News of Yore: Paul Fung, National Cartoonist


Paul Fung a Newspaper Artist
of Real Distinction.

by Alexander Samalman
The Fourth Estate, 1925



China has produced a myriad philosophers, poets and water color artists, but only one American newspaper cartoonist.

The only representative of the ancient nation in the realms of comic art is Paul Fung, who illustrates Jack Lait’s Gus and Gussie for King Features Syndicate.


Circulation 1926, courtesy of Ron Goulart


Paul Fung was born in Seattle, the son of a Doctor of Divinity who presided over a Chinese Baptist Church. All of which goes to show that “Cartoonville” is the proper place for a Chinese minister’s son.


When he was 5 he went to Canton, China, where he studied for 6 years, working for some time with a man who painted water colors on fans. An elder sister who lived in Seattle accumulated piles of American comic sheets and sent them to him from time to time. In his Oriental surroundings he devoured them greedily and dreamed dreams of becoming an American newspaper artist.

He returned to the United States. His family at that time lived at Portland, Ore., and there he got his start in the newspaper business as a carrier boy for the Portland News.

He studied at American High Schools and then at the University of Washington, taking an art course. Meanwhile he drew posters for a theatrical enterprise. Later he become a full-fledged newspaper cartoonist on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, doing sport, political and feature pictures.

He attained local fame as a cartoonist and also as an entertainer, for he appeared for some time in a chalk-talk monologue at vaudeville theaters.

Several of his war cartoons, in especial one entitled “The Sweetheart of the Allies,” which pictured a Salvation Army lassie, spread his fame throughout the nation.

He entered the employ of the Post-Intelligencer at the age of 17 and worked on that paper for nine years. A daily feature during the last two years of his stay with the Post-Intelligencer was Fitch and Fung, which consisted of verses by Carlton Fitchet [sic] illustrated by Paul Fung.

Billy De Beck, creator of Barney Google, met Fung while on one of his western trips, and persuaded the young Chinese artist to come east. Soon Fung signed up with King Features Syndicate in New York and began The [sic] Guy From Grand Rapids, dealing with the adventures of a lonesome man alone in Gotham. This ran for a year, then Fung began his work as the illustrator of Gus and Gussie, which is written by Jack Lait.


A Guy From Grand Rapids 12/19/1923


At the age of 28, Fung is an eminently successful newspaper artist, known throughout America as a careful, capable craftsman.

“I draw because I enjoy it,” says Fung. “I always liked to draw more than I liked anything else. I have two brothers who are also interested in art. Silas is studing [sic] at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and Timothy is doing well as a commercial artist.

“I must express my gratitude to Billy De Beck, whose encouragement and friendship have meant a lot to me.”

“I am a pure Chinese, but please discredit any rumors that I’m identified with a tong!”

And Paul laughed at his little jest while he bent froward [sic] over his drawing board to draw the curls on the head of his character, Gussie.


News of Yore: Paul Fung Runs Afoul of Immigration

Seattle Post Intelligencer 8/18 or 19/1923

(The Chinese Exclusion Act, passed in 1882, restricted the entry of Chinese into the United States. Its purpose was to keep out Chinese laborers. The act was renewed in 1892 and eventually made permanent. For the Chinese Americans already in America, they had to notify immigration whenever they traveled to a foreign country or territory, such as Hawaii. The travel documents of the Chinese were made in triplicate and shared with other immigration offices. For example, a Chinese resident of Chicago would have a file there. If he traveled to China through Seattle, then a file would be opened in there.

Back in 1921, Paul Fung filled out Form 430, above, for the U.S. Department of Labor Immigration Service. When he decided to make a brief trip to Vancouver in August 1923, he submitted the form, and it was approved: “Reissued for trip to Canada August 16, 1923. Commissioner”. There was a mix-up in Vancouver that was eventually resolved. While Fung waited at the hotel, he wrote a thank you letter to Mr. Weedin. This letter, below, was stamped “Received August 20 1923 U.S. Immigration Service Seattle”, and placed in his file. All of the documents are from Fung’s file at the Seattle branch of the National Archives and Records Administration.)


