Thursday, February 14, 2008

National Cartoonist Society Profile: Stan Drake

Continuing in my series of NCS members that are no longer with us is strip art sensation, Stan Drake, whose slick illustrative style inspired a host of artists including the work of Neal Adams. Studying at the Art Students League, Drake learned his mastery of figure-drawing from artist George Bridgman, before working his way into illustrating sports and detective magazines while also side-lining on comic books. After the war, the artist worked for the Perlowin advertising studios, before later teaming up with Elliot Caplin to create his signature strip, The Heart of Juliet Jones. He later created the strip Pop Idols, that highlighted current music celebrities biographies, before teaming up for the well received French trade paperback Kelly Green with Leonard Starr. This multi-talented artist, being able to draw either a lush soap opera strip or humorous gag feature landed Drakes his final strip taking over the artistic chores on one of America's favorite features, Blondie.

Born a Scorpio in New York in 1921 - raised in New Jersey. Career started at seventeen illustrating "pulp"magazines. Comic books in '39 and '40...nothing sensational. World War II for three and a half years then New York City advertising art. Turning point came in 1953 when King Features syndicate took on "Juliet." Our list was at five hundred worldwide. Former 1st Vice President of National Cartoonist Society, won NCS story strip category 1969 and 1970. Hobby: golf, presently taking Berlitz French.(tres difficile) Live in West Port, Connecticut past two years and have regularly illustrated golf instruction for Golf Digest magazine. Illustrated Bob Toski's new book "The Touch System for Better Golf." Invaluable help awards for my career must go to Gil Fox, Elliott Caplin, Bob Lubbers, Sylvan Byck and Tex Blaisdell, Secret shame: my lettering.

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