Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Giants


Top26 May 1966, bottom 21 Jan 1965, Lethbridge Herald.



Saturday, October 24, 2009

Norman McClaren




Canadian animator Norman McClaren from Liberty Magazine, 18 January 1947.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Win Mortimer (1919-1988)



Superman artist James Winslow "Win" Mortimer was born in Hamilton, Ontario in 1919. This original cartoon courtesy of Don Kurtz. A look at his comic career can be found HERE.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Gordon Johnston


From The Lethbridge Herald, September 6, 1956
See also Jeff Buchanon

Friday, July 3, 2009

Danny Fortune



Danny Fortune, cold war RCAF pilot, rode Canada’s cloudy skies from the Atlantic to the Pacific with side-trips to the North Pole from June 2, 1958 to December 6, 1958. He was the creation of two ex-RCAF pilots, Bob McCormick, artist, and Bill Dulmage, writer. The strip began with Danny Fortune test-flying the Avro Arrow but a lack of interest by the comic strip reading public brought Danny Fortune to an abrupt and inconclusive end after a mere six month run.






Monday, April 27, 2009

Jimmy Frise (1891-1948)



Beautiful pen and ink work on Birdseye Center from Jimmy Frise Nov 1 1929, Saskatoon Star-Phoenix.

Friday, April 24, 2009

C. W. Jefferys



C. W. Jefferys, from the Lethbridge Herald, January 30 1954

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Foster's Gospel



The Gospel According to St. Luke
illustrated by Hal Foster,
Lethbridge Herald,
December 24, 1954





Saturday, March 21, 2009

Calgary Kayo



Calgary Daily Herald advertisement
for Calgary Kayo chocolate malted.
30 Sept 1930.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pierre Saint-Loup (1894-1963)



It is always a great pleasure when some talented Canadian cartoonist, forgotten to history, resurfaces into the bright light of the modern day. We are grateful to Michel Saint-Loup for the article about his great-uncle Pierre Saint-Loup, creator of L'oncle Pacifique, reproduced below, and the lovely scans from Michel's collection.

Immediately following the French article is an English translation by Michel's good friend Maria dos Santos Balanca >

PIERRE SAINT-LOUP (1894-1963)

Créateur de L'oncle Pacifique (1935-1945),

bande dessinée publié dans Le Petit Journal (1926-1978), hebdomadaire montréalais.

Pierre Saint-Loup, né en 1894 en France, émigre au Québec en 1905 et devient artiste dessinateur. Depuis son enfance, il aime le dessin, et son talent et son art s'épanouissant, il réalise, tout au long de sa vie, un grand nombre de croquis, dessins aquarelles, et peintures. Au début des années 1920, il commence à travailler pour de nombreux magazines et journaux montréalais tels Le Samedi, La Revue Populaire, Le Petit Journal et Photo Journal, pour n'en nommer que quelques'un.

Sous le pseudonyme de ‘Vic Martin’, il crée le personnage de L'oncle Pacifique qui apparaît pour la première fois dans les pages du Le Petit Journal du 26 mai 1935; un journal hebdomadaire montréalais publié tous les dimanches. L'oncle Pacifique incarne un personnage astucieux, sympathique et amusant dans le rôle d'un bon vieux Canadien Français nous racontant ses rocambolesques voyages et aventures d'autrefois, ainsi que de raconter de nombreuses et cocasses anecdotes et situations de son époque.

Pendant dix années consécutives, Pierre Saint-Loup, fidèlement, nous livre avec autant de sagacité que de simplicité, l'humour incontestable de son personnage de Pacifique Poilfin. Sa bande dessinée apparaît d'abord en pleine page, puis, au mois d'août de la même année 1935, vient se joindre la bande dessinée de Casimir, sous le pseudonyme de Tom Lucas (la dimension d'une page du Le Petit Journal est d'environ 290mm x 395mm). La bande dessinée de L'oncle Pacifique apparaît maintenant, toujours en prédominance, au haut de la page, tandis que celle de Casimir, toujours au nombre de six cases, occupe le bas de cette même page. Il est à noter que l'identité de l'auteur de la bande dessinée de Casimir n'est pas encore élucidée. (Ce pourrait-il que ce soit Pierre Saint-Loup aussi, adoptant un autre style?) Curieusement, créée la même année 1935: le 2 janvier 1944 Pacifique et Casimir partagent la même bande dessinée, soit une page complète ensemble; ils sont absents en même temps durant le cours des étés 1943 et 1944; pour disparaître en même date après le numéro du 26 août 1945 du journal.

