Monday, July 06, 2015

Dick Hodgins, Jr. Remembers Leonard Starr

Dick Hodgins sent me an email with a heartfelt remembrance of the late Leonard Starr. With his permission, here it is:

Leonard Starr's passing came as such sad news.

In addition to being a marvelous artist and brilliant writer, he was a compassionate soul.
Combine that with a high sense of humor and wide desire for cultural endeavors and you've got Leonard. 
My son Richard worked at the Westport studio Len shared with Stan Drake, another comics legend. 
In the early 70's, working from photos, Len cast me in his strip "On Stage" as "Mr. Quakers" the host of a kids television show. I continually delight in the craftsmanship of that series.
At the time I was doing "Half Hitch" for Hank Ketcham working from my studio also in Westport, which resulted in lunching with Stan and Len. Great lunches filled with shop-talk, ribald humor and simply good times. 
Brilliantly creating a show business strip, Leonard himself was a class act.


Unknown said...

Well that took an interesting detour. Your link to Hodgins led me to
Seems the episode was written by Tom Sawyer (cartoonist Tom Scheuer) and
features a letterer named Ben Watanabe (Ben Oda/Irving Watanabe?) getting
Killed by being bashed over the head with a Reuben Award. Mell Lazarus cameo.

Any chance if getting Hodgins to show more of the strips?

Gerry said...

Mary Perkins On Stage was a highlight of the NY Daily News comics section when I was a kid. Leonard Starr was a brilliant draftsman and led a team that created this strip, as did many of the day.
There was a gangster character in one storyline, with a white stripe of hair and a pugnacious chin, and years later at the NY Comicons in the 60's I recognized him as Frank Springer, who I later learned did the backgrounds on the strip. A great look behind the scenes for me as a teenager!

Unknown said...

My writing partner John Wilcox and I spent countless hours hanging out in the 1980's with Len & Stan in their studio in Westport while they worked. The old memories and stories they shared could fill volumes. They were two of the funniest people I've ever met. Such fond memories of these two characters . I was honored to call them my friends...

- Mark Marcus