Golden Age artists you’d like to know more about.
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Comic book artists active in and around the Golden Age that you’d like to familiarize yourself with more, either to potentially discover more interesting art that you previously didn’t know about, or out of curiosity in general. For me, one of those artists would have to be DickRyan, who drew various funny animal comics in the late 30s for companies like Centaur, and even drew for a newspaper comic called Animal Crackers at that time, but I don’t know much else about him or his other work.

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There are quite a few guys who gave few or no interviews and I wish they did. Fred Kida, Hank Chapman, Jack Cole, Zolnerowich, Jesse Marsh, Maurice Whitman, a passel of funny animal artists starting with Mo Gollub and Dan Noonan. The list is too long but these popped up immediately.

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On 9/17/2020 at 10:06 PM, Scrooge said:

There are quite a few guys who gave few or no interviews and I wish they did. Fred Kida, Hank Chapman, Jack Cole, Zolnerowich, Jesse Marsh, Maurice Whitman, a passel of funny animal artists starting with Mo Gollub and Dan Noonan. The list is too long but these popped up immediately.

Thankfully, there are people like David Saunders helping bring as much info together as possible from the artists of back then, including Maurice Whitman, whom doesn’t seem to be written about much in the first place: https://www.pulpartists.com/Whitman-M.html

It was interesting learning quite a few things about him, such as him having to be rescued off the roof of Charlton Press at one point, as well as this poster he made for the Army:

z8UIG8w.jpg

Edited by Electricmastro

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26 minutes ago, MusterMark said:

Cover for Navy Combat (Marvel, 1955 series) #19

I know who "Lee. S.", "Maneely." and "Severin. J." are.

I'd like to know who "Ward. G." is.

 

That’s apparently George A. Ward, the one that shared a studio with Joe Maneely and Peggy Zangerle, as well as assisting Walt Kelly on Pogo.

Edited by Electricmastro

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5 hours ago, Electricmastro said:

That’s apparently George A. Ward, the one that shared a studio with Joe Maneely and Peggy Zangerle, as well as assisting Walt Kelly on Pogo.

Good to know. :) 

Thank you very much, Electroccomastroserio.

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This is an interesting thread concept that might benefit from getting into the weeds, so-to-speak.  The under-appreciated element in any analysis of the talented artists contributing to the growth of the GA comic business is House style.  Each publisher hired artists ...either as part of a bullpen or as a contract shop... to supply art and story on deadline.  Each publisher had a criteria for scheduling work based upon financial motivations and personal preferences that influenced the interior and cover art purchased.

For instance, Quality’s publisher “Busy” Arnold had a very hands-on approach to art.  He paid very well and had quirky preferences for cover art that ranged from cartoony ...like Gill Fox... to the refined realistic styles of Lou Fine, Reed Crandall, Charles Cuidera, Ruben Moreira, Will Eisner, et al.  Timely, MLJ, Fawcett, Prize, Ace, Fiction House, Lev Gleason and DC all had House styles and the artists they employed shaped or tempered their styles accordingly. Everything made a difference to the final product, including colorists.

To be clear, I’m bringing up House style as an essential element of artist research not to throw a monkey wrench into an intriguing idea of focusing on specific GA artists, but rather as a means of better understanding differences in art styles produced by those specific artists working under the demands of various publishers.  

By way of example, I’m interested in learning more about Jack Binder’s work.  He had his own shop, working for a variety of publishers including Fawcett and Prize.  Researching his work is complicated by the fact that Binder often employed other artists in an assembly line fashion to finish his work.  He definitely had a style influenced by fine art training, but isolating his work from the many collaborative efforts he signed off on for publishers he was contracted with is a perplexing task.  The research is a daunting task with scant info.

There aren’t many books focusing on lesser known GA artists, so this approach seems like fertile ground for greater exploration.

:tink:

Edited by Cat-Man_America
Cheers!

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3 hours ago, Cat-Man_America said:

By way of example, I’m interested in learning more about Jack Binder’s work.  He had his own shop, working for a variety of publishers including Fawcett and Prize.  Researching his work is complicated by the fact that Binder often employed other artists in an assembly line fashion to finish his work.  He definitely had a style influenced by fine art training, but isolating his work from the many collaborative efforts he signed off on for publishers he was contracted with is a perplexing task.  The research is a daunting task with scant info.

There aren’t many books focusing on lesser known GA artists, so this approach seems like fertile ground for greater exploration.

Thanks. Despite Binder’s name being used quite a number of times, it can get one wondering if his name was eventually being used as a house name for other artists. I suppose the same could apply to Charles Biro.

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38 minutes ago, Electricmastro said:

Thanks. Despite Binder’s name being used quite a number of times, it can get one wondering if his name was eventually being used as a house name for other artists. I suppose the same could apply to Charles Biro.

Actually, I think the opposite is the more likely case.  Artists who sign their work usually did both penciling and inking.  Biro’s signature, which is often very pronounced, is a fairly obvious statement that it’s his work.  Conversely, Jack Binder apparently didn’t sign a lot of his own work, so his involvement has to be assessed on a case by case basis. Binder’s style usually has identifiable characteristics.  Physical poses, facial expressions, distinctive pattern to stippled shadows, clean detailed architecture with attention to perspective, etc., ...all of these things stand out in Jack’s work.  A good example of Jack’s work displaying a number of these characteristics is Prize Comics #20...

 

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2 hours ago, Cat-Man_America said:

Binder’s style usually has identifiable characteristics.  Physical poses, facial expressions, distinctive pattern to stippled shadows, clean detailed architecture with attention to perspective, etc., ...all of these things stand out in Jack’s work.

