Wednesday, January 25, 2012

National Cartoonist Society Profile: Ed Nofziger

Presented here is one of my favorite "bigfoot" funny animal cartoonist who had success with many amusing strips over the years including Buenos Dias, Chloe, and ANIMALogic, the delightful Mr. Ed Nofziger...I was born in Porterville, California on June 14, 1913. I graduated from University of California in Los Angeles  in 1936 and left for New York to sell my first cartoon The New Yorker in 1937. Polar bear cub to parents," I don't care what you say, I'm cold!" Selected by Look magazine as one of ten best New Yorker cartoons of the year. (signed E.Nof) Then the Saturday Evening Post started buying my animals in color. Illustrated Will Cuppy features for the Post. Did national advertising, TV spots in the 1940s and 50s. Wrote UPA's "Mister Magoo" with Dick Shaw. Later created "Mother Magoo". Did all the Magoo ads and displays. Next Hanna-Barbara "Ruff and Ready" stories and story boards. "Animals Are For Fun" cartoon book. Walter Foster Productions. Taught cartoon workshops, - fifteen years on Disney foreign comic stories. - married Margaret Sheppard, an artist of note. Combined our families, so we have our five, plus five grandchildren and one great grand kid.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Foreign Favorites: Kriminal

With his origin appearance in August of 1964, Kriminal was the first anti-hero as the protagonist of his own book created by Luciano Secchi  and Roberto Raviola under the pen names "Magnus and Bunker". Anthony Logan was an English master thief who was unusually cruel and wicked in the early episodes motivated by revenge of his father's death at the hands of criminals. For the early 1960s the combination of sex and sadism in these Italian tales quickly caused a sharp outcry from many civil groups as the lawsuits and seizures started. After much controversy, publisher Andrea Corno decided to change his "king of crime" into a married suave gentleman with a trusted Asian assistant, Shan-Ton, in his later toned down and more heroic adventures. Starting as a monthly feature, it popularity made it change to a fortnightly and finally weekly schedule, due mainly to the creators keen social and political satire they wove in their entertaining story lines. Spawning two Italian motion pictures in 1966 and '68 the comic series ended in 1974 after publishing four hundred nineteen issues.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Sensational Strips: Dr. Kildare

Max Brand was best know for his Western tales, but back in 1938 he was screen writing in Hollywood for a living and created two main characters for what he thought a minor film called Interns Can't Take Money. The overwhelming response to Doctors James Kildare and Leonard Gillespie spawned ten more entries in the film series. Later in 1961 Dr. Kildare debuted on NBC television with Richard Chamberlain in the title role which sudden success encouraged King Features to start a strip version on October 15, 1962 and added a Sunday page on April 19,1964. Written by Elliot Caplin and drawn by Ken Bald, the young, idealistic Kildare was an intern at Blair General Hospital whose new ways clashed with the older seasoned Dr. Gillespie. Whether it was gunshot wounds or cases of amnesia, Dr. Kildare hot-headed enthusiasm was always present as he treated the beautiful patients from the delicate pen of Bald. Though there were many of these soap-opera story lines that ended in romance with a patient or nurse, the handsome medic was definitely married to his career. The artist skillful representation of the main characters based on the actors likenesses from the hit show made it a very attractive feature that lasted nineteen years after the shows cancellation in 1965, with the strip ending in late 1984.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Society of Illustrators Profile: Coles Phillips

Coles Phillips was born in Springfield, Ohio and attended Kenyon College where his first illustrations appeared in the school's newspaper and yearbook. Wanting to pursue his art career, he left for New York in his Junior year taking a series of part-time jobs and night classes at Chase School of Art. His skill as a sketch artist won him numerous advertising jobs, and he soon started his own agency in 1906, but left it to free-lance once again desiring the artistic side over running a business. When the editors of Life asked him to come up with a new concept for their covers, his famous "Fade-away Girl" was born. Best know for this unique design, Phillips would tie the figures in his pictures into the background by using either a color, value or pattern. This left the viewer to fill in the missing parts by using their own imagination as Coles carefully designed these crafted images. This device was an instant success that lasted for over twenty years on the covers of  Collier's, Liberty, Good House Keeping ,Vogue, and The Saturday Evening Post. Sought after by all the major publications of the day, Phillips take on beautiful women with their delicate lines and beautiful features made him a very busy illustrator. However, in the early 1920s the artist had developed a serious kidney disease and travelled abroad seeking a cure from European specialists, but none was to be found as Phillips passed away at the young age of forty-seven in 1927.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Frank Thorne's "Big Man Little Man"

Let us start the new year right with a story from one of my favorite comic artists! DC Comics had the best war anthology titles around and quite often their back-up story was a Bob Kanigher "Gallery of War" yarn that were drawn by some of the best in the business, such as Ric Estrada. But once in a while they were illustrated by such stellar talents as Alex Toth, Dan Spiegle, Doug Wildey, Lee Elias, and as shown here from the original art, Frank Thorne. I recently ran across some old letters from Toth and he was asked by a fan who was an artist we should watch. Toth mentioned a few Europeans of interest, but said Frank Thorne was an artist who could tell a story right, simple and to the point. I can see what he was talking about in this lush seven page gem from 1973 out of Our Army at War #260 in this tale called...