Pierre Saint-Loup aura aussi réalisé des dessins de vulgarisation, de nature commerciale, des en-têtes de pages, et des dessins humoristiques et caricaturaux (autres que ceux de L'oncle Pacique), ces derniers, représentés en un seul dessin avec commentaire ou phrase en sous-texte ou en phylactère. Il aura aussi illustré de manière plus artistique et réelle un grand nombre de nouvelles et romans-feuilletons. Ce fut d'ailleurs un tremplin pour les écrivains afin de se donner de la visibilité et gagner en popularité. Le phénomène étant valable pour l'un comme pour l'autre; l'écrivain, le journal, et Pierre Saint-Loup de même, lui donnant ainsi la perspective et l'opportunité et de réaliser l'illustration de livres.

Comme mentionné plus haut, le travail de Pierre Saint-Loup, outre la bande dessinée, forme un grand éventail de réalisations: sous forme de croquis, d'aquarelles, de portraits, de peintures, et même dans la restauration de tableaux. Plusieurs de ses croquis auront été réalisés durant la Première Guerre mondiale, et certains dessins humoristiques ont paru dans le journal des tranchées de son régiment, Les Boyaux du 95e. Plus tard il travaillait comme dessinateur industriel pour la compagnie d'aviation Canadair Limitée (maintenant Bombardier Inc), toujours, de paire, produisant dessins de toutes sortes pour journaux et magazines. Pierre Saint-Loup fut un artiste accompli, qui se sera épanoui et réalisé dans ce qu'il aimait faire!

Note: Robert Prévost (1918-2007: haut fonctionnaire, historien et auteur, fut aussi directeur de l'information et rédacteur pour l'hebdomadaire Le Petit Journal, ayant connu Pierre Saint-Loup pour y avoir travaillé à la même époque. À deux reprises dans son livre Mon tour de Jardin, Robert Prévost mentionne Pierre Saint-Loup comme étant l'auteur venant chaque semaine signer les aventures de L'oncle Pacifique. On y voit aussi une photographie de Pierre Saint-Loup, accompagné du dessinateur Roy Garant personnifiant L'oncle Pacifique, et un même commentaire de Robert Prévost, confirmant Pierre Saint-Loup comme auteur de ladite bande dessinée.

Merci à John Adcock et Punch in Canada de m'avoir accordé le privilège de publier ce témoignage.

Michel Saint-Loup (1959)En hommage à mon grand-oncle Pierre Saint-Loup (1894-1963).11 mars 2009

***

PIERRE SAINT-LOUP (1894-1963)

Creator of the cartoon L’oncle Pacifique (1935-1945),

published in the Montreal newspaper Le Petit Journal (1926-1978) .


Pierre Saint-Loup, born in 1894 in France, immigrated to Québec in 1905 and became an artist draftsman. From childhood, his love for the art of drawing flourished, and his artistic talent compiled numerous sketches, drawings, watercolours and paintings. He began working in the 1920’s for a number of Montreal newspaper and magazine companies†: Le Samedi, Le Revue Populaire, Le Petit Journal and Photo-Journal to name a few.

He created his character of L’oncle Pacifique under the pseudonym of ‘Vic Martin’, which appeared for the first time on Sunday May 26, 1935, in Le Petit Journal, a weekly newspaper. L'oncle Pacifique incarnated the character of an astute, wise old French Canadian, who reminisces of his incredible adventures of his past, as well as recounting amusing anecdotes and situation of his era.

Pierre Saint-Loup, for ten years, faithfully delivered the humour of L'oncle Pacifique Poilfin character with shrewdness and simplicity. From may 1935, for the first couple of months, the cartoon appeared on a full page (the page size of Le Petit Journal is about 290mm x 395mm). In August of the same year, L'oncle Pacifique cartoon shared the page with the new cartoon Casimir, under the pseudonym of Tom Lucas. L'oncle Pacifique always appeared on the top portion and was pre-dominant over the Casimir cartoon, which was always shown as a six square strip on the bottom of the page. Note here, the identity of the Casimir author is as yet unknown (it could be Pierre Saint-Loup changing his style), however; both characters appeared in 1935; were together in the same strip on January 2nd, 1944; were absent again, in the summers of 1943 and 1944; and both ceased to exist after the August 26, 1945 issue.

Pierre Saint-Loup was a fine illustrator, also producing drawings of a commercial or exemplary nature, and headings. In the categories of caricature and humoristic drawings, other then L'oncle Pacidfique, he did numerous drawings represented by one image with text beneath it or in word balloons. He also illustrated, in a more artistic and realistic way, a great number of short stories, novels and serials. The writers used the newspaper and his drawings to seek both exposure and recognition, and vice versa. In turn this led to various prospects and opportunities to create illustrations in books afterwards.

