Friday, July 23, 2021


Here are a few scans from BEST CARTOONS OF THE YEAR 1944, edited by Lawrence Lariar (natch!) and copyright 1944 by same.


The nice thing about the first few years of the BEST CARTOON series of books is that there is an autobio, accompanied by a self caricature, of most of the contributors.

Above, Dave Gerard was part of what was called the "Sugar Crick Art School" — a term for a group of Crawfordsville, Indiana area artists, the most famous of which would be Bill Holman.

The one and only Al Ross, one of four brothers, all of whom were successful gag cartoonists.

Early Ross cartoons are very illustrative, with a flowing, strong ink line. His later cartoons are wonderfully sketchy.

Above: the word "sipsies" is always funny. A Virgil VIP Partch at the top of the page, while a rare and risque Lariar cartoon is at the bottom.

More VIP, and another one by Al Ross.

Mary Gibson was one of the handful of female single panel cartoonists.

Colin Allen is another cartoonist whose work I see but know little about. Love this overcrowding cartoon. This guy could draw!


Charles Allen was not only a fine draftsman, but also an African American cartoonist.

Dave Huffine lived in the Catskills and was married to a painter, Ruth Huffine. Dave assisted Denys Wortman before going solo.

This was the first time I saw Ving Fuller's cartoons and I really enjoyed them. Ving was a veteran cartoonist who did a lot of gag and syndicated work.

Gene Carr was, according to his Wikipedia entry, doing cartoons for Hearst as a teenager! One of the most early and prolific of newspaper cartoonists.

Salo and Ben Roth, were 2 of the 4 Roth brothers. See Eli Stein Cartoons for more info!

Reamer Keller is one of my favorites. There is a happiness to his lines and I always like seeing his cartoons. He is a fearless drawer.

Brooklyn-born Leo Garel was one of the most prolific gag cartoonists around.

Virgil VIP Partch is one cartoonist who is getting more and more popular as people on the web discover him.


Ed Nofziger drew the best animals.

Greg D'Alessio was so very illustrative. He was married to Hilda Terry.

Leo Salkin's work reminds me of VIP's.

Merrylen Townsend -- another rare female cartoonist. I have no further information on her and wish I had.

Same with Frank Bevan. Scant information on him on the internet.

Ted key, who wrote screenplays and created Hazel. A prolific, smart guy.

4 time NCS Gag Cartoon Division Award winner George Wolfe.


Burr Shafer. I used to study his strong inking style.


Vic Herman created "Winnie the Wac" and drew Little Dot for Harvey Comics.


-- Edited from a January 6, 2010 blog entry. 

1 comment:

sarusa said...

It's interesting how few war cartoons there are (though there are some). This would be the third year of WW2 that the US was involved in (Pearl Harbor was Dec 1941, so 1942, 1943, 1944). But after a mere year of COVID-19 you can definitely see how people would have just wanted some normalcy.