News of Yore: Paul Fung, Local Cartoonist


Fung the Only Chinese-American
Cartoonist in Captivity

by Jack Bechdolt
Cartoons Magazine July 1916


Paul Fung, the young Chinese-American cartoonist, of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, is prized highly by his paper as the only one of his species in captivity. Young Mr. Fung has thus far succeeded in taking his honors with a degree of modesty which promises well for his future. With the tireless industry peculiar to the Chinese he has coupled an enterprise and a sense of humor truly American, and the combination has enabled him to put over a remarkbly [sic] high percentage of good work on his first newspaper job.

Paul Fung was born in Seattle 18 years ago. When he was five years old his parents returned to their former home in China, taking Paul with them.

An older sister, who lives in America, sent the boy copies of the American comic supplements and he became ambitious to take up newspaper work in the land where he was born. From copying the Katzenjammer Kids and Happy Hooligan, Fung took the next and almost inevitable step of seeking instruction in drawing.

His first teacher was a Chinese artist and he followed the Chinese method of instruction. Fung was taught to copy conventionalized flowers and leaves and birds out of a book of prints, working with camel’s-hair brush on a pad of soft paper with Chinese ink as his medium.

During his six years in China young Fung passed through what corresponds to a high-school course. At the end of that time with his father and his brother he returned to Portland, Ore., where he finished an American grammar-grade education.

In Seattle, Fung entered the high school and speedily became the chief contributor to one of the high-school magazines published in that city. Ambitious still to work on a regular newspaper, Fung spent his spare time visiting the art rooms, listening to the advice of the men experienced in the business, and always trying to find his own opportunity.

A large vaudeville theater wanted an artist to make up cartoons of the current acts for use as lobby displays cards, and Fung got the job. He held it so successfully that his work attracted attention from the newspapers, and he figured as the hero of several special articles.

Eventually Fung got his chance, as most boys do who want to join a newspaper art staff badly enough. He went to work for the Post-Intelligencer as a comic artist, and is now making good as a cartoonist.

[If circumstances had been different, Ying “John” Zane may have preceded Paul Fung as the first Chinese American to become a nationally syndicated cartoonist. Cartoons Magazine, September 1915, published a short profile of him and a sample strip (pages 478–9).

Years later his name appeared in The New York Times, October 11, 1924 when a fire erupted on a steamship.

…When the first [fire] engines arrived flames were shooting through the superstructure and about 200 coolies of the crew, asleep below, had been confused by smoke and were shouting for help. Watchmen, firemen and policemen helped them off after they had been quieted by John Zane, a Chinese cartoonist on the China Press of Shanghai, who is working his way around the world as a member of the crew. A few Chinese jumped into the water and were fished out. They gathered with the rest on the pier, which also was aflame for a time, and cheered Zane for having saved them from panic and its consequences….



What happened to him after this event is unknown.]

News of Yore: Charles Lederer’s Calling


His Quick Pencil
Charles Lederer and His Caricatures
A Talk with the Artist.
The Best Newspaper Caricaturist in the Whole Country Speaks of His Work.
The Call (San Francisco, California) 12/13/1892

“It’s one thing to make a caricature and quite another to find the subject, and my experience has been that a successful newspaper caricature artist must have plenty of nerve and carry it with him wherever he goes.”

It was Charles Lederer who voiced this sentiment. You may judge of its truthfulness from the fact that there is not a man in all America better qualified to speak on the subject.

It is safe to put it even stronger—there is no man so well qualified, for Lederer is admittedly the best newspaper caricaturist in the country and the highest paid newspaper artist.

The Chicago Herald pays him double the salary of any other first-class artist. Other papers have offered him more, but he prefers Chicago.

He was talking to a Call reporter yesterday afternoon in his rooms at the Palace Hotel and all the while assisting a tall, stately looking, gray-haired lady—whom he introduced as “Mrs. Lederer, my mother”—to pack two stout-looking trunks that were already labeled “Monterey, Cal.”

“You know you can’t ask Governor So-and-so to sit down and let you make a caricature of him. You’ve got to engage him in conversation under the pretense of being a reporter, and while he thinks you are taking notes of what he has to say you can jot down some memoranda of his peculiarities and fix his general characteristics in your mind. That’s why I say a successful caricaturist must never leave his cheek at home when he’s going about on business.