As mentioned above, he also carried out his personal works in the form of watercolours, portraits, paintings and sketches, and some painting restoration. Some of his sketches were drawn up during the 1st World War and a few of these were published as cartoons in his trenches regiment journal Les Boyaux du 95e. Pierre Saint-Loup later worked as an industrial draftsman at Canadair Ltd (aerospace industry, now Bombardier Inc.), while still creating illustrations for newspapers and magazines. He was an accomplished artist, committing his life to doing what he loved most!

Note: Robert Prévost (1918-2007) senior civil servant, historian and writer, was also†director of information and writer for many years for the newspaper “Le Petit Journal,” having known Pierre Saint-Loup for working there at the same period of time. Twice in his book “Mon tour de jardin” (Septentrion edition), he specifies Pierre Saint-Loup as the author, each week, signing the adventures of L'oncle Pacifique. A photograph of Pierre Saint-Loup accompanied by the draughtsman Roy Garant (personifying L'oncle Pacifique…) and a comment of Robert Prévost mentioning that Pierre Saint-Loup signed the aforementioned cartoon.

Thanks to John Adcock and Punch in Canada for allowing me this acknowledgment.

Michel Saint-Loup (1959) On behalf of my great-uncle Pierre Saint-Loup (1894-1963).
March 11, 2009

(With the great help of Maria dos Santos Balanca for the French-English translation)






*Illustrations: Collection of Michel Saint-Loup

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Wise Old Man from Mars



The Wise Old Man from Mars was a series of advertisements drawn by Arthur G. Racey for the Irving Cigar Company of Montreal circa 1912. "Get the habit Smoke Irving cigars and save the bands."

Monday, February 2, 2009

Robin Hood and Company



Robin Hood and Company was begun in the Toronto Telegram on September 23, 1935 and carried on until December 16, 1939. The author and copyright-holder was Edwin R. “Ted” McCall (1901-1975) who had previously created Men of the Mounted, (February 13,1933-February 16, 1935,) the first comic strip ever to feature Mountie heroes. Men of the Mounted was drawn by staff cartoonist H. S. Hall. McCall later marketed the hero as a Big Little Book. King of the Royal Mounted wasn’t to appear until 1936, first in Feature Comics No. 1, then in his own newspaper strip.

Charles R. Snelgrove, a staff artist who illustrated newspaper serials, drew Robin Hood as a beefy, beetle-browed, bull-necked muscleman with a Prince Valiant haircut. Whether Hal Foster was familiar with the strip is unknown but it is not unlikely he may have come across the comic in the Toronto Telegram or some other Canadian newspaper. After a faltering start Snelgrove became more accomplished at his work. He experimented with crayon and stippling to good effect.

Robin Hood was reprinted in 1938 in the Sparkler, (1934-1939) a weekly Amalgamated Press comic from Britain. Sparkler was printed with a colour cover with black and red interior pages. Some of the British newspaper artists worked here including Jack Greenall and (gasp !) Ray Bailey, artist on the Space Cadet strip. Bailey worked on Len and Yen (1935), Monty the Merry Mischief, Hopeful Horace, and the Chimps (all in 1937).

In March 1941 Toronto based Anglo-American published Robin Hood and Company, a tabloid -sized reprint of the Toronto Telegram strip. Better Comics, from war-time Vancouver, B.C. publishing company Maple Leaf, hit the newsstands at the same time. It consisted of entirely original material and is considered Canada’s first comic book. Mordecai Richler described the Canadian “whites” (colour cover, b&w insides) as “simply awful.” He claimed the absence of American four-colour comics, restricted by government for economic reasons, led to a street corner black market in Detective and Action comics. Author Harlan Ellison had a differing view on their qualities and today the Canadian “whites” are among the rarest comic books in the world. When I was young Canadian “whites” were still plentiful but kids trading comics usually treated them with disdain for their lack of colour.

McCall brought his two comic strip properties to Anglo-American, where he worked with cartoonist Ed Furness on Freelance, Commander Steel, and Red Rover. Anglo-American also acquired scripts from Fawcett Publications and produced B&W Canadian versions of Commando Yank, Captain Marvel and Senorita Rio.






















Saturday, January 31, 2009

Palmer Cox in Life Magazine



Palmer Cox drew a series of sadistic comics featuring rats and cats in the early issues of the American comic journal Life. Top 27 Dec 1883.



