Sometimes I think I must have the best job in the world…
Today some nice folks who had Googled up this website stopped by to offer us some material to digitize that they had rescued from a relative’s garage. They had a laundry basket full of 1940s magazines and a big stack of original inks from a 1947 girlie cartoon magazine, colorfully titled Booby Traps and Nuggets. My jaw hit the floor when I started going through the artwork. Here is a part of cartooning history that has been largely overlooked- especially by me. But not any more!
The artwork is quickly executed and sometimes a bit funky… and for good reason. On the back of each ink is the amount the cartoonist was paid for his work. The prices range from $3 to $5. You would have to work pretty doggone fast to make a living at that rate! I have to admit, I don’t know much about these artists. So I’m going to present them a couple at a time with the little I do know and see if any of you readers out there can help fill in the blanks about their careers.
Jack O’Brien lived in Los Angeles, and this photograph shows him with his daughter, Suzanne. In the 1960s, O’Brien drew the Sad Sack comic books, he came up with a beatnik character named "Cool Cat", and he created the G.I. Juniors line of comics for Harvey. If you know anything else about O’Brien, please post to the comments below.
All I know about Milo Kinn is that he lived in Seattle, Washington. I’m guessing he was married, (based on the pretty dingle ball curtains!) and it’s clear that he didn’t mind drawing the exact same pretty girl profile over and over. In fact, he seems to have a lot more fun with the "broads" than he does with the "babes". Anyone have any more details on him?
Bill Wenzel is the best known artist in this batch, working here under the pseudonym, "Candace". Fantagraphics recently published a collection of his work, and GoofButton.com posted scans from a late sixties collection of his cartoons, titled Tender Loving Care. Here, we get a rare chance to see Wenzel’s rough alongside the finished ink…
All I know about Stanley Rayon was that he lived and worked in New Orleans. Does anyone have any more info on him? Although his drawings are pretty primitive, they do have that spark of fun that makes post-War girlie cartoons so appealing.
This posting is part of the online Encyclopedia of Cartooning under the subject heading, Magazine Cartoons.