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William F. Brown – RIP


Playwright, author, illustrator, cartoonist Wm. F. Brown has passed away.

April 16, 1928 – June 23, 2019


From the Broadway World obituary:

After attending Princeton University, he moved to New York City and landed a job writing for Look Magazine in 1950. After a year in the U.S. Army, he worked from 1952 to 1954 as a television producer for the advertising agency Batten, Barton, Durstine and Osborne (BBDO), while also starting a freelance career as an author, illustrator, cartoonist and TV writer. He began his show business career by contributing comedy sketches and lyrics to nine of cabaret producer Julius Monk’s acclaimed revues that were popular in Manhattan and Chicago through the 1950s and 1960s.

Brown made his Broadway debut when his play The Girl in the Freudian Slip opened at the Booth Theatre on May 18, 1967. A wild contemporary comedy about a married psychiatrist who finds himself attracted to a patient…

Brown has over 100 television writing credits including David Frost Review, That Was the Week That Was, The Ed Sullivan Show, The Dean Martin Show, The Jackie Gleason Show, The Johnny Carson Show, The Merv Griffin Show and Love American Style. He also wrote special material for performers including Joan Rivers, Georgie Kaye, Leslie Gore, Joey Foreman and Joel Grey, for whom Brown created a TV pilot.


But here we are more interested in his cartooning career.

above: 1955 cartoon via Dick Buchanan and Mike Lynch


BEAT BEAT BEAT was a book of cartoons dealing the then current generation.
Excerpts here and here.


Other William F. Brown Signet books:


In 1972 Bill partnered with cartoonist Mel Casson to create Mixed Singles.

Allan Holtz explains that after a couple of years the strip was retitled Boomer.

About the premise of the strip from Allan:

In the early 70s the country was loosening up, admitting that unmarried people weren’t all living a monastic life, getting paired up at church socials and marrying as virgins. As goes the country, so go the comics, so United Features contracted with creators Mel Casson and William F. Brown for their new strip about the residents of a swinging singles apartment building Given the extremely prudish strictures of the comics page, Casson and Brown got away with a surprising amount of semi-adult humor about the single life.

Also noted:

Brown and Casson claimed to share writing responsibilities about equally on the strip, and the art chores were generally split with Brown handling pencils and Casson inks.


Bill Brown and Mel Casson partnered on other comic ventures – Face the Music and Warp Wilson. Neither of which, as far as is known, ever got syndicated.



above: from Beat Beat Beat via Wm. Horberg




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