overall: 18.3 cm x 58.5 cm; 7 7/32 in x 23 1/32 in
This pen-and-ink drawing produced for the Batman comic strip shows a man dying and requesting that Batman deliver a message, in the form of a poem, to a girl he once held prisoner. When Batman and Robin question his sanity, the man says he hates everything about Batman.
Robert Kahn, regularly using the pseudonym Bob Kane (1915-1998), started work as a comic artist at the Eisner and Iger Studio in New York City. In 1938 he began working for publishers Action Comics and DC Comics. In 1938 Kane teamed up with Bill Finger to create Batman. Kane drew the Batman strip and Batman comic books until the mid-1940s. In the 1960s he assisted with the television show Courageous Cat and consulted on various Batman adaptations.
Batman (1943-1946, 1966-1974, 1989-1991) started its comic strip run, originally under the name Batman and Robin, a few years after its debut in comic books. The strip had three separate runs in American newspapers. The first was drawn and written by Bob Kane, and others. The second drew inspiration from the Batman television show. It was credited to Kane, but was actually created by a team of other artists. The third run was drawn by Carmine Infantino and published for two years.
This pen-and-ink drawing prepared for the Tarzan comic strip shows Tarzan completing a mission and getting word of another call for help in the Akamba Village, where a fire has broken out and the tribe is battling against the addictive use of Zakara leaves—“the dream weed.”
John Celardo (1918-2012) started his career drawing for the Staten Island Zoo. After World War II he drew for comic books through various publishing houses. In the 1950s and 1960s Celardo drew the Tarzan comic strip, and in the late 1960s was given the Tales of the Green Beret. For two decades, starting in the 1970s, Celardo was the comic strip editor for King Features Syndicate. He also began drawing Buz Sawyer in the 1980s.
Tarzan (1929-1972) was a comic strip based on the popular title character, who first appeared in the 1912 novel Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Along with its film and comic book spin-offs, the story was also adapted as a comic strip, which premiered in 1929. The comic strip storyline closely followed that of the novel, showing British-born Tarzan surviving in the African jungle and being raised by apes. As in the novel, Tarzan grows up to meet and fall in love with a stranded American girl, Jane Porter.
overall: 15.1 cm x 51.1 cm; 5 15/16 in x 20 1/8 in
This pen-and-ink drawing prepared for the Tiffany Jones comic strip shows the title character beaming about becoming recognized shortly before she meets up with boyfriend Guy. The drawing includes the date "11-26" and is presumed to date from about 1966.
British comic artist Patricia Tourret (1929- ) attended the Harrow Art School in London before she started her career as a freelance illustrator. In collaboration with writer Jenny Butterworth, Tourret created the comic strip Tiffany Jones for British newspapers the Daily Sketch and the Daily Mail. The strip was internationally syndicated. Tourret also illustrated for children’s and educational books.
Tiffany Jones (1964-1977) was a comic strip about the adventures of a model who also happened to work as a secret agent. The character's good looks enabled her to easily retrieve information from the enemy. The strip-to-film adaptation debuted in 1973.
overall: 16.7 cm x 51.2 cm; 6 9/16 in x 20 3/16 in
This pen-and-ink drawing prepared for the Nancy comic strip shows the title character finding a chair in a tree, and discovering that Sluggo has put it there anticipating a new drive-in theater.
Ernest Paul Bushmiller Jr. (1905-1982) dropped out of school at an early age to start work as a copyboy for the New York World. In 1925 artist Larry Whittington ask him to take over Fritzi Ritz, a comic strip about a young, affluent actress. When Bushmiller took over the strip, he introduced Fritzi’s niece, Nancy, whose popularity resulted in a change in the comic strip title to Nancy in 1938. Bushmiller also worked on a spin-off cartoon called Phil Fumble, about Fritzi’s boyfriend.
