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Jerry Lazare – RIP

Artist and illustrator Gerald Lazare has passed away.


Gerald John (Jerry) Lazare
September 25, 1927 – March 23, 2021

painter, illustrator, comic artist

Gerald Lazare began his professional art career creating comic books for Canada’s Bell Features during World War II after U.S. comic books were banned.

From the Comic Book Daily entry:

He was still 15 and he began his comic career by taking over the Jeff Waring strip from Murray Karn who had just entered the armed forces and Lazare’s first story was “Jeff Waring Meets the Giant of Doom” which appeared in Wow Comics 17 ([circa] Oct./Nov. 1943.

 

From a 1973 interview about his comic years:

When I got into high school, I read comics and was fascinated with the work of Alex Raymond [Flash Gordon], primarily because I thought he was such a great draftsman…

After about the third or fourth year, I began to look at magazines and became interested in illustrators, and I realized where Alex Raymond stemmed from, and I saw Noel Sickles’ work. My influence then went into the illustration field with people like Albert Dorne — artists that weren’t into comics at all, but who were all great draftsmen and illustrators.

 

By the late 1940s he had entered the world of commercial illustration:

{After trying New York City] He returned to Toronto and applied for a job at Bomac Engravers an art studio on 246 Richmond Street. In 1949 it was the place to be. “They had the best illustrators in town working there…”. He recalled his reception, “… as soon as they saw my comic samples they said, ‘You’re drawing isn’t bad, but you’re going to have to get that comic art stuff out of your blood. That’s terrible.’…” He started as an apprentice illustrator at $25 a week, quite a descent from the $90 a week he had been making at Bell.

Leif Peng turned a few pages of his Today’s Inspiration blog over to Gerald in 2015 allowing Lazare to decribe his advertising and commercial career and his switch to painting.

In the 50’s and 60’s magazines flourished. Television had made its entrance but the print medium still remained strong with lots of fiction and articles to make pictures for. A challenging mix of love stories, westerns, crime drama, business, travel, politics — you name it, needed stand-out graphics that would catch the eye.

The corporate world needed illustration to embellish brochures, ads, and annual reports, to create a climate of confidence in companies of all kinds. Trade magazines had articles helping industries tackle marketing and employee concerns.

My cartooning ability was still an asset as an illustrator. Magazines often used cartoons to illustrate humorous articles and for companies to promote their products.

I look back on my 20 years as an illustrator fondly and with great memories. It seemed to go so quickly and when my peers awarded me CAPIC’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995, I couldn’t have been happier. Since then I’ve been painting pictures for myself for over 35 years, but each picture, whether it be the comics, illustration or fine art has taken me to another place away from the ordinary world into the wonderful possibilities of the imagination.

The Gerald Lazare website displays his talent as painter.

 

 

 

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