Monday, September 01, 2014

Stan Goldberg 1932-2014

Pauline and Stan Goldberg at a Berndt Toast Gang lunch a few years back.

Stan Goldberg died on the last day of August 2014 due to the effects of a stroke he suffered about two weeks ago. He was 82 years old.

Like a lot of people, I just found out via email and social media. So many people are calling Stan their friend, and they are right. Stan was a gentleman and when he spoke with you, you got 100% attention. He was generous and enthusiastic about comics, and people. And when it came to comics: he was there. There for everything: the golden age, the anti-comcs crusade of the 1950s, the silver age, and so on.

He could tell you stories of working for Stan Lee. He was there in the Empire State Building as a teenager, in the Marvel bullpen. This was during the 1940s, before Marvel was Marvel. It was called Timely Comics then. As a teen, he assisted Carl Burgos, the creator of the original Human Torch.

Best known for his work on ARCHIE Comics, as well as his coloring work for Marvel. (He chose the colors for the superheroes and super villains.) Stan was also the man behind many issues of MILLIE THE MODEL.

(Above: the cover of ARCHIE #571, December 2006. Of course, Stan drew this. What I didn't know was that he put my wife's name right there on Santa's list. I know, it's hard to see in this tiny image, but it's there. He did this without saying a word and handed me the original art to keep. He knocked my socks off with this act of kindness out of the blue. Whatta guy!)

Mark Evanier cites the number of comics pages he produced during his nearly 60 years as "staggering."

I had the pleasure of knowing Stan as a friend for the past 15 years. He was a fellow member of the Long Island National Cartoonists Society, the "Berndt Toast Gang." We also co-curated an original comic art gallery show in 2005. The show was big and tough to put together, but working with Stan was a pleasure.

Stan drew Archie for over 200 issues. He is considered the seminal Archie artist. If you wanna know how to draw Archie, he's your go-to guy.

When I first met Stan, he and his wonderful wife Pauline were sitting at a table during a Berndt Toast Gang lunch. This was maybe my second time I attended a BTG lunch. I asked if it was OK to sit next to them, and got friendly smiles and they both said, "of course, of course." I told him that I knew his work, and I called him "Mr. Goldberg." To which, he politely, but sternly, replied, "Don't call me Mr. Goldberg. 'Mr. Goldberg' is my father's name. Call me Stan."

Since then, we've become friends and he's invited me to his studio, which overlooks Eastchester Bay. He has a wonderful view of the bridge, but he admitted to me that he is usually looking at his board and not at the water. (Typical cartoonist!) The first time I was there, he showed me many of his originals. He has an amazing collection of original cartoon art by many cartoonists, framed on the wall. We rifled through his bookshelf. At one pint, Stan pulled out a a large, oversized hardcover book by children's illustrator Richard Scarry. "This guy could draw anything." Of course, I had to go and buy a few Scarry books for myself! He was showing me piles of pencils and inked ARCHIE pages. Basically, I was a kid in a candy store and he let me behave like one.

I mentioned about how generous he was. We were in the green room, waiting to go on a Long Island TV show. I think it was in connection with that gallery show. Anyway, Stan was showing me all of the comics he had brought to show, and I had maybe a dozen color printouts of my gag cartoons. He told me, make sure you tell them about how you got into cartooning. I said something like my story is not as interesting or as important as his own life story. He pooh-poohed that idea. He wanted to make sure that the spotlight was on me as well, as an equal. Oh, heck! I'm not worthy!!! See what I mean about generous?

I could go on and on about Stan, and Pauline, and the times I have spent with them since. Okay. One more: They both took time out to come and hear me lecture about 1950s comics a few years ago. I couldn't help but think that the audience would have been better served if we traded places, and they listened to a guy who was actually there at that time. Several cartoonists were there that day, and I remember at the end, after the initial applause, I introduced some of the cartoonists in the audience. Stan got the loudest applause.

I almost forgot to mention his many awards: The National Cartoonists Society Gold Key Award, the Stanley, the Ink Pot. Those are a few and some of the most prestigious. Russ Burlingame writing at has a good rundown. NCS President Tom Richmond remembers Stan. There are dozens of links out there already, and hundreds more to come.