Vol. 1 No. 4, 25 Jan 1883



Vol. 1 No. 6, 8 Feb 1883



Vol. 1 No. 11, 8 Mar 1883

Thursday, January 29, 2009

This Canada of Ours



This Canada of Ours by J. S. Morrison, artist, and Maud Morrison Stone, writer. The strip ran from 2 May 1925 to 23 may 1929. On the bottom is another historical article illustrated by C. W. Jefferys.








Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Punch in Canada

PUNCH IN CANADA
January 1, 1849- April 27, 1850

PUNCH IN CANADA.- We congratulate our lachrymose friends on the appearance of this antidote to melancholy, the first number is right good. We wish him full success.
-Patriot , Toronto.


John Henry Walker, publisher, engraver and caricaturist, was born in Ireland in 1831 and emigrated to Montreal in 1842. On New Years Day in 1849 Walker published the first number of Punch in Canada. It was the Dominion’s first comic journal. Walker designed the cover and engraved a full-page cartoon (“cut”) for each issue.



An advertising page, (which guaranteed advertisers a circulation of 2000 subscribers,)
said:

“TO THE MILLION.
PUNCH (IN CANADA !)
Published bi-monthly, illustrated with one large cut and numerous smaller ones.”

The price was four pence a single copy, 7s. 6d for a yearly subscription.
“Payable in advance.”

A page of the ‘Opinions of the Press’ shows that PIC was circulated in Quebec and Ontario. The press was laudatory, calling PUNCH IN CANADA a “merry little weekly” with a “marked Canadian character” who “while battling steadily against humbug, says he will belong to no party.”

PUNCH IN CANADA.- This satirical and funny old dog has arrived in Canada and taken up his abode, permanently we hope, in the good city of Montreal. We have received the first number of the publication, it is decidedly superior to anything of the kind that has ever been published in Canada. The illustrations are very good, and the periodical is certainly well got up.
- British American.

PUNCH IN CANADA.- The illustrations are very good. The wit will probably be found too pungent for some people. The best plan is for them to laugh at themselves. Punch, while battling stoutly at humbug, says he will belong to no party. -Quebec Gazette.



Walker drew the covers using the British Punch figure designed by John Leech. Punch was seen walking on snowshoe through a forest of pine trees accompanied by his harlequin dog. He wears a Hudson’s Bay Company parka, carries a hatchet on his belt and shoulders a backpack and was surrounded by vignettes. The cover changed over time and the vignettes showed the Punch figure sitting on a log in front of an habitant’s cabin smoking a clay pipe ; wooing a native woman, shooting buffalo on horseback, riding a sleigh and paddling a canoe, sharing a pipe with Indians, and conversing with racoons.

The letters for the word “Punch” resembled wood, while inside a central, prominent maple leaf was the legend “In Canada.”

The one large cut each issue consisted of a political comment by Walker. They were crude drawings but had a rough power. One effective cartoon was titled ‘The Prisoner of Monklands, (Suggested by “The Prisoner of Chillon.”)’ Walker was not the sole cartoonist, a man named Matthews drew some single-panel caption cartoons, others were signed simply with initials, such as ‘D’ and ‘FL’ The editors and authors of the text and poetry were also anonymous.



LITTLE BEN HOLMES AND SOME NAUGHTY CHILDREN
ATTEMPT TO PAWN THEIR MOTHER’S POCKET-HANDKERCHIEF,
BUT ARE ARRESTED BY POLICE-MAN PUNCH,
WHO WAS STATIONED “ROUND THE CORNER.”

Illustration by John Henry Walker

A hoary joke that still turns up to this day in humour collections had its origin in 1849 in PUNCH IN CANADA : “AN INDIAN CURIOSITY. Why does an Indian never get cold in the head ? Because he always has his Wig-wa(r)m.”

The following sample of the writing of the Punch gang may actually be a snapshot of the Punch in Canada offices, and J. H. Walker ( “Our artist” ) in the year 1849 ;

THE GOVERNORS VISIT TO THE PUNCH OFFICE.

It is not generally known but now it will be, that His Excellency the Governor General expressed a desire to visit the establishment of Punch in St. Francis Xavier street, and accordingly the talented boy who presides over the complicated affairs of that wonderful establishment, received a note from the Attorney General East, which on being translated to him by the renowned “Dolly” overwhelmed him with the announcement that His Excellency would drop in on the following day : unless he should on his way down, drop in some of the holes in the streets so obligingly provided for the disappearance of pedestrians by our energetic Corporation. Our indefatigable boy instantly began his preparations for receiving the illustrious visitor. The whole of our extensive frontage was swept at an early hour, and before the Big Bell of Notre Dame had sounded six o’clock, our extensive mat was well beaten against the Seminary wall. The boy with an axe and shovel proceeded to remove the snowy incrustations bestowed upon the doorsteps by the liberal hand of nature, and every thing was done by that precocious juvenile to confer honor on the Representative of Royalty.

