On this day, April 25, 1996, graphic designer and illustrator Saul Bass died in Los Angeles, California. Bass studied at the Art Students League in New York and attended night classes at Brooklyn College. In the 1940s Bass began working in Hollywood doing work for film ads and eventually he also created film title sequences and corporate logos. In the mid-50s Bass began to design movie posters that were transformative in [...]
On this day, April 24, 1913, The Woolworth Building in New York was opened. Designed by architect Cass Gilbert, this rental prospectus with illustrated drawing of the skyscraper was offered with the comment that this soon to be opened building was the “Highest Building in the World.”
On this day, April 23, 1926, illustrator and artist Joseph Pennell died in New York City. Pennell first studied art in Philadelphia and then went to Europe to complete his education. A friend of James McNeill Whistler, Pennell also made his home in London. With war looming in the teens, Pennell returned to the U.S. and settled in New York.
On this day, April 22, 1968, Ernest Nordli died in San Francisco, California. Nordli worked for Disney as a production artist, also for Warner Brothers, and then he returned to Disney. He worked on Dumbo, Fantasia and later on Sleeping Beauty, and on One Hundred and One Dalmatians including the background drawing style on this movie. He also designed comic book covers for Dell in the early 1950s.
On this day, April 21, 1959, cartoonist Tim Jacobus was born in New Jersey. He began drawing in high school and has since become known for creating the covers to all the issues (67) of R. L. Stone’s series Goosebumps until the series’ cancellation.
On this day, April 20, 1968, comic strip artist Rudolph Dirks died in New York City. In 1897 Dirks created The Katzenjammer Kids for the New York Journal. In 1914 Dirks moved to work for Pulitzer’s New York World where he produced Hans and Fritz and then The Captain and the Kids.
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.