Saturday, April 06, 2019

Tell Them Rube, Lou, Tom, Neal, Mel and Bil Sent You

In the pas t few weeks I was able to clean some scattered comic strip ads, enough to fill another post. Most of these are familiar to my regular visitors, but that doesn't make them less commentable.

Jack Bett's Peter Pain is such a familiar face to collectors of Sunday newspaper sections of the forties and fifties that we seem to forget how many of these the forgotten artist did. Ben-Gay was one of two pf Bett's regular accounts, the other was Neddy Nestle for Nestlé chcolate milk. He did one every two weeks for each for over 15 years... and very little else. An impressive output, but when Betts and his ad characters disappeared, so did his name from the comi history books.

Another longrunning ad seres was the one for Camels sigarettes. They had many formats but often used famous and semi-famous names to sell their sticks. Mostly semi-famous, so this ad with Dick Powell is in fact a rarity.

Sunday newspaper ads started in the thirties. At that point they were usually done by illustrators rather than comic people.

The lettering was similarely not in the comic book or newspaper strip style and often (like the drawing style) quite stilted.

In the forties and fifties two things started happening. Some of the illustrators started working more in a comic book style. And comic book artist started to work in the 'illustrators' style. This is an example, which looks as if it could have been done by an early practitioner at the Johnstone and Cishung agance, Stan Drake. But I am not sure.

Another frequent contributor at Johnstone and Cushing was Creig Flessel, who had come from comic books but slicked up pretty well. He kept more of his Milton Caniff influence (very popular with comic book artists because of the time saving shortcuts it offered) than some of the others.

For a short period Milt Caniff and his friend and studio-mate Noel Sickles worked together in advertising under the pseudibymn Paul Arthur. This ad is very much in their vein, but not by them, I think.

A later sample (I am doing these alphabetically, rather than by date) by what seems to be Tom Scheuer. Scheuer joined Johnstone and Cushing and learned a lot from regular artist Carl Wexler. Neal Adams joined a couple of years later and took the Wexler style to a whole new level. Scheuer then began to take from Adams in such a way that it is sometimes impossible to tell them apart.

Mel Casson was a New York cartooonist, who created the delightful stip It's Me, Dolly with Alfred Andriola. He had a very modern style, but seems to have dumbed it down in later years. He was a client of Tony Mendez, who had a lot of his stuff in her files (kept at the Billy Ireland Museum in Columbus, Ohio). It shows a very hip and fresh cartoonist - more than this ad does.

A later ad, which looks as if it could be the later work of Carl Wexler.

This time I am pretty sure the ad is by Stan Drake. He has said his work was appreciated so much that he was one of a few artists allowed to sign his work, but I have never seen one and neither is this.

Not from Johnstone and Cushing, but interesting nonetheless. Al Hirschfeld was a prolific artist of immense importance to American culture and I am surprised that no one has ever presented a complete list of his work. I have shown many previously unknown samples on my blog and here he is again in an ad for a movie theater magazine.

Another longrunning series tht will have to be included if there ever is a book done. Started by Rube Goldberg and continued by a series of Johnstone and Cushing artists deep into the forties.

The illustrators' style in full force.

Two examples of the long running Philip Morris series of ads done by Lou Fine. The first one, a regular one (of which I have shown many if you follow the link) and the second one one of a few of the last ones, when Philip Morris became the sponsor of the I Love Lucy show and Fine switched to Lucille Ball and Ricky.

Another Lou Fine ad from a series that ran only for a couple of years, but keeps impressing. The ghostlike character was invented at the end of the previous decade and may have been an influence on many such characters in other ads as well as comic books.

This looks like Lou Fine's work and I have stated so in the past, but lately I have been wondering if it isn't the work of one of the more popular illustrators, Gunnar Peterson, who adapted his painted style to linework.

A very uniqua ad, which seems to have been done especially for the local area of this paper (The Milwaukee Journal). Only today I saw that the credit for this ad says it is by Freberg and Albertinco (?). Could this be Stan Freberg? The puppets, the ad connection and the humor seem to fit. Is there a Freberg fan out there who can enlighten me?

Another `lou Fine series, Sam Spade for Wildroot hair tonic, did not only appear in the newspapers, but it was recut to be used in the comics as well.O= Another ad strips that got this treatment was Captain Tootsie.

A newer one, but I had never seen it before, an ad with thepopular cartoon series by Bil Keane.

One of the artists who continued the Pepsi Cops strips was later Howdy Doody Sunday strip artost Chad Grothkopf.

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