Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hoosier Cartoonists in World War II

Seventy years ago today, on a date that will go on living in infamy, the Japanese navy launched a sneak attack on Pearl Harbor and the United States was thrust into world war. Within a few days, Nazi Germany declared war on the United States as well. After suffering early setbacks, the country gained its footing with an extraordinary victory at Midway (June 1942) and an invasion of North Africa (November 1942). After Pearl Harbor, young men rushed to enlist in the armed forces. Others were drafted. Figures vary, but by war's end upwards of 10 million American men and women had served in uniform. Over 400,000 were killed.

It's rare to find a man of military age who did not serve in one capacity or other. Hoosiers in uniform who had their cartooning careers interrupted by war or who went on to become cartoonists after the war included Wally Bishop (Muggs and Skeeter), Ted Chambers (gag cartoons), David C. Eastman (Carmichael), Bill Eddy (gag cartoons), Frank O'Neal (Short Ribs), and Bill Williams (Josephine). I would like to consider another group of cartoonists here, though, the men who cartooned while in uniform, for Yank, Stars and Stripes, All Hands, and other military magazines, newspapers, and newsletters.

Time was when cartoonists were celebrities and cartooning--especially syndicated cartooning and magazine gag cartooning--carried with it a heaping helping of prestige. Cartoonists entertained the troops, kept up morale, trained men in difficult and intricate tasks, and decorated airplanes with pinups and cartoon characters, among their many duties. One of the most famous of all folklore characters to come out of the war was a simple cartoon, a man with a bulbous nose who left his mark from Kiska to Bougainville to Marrakesh to Berlin: Kilroy Was Here! Another was the Gremlin, that mischievous little saboteur made famous by Roald Dahl and a planned movie by Disney that never reached the silver screen. A little less famous was Hubert, a lumpy dogface with an enormous nose and a talent for getting into trouble. Hubert, created by Herron art grad Dick Wingert (1919-1993), appeared in Stars and Stripes and was voted more popular than Bill Mauldin's Willie and Joe. After the war, Hubert returned to civilian life and lasted in the comics until 1994. What Wingert did for the army, Nicolas Pouletsos (1911?-1990)--"Nick Penn"--did for the navy in Stalemate. The title character is a diminutive, pop-eyed sailor always on the make. Nick Penn also drew Helen Highwater, featuring a shapely female, for all the men at sea.

Other Hoosier cartoonists in uniform included Wayne Campbell (Yank, Stars and Stripes), Ted Drake (The Spindrift), Charles K. Hall (Army Times, Yank), Roderick Hipskind (Beachhead News), Thomas G. Karsell (Stars and Stripes), Gilbert Sweeney (Stars and Stripes), and Pat Weishapl (The Returnee, Salty Breezes). Dave Gerard of Citizen Smith fame instructed navy men on technical drawing in his hometown of Crawfordsville during the war. In the immediate aftermath, husband-and-wife cartoonists Tom and Mary Blakley taught art to returning servicemen, while Indianapolis News staff artist J. Hugh O'Donnell--late of the 509th Military Police Battalion--illustrated Report from the Pacific by Leo Litz (1946). 

Indiana cartoonists had varying degrees of success in the postwar world. Dick Wingert, Nick Penn, and Ted Drake were among the men who stuck with cartooning. Most lived long, productive lives. But in thinking about the men who were young once and drew pictures during their wartime service, I can't help but consider those who didn't make it. What great future cartoonist or illustrator, artist or writer, lies buried under a green field in France or Italy or some other far-flung spot on the globe?




A cartoon by Ted Drake from The Spindrift.
Text and captions copyright 2011 Terence E. Hanley

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Almost a Hoosier

Stan Lee

Half the world was at war in 1941 when nineteen-year-old Stan Lee assumed the position of editor at Timely Comics. Within a few months, the United States was involved as well, and Stan had enlisted in the U.S. Army Signal Corps. His basic training came at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. In short order he was transferred to the Signal Corps' Training Film Division in Astoria, Queens, and found out that he had been classified as a playwright. "I also learned that there were only eight other men in the U.S. Army with that particular military occupational specialty (MOS) classification besides me," Stan writes in his autobiography. They included moviemaker Frank Capra, author William Saroyan, and cartoonist Charles Addams. During his tour of duty, Stan wrote scripts for army training films. He also continued penning stories for Timely Comics.