“The best caricatures are made when the artist can have a sitting long enough to sketch the subject’s portrait and make memoranda of his peculiarities.

“You see, it’s a man’s peculiarities of facial expression, or dress, or manner of talking that must be caricatured, for the caricature must be true to life, only exaggerated.

“Sometimes a well-known man’s face is put on a very small body. That may make a humorous picture, but hardly a caricature.

“Take a man who wears his hair long and make it ridiculously long, but yet in such a way as not to spoil the likeness; that’s a legitimate caricature. Or a man with a large mouth or a peculiarly shaped nose or a characteristic attitude in speaking, or any such things, may all be caricatured so long as the likeness is there.”

“But suppose a man has no striking peculiarity? Do you meet such men?” asked The Call reporter.

“Yes; sometimes. A fair example of that is in Mayor Hempsted Washburne of Chicago. As he was the Republican candidate a year ago, of course it was my duty to caricature him. I had ample opportunity to see the man, but for the life of me could discover nothing about him to exaggerate.

“But the job had to be done somehow, so I put a monocle on one eye and a cigarette in his mouth. It made a great difference in him, and the picture caught on and stuck to him till after the election. Here, I’ll show you,” and taking up a hotel pen Mr. Lederer made some hurried sketches on The Call man’s note paper.

In about the time it takes to tell it he had sketched a portrait of the Mayor of Chicago as he is and as he looks with the cigarette and monocle.

“I found out afterward,” continued Mr. Lederer, “that Hempsted Washburne never wore a monocle and was not, as a rule, addicted to cigarettes.

“The New York papers afterward said that Chicago had elected a Mayor who wore a monocle and smoked cigarettes.

“But even that didn’t make him mad. He’s a pretty good sort of fellow. I saw him after the election, when he told me he didn’t mind my caricaturing him—it didn’t anger him a bit; but he said it did make him a little tired to be continually accused of two vices that he had never indulged in, and he added:

” ‘I wouldn’t care if I did smoke cigarettes and wear a monocle, but not doing either, you know, it was tough.’ Then he laughed and we shook hands, and I promised not to do it again.
“Yes; I did some pretty tall hustling during the national conventions. That’s why I’m out here now. Lost my summer vacation entirely on account of them.

“And the worst of it was I had to do all my work two days ahead at Minneapolis. Say the work I did on Wednesday couldn’t reach the office and be printed before Friday, and when it was published it had to be timely.

“Then, too, the very men I wanted to draw most were the ones, usually, who only appeared in public, or where they could be seen, for perhaps five minutes at a time. Say Senator so-and-so offered a resolution in the convention. Well, my caricature of him must be sketched out in the five minutes, or more or less, it took him to read his resolution.”

“Don’t you draw from photographs?” asked The Call man.

“Well, that depends. If a man’s picture is familiar to the public it is better to stick to it, for the caricature made from the original would probably not be recognized.

“But if his picture has not been printed often enough for him to be known by it then the best work can always be done from nature. I had an instance of this in Matt Quay. His photographs are always taken in profile, for very good reasons, too, for his face is positively ugly, though a strong one.

“Well, I made a caricature of him at the convention, using a full-face view, but never used it for fear it would not be recognized. It didn’t look a bit like his pictures, though it was far more natural.

“Men like Joe Keppler of Puck are often misled by the photographs they work from. Keppler came out to Chicago during the convention and was my guest at the Fellowship Club dinner, just to see whether Wanamaker compared well with his picture. Some one had told him that the Postmaster-General’s photographs were not natural. And Keppler found a big difference between them and the original.

” ‘Why,’ said he, ‘I’ve been giving Wanamaker a small, puggy nose, and I find it ought to be large and bulbous.’ “

“But most of the weekly paper caricaturists work altogether from photographs. Take Tom Nast, for instance. Do you know he never attended a national convention till he went to Minneapolis last summer? And when he got there he couldn’t stay. The excitement made him too nervous, he said, and he went right back home.”

“Are there any rules by which the young artist can learn to be a caricaturist?”