The comic strip Nancy (1938- ) came about because of a retitling of its predecessor Fritzi Ritz. By 1938 the character Nancy had superseded the character Fritzi’s popularity, and the focus of the strip shifted to Nancy and her friend Sluggo. In time additional characters were added to the cast, including Sluggo’s irritable neighbor, Mr. McOnion, and Oona Goosepimple, a girl who lived in a haunted house.
overall: 42.1 cm x 58.9 cm; 16 9/16 in x 23 3/16 in
This pen-and-ink drawing prepared for the Ponytail comic strip shows the title character asking Stickshift, her mechanically inclined friend, to help start the new lawn mower, after being brushed off by her boyfriend, Donald.
Lee Holley (1933- ) sold his first cartoon at age fifteen, and just a few years later went to work for Warner Bros. Animation Studios as an artist. In 1957 he began ghostwriting the Dennis the Menace Sunday strip. In 1960 he launch his own strip Ponytail, which ran until 1989. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Holley also contributed artwork to Warner Bros. comic books.
Ponytail (1960-1989), like earlier strips Emmy Lou and Penny, was a strip about the adventures and social mishaps of a teenage girl. Though Ponytail premiered after other comics with similar themes, it was an instant hit. It was also briefly adapted as a comic book.
overall: 19.2 cm x 56.1 cm; 7 9/16 in x 22 3/32 in
This pen-and-ink drawing produced for the Brenda Starr comic strip shows Brenda engaging in deception in order to investigate her story, while using her colleague Kelly as her agent.
Dalia "Dale" Messick (1906-2005), a female comic artist, changed her name from Dalia in order to be recognized for her work, and to fit societal norms. The strip about an adventurous female reporter was debuted in 1940. Its popularity came with industry criticism, particularly from women journalists who reacted to the artist's embellishments of the profession. Nonetheless Messick produced the strip until 1980 and then began developing other comic strips for local publications in California.
Brenda Starr (1940-2011) was a comic strip that portrayed the life of a contemporary female newspaper reporter. The title character was shown in adventurous stories at work and at home. She participated in persistent journalism and dramatic romances. After many years Brenda married her periodical love interest, Basil St. John. The story was eventually recreated as a television movie in 1976 and as a film in 1992.
This pen-and-ink drawing prepared for the Priscilla’s Pop comic strip shows Priscilla receiving money from a relative. Her parents think she’ll save the money, but she uses it for mechanical pony rides instead.
Albert Hermann "Al" Vermeer (1911-1980) began his career in newspapers as a sports writer, then as a sports illustrator. In 1946 his comic strip Priscilla’s Pop, inspired by his own family, was published. He worked on the strip until 1976.
Priscilla’s Pop (1946-1983) was a comic strip representing an average American family. Pop was a man named Waldo Nutchell. His family included his wife, Hazel; their son, Carlyle; their daughter, Priscilla; and their dog Oliver. Running themes in the strip were the family’s money problems and Priscilla's interest in spending more money.
This pen-and-ink drawing prepared for the Winnie Winkle comic strip shows Ethel going sightseeing with Vic Ventura. Vic is trying to deceive Ethel by appealing to her sympathy.
Martin Branner (1888-1970) was a vaudeville star-turned-cartoonist after his service in World War I. In his first few years working in comics, he produced short-lived strips until he hit on Winnie Winkle the Breadwinner in 1920. The title of the strip was shortened to Winnie Winkle in 1943.
Winnie Winkle (1920-1996), about a female family breadwinner, began as a story about the young woman named Winnie who took care of her adopted younger brother. Winnie matured slightly during the years, and eventually became an adult, got married, and served as a single parent during her husband's soldiering years. Though the strip started out in a daily “gag” format, over time it transitioned into a soap opera-themed strip. Winnie Winkle made a brief crossover into comic books, but the longer storylines were not as popular.
This pen-and-ink drawing prepared for the Rip Kirby comic strip shows Marion and Rip discussing Rip’s used car business troubles and Marion’s offer to help.