After being transferred to Duke University, Stan Lee was transferred once again to Fort Benjamin Harrison, located northeast of Indianapolis. He would serve out the rest of his tour in the Hoosier State, advancing to the rank of sergeant, writing training materials, and even authoring the lyrics to a marching song for the Army Finance Department, sung to the music of "The Air Force Song." Fiscal Freddy, a cartoon character used to train fiscal officers, was one of Lee's creations. So was the poster design and slogan for a prophylaxis campaign, "VD? Not Me!"

"I was mustered out of the army in Indianapolis," Stan remembers. "Five minutes after receiving my discharge papers, I was in my convertible heading for New York." Thus ended his career as an army sergeant and a Hoosier. He married in 1947, wrote romance, western, horror, and other stories during the 1950s, and finally--with comic book artists Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and others--revolutionized comics during the 1960s. Stan Lee is still going strong today.

Excelsior! The Amazing Life of Stan Lee by Stan Lee and George Mair (2002), in which Stan remembers his time served in Indiana with the U.S. Army. The cover art is by John Romita, the mainstay on The Amazing Spider-Man after the departure of Steve Ditko.
Text and captions copyright 2011 Terence E. Hanley

Thursday, November 3, 2011

In the News-Editorial Cartoon Exhibit in Chicago

SOFA Chicago 2011

SOFA Chicago 2011, an annual art fair held in the Windy City, begins tonight, Thursday, November 3, 2011, at the Navy Pier Festival Hall, 600 East Grand Avenue. Among the events is "Cartooning in Conflict," an exhibition of editorial cartoons. SOFA Chicago 2011 runs through Sunday, November 6. For more information, see the website of Chicago Now. And to find Chicago, just drive west out of Indiana and look for the signs.

Copyright 2011 Terence E. Hanley

In the News-Garry Trudeau at IU

Creator of Doonesbury to Speak at Indiana University

Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Garry Trudeau will speak at the Indiana Memorial Union Alumni Hall at Indiana University in Bloomington on Monday, November 14, 2011. The topic of his talk will be "Doonesbury in Time of War." Mr. Trudeau created his popular comic strip Doonesbury while he was a student at Yale University. In 1975, he became the first daily comic strip cartoonist to win a Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning. Mr. Trudeau's character B.D., never without his football helmet, went to war in Vietnam during the early '70s. He returned to the fighting in the Iraq war, making Doonesbury one of few comic strips to deal directly with the war. Today, Doonesbury appears in 1,100 newspapers worldwide.

Garry Trudeau is of course a Hoosier by marriage. His wife, journalist Jane Pauley, originally from Indianapolis, graduated from Indiana University in 1972 and for many years was co-host of The Today Show. I should note that her birthday was this week. Happy Birthday, Jane Pauley!

An exhibition of Garry Trudeau's work will be on display at the Indiana University Lilly Library through November 14. His talk, scheduled for 7:30 p.m., is free and open to the public. You can read more at the website of the IU Newsroom.

Copyright 2011 Terence E. Hanley

Thursday, October 20, 2011

In The News-Indiana Anime Convention Raises Money for a Good Cause

Ramencon 2011, held August 19-21 in Merrillville, Indiana, raised $1,160 for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. The convention, which attracted fans from northwest Indiana and as far away as Texas and California, was a celebration of Japanese animation or Anime.

The three-day convention featured numerous events and fundraisers, including games, musical performances, a silent auction, and a fashion show, as well as appearances by notable speakers and merchandise offered by vendors. Anime fans and fundraising staff alike were pleased with the outcome. 

Anime Crossroads, the next major convention scheduled for Indiana, will take place in Indianapolis, December 16-18, 2011. 

For more information on Ramencon 2011, visit the Merrillville Community story “Ramencon2011 raises $1160 for St. Jude,” by Ramona Jarvis, August 22, 2011. 

To learn more about Anime Crossroads, visit their official website, here.

