What a Cover

Chellllloooo! Today on the site we have the first of an ongoing series of columns by historian Ron Goulart entitled Connecticut Cartoonists. That's right, a whole raft of posts devoted to those groovy 1950s-70s ink slingers up in beautiful Connecticut. We begin with a colorful account of Alex Raymond and his circle.

Connecticut became state back in January of 1788. By the 20th Century it was a haven for artists, writers, actors—and cartoonists.

One of the earliest cartoon settlers was Art Young, very liberal fellow, a socialist and an admirer of Eugene Debs. Around 1900, Young who drew political cartoons for the socialist magazine, The Masses,purchased four acres of farmland in Bethel, Ct. His drawings making fun of bankers and Wall Street brokers got him in trouble with the government and charges of sabotage during the World War One years. But he went on to have a long career and sold cartoons to more acceptable magazines like The New Yorker and The Saturday Evening Post.

By the 1920s, the towns that comprised Fairfield County, the county closest to New York City, which was the East Coast center of book publishing, newspaper syndicates, magazines and the theater. Towns like Westport, Norwalk, Stamford and Fairfield were still relatively cheap to live in, they had rural charm and quiet while yet offering access to the nearby metropolis of Manhattan.

Residents included John Held, Jr., the glorifier of the Twenties flapper, Henry Raleigh and Harold Von Schmidt, magazine illustrators, Perry Barlow (of the brand new The New Yorker.), Garrett Price (The New Yorker) and Robert Lawson, author and illustrator of The Story of Ferdinand.


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