Wednesday Advertising Day.
I was scanning some 1961 papers and came across these late newspaper strip ads. Not soon after these the genre died out completely. These probably are among the last ones done by the Johnstone and Cushing company for newspapers. Many of their biggest talents had gone on to other things. Creig Flessel had found work as a newspaper strip artist, first as a fill-in for the Saint and soon after as the new regular artist of David Crane, which he continued until late in the sixties. Dik Browne had left the company in the mid-fifties when he became the regular artist on Mort Walker's Hi and Lois (although he kept doing an ad here and there and The Tracy Twins for the Johnstone and Cushing produced comics section of Boy's Life). Gill Fox had also gone into newspapers, first doing Bumper to Bumper as an irregular Sunday only for the New York Sunday News, then doing the daily Dennis the Menace imitation Wilbert and finally taking over The Neighbours from George Clarke. Bill Williams took on various jobs as well, most recognizable for several kid and juvenile comic books, including Dunc an' Loo with John Stanley. Leonard Starr had started his own newspaper soap opera strip, On Stage and Jack Betts had fallen of the earth in 1957 (although his daughter told me an intriguing story about his last days, which I will share sometime.
Most familiar of the people who were still working at Jonstone and Cushing are Elmer Wexler, Al Stenzel, Tom Scheuer and Neal Adams. I have talked with Adams about this period, who mentions Wexler as his great inspiration but also his creative combativeness with Scheuer (who later went on to fame as a television writer as second headwriter on Murder, She Wrote). It seems one of the reasons Adams' work looks so much like Scheuer's - he wanted to show he could to the same quality work in less time. I also corresponded with Scheuer (now Sawyer), who looked at my blog and commented:
"None of the Tintex ads you sent were mine. And I really can't identify who did them.
About how we worked at J&C: the first year or two I commuted 5 days per week, had a drawing table there -- along with, as I recall, Dik Browne and Ralston (Bud) Jones, among others (Starr had by then departed) -- because Al Stenzel and Tim Johnstone (and others, I'm sure) pointed out that being the new guy, and still unknown by name or style at the ad agencies, I would get a lot of the rush-work that came in, for which the client did not specify that it be drawn by a particular artist. Of course, if I got an assignment that took more than a day, I would do most of the work at home. Then, as I developed a reputation (by 1958), I no longer went there except to pick up or deliver a job. And, after I moved to Westport, CT., in 1960, I almost never went to their offices -- there were so many illustrators and cartoonists living in that area, that there was a very successful messenger service. We'd drop our artwork into a bin near the door of his house at whatever hour (usually late night or early morning), and it would be delivered to one's client before 10 AM. And, he would bring us our assignments (layouts, scripts, etc.) when he returned to Westport.
Incidentally, I just revisited your amazing site, and the pieces you did about my artwork (and that of others), and specifically, CHIP MARTIN. The last one of those I drew was 1962-02. after that, I'm pretty certain it was Neal. And of the VICEROY pages, I did the following:
1960 – 06-05 – 07-10 – 08-07 – 12-11 -- --------
1961 – 04-16 – 05-14 -- 05-21 – 06-18
Also, two 1961 DATELINE ads: 04-16 – 06-25
Incidentally, a story you may find amusing. I've not seen or spoken with Stan Lee since about 1956. And about two weeks ago, I did something I'd been meaning to do for years: I sent him an email, re-introducing myself, included several .jpegs of artwork I'd done for him at Marvel/Timely, and said I'd love to reconnect. Next morning the phone rang. It was Stan! We had a wonderful 15 minute chat, and hope to get together soon."
In the ads below we see evidence of Schreuer, Stenzel and possibly Wexler.
The first one is the most unsure. It could be Schreuer's work, but it could just as well be an advertising artist slumming with line art.
The three Mennen ads seem to have been done by the same team. I mostly see Schreuer and Stenzel. In the first ad, the main ad looks like Scheuer's work to me and the bottom row looks like Stenzel. In the second one the roles are reversed. This time the main ad looks like Stenzel's work and the topper like Schreuer's. The third one is less obvious, but probably Schreuer and Stenzel again.
The last one is another Viceroy ad, which Mr. Scheuer commented on. Since it falls in the run he mentions as his, I am sure I can attribute this one to him too.