By Bridget Hanley, Proficient Pen
Copyright 2011 Terence E. Hanley

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

In The News-Cartoon Controversy Revisited: Is SpongeBob Bad for Kids?

According to a recent study conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the popular animated Nickelodeon TV series SpongeBob SquarePants is detrimental to children, specifically, to children’s ability to focus, solve problems, and remember details. The study, which was released in the September 12, 2011, issue of the Journal of Pediatrics, involved sixty participants, all of whom were four-year-old children. One major fault with the study according to a Nickelodeon spokesperson is that participants were significantly younger than the show's target demographic, as SpongeBob is designed for children between the ages of six and eleven.

Findings of the study suggest that fast-paced programs like SpongeBob leave children who view them at a disadvantage, particularly when compared to those who spend time viewing more slow-moving educational programming or exercising their creativity with paper, crayons, markers, and other art supplies.

This isn't the first time that SpongeBob SquarePants has come under criticism. The program has been targeted by many special interest groups over the course of its twelve-year run, as have other animated programs such as The Ren and Stimpy Show, Rocko’s Modern Life, and The Powerpuff Girls

SpongeBob SquarePants was created by Illinois native Stephen Hillenburg, a former oceanographer. Originating one state to the east, Indiana cartoonist, illustrator, and animator Mark O'Hare has worked on the SpongeBob show as well as SpongeBob books for children. Mr. O'Hare graduated from Purdue University and drew the comic strip Citizen Dog, distributed by Universal Press Syndicate from May 15, 1995,  to May 26, 2001. His other animation credits include the less controversial Dexter’s Laboratory and Hey Arnold! 

To read more about the recent study, take a look at:

“Pediatricians' group finds fault with ‘SpongeBob’,” Reuters, by Daniel Frankel, September 12, 2011,

And “Is SpongeBob SquarePants Bad for Children?” The New York Times, by Roni Caryn Rabin, September 12, 2011,  

Or review the findings and details of the original study, “The Effects of Fast-Paced Cartoons,” by Dimitri A. Christakis, Pediatrics: Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, September 2011.

By Bridget Hanley, Proficient Pen
Copyright 2011 Terence E. Hanley

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

In the News-Jim Davis and Garfield

Garfield Software Launched

Garfield Comic Boom, a new cartooning software from Toon Boom Animation, made its world debut at the Montreal ComicCon, September 17-21, 2011. The software, a collaborative effort between Toon Boom Animation and Garfield creator Jim Davis, allows children to create their own storylines and comic illustrations by using digital art tools and an extensive library of props and scenery. 

Davis, an Indiana native born in Marion and raised in Fairmont, calls the program a “jet pack to creativity” and muses that the software may soon leave him unemployed by the next generation of computer-savvy cartoonists. The program even makes it possible for users to create voice-overs and sound effects, and includes simple-to-use options that allow users to share their completed cartoons via social media sites and mobile devices. The software, which was released for sale in early August, also includes a bonus tutorial from Davis himself, imparting tips and wisdom on cartooning. 

Davis, who began his career as a cartoonist in 1969 by assisting Tom K. Ryan, creator of Tumbleweeds, is also the creator of Gnorm Gnat, a strip featured in the Pendleton Times for five years in the 1970s, as well as U.S. Acres, an internationally syndicated strip (known outside the U.S. as Orson’s Farmfeaturing Orson the Pig.  

Garfield began syndication in more than forty U.S. newspapers on June 19, 1978, and nw appears in more than 2,400 papers worldwide. In 1988, Garfield came to television in the animated Saturday morning cartoon series Garfield and Friends, which aired on CBS from September 17, 1988, to December 10, 1995. Now syndicated on the Cartoon Network, the show, which began as a half-hour program, was extended to an hour in its second season and featured two Garfield cartoons and a U.S. Acres cartoon in each episode. 

Garfield has appeared on the large and small screen, and in newspapers, books, DVDs, and video games. While certainly one of the most high-tech of Garfield-related products to hit the market, Garfield Comic Boom is only the newest venture by Jim Davis and his Paws, Inc.  Other excursions into the digital arena include the Garfield.com website and the ProfessorGarfield.org site, which promotes children’s literacy.

