe and Asbestos for Ken Kling. The feature enjoyed its popularity on sports pages because each day’s strip contained a horse racing “best bet.” Kling was not much of an artist but he was a respected handicapper.Kanter and Bert Gold, an aspiring artist, contributed more jokes to Joe and Asbestos. Kling eventually assigned the writing to Ving who paid his two young writers.
In Fall 1936, Ving drove his mother, Kanter and Gold to California to see his brother, Samuel. A week after their arrival in Hollywood, Ving ended his relationship with Kanter and Gold. It’s not known how long Ving and his mother stayed in Hollywood.
Back in New York City, Kanter told about a chance encounter with Ving.
Ving Fuller approached me sheepishly on Seventh Avenue and asked it I could afford to buy him a hot dog. He told me he was unemployed, broke, alone. He was remorseful about his treatment of Bert and me in Hollywood….At the time, Kanter was hired to write Ole Olsen and Chic Johnson’s Eliza Poppin. Meanwhile, King Features searched for an artist. Kanter explained what happened.
Ving’s name was, of course, known to the editors at King, and when I urged Ole to give him a shot at the strip, he agreed. Ving quickly drew three or four different faces of “Eliza.” Ole, Chic and Dick Hyman of King Features picked one. I typed out a week’s worth of comic strip dialogue, advanced Ving money to buy a Whatman board, India ink, pens and gum erasers and production began on Eliza Poppin. Ving’s work was fast, crisp, funny and quickly accepted by newspaper editors. The strip got off to a flying start….American Newspaper Comics said Ving drew the strip from June 19, 1939 to January 6, 1940. It was continued by George “Swan” Swanson.
The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, November 10, 1939, reported the cartoonists’ contributions to a Chinatown restaurant.
Lum Fong will shortly dedicate a “Cartoonist’s Corner” at his Canal St. restaurant. The Corner will be decorated with original sketches by such artists as Arthur William Brown, Billy De Beck, Rube Goldberg, Ving Fuller, Paul Fung, Chick [sic] Young, Ham Fisher and George McManus.Ving has not been found in the 1940 census. His mother and brother Raymond, a cafeteria worker, lived in Manhattan at 336 West 95th Street. The date of his mother’s passing is not known. Raymond moved to Los Angeles where he died October 22, 1957. Samuel, a writer, lived in Los Angeles at 2050 1/2 Ivar Avenue.
At some point Ving returned to California and in 1941 filed, in Los Angeles, to become a naturalized citizen.
The Catalog of Copyright Entries, Part 1, Group 2, Pamphlet, etc., 1942, New Series, Volume 39, Number 8, had this entry: “Fuller (Ving)* New York. Olive drab. © July 6, 1942; A 125087. 25047”.
During World War II, it was the City of Angels where Ving enlisted in the army on November 10, 1942.
It’s not known when Ving was discharged from the army but he was in New York City when his naturalization was approved October 15, 1943. This was about six weeks after his mother was naturalized on September 2 in New York City.
Ving’s longest running strip was Doc Syke, from January 8, 1945 to 1960, according to American Newspaper Comics. It also appeared in comic books. Later, Ving changed the title to Little Doc and distributed it through his Ving Features Syndicate.
Ving patented a toy bank in 1953.
Be it known that I, Ving Fuller, a citizen of the United States, residing at 4546 Stem Ave., Sherman Oaks, in the county of Los Angeles and State of California, have invented a new, original, and ornamental Design for a Toy Bank or Similar Article…Ving and Walt Kelly were mentioned in Li’l Abner on December 7 and 14, 1958 and September 12, 1959.
Ving passed away August 2, 1965 in Los Angeles. His death was reported the following day by the Los Angeles Times. Samuel passed away October 30, 1997 in Los Angeles.
The Masters of Screwball Comics
Labels: Ink-Slinger Profiles
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Magazine Cover Comics: Sunday Follies
Leonard T. Holton only contributed a few Hearst magazine cover series, and Sunday Follies was his last that I know of. The series was a loose conglomeration of wordy gags about people's activities on the Day of Rest. Of course, Holton's delicious deco-inspired art makes any gag seem palatable.
Sunday Follies was syndicated by Hearst's Newspaper Feature Service and ran from January 26 to April 13 1930.
Labels: Magazine Cover Comics
That's a great question, but my guess is behind door #3. I'd say rather that the Art Deco movement was an outside influence that inspired many cartoonists in Europe and here to reflect its sensibilities in their art. My guess is that cartoonists may not have necessarily looked to each other for inspiration as to the greater art world about them.
Clear line artists certainly pre-date Art Deco, so it may just be that it was that style that lended itself most to the Art Deco influence.
These are just opinions off the top of my head, and I'm certainly open to other more thoughtful interpretations.
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Dean Miller
Very little biographical information has been found on Dean Miller. An advertisement for the comic strip Vic Flint included a profile of Miller and was published in the Zanesville Signal (Ohio), February 15, 1959.
Dean Miller is one of the youngest artists in the United States to draw a top-flight comic. He illustrates the detective-adventure daily strip and Sunday page, Vic Flint, which appears in more than 500 newspapers.
A native of Springfield, Ill., Dean was born July 7, 1923. His family shortly afterward moved to Houston, Tex. Dean attended high school there and won a scholarship to the Houston Art Institute.
Miller’s baptism of fire in the cartoon world came at the tender age of 16. He landed a job as editorial cartoonist for a Houston weekly newspaper and after six months at the drawing board his salary was the same as when he started—absolute zero. It was guid training, but it bought no groceries, so Miller quit.