John Prentice (1920-1999) spent six years in the U.S. Navy during World War II before attending art school in Pittsburgh and soon afterward working in advertising and comic books. In 1956 he was asked to take over the Rip Kirby comic strip after the death of its creator, Alex Raymond. Prentice drew the strip, with writer Fred Dickenson, and later, on his own, until his own death in 1999.
Rip Kirby (1946-1999) was a postwar ex-marine who turned to a private detective's career. Most Rip Kirby stories saw the title character using humor and imagination to solve crimes instead of physical force. Kirby was often seen with his frail assistant, Desmond, or his longtime girlfriend, Honey Dorian.
This pen-and-ink drawing produced for the Pogo comic strip shows Albert Alligator bemoaning the fact that Houn’Dog probably won’t listen to him or help him.
Walt Kelly (1913-1973) began working for Walt Disney Studios in 1935. He contributed to animated productions such as Fantasia and Dumbo. After World War II Kelly became the art editor for the New York Star and revived his early 1940s character Pogo for a daily strip, which premiered in 1949. He continued drawing the strip until his death in 1973.
Pogo (1948-1975, 1989-1993) first appeared in comic books, such as Animal Comics, beginning in 1942. It was a comic strip about the adventures of an opossum. In addition to Pogo Possum, the strip’s cast included a crew of animals, such as Albert Alligator and Howland Owl, who all spoke in a dialect. The subject matter of the strip occasionally included political commentary. Pogo was discontinued in 1975, revived in 1989, and finally canceled permanently in 1993.
This pen-and-ink drawing produced for the Marmaduke single-panel daily comic strip shows the Great Dane upset because Phil Winslow, his owner, has put ice in his daughter Barbara’s water, but not in his own water.
Brad Anderson (1924- ) began his career as a comic artist selling some of his cartoon art to an aviation magazine while still in high school. After college and four years' service in the U.S. Navy, Anderson began working in advertising and prepared freelance drawings for magazine cartoons in 1953. His creation Marmaduke was debuted in newspapers across the country in 1954. Today Anderson continues to draw Marmaduke with the help of his son.
Marmaduke (1954- ) is a newspaper daily panel and Sunday comic strip. The title character is a Great Dane belonging to the Winslow family, including husband and wife, Phil and Dottie, and two children, Barbara and Billy. The running theme involves the human characteristics of the title character, which contribute to the household's general unease and confusion.
overall: 14.8 cm x 58.7 cm; 5 13/16 in x 23 1/8 in
This pen-and-ink drawing produced for the Freddy comic strip shows Freddy hearing that being polite will solve all his problems with the bully named Dutch, but his polite attempts only bring more trouble. The drawing includes the date "7-6" and is presumed to date from about 1966.
Robert G. "Rupe" Baldwin (1914-1977) was trained as a painter, but took early jobs in advertising and cartooning. In the 1950s, after working in comic books for a short time, he moved to the Far East while working for the Central Intelligence Agency. During this period he developed Freddy, signing the strip with his pseudonym Rupe, and in 1955 sold it to some one hundred newspapers.
Freddy (1955-1980) was described as a young boy, who with his friends, was modeled after Baldwin's own children. Baldwin's wife, Helen, assisted with the strip writing. In early 1969 Baldwin began drawing the children more realistically and as older individuals, but negative public reaction inspired a return to his earlier portrayals.
This pen-and-ink drawing prepared for the Peanuts comic strip shows Lucy pulling the football away just as Charlie Brown tries to kick it.
Charles Monroe Schulz (1922-2000) started the weekly single-panel humor series Li'l Folks shortly after World War II. The series included and introduced Schulz's characters, Charlie Brown and a Snoopy-like dog. Peanuts, a revised version of the same strip, was debuted in 1950. Schulz drew the strip for the length of its run.
Peanuts (1950-2000) debuted after a revision of a similar strip Li'l Folks. During the course of its run the strip ran internationally with its universally recognizable characters Charlie Brown, Lucy, Snoopy, and others. One of the strip's more popular story lines involved Charlie Brown trying to kick a football, and Lucy pulling it away at the last minute. Peanuts was adapted into various media, including comic books, commercial animations, feature films, television specials (such as A Charlie Brown Christmas) and the Broadway musical You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown, which had a five-year run in the 1960s.