You can read more about Garfield Toon Boom at PRNewswire.com in the story “Garfield Creator Says ComicBoom Software Could Put Him Out of Business,” posted August 8, 2011.

By Bridget Hanley, Proficient Pen
Copyright 2011 Terence E. Hanley

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

In The News-The Addams Family Musical National Tour

The Addams Family and Indiana

Indiana native Cortney Wolfson has been cast in the role of Wednesday Addams for the first national tour of the musical The Addams Family. The cast and national tour dates were announced on August 8, 2011. Ms. Wolfson, who portrayed Wednesday for a long run on Broadway, has also appeared in the first national tour of Legally Blonde: The Musical and the Broadway revival of Les Miserables. A native of Lafayette, Indiana, she represented her home state as Junior Miss 2003. Ms. Wolfson received a degree in musical theatre from the University of Michigan.

The Addams Family was of course created by the cartoonist Charles Addams (1912-1988) and has appeared in movies and on television. Addams' ghoulish family made its debut in a cartoon for The New Yorker in 1938. Scores more drawings followed, though members of the Addams family went unnamed until the original ABC-TV show went into production in 1964.

The Addams Family connection to Indiana dates from 1943 when their creator married Barbara Jean Day, a woman seven years his junior and a recent graduate of Butler University. Described by Addams' biographer Linda H. Davis as "small and slender and feminine," Barbara Day bore a striking physical resemblance to Morticia Addams. "I think she lived to be plagued by that," said her husband. Charles Addams and Barbara Jean Day separated in 1951. She later married another contributor to The New Yorker, author John Hersey, and died in 2007.

To learn more about The Addams Family national tour, visit the show's website:

http://theaddamsfamilymusicaltour.com/.

You can read more about the cast on the website Broadwayworld.com and its recent article, “Douglas Sills, Sara Gettelfinger Lead Addams Family National Tour; Full Cast Announced,” posted Aug. 8, 2011.

Visit Cortney Wolfson’s website at www.cortneywolfson.com.

Written by Bridget Hanley and Terence Hanley
Copyright 2011 Terence E. Hanley

Monday, October 3, 2011

In the News-Brenda Starr, Reporter

Brenda Starr Reprints from Hermes Press

Hermes Press has published the first volume of its reprint series, Brenda Starr, Reporter, beginning with the strip's first episode, dated June 30, 1940. The book is called Brenda Starr, Reporter by Dale Messick: The Collected Daily and Sunday Newspaper Strips, and it features 288 pages of color and black-and-white art. You can read more about it on Hermes' Facebook page, here.

Brenda Starr was created by Dale Messick, a Hoosier by birth and a resident of northern Indiana's Lake Region for much of her life. Following Dale's retirement in 1980, Brenda Starr was taken over by artist Ramona Fradon and writer Linda Sutter. June Brigman (artist) and Mary Schmich (writer) carried on from 1995 until the strip was cancelled earlier this year. And there's a bit of news that slipped by me.

As 2010 was nearing its end, the Chicago Tribune announced that Brenda Starr, Reporter, one of the syndicate's longest-running strips, would come to an end on the first Sunday of the new year. The last installment came on January 2, 2011, giving Brenda Starr over fifty years on the comics page. Brenda's fans had to endure only a few months without her, as the Hermes Press collection was published in June 2011, the fifty-first anniversary of the first appearance of Brenda Starr, Reporter.

You can read more about the cancellation of Brenda Starr at the Chicago Tribune's website in an article called "Brenda Starr Becomes Collectors’ Item Sunday" by Geoff Brown, dated December 29, 2010, here.

The last installment of Brenda Starr, Reporter, January 2, 2011.
Text copyright 2011 Terence E. Hanley

Friday, September 30, 2011

In the News-Michael Uslan

Batman Producer Michael Uslan Interviewed on "Here and Now"

Michael Uslan (pronounced Youslan) gave an interview today, September 30, 2011, on the public radio show "Here and Now," hosted by Robin Young. Mr. Uslan, a New Jersey native, attended Indiana University where he taught the first accredited American college course on comic books. A comic book fan since childhood, Mr. Uslan dreamed of one day bringing the Batman he loved to the silver screen. His dream became a reality in 1989 with the release of Batman, starring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson. Mr. Uslan is also the author of a memoir, The Boy Who Loved Batman, released in hardback last month. To hear the interview, you can go to the website of "Here and Now" not there but here.

