Welcome back. It’s summer, things are slow. My sleeping patterns are changing. And thus we bring you some fresh content.
We lead off today with Warren Bernard’s epic tale of a 1917 baseball game played in Chicago by some of the world’s greatest cartoonists:
The “home team” for this game was deemed to be the Chicago Herald. Pitching for the home team was a young, raw talent (both baseball and cartoon-wise), 22-year-old Elsie Crisler Segar. Segar joined the Herald staff a few years prior to the game, following an introduction by the famed Richard Outcault. In March 1916, he began his run as the cartoonist for Charlie Chaplin’s Comic Capers, the strip by which the audience at the game would have recognized his name. In 1917, he was two years away from starting Thimble Theater and a dozen years out from creating his character masterpiece, Popeye.
There are a trillion amazing things about Warren’s discovery (and, as far as we know, it really is his discovery — this game has gone unmentioned): First, cartoonists once played baseball. Second, it says a lot about the lives these guys led in relation to the public — they were actually celebrities in a sense. Third: Holy shit, Frank King and E.C. Segar played baseball together. Anyhow, besides this amazing bit of archeology, Warren is the co-author of the upcoming book Drawing Power: A Compendium of Cartoon Advertising, and Mail Order Geniuses, covering the old correspondence courses. He’s also the executive director of SPX. That Warren: A man of many talents.
And Frank Santoro manages to squeeze in his third color workbook between traveling and exhibiting and everything else.
I, like everyone else, love these short self-interviews by Kim Thompson. Here’s one on an upcoming Tardi book.
Finally, Myron Fass, the much maligned maniac behind some of our goriest, gnarliest horror comics, also made some pretty good ones himself.