Stan, I will miss you dearly. My deepest condolences to Pauline, and the Goldberg family.

Pauline and family have sent along a request. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to:

East End Hospice
481 Westhampton-Riverhead Road
PO Box 1048
Westhampton Beach, NY 11978
(631) 288-8400

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Garden As of Late August 2014

The greens are going from deep green to a more tired green, if ya know what I mean. There are even some patches of red leaves on a few of the trees! The garden is in its lingering days of summer into fall. One sign of fall: All of the NH kids are back in school, with the ME kids returning next Wednesday.

Last night, we sat outside looking at the stars and it was so cool I had to wear a flannel shirt. Brr.

Here are the peppers, squash and cucumbers. The pepper plants are not producing. There are hints at blooms, but I think that they are done. This is too bad.

One raised bed is full of zinnias. Love the colors.

A closer angle:

The brown leaf disease has gotten the tomatoes, but the crop will be big regardless:

Some flowers from the perennial garden ...

Thursday, August 28, 2014

All the Cartoons From LOOK Magazine July 29, 1969

A cartoon by Nitka is at the top of a page of gag cartoons, which were edited by J.M. Flagler. Four more gag cartoons were on this page, with a few more scattered throughout the magazine.

Here are all of the cartoons from the July 29, 1969 issue of LOOK. It's copyright 1969 Cowles Magazines and Broadcasting, Inc.

In addition to the cartoons, the mag profiles Gore Vidal, "Easy Rider" is reviewed by resident critic Gene Shalit, profiles of model Cynthia Bush and musician Johnny Winter.

Vahan Shirvanian:

Buf Handelsman:


George Booth (This made me laugh out loud):

Lee Lorenz:


Want more?

All the Cartoons from Look Magazine June 24, 1969
All the Cartoons from LOOK Magazine June 7, 1960

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

British Pathé: Unused Film Featuring Cartoonist David Low (1950)

If you go in to about the 19 second mark in this thirty-one second bit of unseen editing-room-floor film, you can watch British cartoonist David Low drawing a live caricature. This was filmed by British Pathé at a Trade Union Congress event at Blackpool, Lancashire in 1950 or maybe 1951.

This is the first time I have seen footage of David Low, one of the most powerful editorial cartoonists of the 20th century, much less getting to see a few seconds of him drawing.

David Low (1891-1963) was born in New Zealand. His parents took him out of school after the death of his older brother. They believed David had been "weakened by over studying." When he was 11 years old, his first cartoon was published: a three panel comic strip in the British publication "Big Budget."

Low began working as a professional cartoonist in 1910, first at the Canterbury Times, and then at The Bulletin, in Sydney, Australia. 1916 saw the publication of a cartoon lampooning the eccentric behavior of Billy Hughes, then Prime Minister of Australia. He became very well known for his cartoons criticizing Hughes, so much so that Hughes himself called Low a "bastard" to his face.

THE BILLY BOOK, a collection of Low's cartoons, was published two years later. He was asked to come over to London by one of the owners of The London Star newspaper. By 1919, Low had moved to London and working there.

He moved to the much more conservative Evening Standard in 1927 after its owner, Lord Beaverbrook, guaranteed him there would be no editorial interference.

He became widely regarded during the 30s for cartoons criticizing the rise of the Axis powers. He was such a well known political cartoonist, that it's alleged that Goebbels put Low's name in the Nazi's BLACK BOOK -- a compilation of names of people to be arrested upon Germany's successful occupation of the Uniter Kingdom.

From Wikipedia:

His works are featured in many British history textbooks. One of Low's most famous cartoons, Rendezvous, was first published in the Evening Standard on 20 September 1939. It satirises the cynicism which lay at the heart of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, depicting Hitler and Soviet dictatorJoseph Stalin bowing politely before each other after their joint invasion of Poland, but nevertheless greeting each other respectively as "the scum of the earth" and "the bloody assassin of the workers".[5] On 1 September, the Germans invaded Poland from the west and, on 17 September, the Soviets invaded from the east
The Harmony Boys of 2 May 1940[6] depicts Hitler, Stalin, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, and Spanish dictator Francisco Franco "harmonizing" and getting along quite well. When this cartoon was published, the German invasion of the Soviet Union was still more than a year in the future. 
His satirical works met much criticism in the British public eye. The British press called him a "war monger," and many citizens felt disdain for his depictions of appeasement.