Copyright 2011 Terence E. Hanley

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

In The News-Brandon Michael Baker

Indiana Artist Creates Stained Glass Comic Book Covers

The name Brandon Michael Baker has been popping up all over the place among the Internet comic book crowd, and for good reason. Mr. Baker, an Indiana artist who creates stained glass renderings of classic comic covers, credits his unique interest in combining artistic media to his childhood fascination with the mythic heroes of comics and his Catholic upbringing. 

Artist by day and paramedic by night, the West Lafayette resident received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Purdue University. In addition to creating works in stained glass, Mr. Baker is an illustrator, printmaker, and costume designer.  

You can read more about Brandon Michael Baker from a post appearing on TrendHunter Art & Design:


You can also check out Mr. Baker’s stained glass covers and other art at his website at Man or Monster ? Studios.

Written by Bridget Hanley, Proficient Pen
Copyright 2011 Terence E. Hanley

Thursday, September 22, 2011

In The News-George Daugherty

Indiana Native Elevates Looney Tunes to “High-Brow” Status 

George Daugherty, Indiana native and award-winning conductor, recently appeared with the Costa Mesa Orchestra in Irvine, California, for a performance of “Bugs Bunny at the Symphony.” The show is Mr. Daugherty’s sequel to his groundbreaking “Bugs Bunny on Broadway,” a film-and-orchestra-performance which has played to audiences around the world for more than two decades.

The revamped show, which made its debut in 2010, played to an audience at the Irvine Verizon Wireless Amphitheater. In attendance were Chuck Jones’ widow and daughter. Writer, director, and animator Chuck Jones frequented symphony performances at the amphitheater prior to his death in 2002 and actually appeared on the Irvine stage with Mr. Daugherty during the 1991 tour of “Bugs Bunny on Broadway.” He also illustrated the 1994 book Chuck Jones' Peter and Wolf, written by George Daugherty and Janis Diamond and based on Daugherty's show.

For generations of children, Warner Bros. cartoons were their first exposure to the world of classical music. Daugherty’s unique shows continue to expand on that Looney Tunes’ tradition, bringing Bugs and the Warner Bros. gang to the big screen, accompanied by music from professional symphony orchestras throughout the world.  

You can read more about the Irvine show in an article at the Daily Pilot newspaper’s website:

“Classically Trained: Symphony Takes on Some ‘Looney Tunes’ ” by Bradley Zint, August 4, 2011,

Or visit the “Bugs Bunny at the Symphony” site to discover tour dates and performance details, here.

Written by Bridget Hanley, Proficient Pen
Copyright 2011 Terence E. Hanley

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Cartoonist of the Month-July 2011

Wayne Campbell (1921-1996)

Teacher and cartoonist Wayne Eugene Campbell was born on April 12, 1921, in rural Benton County, Indiana, and lived much of his life in the Boswell area. He graduated from Boswell High School in 1939 and Central Normal College in Danville, Indiana, in 1943. During his four years in the U.S. Army, he contributed drawings to Yank and Stars and Stripes. In civilian life, Campbell drew cartoons for the Milwaukee Journal, but he didn't gain national exposure until 1952 when Press Features Syndicate released his comic strip, Shorty. The name was fitting, for the strip was shorter than normal and designed to meet the needs of newspapers short on newsprint. The Chicago Sun-Times syndicated a second Campbell cartoon, Oh, Teacher, beginning in 1955. It lasted until 1958. Campbell drew on his experiences as a history teacher at St. John's Military Academy in Delafield, Wisconsin, for both features. He held that position for thirty years and retired to his hometown, Boswell. Campbell died on May 4, 1996, in Lafayette, Indiana.

