Friday, June 12, 2009

Early illustrations and cartoons

Margret Stein, my high school art teacher, was from New York and had worked in a commercial art studio. She was responsible for producing the Denby high School yearbook and put together a staff, running the whole operation like a commercial art studio. The staff consisted of writers, artists and photographers and she appointed me as the art director.
The engraving plates for the yearbook were done by Brophy Engraving Company in downtown Detroit. Brophy also had an art department, but their artists had been drafted into the army as World War II was in full swing. In 1943 I was hired to work in the art department at Brophy's, a very lucky break for a fifteen year old kid. I went to work every day after school, it was quite a learning experience. I had to do graphic design work as well as cartoons and various types of illustrations. Jim Donahue, who later began an art studio called Allied Artists, was the art director. An older gentleman, Fred Bredemeyer, was the only other artist working there. He was an old timer and had even worked with James Montgomery Flagg sometime in the 1920's.

34-7 BL 2nd prize 1945
In 1945 I won second prize in a Boy's Life magazine cartoon contest.

35-1 COLOR INK drwg  1945
An early attempt at a color illustration. At that time I was experimenting with colored inks.

A political cartoon done at the war's end.

35-3 MichEdJournal 1945
Brophy's produced the magazine Michigan Educational Journal and I drew cartoons for it, one of my many jobs there.

35-4  ZOOT SUITS 1945
Another 1945 cartoon also done using colored inks. Are you old enough to remember zoot suits ? Those are real cool cats on the left.

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