Today Paul Tumey continues his deep dive into the Lost Comics of Jack Cole.
As he was making his regular rounds in 1937 to the offices of various New York magazine publishers, selling a few cartoons here and there, Jack Cole may have begun to realize he needed to widen his scope in order to make it as a cartoonist. Fortunately for Cole, he was in the right place at the right time. A massive new market for cartoonists was opening up – the comic book. Originally a re-formatted book-like pamphlet reprinting of Sunday newspaper comics, the success of the idea generated such a growing demand that savvy entrepreneurs began to supply comic book publishers with original material.
One of these entrepreneurs was Harry “A” Chesler. His quirky, quotation-framed middle initial was an affectation, designed to make him sound more important. It’s said that Chelser sometimes told people the “A” stood for “Anything.” In 1935 or 1936, Chelser began congregating artists and writers into rented studio spaces and paying them small amounts of money to create material that he could then sell to comic book publishers, including Centaur, MLJ (later known as Archie Comics), Street and Smith, Fox and Fawcett. Some of the writers and artists who worked in the Chelser shops at one time or another went on to become legends in comics: Jack Binder (who later opened up his own shop), Otto Binder, Charles Biro, Carl Burgos, Lou Fine, Creig Flessel,Gill Fox, Fred Guardineer, Paul Gustavson,Carmine Infantino, Joe Kubert, Roy Krenkel, Mort Meskin, Mac Raboy, George Tuska, Bob Wood, and – of course – Jack Cole.
Elsewhere, many things at once:
I liked this post about the perpetually underrated Chris Reynolds.
Paul Karasik’s graphic reporting has been very rewarding, like this one.
Don Simpson covers our own Frank Santoro.
Benjamin Marra has announced a new, very fun looking comic.
And Mick McMahon is my favorite 2000 AD artist, in case anyone asks.