Friday, June 12, 2020

Frank Bolle 1924 - 2020

Prolific comic strip and comic book artist Frank Bolle passed away on May 12, 2020 in Weston, CT. He was 95.

Above: a romance tale written by Nicola Cuti and drawn by Frank Bolle from a 1976 Charlton comic book. The whole story is here.

Like so many cartoonists, he started drawing as a child and just didn't stop. He was a go-to artist whose style was suitable for many stories. He drew the Doc Solar and Tim Holt comic books (in addition to many others), as well as children's books, Boys' Life magazine; he worked on the syndicated comic strips Winnie Winkle, Gil Thorp, Prince Valiant and Apartment 3G, among others. Frank Bolle's career, which spanned the golden age of comics until the 21st century, may be unsurpassed in its breadth and versatility.

From the Leo P. Gallagher and Son Funeral Home Obituary:

"Born in Italy on June 23rd, 1924 and traveled across the ocean alone at 5 years old to join his mother in Brooklyn, NY. He Grew up in NYC with his mother Mary and stepfather Egidio 'Louie' Covacich. Frank graduated Manhattan’s School of Music and Art then studied at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, only interrupted by a stint in the Army Airforce in 1942."

 The Daily Cartoonist:
"Frank’s work was seen at just about all the comic book companies and comic strip syndicates.
I don’t think the internet has enough bandwidth to list all of Frank’s work individually so
here’s Jerry Bails’ Who’s Who breakdown
and the Lambiek Comiclopedia biography."

I met Frank a number of times in Connecticut for their monthly cartoonists' lunch in Westport. This was in 2006 and '07, and the group was composed of a number of cartoonists and friends including comic book artist Frank McLaughlin and great gag cartoonist Orlando Busino. Frank was just one of the nicest fellows and I noticed he listened more than he talked. One day my phone rang and it was Frank. He wanted to talk to me about markets and the internet. I think we chatted for about 20-30 minutes. He was curious about how a cartoonist used the web. I was amazed that he called me, and he was very polite and gracious, but also very serious about this. I don't think there was a day in his life where he didn't work. That's the thing when you do what you love!

Frank McLaughlin, Orlando Busino, and Frank Bolle in 2007.

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