Artist Highlight: Charles M. Schulz, Part 1

It wouldn’t be fair, I suppose, to start my blog post with “Once upon a time a boy was born named Charles Monroe Schulz on the 26th of November 1922…etc… etc.”. Although as a starting sentence it might seem triggering, it doesn’t depict how I interpret Peanuts. For me, it is an ongoing caricaturized autobiography or a biography of what it is to be human rather than a very familiar and famous comic strip.  Therefore, allow me to start this text in the following way: Continue reading “Artist Highlight: Charles M. Schulz, Part 1”

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THE KURIOUS KONTRADICTIONS OF A KRAZY KAT

“I ain’t a Kat… and I ain’t Krazy… it’s what’s behind me that I am… it’s the idea behind me, Ignatz, and that’s wot I am.”-Krazy Kat.

Krazy Kat was never a massive commercial success but it helped define the rules of an emerging art form and inspired multiple varying interpretations. Jon Carroll of the San Francisco Chronicle said it was “to comic books what Chuck Berry is to rock and roll.” Comiczine described it as “Tom & Jerry if it had been written by James Joyce and illustrated by Pablo Picasso.” Continue reading “THE KURIOUS KONTRADICTIONS OF A KRAZY KAT”

Jane’s Journal, The Diary of a Bright Young Thing (1932-1959)

Jane’s Journal, the Diary of a Bright Young Thing, was launched in the Daily Mirror in 1932.   Drawn by Norman Pett, it was his response to a challenge to create a comic strip that would be as popular with adults as the famous Pip, Squeak & Wilfred (started in the Mirror in 1919) was with children.

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Norman Pett.

William Norman Pett was born in 1891.   After being invalided out of the armed forces during the Great War, he took a correspondence course in drawing from Percy Bradshaw’s Press Art School, which also taught many other cartoonists.   Later, he taught art at the Mosley Road Junior Art School and at Birmingham Central School of Art.   In the 1920s Pett worked as a Punch cartoonist as well as producing cartoons for other publications.   Pett initially used his wife Mary as a life model for Jane.   When Mary developed other interests, Pett then used another artists’ model that he met at the Central School of Art, Christabel Leighton-Porter, as his new life model. Continue reading “Jane’s Journal, The Diary of a Bright Young Thing (1932-1959)”

Doonesbury by Garry Trudeau

Garretson Beekham Trudeau was born in New York City in 1948.  At school he specialised in painting, but later developed an interest in the graphic arts and spent much of his time at Yale University (1966-70) drawing cartoons for Yale’s humorous magazine, The Yale Record, and the student newspaper The Yale Daily NewsGarry_Trudeau_Net_Worth  He became a postgraduate student at the Yale School of Art, gaining a master’s degree in graphic design in 1973.   His cartoon strip Bull Tales, produced while he was still an undergraduate, developed into the Doonesbury strip in 1970.   Within 10 years of its first appearance, Doonesbury was syndicated in 900 American newspapers.   Trudeau was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartoons in 1975, the first to receive this accolade.   He sees himself as a typical baby boomer with a liberal East Coast outlook. Continue reading “Doonesbury by Garry Trudeau”

The Volunteers’ Corner Presents: Jenny Linn-Cole

In this new blog series, the Cartoon Museum would like to offer a space for our active volunteers to share a bit about themselves. Our volunteers help us run the museum on a day to day basis. They make sure that we present our best side to the public. They are friendly, knowledgable, and artistic and they are always ready to help our visitors navigate the museum. So let’s get to know them a little bit better, shall we? Today is the turn of Jenny Linn-Cole, one of our most veteran volunteers.

Continue reading “The Volunteers’ Corner Presents: Jenny Linn-Cole”

Dudley Watkins and Oor Wullie: A Brief Snapshot

Dudley Dexter Watkins was born on 27 February 1907 in Manchester, and raised in Nottingham as the eldest of three children. His father was a lithographic artist and encouraged the artistic talent of his son, who by the age of 11 had 4 paintings on display in an exhibition in Nottingham Castle. In 1919 Watkins attended evening classes at Nottingham School of Art. He later worked for Boots the Chemist, where one of his tasks was window-dressing.

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Dudley Watkins.

By 1924 Watkins was on a full-time arts scholarship at the School of Art.   He was spotted by a talent scout from D.C. Thomson, who offered him a job as staff artist.  Watkins took up the post in 1925 when he moved to Dundee, where D.C. Thomson was based. The first strip which can be identified as done by Watkins was PC99, which appeared in the Rover Midget Comic in February 1933. Other strips he produced included Percy Vere and His Trying Tricks and Wandering Willie, the Wily Explorer. Among his most famous strips were The Broons and Oor Wullie, which features in the Daily Funnies exhibtion at the Cartoon Museum (running until December 2017). Continue reading “Dudley Watkins and Oor Wullie: A Brief Snapshot”

The Volunteers’ Corner Presents: Stefan Alexander

In this new blog series, the Cartoon Museum would like to offer a space for our active volunteers to share a bit about themselves. Our volunteers help us run the museum on a day to day basis. They make sure that we present our best side to the public. They are friendly, knowledgable, and artistic and they are always ready to help our visitors navigate the museum. So let’s get to know them a little bit better, shall we? For our first installment we shall meet Stefan Alexander, comic artist and illustrator.

Continue reading “The Volunteers’ Corner Presents: Stefan Alexander”

Jeff Hawke: A Revolutionary Science Fiction Comic Strip

The Scottish cartoonist responsible for presenting adults with a revolutionary science fiction comic strip in the form of Jeff Hawke is Sydney Jordan. It was through this art form that he was able to inject fantasy into the mundane lives that most adults lead. Born and bred in Dundee, Scotland, Sydney Jordan grew up in a city where the publishing house D.C. Thomson released a plethora of comic books every week. Jordan’s fondest memories of his childhood are the times he spent reading those comic books and the joyful and spirited conversations he had with his father about them. Jordan familiarized himself more with comic book illustrations by working in a studio that was run by former employees at the Thomson publishing house. He claimed this experience allowed him to learn from experts in the field. A couple of years later, Jordan acquired an interest in space and planes, around the time of the Second World War, after joining the Miles Aeronautical Technical School for aviation designers. After struggling to find a job in aviation, Jordan took his passion and used it to work in the comic strip industry. He started out as the artist, Len Fullerton’s helping hand. Continue reading “Jeff Hawke: A Revolutionary Science Fiction Comic Strip”

Pop: The First British Daily Strip for Adults!

It was the 21st of May, 1921, when the pages of the Daily Sketch were brightened by the first daily strip aimed at a mature audience. Originally the title was meant to be Reggie Breaks it Gently, which was a characterization of a man who was soon to be married, but that changed rather quickly when it became evident that the real star of the strip was Pop, the head of the family.  The strip itself ended up having his name. Continue reading “Pop: The First British Daily Strip for Adults!”

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