Sports Cartooning: Master of the Sports Page, Karl Hubenthal

Karl Hubenthal

Karl HubenthalKarl HubenthalBefore the development of high speed film stock and long telephoto lenses, newspapers’ sports pages were illustrated with cartoons, not photographs. To be perfectly honest, one baseball game looks pretty much like any other in still photos, so it was the job of the sports cartoonist to get across the spirit of the game in his drawings. Ozark collected clippings by the greatest of all sports cartoonists, Willard Mullin, as well as one I had never heard of before, Karl Hubenthal. Hubenthal drew for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, and although I grew up in Los Angeles, my family subscribed to the L.A. Times. I had no idea that this genius cartoonist was working in my own hometown up into the 1980s. His cartoons have phenomenal energy and sense of humor as well as solid draftsmanship.

Bob Staake has created a fantastic website devoted to “Hubie”, as Karl Hubenthal was known to his friends. There’s a fascinating biography as well as a must-read article written by Hubenthal in 1966 titled, “Reflections of an Editorial Cartoonist”. You should take the time to click through and read these. Hubenthal’s career and philosophy are a model for young cartoonists. He studied under Herriman and Mullin, and considered himself part of the continuity of the history of cartooning that stretched back to Daumier, Gillray and Hogarth. There aren’t many cartoonists today with that sort of foundation in the history of their artform.

Here. courtesy of the clip file of Jack Ozark are some great examples of the work of Karl Hubenthal…

DALIES

Karl Hubenthal
Karl Hubenthal
Karl Hubenthal
Karl Hubenthal
Karl Hubenthal
Karl Hubenthal
Karl Hubenthal
Karl Hubenthal
Karl Hubenthal
Karl Hubenthal

SPECIAL EDITION COVERS

Karl Hubenthal
Karl Hubenthal
Karl Hubenthal
Karl Hubenthal
Karl Hubenthal
Karl Hubenthal
Karl Hubenthal

POLITICAL CARTOONS

Karl Hubenthal
Karl Hubenthal

There are a lot more great cartoons in the Ozark files. Let me know in the comments if you would like to see more.

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Archive

Editorial CartoonsEditorial Cartoons

This posting is part of the online Encyclopedia of Cartooning under the subject heading, Editorial Cartoons.

15 Responses to “Sports Cartooning: Master of the Sports Page, Karl Hubenthal”

  1. Rooniman says:

    Such amazing draftsmanship. I’m lovin’ these.

  2. He’s work is really good!

  3. Roberto Severino says:

    Incredible, Stephen. Thanks for posting these gems.

  4. John Read says:

    For the record: It’s Karl, not Carl.

  5. Thanks, John! I fixed it.

  6. Eddie Fitzgerald says:

    Wow!!!! Nice article! I used to work with Jack Ozark. Jack had a great sense of humor and was always supportive of the young guys in the business. He’d have been happy to know that his Hubenthals were on display here.

  7. John Castro says:

    Hub was no Willard Mullin, Tom Paprocki or even Lou Darvas. His staging was okay and his drawing a little prolix. His ideas? Ehhh. But he was a pretty fair draftsman and usually worth a look.

  8. GARY GLOVER says:

    DORGAN, MULLIN, O’MEALIA, HUBENTHAL, JENKINS, DARVAS, PAPROCKI, BRODIE, CARROLL, STARK, OLDERMAN AND ALL THE OTHER GREATS, PLEASE….SOMEONE, PUT A BOOK TOGETHER FOR PUBLIC SALE!!!

  9. barry says:

    Huhenthal was the greatest of the sports cartoonist in my opinion. I would like to see as much of his work as possible. Also, I love this web site. Thanks for all the good work!

  10. Leo Pando says:

    Amazing talent. A genius with a pen and brush. Does anyone out there know if the promised book on Hubenthal will ever be published?

  11. Alma says:

    More Hubenthal cartoons please! Would love to also get that book on Hubenthal whenever it comes out. Hasn’t it been in the works for awhile now??? I grew up with the Herald-Examiner & very much remember his cartoons, both sports & editorial. In my opinion, he was one of the greatest cartoonists of all time, period. Every time I see any of his work online, makes me think of the good old Herald-Examiner. Now if only that book would come out…

  12. Pez says:

    wow What a great post Steve. These cartoons are so well drawn!

  13. […] printed. It was the creation of Los Angeles sports cartoonist Karl Hubenthal, who left behind an impressive body of work. If the warring space capsules manned by Twins and Dodgers, and the grinning Earth (with longitude […]

  14. George Hunt says:

    There are great, would love to see more. The Twins/Dodgers, ’65 World Series program is awesome. Would like to know if copies are available.

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