Monday, March 20, 2017

Comics — And Their Creators: Harold Gray

‘Joseph Medill Patterson, publisher of the New York Daily News, ordered the strip killed on October 27, 1925, asking “Who ever heard of a rich orphan?” Outraged fans flooded the Daily News with mail protesting the move and the strip was reinstated with an editorial apology. Harold Gray said of Patterson: “He wasn’t so much for the New Deal as he was for me keeping my goddam beak out of politics.” ’ — The Reporter, October 24, 1950

Literary Digest, March 10, 1934


Friday, March 17, 2017

This Is About Garge Herriman


HERRIMAN. That’s the monicker you see signed to the Krazy Kat drawings. His first name is George, but the boys call him Garge, because that’s the way he pronounces it himself.
     Now I’m not going to sit here and chuck the swell about that guy, I’m going to tell the truth.
     Garge came from somewhere out west, we think it’s Los Angeles. He came here on a side door Pullman. Of course he wouldn’t want me to say so if he was here but it’s a fact just the same. He hangs around with a lot of painters, poets and authors these days, but when I first saw him he still had grease from the box cars on his pants.
     He looked like a cross between Omar the tent maker and Nervy Nat when he eased into the art room of the N.Y. Journal 20 years ago. We didn’t know what he was so I named him The Greek and he still goes by that name.
     Garge is short and wide like the door of a safe and as Johnny Dunn the announcer used to say of his wrestler, “He is strong. He can bend IRUN BARS WITH HIS NAKED HANDS.”
     Garge also had a peculiar way of drawling. He is never in a rush as he drawls his words. He calls garden GORDON, he calls harness HORNESS, he calls cigars CIGORS and so on.
     He ALWAYS wears a hat. Like Chaplin and his cane Garge is never without his skimmer. Hershfield says that he sleeps in it.
     Garge has three hobbies. They are Arizona Indians, chili con carne and boxing gloves. He once knocked a guy cold on the elevated station at 42nd street, N.Y. City, and has been living on that rep ever since.
     No one has ever found out what this knocked out gent did to Garge but it must have been something AWFUL because he has never once lost his temper with us and he has been through some tough afternoons and evenings. No matter what happens Garge is always the same. You can steal his pens but he only smiles. You can knock California but he merely smiles. You can cut up rubber in his tobacco pouch and he’ll smoke it just to let you laugh. He is like the old rye the guy told of. Not a harsh word in a whole barrel of it. There never was a smoother tempered gent. I’ll bet right now that if you asked Garge what the brick that hits Krazy Kat was made of he’d say VELVET. Then he’d add “You don’t think I’d want that poor lil cat to be hurt, do you?” Garge is a great reader and a great movie fan. His favorite author is CHORLES DICKENS and his favorite movie guy is CHORLIE CHAPLIN.
     He will sit by the hour and talk of them. That is, he used to before the soda stores took the places once held by the Pilsner peddlers.
     He brags about his favorites, Garge does, but never about himself.
     The violet imitated Garge when it assumed that attitude of shyness.
     He thinks he’s the rottenest artist that ever got behind a pen and no matter how many boosting letters he gets about his stuff he’s of the same opinion still. Of course WE KNOW BETTER.
     Half the guys that never get a boosting letter admit that they’re good. Garge doesn’t and never will. He is always last. He laughs, though. Yes, he gets his giggles. When he laughs you’d think he had just taken a sniff of snuff. It isn’t a laugh, it’s a sort of internal explosion.

From: Circulation, No. 11, Vol. 2, March 1923, page 12

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Comics — And Their Creators: Johnny Gruelle

“I wanted to get away from the slapdash style of comics. I have always loved fairy tales and have wanted to illustrate them.” — Johnny Gruelle in New York Herald, November 6, 1910

Literary Digest, October 27, 1934
More of Johnny Gruelle [1880-1938] HERE.


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

H.T. Webster—They Don’t Speak Our Language

They Don’t Speak Our Language, six-page article by H.T. Webster, published in The Forum, December 1933

[1] p.367
[2] p.368
[3] p.369
[4] p.370
[5] p.371
[6] p.372

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The final Hearst Building at Market and Third in San Francisco, 2017

[1] Hearst Building.
WILLIAM RANDOLPH HEARST, for his daily newspaper The Examiner, used several buildings in San Francisco, California. His final one still stands, on the corner of Market and Third — the rebuilt office tower from 1911. The city had eight cable car routes at the time and many cable cars crossed in front of the building. But paper as well as cable cars have since long moved elsewhere. These photos were especially taken for Yesterday's Papers on the 4th of February, 2017.