A promotional advertisement for Wayne Campbell's syndicated cartoon panel Oh, Teacher.
And an example of the cartoon itself.
Campbell used a different style for his magazine gag cartoons. Here is one from an unknown date, published in an unknown journal.
Text and captions copyright 2011 Terence E. Hanley

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Hoosier Cartoonists Today

Dave Sattler

Dave Sattler is a newspaper cartoonist, illustrator, author, speaker, and long-time resident of the Lafayette, Indiana, area. He started cartooning for the Lafayette Courier and Journal in 1969. According to his website, he's still at it. You can read more about him and his see his work at his website, Dave Sattler Cartoons, here.

Copyright 2011 Terence E. Hanley

Hoosier Cartoonists Today

Dee Bonner

Dennis J. "Dee" Bonner drew cartoons for the Shelbyville News for thirty years, retiring in 2008. Now his career has taken a new turn on the Internet. Mr. Bonner has his own website with more features than you can shake a stick at. It includes his own cartoons, cartoons submitted by readers, political commentary and more. You can read and see it all at Dee Bonner.com by following this link.

Copyright 2011 Terence E. Hanley

Monday, July 11, 2011

Hoosier Cartoonists Today

David Sowards

David Sowards is the creator of Wild Life Cartoons, "The Comic Strip with the Most Jokes," featured on his own blog, Wild Life Cartoons at:


A native of Ohio, David has lived most of his life in Indiana where he has become a mostly self-taught cartoonist as well as a writer of novels, short stories, songs, and jokes. His work has been published in The Indiana Daily Student, Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, Foliate Oak, Down in the Dirt, Creative with Words, UAW Newsletter, Fort Wayne Reader, Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, Victory Herald, South Side Times, London Free Press, and several online publications. David is always looking for opportunities to collaborate with other cartoonists and to contribute to publications. He has several blogs. If you find one, you have found them all, but you might want to start with Wildlife Cartoons.

Thanks to David Sowards for information he provided for this posting.
Copyright 2011 Terence E. Hanley

In the News-Peter Manges

Fort Wayne High School Student Wins Multiple Awards for His Cartooning and Illustration

Peter Manges, a student at R. Nelson Snider High School in Fort Wayne, Indiana, recently brought home multiple awards from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association's annual awards competition. Mr. Manges won first-place awards for art/illustration, cartoon portfolio of work, and comic/cartoons. He also picked up a second place award for illustration portfolio of work. Added to those awards, Mr. Manges won first place in the National Scholastic Press Association's cartooning contest and an award of excellence for column/commentary in the Ball State University High School Journalism Contest. Although he is still in school, you can't call Peter Manges an up-and-coming cartoonist. He's actually an already-here cartoonist. You can check out his work on his website (link below).

You can read more about Peter Manges and his award-winning in articles posted on the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette's website:



Look for Peter Manges' website, "Peter Manges Dot Com," here.

Copyright 2011 Terence E. Hanley

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cartoonist of the Month-June 2011

Frank O'Neal (1921-1986)

If there were a category here for "Just Barely a Hoosier," Frank O'Neal, creator of the widely admired comic strip Short Ribs, would qualify. Born in Springfield, Missouri, on May 9, 1921, O'Neal moved around a lot as a child, living in Arkansas, Tennessee, Indiana, Louisiana, California, Michigan, and Washington, D.C. After serving in World War II, he studied cartooning with Jefferson Machamer for three years and started selling gag cartoons to The Saturday Evening Post in 1950. After six years as a freelancer, O'Neal got a job drawing storyboards for television. That lasted a year and a half. By the late 'fifties, he was ready for a shot at syndication. His spare but clever gag strip, Short Ribs, made its debut as a daily strip on November 17, 1958. A Sunday version showed up a few months later, on June 14, 1959. Short Ribs included a revolving cast of characters, including a king and his knights, a witch, cowboys and Indians, baseball players, ancient Egyptians, and even a pair of Russians living under communism. When O'Neal left the strip in 1973, his assistant, Frank Hill, took over with hardly a break in style or appeal. Frank O'Neal continued working in advertising and commercial art. Married with children, O'Neal enjoyed cars and sailing. He died on October 10, 1986, in Pacific Groves, California. I don't know if Tom K. Ryan (another Hoosier cartoonist) knew O'Neal personally, but I wouldn't be surprised to find out that Tumbleweeds was influenced by Short Ribs. If that's the case, maybe the influence has survived in the work of Mr. Ryan's assistant, Jim Davis of Garfield fame.

