On this day, April 19, 1873, Charles M. Lefferts was born in New York City. After serving in the New York National Guard and then the federal army, Lefferts retired in 1921. The rest of his life Lefferts spent studying the uniforms of the American Revolution And making illustrations of those uniforms.
On this day, April 18, 1883, the illustrator Clara Elsene Peck was born in Allegan, Michigan. Peck studied at the Minneapolis Institute of Art and later at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. By 1906 she was earning her living as an illustrator. After Harvey Dunn began his school and colony of illustrators in Leonia, New Jersey, Peck and her husband joined the group. After her divorce in 1930, [...]
On this day, April 17, 1914, cartoonist Emmanuel “Mac” Raboy was born in New York City. Raboy worked on Fawcett Comics’ Captain Marvel Jr. and as the Sunday strip artist of Flash Gordon for over 20 years.
On this day, April 16, 1959, illustrator Robert Casilla was born in Jersey City, New Jersey. Casilla studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York. He has illustrated a variety of biographies and various children’s books.
On this day, April 15, 2000, writer and illustrator Edward Gorey died in Hyannis, Massachusetts. Gorey studied French at Harvard University and for a semester at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His early work was illustrating book covers and sometimes interior illustrations. By 1953 he was writing and illustrating his own published work. His focus was on images of Victorian and Edwardian settings and costuming.
On this day, April 14, 1920, illustrator and writer of science fiction, Morris Scott Dollens was born in Indiana. His creations include cover illustrations for sci fi books and magazines. Dollens began producing magazine illustrations in the 1950s.
On this day, April 13, 2009, the world’s longest webcomic, Homestuck, officially begins. Written, drawn, and animated by Andrew Hussie, Homestuck is a complex construct of a hypertext fiction built on serialized visual storytelling.
On this day, April 12, 1973, writer and comic book illustrator J. Scott Campbell was born in East Tawas, Michigan. At the age of 15, Campbell entered and won the “Invent the Ultimate Video Game” contest run by Nintendo. Since then he is the artist and co-creator of Danger Girl and Gen.
On this day, April 11, 1941, illustrator Peter Caras was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Following advice from Norman Rockwell, Caras studied at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and at the Art Students League in New York. He has created of 1,700 book cover illustrations during his career.
On this day, April 10, 1890, Mary (Marsh) Buff was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. Mary Marsh studied at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and at the Cincinnati Art Academy. After her marriage to Conrad Buff they collaborated writing and illustrating children’s books and winning Newbery Medal honours for three of their collaborative efforts.
On this day, April 9, 1976, Margaret (Hedda Johnosn) Brundage died. After studying at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, she began drawing designs for the local fashion industry. In the early 1930s Brundage began creating cover illustrations for the pulps. She typically signed her work M. Brundage as she was a woman working in what was considered a man’s field.
On this day, April 8, 1920, children’s book author and illustrator Ruth Chew was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. After studying at the Corcoran School of Art, Chew went on to produce over 30 children’s books most of which were juvenile fantasy typically centered around witches and magic.
On this day, April 7, 2007, cartoonist Johnny Hart died in Nineveh, New York. Hart’s first published work was in Stars and Stripes done when he was enlisted in the U. S. Air Force. In 1957 Hart created the cartoon B. C. and later was the co-creator of The Wizard of Id with Brant Parker.
On this day, April 6, 1926, illustrator Gil Kane was born in Riga, Latvia. His family emigrated to the U. S. in 1929. Kane went to Manhattan’s School of Industrial Art, and in his senior year he went to work for MLJ Comics. Kane also worked for Marvel Comics. He served in the Pacific in the Army during WWII. After the war, Kane returned to Marvel. In the 50s he worked [...]
On this day, April 5, 2005, illustrator Dalia (aka, Dale) Messick died in Sonoma County, California. Messick studied briefly at the Ray Commercial Art School in Chicago and began working for a Chicago greeting card company. Messick worked on and/or created a variety of comic strips. In 1940 she created her most famous comic strip and character, Brenda Starr. She stopped drawing the strip in 1980 and the final strip of [...]
On this day, April 4, 1918, illustrator Joyce Ballantyne was born in Norfolk, Nebraska. Ballantyne studied art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and at the American Academy of Art. Her earliest work was painting Rand McNally maps. In the mid-40s, Ballantyne began painting pin-ups for Brown & Bigelow calendar company. In addition to pin-ups, Ballantyne created the advertising illustration of the little girl for Coppertone suntan lotion [...]
On this day, April 3, 2013, cartoonist Ed Fisher died in Canaan, Connecticut. While studying at Antioch College in Ohio, Fisher sold his first cartoons. He served in the Pacific in the Army Air Forces during WWII. Fisher contributed cartoons to many publications, but his over 700 witty cartoons for The New Yorker from 1951 through 2000 remain memorable.
On this day, April 2, 1929, illustrator and author Edmund H. Garrett died in Needham, Massachusetts. Garrett studied in Paris at the Académie Julian. In addition to his fine art paintings, Garrett produced illustrations for a variety of publishers, for books of poetry, and books of fiction such as The Legends of King Arthur and Pride & Prejudice.
On this day, April 1, 1917, comic book writer and illustrator Sheldon Mayer was born in New York City. Mayer began contributing to comic books in 1935, producing illustrations, house advertisements, and even cover illustrations. Over the years Mayer was involved with the creation of Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, and All-Star Comics. He also produced his own comics such as Sugar and Spike.
On this day, March 31, 2013, illustrator Bob Clarke died in Seaford, Delaware. At age 17 Clarke worked as an assistant on Ripley’s Believe It or Not drawing the strip of Ripley’s found trivia. In the Army, Clarke worked for Stars and Stripes. Clarke’s work often appeared in advertisements and in MAD magazine, illustrating more than 600 articles and covers. Between 1987 and 1993 Clarke was the cartoonist of Spy vs. [...]
On this day, March 30, 1868, Maud Humphrey was born in Rochester, New York. She studied at the National Academy of Design and at the Art Students League in New York selling her first illustration in 1884. Her specialty was illustrations of children and her work appears in many of the major magazines and also as greeting cards and book illustrations. Humphrey worked rapidly creating an estimated ten quality colored [...]
On this day, March 29, 1959, George Matthews Harding died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Harding studied at Boston Tech, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and with Howard Pyle in Wilmington, Delaware. His first illustrations were published in 1903. Oakley joined the art faculty of the University of Pennsylvania in 1915 and was one of the eight American illustrator who were embedded with the American Expeditionary Forces in WWI. During WWII he [...]
On this day, March 28, 1918, pulp illustrator Robert C. Stanley, Jr. was born in Wichita, Kansas. Stanley attended the Kansas City Art Institute for one year and then went on to work as a staff artist illustrating for a local newspaper. In the late 30s Stanley moved to New York and initially did graphic and layout work for Standard Magazines while he sought freelance work. His first pulp cover appeared [...]
On this day, March 27, 1881, illustrator Thornton Oakley was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Oakley studied architecture at the University of Pennsylvania and then went to Wilmington, Delaware to study illustration with Howard Pyle, saying later that until then he had never held a painter’s palette in his hands. Oakley went on to have a 40+ year career as an illustrator working for the periodicals and also illustrating a series of [...]