Photos by Bas Peters
[2] In 1938, the 1911 front and lobby were revamped.
[4] The cut-off SE corner with front entrance. View into Third Street at the South of Market side.
[5] Market Street. View southwest, to Upper Market. Hearst’s earlier office in Market Street (1887 to 1898) was just a block away on the right, corner of Market and Grant.
[6] Market Street. View northeast, to the Ferry Building. Palace Hotel second block on the right. Former San Francisco Chronicle building on the left. Drive down or zoom in on the Ferry tower…
[8] Entrance to the cocktail bar now housed in Hearst’s former printing basement. Huge rolls of newsprint for The Examiner were loaded down here since 1898 in Hearst’s first office tower, a building destroyed in the 1906 earthquake. 


More about Hearst in the upcoming biography and reading of Jimmy Swinnerton (1875-1974) by Huib van Opstal.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Respectable Papers of Boston and Mr. Obadiah Oldbuck, 1842

Gloucester Telegraph, Sep 16, 1842

EXTRA, NO. IX. The Adventures of Mr. Obadiah Oldbuck, often labeled “the first American comic book”, first issued to subscribers as a 40-page ‘Extra, No. IX’ issue of Brother Jonathan weekly in New York, and dated September 14, 1842, was a reworked bootleg version in English of Swiss cartoonist Rodolphe Töpffer’s comic strip Les Amours de Mr. Vieux Bois or Histoire de Mr. Vieux Bois (1827, Geneva album published 1837). 

If Oldbuck might be called the first American comic book, the following short newspaper quip might be called the first criticism of comic books in America,
Does the “Brother Jonathan” often humbug the public with such trash as the “Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck”? The respectable papers of Boston should not become a party to such impositions by puffing them. — Gloucester [Massachusetts] Telegraph, Sep 16, 1842

Rodolphe Töpffer (1799-1846), self-portrait

Friday, January 20, 2017

HARLEY by Dan Thompson

 DAN THOMPSON  is a member of the national Cartoonist Society and lives in North Carolina. His first cartoon was called LOST SHEEP, a web comic posted by Comic Sherpa HERE. His second, the exciting adventure strip RIP HAYWIRE, is syndicated by Andrews McMeel Syndicate and can be ogled HERE. Rip Haywire dates back to the first week of January 2009 and has been issued in six reprint volumes so far. His 100-page graphic novel titled Rip Haywire and the Curse of Tangaroa! was published by IDW Publishing in October 2011. March 2016 he published a chapter book for kids under the title Li’l Rip Haywire Adventures; Escape from Camp Cooties.

 Author-artist  Thompson is an avid reader of reprinted collections starring Captain Easy, Buz Sawyer, Terry and the Pirates, Steve Canyon and Dick Tracy. He likes to keep busy — he also draws the features BREVITY [HERE] and KIDSPOT [HERE] for Universal Uclick. His newest comic strip is HARLEY which will start March 6 on GoComics. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Angoulême 44 in France, a truly International Comic Book Festival

Cartooning For Peace.

THE PRESS KIT for this year’s Angoulême fest is produced by 9eArt+ and designed by Le Goff & Gabarra, the ‘Wise Design Studio’ of creative directors Camille Gabarra and Tugdual Le Goff. See their beautiful work HERE.

A highlight in Angoulême is the exhibit about Petite histoire de la révolution française, by Grégory Jarry et Otto T.

The Grand Jury of 2017 is presided by Posy Simmonds from London, England, who’s against a Brexit.

This year’s attractions are, among others and in no particular order, Hermann, Will Eisner, Franquin, Mézières et Christin, Alex Alice, Kazuo Kamimura, Loo Hui Phang, Outsider Comics, Disney artists, Sophie Guerrive, Philippe Dupuy, French Marvel Panini Comics, Grégory Jarry & Otto T.

See some of the latest French books on Disney’s Mickey Mouse, HERE.

This is the 57-page Press Kit for the 44th edition. The cover and poster show mainly male attributes connected to war and battle.

All Festival Cats are drawn by Lewis Trondheim.