This pen-and-ink drawing prepared for the Steve Canyon comic strip shows another officer suggesting to Steve that the Chinese may be smuggling contraband explosives into both the United States and Russia in hopes that each of the two countries would think the other was responsible for atomic activities.
In 1932 Milton Arthur Paul Caniff (1907-1988) began working in New York as an artist on strips for the Associated Press's Features Service. His work on what would become his most popular strip, Terry and the Pirates, was first published in 1934. Even with the success of the strip, Caniff resigned from Features Service in 1946 to obtain the rights to his own work and debuted Steve Canyon. Caniff also founded the National Cartoonists Society that year, and received its first Cartoonist of the Year Award.
Steve Canyon (1947-1988) was a comic strip about a veteran who returns to the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. The story usually followed the exploits of Canyon and his friends, who were also veterans. Cold War issues and tributes to service members were regular themes of the strip.
overall: 29.4 cm x 50.9 cm; 11 9/16 in x 20 1/16 in
This pen-and-ink drawing produced for the Trudy comic strip shows the title character’s husband being obsessed by golf and always either playing, watching, or talking about it, which is shown to annoy his family.
Jerry Marcus (1924-2005) freelanced most of his career. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s he sold several of his cartoons to The New Yorker,Look magazine, the Ladies' Home Journal, and others. Trudy debuted in 1963, and Marcus drew it until his death in 2005.
Trudy (1963-2005) was a comic strip about a middle-class homemaker. She was said to have been inspired by creator Jerry Marcus's own mother, who raised four children by herself. Even though she was a homemaker, Trudy was also described as the head of the household, as she took care of juggling the needs of her husband, children, and a pet cat named Fatkat.
overall: 44.6 cm x 60.8 cm; 17 9/16 in x 23 15/16 in
This pen-and-ink drawing prepared for the Short Ribs comic strip shows the wedding of Gert and a younger, attractive man who appears to have been the victim of a spell.
Frank O’Neal (1921-1986) sold his first cartoon to the Saturday Evening Post in 1950. In 1958 he debuted his Short Ribs comic strip and continued to draw the strip until 1973. His assistant, Frank Hill, then took over the strip and O’Neal spent the rest of his career creating advertising art.
Short Ribs (1958-1982) was a strip without a regular cast or a continuous setting. With some frequency, however, the strip took place in a castle in Medieval Europe. Other locations included Ancient Egypt or the American West. The storylines regularly made references to 20th-century events.
overall: 41.5 cm x 58.9 cm; 16 5/16 in x 23 3/16 in
This pen-and-ink drawing was prepared for the comic strip Thimble Theatre, Starring Popeye. Popeye is shown talking about his move to his new house, which has everything he could ever need. The last panel reveals the house to be next to a spinach factory.
Forrest Cowles "Bud" Sagendorf (1915-1994) started his cartoonist career in 1931 as an assistant to E. C. Segar for the comic strips Thimble Theatre and Sappo. After Segar’s death in 1938, Sagendorf was asked to continue drawing any material that featured the character Popeye, who had been a part of the Thimble Theatre cast since 1929. Over the next few decades, Sagendorf wrote and drew Popeye for Dell Comic Books, and eventually took over the entire Thimble Theatre strip in 1959. In the mid-1980s Sagendorf’s eyesight began to fail and he left the daily strip, but continued to draw the Sunday strip until his death in 1994.