 

Binder in general definitely had great attention to detail, not just with anatomy, but also giving the convincing feeling of fast paced movement. He used dramatic lighting and angling, and could even get a little grotesque as well.

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Edited by Electricmastro

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Not much seems to be publicly known about Rolland Livingstone, who was about 70 years old by the time he drew these covers for Gilberton and died very shortly afterwards:

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On 9/17/2020 at 7:06 PM, Scrooge said:

Maurice Whitman

I second this.  Doesn’t seem to be a ton of info about his life out there that I’ve been able to find anyway.

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Posted (edited)

For me - Jimmy Thompson.  

Incredibly talented, ahead of and out of his time in his portrayal of Native Americans (and his friendship with them) a focus of his early work, very adept at multiple genres (including superheros), and so prolific that new work of his kept appearing for three years after his death.  

He did an incredible 76 page Red Eagle comic early in his career (1938) that has art that dramatically stands out from the norm of that time (although reminds of Foster):

image.jpeg.95648b2494b6e9d4706c435e92ecc5ce.jpeg

He did superheroes for DC and Timely in that wonderful mid-1940s style that was as good as Eisner and Cole:

Robotman -Jimmy Thompson | Golden age comics, Classic comics, Thompson

 

He did amazing genre work in the later 1940s (published into the 1950s).  But, he's not well known and I'd like to know more.

 

Edited by sfcityduck

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If he were still around, I would have pestered Maurice Whitman for original art.  I know nothing about where he came from or where he went.

The info on Zolnerowich was great.  I recognize his FH work but did not know about his later efforts.  I assume his style must have changed and I don’t recognize his later work.

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Posted (edited)
On 10/7/2020 at 2:13 PM, cheetah said:

If he were still around, I would have pestered Maurice Whitman for original art.  I know nothing about where he came from or where he went.

What I came to learn about Maurice Whitman:

Was born as Maurice Edward Wisotzky in 1922 in New York to a family with a Jewish, Polish, and Romanian background.

Had an older sibling and two younger siblings.

His dad worked in the garment manufacturing industry.

As a teenager, he joined at least one art club and worked on decorations for Christmas pageants, apparently developing his artistic side through teaching himself more than being trained by someone else.

Had art exhibited in Rockefeller Center in 1937.

His parents divorced in 1937, with his mother receiving custody of the four children.

After the divorce, his mother changed her last name to Whitman, which is when Maurice received that last name.

Became a manager of a retail clothing store after graduating high school in 1941.

Enlisted as a private in the Army in 1942, described as having been single, five-foot-six, and 170 pounds.

Was stationed in New Jersey painting army signs and posters, though was honorably discharged a year later due to flat feet.

It was in 1943 when he started working for comic book personnel such as Harry Chesler, Lloyd Jacquet, and Jerry Iger.

During his time working for Chesler, he may have worked directly alongside other artists such as Paul Gattuso, Joe Kubert, and Ruben Moreira.

One of his earliest signed stories was for drawing a Patches story for Rural Home in 1945, which was inked by black artist Ezra Jackson.

The publisher he may have done the most work for was probably Charlton, with Fiction House coming in second.

He also drew work for Dell, DC, Hillman, Warren, and Temerson.

The recurring features/characters he worked on the most were probably Kaänga and Ghost Squadron for Fiction House, and Atom the Cat and Wild Bill Hickok and Jingles for Charlton.

Married in 1952 to a Jewish woman, whose family had been at a Nazi concentration camp, and moved to Connecticut.

After Fiction House went defunct, he worked for Charlton, which was around the time he had possibly almost died at age 33 when he had to be rescued off its roof during a flood in 1955.

He went on to become the father of four children between the late 50s and early 60s.

His mom died in 1972.

He divorced in 1975.

His dad died in 1979.

Died in Connecticut as a result of diabetes and heart failure in 1983.

Examples of the style of Maurice Whitman’s comic book work:

TZ35KQp.png

Edited by Electricmastro

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On 10/7/2020 at 2:13 PM, cheetah said:

If he were still around, I would have pestered Maurice Whitman for original art.  I know nothing about where he came from or where he went.

The info on Zolnerowich was great.  I recognize his FH work but did not know about his later efforts.  I assume his style must have changed and I don’t recognize his later work.

More info regarding Daniel Zolnerowich:

Brooklyn Daily Eagle newspaper from November 1, 1936 reporting Zolnerowich as president of the B division of First-year illustration at the Pratt Institute, at age 21:

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A Pratt Institute graduate photo of Zolnerowich‘s face from 1937, presumably at age 22, along with some more info:

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Source: https://alphabettenthletter.blogspot.com/2013/06/school-days-pratt-institute-and-golden.html

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Favorite Maurice Del Bourgo art that I’ve seen (Clue Comics #11, December 1946):

FyyMPyD.jpg

Some info about the artist himself from The Detroit Jewish News (September 03, 1954), including how he went to schools in Japan, Belgium, France, and England:

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Source: https://digital.bentley.umich.edu/djnews/djn.1954.09.03.001/20

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Found out that Al Jaffee started working for comic books in 1942, worked on Mad Magazine for around half a century, and it was only this year that he announced that he would be retiring, at age 99. A long career indeed.

Edited by Electricmastro

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On 9/18/2020 at 6:45 PM, Cat-Man_America said:

Artists who sign their work usually did both penciling and inking.  Biro’s signature, which is often very pronounced, is a fairly obvious statement that it’s his work.

My understanding is that on Boy Comics at least, there were times where other artists drew the covers that Biro signed. He apparently was very proprietary about Crimebuster, so he would draw just Crimebuster's head, paste it on the art, and then sign the cover even though someone else drew the rest of it. At least, that's what I have read.

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