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Oklahoma-born George Clark started drawing at five, and at 16 began cartooning for Oklahoma City’s Daily Oklahoman and Times. He became a staff artist for the Cleveland Press before he was 21. Later, free-lancing in New York, he thought up and sold a cartoon panel called “Side Glances” to N.E.A. Service, Inc. In 1939 he quit for a better deal with the Chicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate. He is best remembered for his nationally syndicated one-panel comic called “The Neighbors.”
Clark married his childhood sweetheart, Elise, and the two raised two children, daughter Elise and son George. His family would be the inspiration for many of his illustrations.
Clark was 16 years old when he landed his first cartooning gig with the Daily Oklahoman. After working for The Cleveland Press, Clark freelanced in New York where he managed to sell a his cartoon, “Side Glances,” to N.E.A Services, Inc. He left this sydication in 1939, to work on what would become his trademark cartoon, “The Neighbors.”
Comments On Style
Clark specialized in the one panel gag comic. He was a master of the format and his loose and breezy linework became a hallmark of the genre. His sweet and folksy subject matter in which he is best known is inspired from his family and the people in his neighborhood.
A lot of his ideas came from Estelle Waldman, a housewife from Los Angeles. She offerd him comic ideas and scenarios, some of which have become his best work.
Clark was an extremely hard worker. According to Clark, it usually takes him about 6 hours to get warmed up. Once he’s warmed up he would draw a week’s worth of comics in one sitting, which took another 12 hours.
George Clark on his agonizingly slow creation process: “It takes me at least six hours to warm up. I sit there trying to work and wondering what I’ve been doing all these years that it should still come so hard to me.”
“The Neighbors” was nationally syndicated from 1939 to 1971
He received the National Cartoonist Society Newspaper Panel Cartoon Award in 1961.
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