A gag cartoon by Indiana cartoonist Frank O'Neal (1921-1986), probably from the 1950s.
And the cover of a paperback collection with an altogether appropriate and informative title: The Name of This Book Is Short Ribs (1961).
Text and captions copyright 2011 Terence E. Hanley

In the News-Howard Ashman

Stage and Screen Lyricist Howard Ashman Featured

Lyricist Howard Ashman who (with composer Alan Menken) wrote the songs for the Disney films The Little Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the Beast (1991), and Aladdin (1992), was recently featured on the website of Northwestern University's North by Northwestern magazine (May 4, 2011). Ashman, who was born in Baltimore, studied at Boston University and Goddard College before receiving his master's degree from Indiana University. He broke into musical theater in New York City with an adaption of Hoosier author Kurt Vonnegut's God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, his first collaboration with Alan Menken. The two went on to win two Grammy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, and two Academy Awards.  Beauty and the Beast is dedicated to Howard Ashman, who died in 1991 at age forty.

Copyright 2011 Terence E. Hanley

In the News-Deerspace Toons

New Animation Studio Launches

Deerspace.com, a company dedicated to information and education on hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities, recently announced the formation of a studio for producing animated cartoons. Called Deerspace Toons, the studio is busy producing "Hunter Ed Adventures," a series of public service announcements for television and the Internet. Each episode features the characters Hunter Ed and Buddy Buck as they demonstrate an important principle of outdoor safety. You can read a press release (dated May 9, 2011) at the website PRLog, here. You can of course also view the parent website of Deerspace Toons at Deerspace.com. Finally, you can view "Hunter Ed Adventures" on YouTube.

Deerspace.com, founded by John Jackson, is based in Waterloo, Indiana.

Copyright 2011 Terence E. Hanley

In the News-Bob Englehart

Bob Englehart's Cartoons on Display

In the category of "better-late-than-never-news," Bob Englehart, editorial cartoonist for the Hartford (Connecticut) Courant, recently (May 10, 2011) commented on art education on the occasion of graduation season. A native of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Mr. Englehart worked for an advertising agency and a Chicago newspaper, drew cartoons for his hometown paper, the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, and cartooned for the Dayton Journal-Herald before signing on with the Courant in 1980. Despite receiving what he called "an excellent commercial art education" at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, Mr. Englehart offers this advice to new graduates: "Remember, we all have to overcome our education," adding, "Colonel Sanders [another Hoosier, by the way] didn't cook his first chicken until he was 65." The veteran cartoonist concluded his comments with a plug for an exhibit of his work, entitled "Drawing Fire: Bob Englehart's 30 Years at the Courant," which took place at the Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford, Connecticut, during May 2011. You can read the entire article at the Courant's website, here. Mr. Englehart's page on the Hartford Courant website is here.

Copyright 2011 Terence E. Hanley

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

In the News-Arturo Rodriguez

Cartoon-Inspired Art by Arturo Rodriguez on Display

The work of graphic artist Arturo Rodriguez, associate professor at the University of Toledo, is the subject of an exhibit at the Madhouse Gallery in Toledo, Ohio, June 15-30, 2011. Born in Cuba, Mr. Rodriguez moved to Miami at age seven and began watching animated cartoons dating from the 1930s onward. He later studied at the Kansas City Art Institute and received his masters degree from Indiana University. Images from the cartoons he watched as a child have now found their way into his lithographs and serigraphs. Read the full story at the Toledo Blade, here.

Copyright 2011 Terence E. Hanley

In the News-Cartoons and Violence

Study Finds Violence in Cartoons Does Not Make Them More Appealing to Children

Researchers at Indiana University, Purdue University, and two out-of-state institutions have found in a study of children's viewing habits that cartoon violence does not make a program more enjoyable or appealing. Andrew J. Weaver, assistant professor of telecommunications at Indiana University, and his co-authors suggest that action--often associated with or conflated with violence--is more likely what appeals to children when they're watching cartoons. You can read a more complete discussion and summary in the journal Media Psychology and in a number of articles on the Internet, at the IU Newsroom, TG Daily, and Irish Health among them.