The interior of our premises presented a very elegant appearance; the whole of the walls were covered with beautiful full length portraits of ourselves in our various costumes, and with posters got up with every desire to attract public attention, while the counter which had been vigorously scrubbed, presented an unbroken although dilapidated appearance of painted deal. In order to give an appearance of extent, our letter box was thrown entirely open, thus showing as far as eye could reach, an uninterrupted view of our interior. A special cabman was sent to some of our principal contributors, who however, not having cash or debentures to pay the fare refused to attend. Our artist was a noble exception to this discourteous behaviour. He immediately LOCK’D up his studio, put the key in his pocket, and, not caring whether the cab was paid or not, obeyed our summons; having first put on a clean collar, and carefully turned it down for the occasion.



At precisely one minute and two seconds and a half past ten, the facetious Editor smoothed the grey locks on his venerable brow, and took his station at the back of the till, keeping a strict eye on the boy, who was decorated with a fur cap of the order of “Ancient Mouser” to which was attached the black ribbon of the venerable sandal. Our artist wore, as is his custom on wet days and State occasions, the celebrated looped up, large flapped Spanish sombrero presented to him by “Santa Anna” some time after the battle of San Jacinto. Having remained until two o’clock in anxious expectation, the artist and the grey headed Editor went “sudden death” for beer. The grey headed Editor was the victim, and the boy being ordered to appropriate four pence, which a patriotic individual had deposited on the deal counter in exchange for No. 5 was on the pint of disbursing it for fluid, when the voice of the Attorney General East was heard to exclaim - “Mon Dieu, est ce la le bureau de Ponche” which freely translated means “my eyes, this is the magnificent dwelling of the celebrated Punch.”

The grey headed Editor instantly had a game of leap frog with the counter and received the Governor at the scraper, while the boy, pocketing the four pence, made a graceful obeisance. The scene at this moment was particularly grand ; but as description must fail to impart an idea of its sublimity, we shall refrain from entering into further particulars.

On the entrance of His Excellency, a procession was formed in the following order.

THE GREY HEADED EDITOR,
Carrying the Till of Maintenance;
THE GOVERNOR GENERAL,
Supported on each side by several pages of our publication.
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL EAST,
Supported by nothing.
OUR ARTIST,
Supported by himself.
OUR BOY, (with a Clean Face,)

In this order the procession moved slowly round the counter, and the grey headed Editor having deposited the till in a place of safety, proceeded to explain to the Governor the various branches of our establishment. The first thing that was brought beneath His Excellency’s notice was our paste pot, and as he expressed a wish to stick a bill, his desire was instantly gratified, and the Governor graciously posted the representation bill on the back of Mr. LaFontaine, and instructed him to carry it through the Houses of Parliament, in spite of any opposition.*
The grey-headed Editor then announced that a cold collation was spread in the wood closet ; but as he had previously uttered a bad joke, a gloom had been thrown over the party and the procession evinced a desire to move off.

Before leaving the premises His Excellency conferred the order of the half dollar as well as the trente-sous upon the grey-headed Editor, and put into the hands of our boy a copper medal, bearing the inscription “a bas du Canada.”

The crowd outside the office manifested their loyalty by calling a sleigh ; His Excellency and Mr. Attorney General East instantly slipped into it and slid away.

The Procession then moved off to lunch at “Dolly’s” in the following order:

THE GREY HEADED EDITOR,
Bearing the Till minus the Maintenance.

OUR ARTIST,
And his Hat.

The Boy has not been heard of since.

*Punch is sorry to add that he has since been informed that a notorious character named “Papineau” has willfully destroyed this cherished document.



In 1850 PIC publishing was moved to Toronto where the publication folded after one year. Walker went on to found the comic journals Diogenes and Grinchuckle. Other work appeared in The Dart, Jester, The Canadian Illustrated News and L’Opinion Publique. Walker may very well have been the originator of the legendary Johnny Canuck.

Walker was a master designer and wood-engraver and engraved much of the output of Montreal publisher John Wurtele Lovell, known as “Book-A-Day” Lovell, who published seven million cheap books a year. Walker died in 1899 in Montreal.