His next employer was Uncle Sam. After spending four years in the Air Force, where he was gunnery instructor, Dean landed a job as a cartoonist in Chicago. His work attracted the attention of NEA Service, Inc., and he reported for work in Cleveland early in 1950.
In October of the same year he took over the job of drawing Vic Flint. He is married and has two children.
Miller drew a 1948 Sunday strip called Mighty O’Malley for the Chicago Tribune.
Apparently Miller illustrated the Big Bear Lake Valley street map which was listed in the Catalog of Copyright Entries: Third Series, Volume 19, Part 6, Number 2, Maps and Atlases, July–December 1965.
The 1954 Lakewood, Ohio city directory said NEA cartoonist Miller and his wife, Henrietta, resided at 17704 Fries Avenue. The 1956 and 1959 Fort Lauderdale, Florida city directories said Miller’s home address was 648 NW 21st Place. Also in the 1956 directory was the Dean Miller Art Studio at 440A East Las Olas Boulevard, Room 202.
Any information about Miller is appreciated.
Labels: Ink-Slinger Profiles
Monday, October 10, 2016
Mystery Strips: A Chicago Tribune Mystery
Writer Frank M. Young recently contacted me about a very intriguing mystery. He is engaged in writing a piece on cartoonist Dean Miller, most remembered (to me at least) as the second artist on the detective strip Vic Flint.
Young is in contact with Miller's family, and they told him that Dean Miller was further distinguished as the creator of a 1948 comic strip titled Mighty O'Malley Ex-Marine, which was syndicated by the Chicago Tribune. They produced as proof a photo of a Sunday strip, the only sample they have:
Young diligently searched for more information about this series, and came up with nothing. Which is why he came to me. Unfortunately I'd never heard of it either. But now we were both curious to try to solve the mystery.
The photo the family had originally offered to Young was rather blurry and was taken with the piece matted and framed (the one above is a sharper image out of the frame taken later). This led both Young and I to wonder if Dean Miller might have created a mock-up of the tearsheet for some reason, and that the strip was actually a red herring. Although it looked genuine enough, how could a strip run in the Chicago Tribune have managed to so thoroughly escape the world's notice?
I asked Young to get the family to take a photo of the back of the sheet. Here's what we got (they took a pair of close-ups that don't quite stitch together):
What at first blush looks like a normal newspaper page is shown to be quite unusual under closer examination. You'll note that the text on this page looks almost like it was created on a typewriter as opposed to professionally typeset. Does that mean it's a fake? Actually, no, it is a proof that the page is genuinely from the Chicago Tribune. In 1948, the Trib was going through a protracted strike by their typesetters, and much of the paper was typeset in exactly this way. Score one for Mr. Miller's veracity as a ChiTrib almunus.
Unfortunately, trying to date this page is troublesome. Since the Chicago Tribune archives on the web have a search engine that is blinder than Mr. Magoo, I was not surprised at my inability to find this page using any of a dozen different search terms. Most of the material here is syndicated 'evergreen' material, making coming up with a publication date troublesome. I checked other papers to see when they ran some of the stories:
Climbing Butch -- 3/9 - 3/21/48
Peg-Leg Coyote -- 3/15 - 4/5/48
Hip Replacement -- 3/11 - 3/26/48
Circus Model Builders -- 3/12 - ad infinitum (popular article!)
That narrows it down nicely, and the one local story, the traffic accident, was reported in a few papers, one on 3/11, the other on 3/13. Since that story came from the Trib, I narrowed down my viewing to the editions of 3/11/1948 and earlier. Immediately I hit paydirt of a sort -- the story and photos appeared in the March 10 edition (http://archives.
As a last ditch effort, I manually reviewed the editions for the rest of the week, especially Sunday which could well have repeated the story for readers who buy only the Sunday edition. No dice though. So how could the comic strip have been printed, yet not printed?
Frank Young offered up a final clue. He points out that the Sunday Tribune in 1948 was 10 cents in Chicago, and 15 cents elsewhere. This copy is plainly offered for 15 cents, with no mention of the in-town price. That means it was clipped from an out of town-only edition. Therefore it could be that Mighty O'Malley was printed only in the out of town edition, which is not the version that survives on microfilm. Although it is unusual for the two versions of a paper to be different in such a major way, it is by no means unknown. In fact, I've heard convincing evidence that the New York Daily News, the Trib's sister paper, had slightly different versions of the Sunday comics line-up at some points in its history.
That is as far as Frank Young and I can trace this mystery. Now we ask you good folks out there -- have you seen any samples of Mighty O'Malley Ex-Marine, and if so, what can you tell us about them? Does anyone know of an archive that has the Tribune's out-of-town edition?
Labels: Mystery Strips
"Famous Newspaper Comic Strips"
"Copyright 1947 Chicago Tribune"
But a couple of the features are not comic strip reprints.
D.D.Degg (hat tip: glynis37)
I'd swear I checked my E&P index and found nothing -- but on rechecking, it is there. Boy that O'Malley guy is sneaky!
Anyhow, E&P listed the strip for three years, 1947-49. According to Dave Strickler's index (I don't have my originals with me here) it was credited to George Markle (sp?) in 1947, and Dean Miller in 1948-49. It was a Sunday-only throughout.
And now glynis37 has found a comic book apparently reprinting some of the strips. Are the innards of that comic book online anywhere?
If she can find anything more about Mighty O'Malley that sheds light on the strip running dates or why it might have run only in the out-of-town edition, we'e all ears here. I imagine, though, that Frank M. Young has asked her all those questions already.