Friday, February 01, 2008

Secret History of Comics courtesy of Warren Bernard

Here's another article by Warren Bernard on comic art in unlikely places:

SHOC Part 1,235,641


For this next installment of The Secret History Of Comics, here is a nice piece by Percy Crosby. This is from a football program for the October, 1935 game held between Navy and Notre Dame. Being close to Annapolis, Crosby did a few covers for their football games.

Now, he was not the only famous cartoonist to do college football program covers - Willard Mullin, The Dean of Sports Cartoonists did a lot, but did you know know that such luminaries of the cartoon field such as Ellison Hoover, John Held Jr., James Thurber and Milton Caniff all did football programs?

The length and breadth of the cartoonist contribution to the football program field would not have occurred if not for the efforts of Andy Moursund. His methodical and exhaustive research into the field of college football programs has turned this information up. I recommend going to his site to see the length and breath of the cartoon and illustration world that exists in the college football program arena. His site is now in browse/test mode, but soon you will be able to order poster reproductions of any of the program covers he has online.

Needless to say, some great unknown cartoonists and illustrators did work on these covers, and its a shame that no one, save Andy, has bothered to gather them up. No question, Andy has a great resource that hopefully will be a springboard for a more thorough treatment of the subject.

Now, to make things even more interesting, inside a lot of the programs were specialty cartoons and ads by cartoonists that appear nowhere else. The Crosby program has cartoons by Johann Bull and E. Simms Campbell as well as the ad you see here by James Thurber.

How many ads/cartoons are there buried in these programs? How much of comic history lies undiscovered in these programs? What does this type of work tell us about the length and breath of the work these cartoonists did and their impact on popular culture?

The SHOC series will never end.

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