Auld Lang Syne: Cartoonist Chronicles-201231

Some articles and essays dealing with comic history from this past week.

A sad fact of life is that Rob Stolzer only infrequently posts to his Inkslinger blog. But when he does it is an essay filled with intelligence and wonder. Rob has rewarded us with a new end-of-the-year piece about an mostly unknown comic artist.

One of the most wonderful cartoonist-illustrators that you have never heard of is Stuart Hay, referred to by Ernest Watson in his 1946 book, Forty Illustrators and How They Work, as the “Artist of the laughing brush”.  By the 1930s and 40s, Hay did indeed employ a brush line filled with a great deal of joie de vivre, but it took him years, and some interesting changes of direction, to get to that brush filled with laughter. 

Discover Stuart Hay, a cartoonist with a delightful style.


Someone we do know is Charles M. Schulz, but a look at his time in the Army during WWII is enlightening.


He arrived at the newly built Camp Campbell in Kentucky and was assigned to the 20th Armored Division. Other soldiers remembered Schulz as being homesick and visibly lonely. Schulz recalled crying himself to sleep in his bunk as he grieved his mother amid the stresses of training for combat.

But during his stint in basic training, Schulz’s confidence grew, and his intelligence and proficiency in weapons set him apart.

He became a staff sergeant and a squad leader, and was selected to train the new batch of incoming recruits.

On Feb. 25, 1945, Schulz’s unit landed in France. They trained at a chateau near Rouen in Normandy.

Stars and Stripes profiles Staff Sgt. Charles Schulz.


NOT “an Age undreamed of”

Know, oh prince, that a hundred and twenty years before Zoom meetings and distant learning cartoonist Albert Robida saw the future.

Colin Marshall, via Open Culture, shows us the past was prologue.


Speaking of good tidings of great joy…

Allan Holtz, after a few months taking care of more important things (as if!), has returned and is posting new entries at his Stripper’s Guide. Check out the always enjoyable and informative blog here.

And from some while ago – here is Tom Falco interviewing Allan.

TOM: Why Stripper’s Guide? I know what strippers are in the newspaper business, but what made you use that for the name?

ALLAN: I was trying to come up with a catchy title for the blog, and I figured that anyone with an ounce of curiosity would be intrigued by a site that calls itself Stripper’s Guide. Comic strip fans have occasionally called themselves strippers long before I came along, so I don’t get any points for originality. Over the years I’ve fielded my fair share of comments from site visitors who were hoping to find something very different. But maybe I turned a few of them into comic strip fans!

I wanted to call my book Stripper’s Guide as well, but the folks at University of Michigan Press very sweetly told me that there was no way in hell they would publish a book with that title. I still think we could have sold more copies, though …