Copyright 2011 Terence E. Hanley

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

In the News-Herb and Dee Sweet

Herb and Dee Sweet in Traces

Herb and Dee Sweet, originators of the first day camp in the United States, are the subject of a nice article in the current issue of Traces, the magazine of the Indiana Historical Society. The article is called "Little Acorns: Herb and Dee Sweet and the First Day Camp in America." The authors are Nancy Niblack Baxter and Becky Bowles.

Herb Sweet (1908-2000) and his wife Dee Morris Sweet (1913-2006) attended Butler University in Indianapolis during the 1930s. In 1933, the couple opened the Boycraft Day Camp on the north side of the city, intended for boys too young for the Boy Scouts. Over the years, the camp changed names and locations and soon admitted girls as well. Herb and Dee (married in 1935) became deeply involved in camping, crafts, and outdoor education. They authored Try It, a children's feature for the comics page, while Dee Sweet hosted her own television shows, Sweet Time and Sweet Talk, during the early 1950s.

You can read more about Herb and Dee Sweet in Traces for Spring 2011. See the website of the Indiana Historical Society (IHS) at http://www.indianahistory.org. In the same issue, you'll find "Billowing Clouds, Towering Timbers," an article by Thomas E. Rugh on the life and art of Indiana illustrator Franklin Booth. You can also see some artwork by Booth on my blog, Indiana Illustrators.



Text copyright 2011 Terence Hanley

In the News-Fred Neher

Fred Neher Featured in the Boulder Daily Camera

In 1951, Fred Neher packed up his family, his furniture, and a growing mound of cartoon originals and set off for Boulder, Colorado, sight unseen. At the suggestion of his brother, Neher decided it was time for a change in scenery, from crowded New York and Connecticut to a mesa looking out on the Rocky Mountains. He and his family built a house on what became 1 Neher Lane, then outside, now inside city limits, and that's where he stayed for the rest of his long life, drawing his long-running comic panel, Life's Like That, and teaching cartooning at the University of Colorado. By the time he had retired in 1977, Neher had amassed more than 23,000 drawings in his more than forty years as a cartoonist. Surviving into his nineties, Neher later claimed that if he had known he would live so long, he wouldn't have retired so soon. One of several cartoonists who hailed from Nappanee, Indiana, Fred Neher died on September 22, 2001, just one week short of his ninety-eighth birthday.

Neher is featured this week in an article posted on the website of the Boulder Daily Camera. The article is by Carol Taylor, the Camera History Columnist, and is dated June 21, 2011. You'll find the article here. In case you don't recognize his name or art, just look at the background of this blog (and below). What you'll see is a copy of the original art from a Sunday page of Fred Neher's Life's Like That.


Copyright 2011 Terence E. Hanley

Friday, June 17, 2011

In the News-Cartoon Music in Kokomo

The Kokomo Park Band put on a concert of cartoon music on Wednesday evening, June 15, 2011, at Highland Park in Kokomo, Indiana. Park Band Music Director Steve Rhodes arranged a suite called "A Tribute to Carl Stalling" for the concert, sponsored by Solidarity Federal Credit Union. Mr. Rhodes' tribute included the opening and closing themes to Warner Brothers' cartoons, "Merrily We Roll Along" and "The Merry Go Round Broke Down," as well as classical and popular themes adapted by longtime composer Carl Stalling to animation classics from long ago. Also on the program were selections from Walt Disney's Fantasia, also arranged by Mr. Rhodes. You can read more about the concert and the people involved in it at the website Kokomo Perspective.

Also mentioned in the article about the concert: Don Barrett, a 1989 graduate of Western High School in Russiaville, Indiana, who has worked in Hollywood for the last several years on musical scores for a number of animated and live-action television shows, including Family Guy. Finally, there is a drawing by local cartoonist Joe Soots on the same website.

(Note: I would like to have posted something about the concert before it took place, but didn't receive an alert until the day after the performance. Sorry for the inconvenience.)

Copyright 2011 Terence E. Hanley