He left The Standard in 1950, which is about the time this footage was shot. He went to the Daily Herald for 3 years, then to the Manchester Guardian.

David Low was knighted in 1962. He died a year later, in London. The Guardian described him as "the dominant cartoonist of the western world."

From the description of the video:

Trade Union Congress at Blackpool, Lancashire. 
MS delegates entering hall. CU Morgan Phillips and Alice Bacon. CU cartoonist David Low and Mr. J. B. Figgins (secretary of NUR). MS Mr. Elvin (ACT). Mr. Sandison (Equity) and Miss Rosamund John (Equity). MS Mr. Elvin (ACT). Mr. Sandison (Equity) and Miss Rosamund John (Equity). Miss John talking and gesticulating. CU comedian Vic Oliver (of Variety Artists Federation, also son-in-law of Winston Churchill). MS Low sketching Sir Luke Fawcett (Building Trade). CU Low. CU sketch of Sir Luke Fawcett. MS delegates collecting voting papers. MS chairman of TUC Mr. A. Roberts. CU Roberts smiling. MS Arthur Deakin (Transport and General Workers) arriving. CU Arthur Deakin, looking puzzled. 
90,000 historic films, all SEARCHABLE on YouTube at: Join us on Facebook at: Tweet us @britishpathe FILM ID:2569.24

The Mill at Calder's End - A Victorian Ghost Story Puppet Film by Kevin McTurk

Yes, it's a spooky Victorian movie that's al done with puppets. Like, real puppets that are manipulated by hand and filmed.

The Mill At Calder's End - Official Teaser HD from Kevin McTurk on Vimeo.

Here's a background video on the production and who Kevin McTurk is:

Hat tip to Anthony Taylor!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Ger Apeldoorn shows us a lot of THE STRANGE WORLD OF MR. MUM Sunday strips.

Irving Phillips was originally a violinist, then a saxophonist, and then he had his own orchestra. During the depression, to make some extra money, he created and sold gag cartoons to the major magazines. By the end of the 1930s, he was head of the humor department at Esquire Magazine.

He wrote screenplays (two of them were Jane Powell vehicles) as well as writing and co-writing about 250 scripts for television.

THE STRANGE WORLD OF MR. MUM was a mostly wordless comic strip in which the title character, who was bald and wore glasses (like Irving Phillips) observed the wacky world around him with some surprise. A lot of the strips had a final panel of Mr. Mum, looking troubled, sitting in a bar, trying to sort out what he had seen.

The strip, which was a one-panel daily and a multi-panel Sunday, ran from 1958 to 1974.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Walt Kelly: "The Account of the Wooful Frog"

Chicken Little is here. His mission is to make the kids stop playing their bloody violent games, and perform his "A Frog He Would A-Wooing Go," which is "great good fun." The kids are not convinced.

Happy 101st birthday, Walt Kelly!

If there's a shortlist in my head of the comics the influenced me, Walt Kelly's POGO would be up at the top. His characterization and drawings spoke to me when my Dad handed down his collection of Simon and Schuster reprint books. I was a mere child of nine or ten. It must have been good timing. All of these stories have stayed with me but my favorite is "The Account of the Wooful Frog," a 1955 standalone story about a doomed amateur theatrical.

The best part is the young turtle, who, when brow-beaten by Chicken Little, recedes his noggin into his shell and sounds off with a loud "WAW!" The only way to shut off his "WAW-ing" and get the young turtle out of his shell, is to insert a handy candy cane, thusly:

This idea knocked me for a loop and I love the gag to this day.

Go to Thomas Haller Buchanan's Whirled of Kelly blog to see the whole story.

Sunday, August 24, 2014


You wanted to buy it, and the Marvel licensing people listened!

The official bobblehead of little dancing Groot is on its way.