Popeye (1929-1994, dailies, continuing Sundays) was originally a component of E. C. Segar’s Thimble Theatre comic strip. The character Popeye was first introduced when Castor Oyl and Ham Gravy were traveling overseas, and happened upon the sailor while they were lost. The character Popeye became popular and eventually a regular cast member. Later, in the 1970s, the strip was renamed for him. One of the biggest turning points in the strip was Ham Gravy's replacement by Popeye as a love interest for Castor Oyl’s sister, Olive. Gradually, other characters such as Wimpy and Swee’Pea were made more central to the cast. The Popeye character was adapted to films in the 1930s. Newspapers have been publishing reprints of Sagendorf’s dailies since 1994, but the Sunday Popeye strip is still drawn regularly.
overall: 58.5 cm x 88.7 cm; 23 1/16 in x 34 15/16 in
This pen-and-ink drawing produced for the Prince Valiant comic strip discusses an oncoming army ready to invade Britain, and shows Prince Valiant going out to warn his countrymen.
Harold Rudolf "Hal" Foster (1892-1982) was a Canadian-born comic artist. In 1928, after studying art in Chicago, he created the Tarzan comic strip, based on the Edgar Rice Burroughs novels. Foster then created Prince Valiant and was hired by William Randolph Hearst. He continued drawing the strip until he chose John Cullen Murphy to succeed him by 1971. Murphy began officially writing the strip in 1975 as well.
Prince Valiant (1937- ) tells the story of the 5th-century character named Val who is haunted by a prophecy of exploits and unhappiness. After an early storyline dealing with the death of his mother, Val meets King Arthur and Lancelot, and then becomes a knight. Prince Valiant eventually marries Queen Aleta of the Misty Isles but shortly after their wedding Aleta is kidnapped and subsequent strips see Val traveling around the world to find her. In 1946 the tale includes the reunion of the couple in the New World at Niagara Falls. Prince Valiant appeared in comic book form in 1941. The story was the subject of a feature film in 1954.
This pen-and-ink drawing produced for Buck Rogers shows Feather explaining to Captain Rogers how he used humor and essentially acted as a court jester to trick Modar and Futura into letting him into the palace to spy on the criminals.
Murphy Anderson (1926- ) began working as a comic book artist in 1944, drawing strips such as Suicide Smith and Star Pirate. In 1947 he took over the Buck Rogers newspaper strip after original artist Dick Calkins retired, but he left the strip two years later to return to comic books. Anderson returned to drawing Buck Rogers in 1958 but for less than a year.
Buck Rogers (1929-1967, 1979-1983) was an adventure strip inspired by a story entitled “Armageddon 2419 AD,” which appeared in a 1928 issue of Amazing Stories magazine. The strip debuted with a storyline similar to that of the magazine where the hero, a young man named Anthony Rogers, wakes up five hundred years in the future, after a gas-induced sleep, to an America being ruled by evil overlords. Rogers is then recruited by the resistance, and begins his work fighting aliens, robots, and other villains. The strip was canceled in 1967 but was restored in 1979, as a television series, a comic book version, a feature film, and a comic strip.
Camera-ready comic art drawing for The Flintstones
McNaught Syndicate, Inc.
paper (overall material)
ink (overall color)
overall: 18.7 cm x 57.6 cm; 7 3/8 in x 22 11/16 in
This pen-and-ink drawing prepared for The Flintstones comic strip shows Fred using his vehicle to squeeze out the last bit of toothpaste in the tube.
Gene Hazelton (1919-2005) worked as both an animator and a newspaper comic artist. In 1939 he was hired by Walt Disney Studios and contributed animation drawings to films such as Fantasia and Pinocchio. After the 1941 animators’ strike at Disney, Hazelton worked for Robert Clampett at Warner Bros., as well as for Hanna-Barbera at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Inc. During the 1950s Hazelton worked as a freelance illustrator and in the process developed his first newspaper comic panel called Angel Face. Beginning in 1961, and for over two decades, he served as the chief illustrator for both The Flintstones and the Yogi Bear newspaper strips for Hanna-Barbera, and assisted with the studio's The Jetsons.
The Flintstones (1961-1988) was a comic strip that was adapted from a television series. The show ran for six seasons between 1960 and 1966. It was the first animated evening series on network television, and until The Simpsons, the most financially successful one. The television show and the strip dealt with family issues in a prehistoric setting.