“Hardly. It’s largely a matter of intuition, I think. It’s a separate branch of the art of drawing, and I don’t believe it can be taught in the art school. A great deal has been written about caricature, but I never found much of it applicable in practical work. It’s born in a man, I think; at least, I couldn’t tell you how to do it.”

“Don’t prominent men object to be caricatured sometimes?”

“Not a as rule. But that reminds me of Congressman Joe Cannon. He’s quite a noted character in Washington. I was the first one to caricature him from life. The result was far different from those taken from his pictures. You can make a caricature more deadly, you know, if you do it from life.

“Well, I went all the way to Peoria to get a chance at Cannon from life. When I got to the hall where he was to speak I found the local reporters were to be seated at a table back of the speaker. That wouldn’t do me much good, for I didn’t care to caricature Cannon’s back. So I bribed the janitor to fix me a little table in front of the speaker’s stand, so that I could look right at him.

“Somehow or other the impression got abroad that I was the Tribune reporter, that being a Republican organ and this a Republican meeting.

“Now I’m willing to swear that I did nothing to originate that rumor, but I must confess, too, that when I heard it I did nothing to dispel it.

“Of course Cannon would rather have a column in the Chicago Tribune than a whole page in the little country papers. So when he began his speech he fixed his eyes on my table and talked right at me all the time.

“He thought I was taking notes of his speech, and sometimes during his eloquent periods he would stride right over to my table. On such occasions I would cover my drawings with a piece of note-paper and make a desperate bluff at writing hen tracks, which I fondly hoped he would think were shorthand notes.

“My caricatures of him must have been strong, for I heard afterward that he was greatly incensed at them. I’ll show you what they were like.”

Again the rapid pen flew over the reporters’ rough paper, and presently—in less than ten minutes at most—”Cannon in repose” and “Cannon on the stump” were produced.

They speak for themselves and give ample reason why the victim of them should be incensed.

“But he wasn’t angry long,” continued Mr. Lederer. “One day an arm was thrown about my neck as I was walking along in Chicago. I looked up to see who it was, and almost trembled in my boots when I saw that great, yawning mouth of Joe Cannon—he has the most striking mouth I have ever seen.

“It was wreathed in smiles this time, however, and he shook hands and told me he forgave me. We talked a little as we walked along, and then, when I bade him good-by, he said, almost pathetically:

” ‘Say, old man, when you draw me again please put some teeth in the mouth? I haven’t so many, but I’m not really toothless.’

“And he opened his mouth to show me. Sure enough, there were four or five teeth, and I had entirely overlooked them.

“Whitelaw Reid was an easy mark for the caricaturist—tall and lean men usually are. This is the way I made him—”

A few movements with the scratchy hotel pen and the editor of the New York Tribune was produced.

“When one makes a face a good many times it can be done from memory, you know, as well as from the original of a photograph. Once, on a bet, I drew ex-Mayor Roche of Chicago with my eyes shut.

“It’s so long ago I don’t know whether I can do it or not,” he said in reply to The Call man’s request for a blindfold sketch. But he tried, and you can see by comparing the two caricatures that there is a striking resemblance. (see top sketch)

“Yes, I think newspaper illustrations have come to stay. When you see such papers as the New York Sun and Herald being compelled to go back to them after giving them up you can depend upon it the public demands them.

“They’re a great expense and annoyance to the management but an attractive paper can’t be run without them. True, a few big papers like the New York Times and Philadelphia Ledger get along without illustrations, but they have rather exclusive circulations and are not so popular as the others.

“The pictures appeal strongly to the masses and no paper that caters to the people can get along without them.

“Yes; I look for improvement in newspaper illustration, but the improvement will be not so much in the artists’ work as in the better methods of reproducing their sketches and in the better ink and paper used.

“By and by they will be able to make a cheap paper with a smooth surface. That will help newspaper illustrators immensely. And then I think the time will come when newspapers will be able to reproduce, perhaps by the half-tone process, the illustrations directly from the pen drawings.

“How do the San Francisco papers compare in illustrations with those in the East? Very favorably, I think. In many ways their sketches are greatly superior to some of the more pretentious New York dailies.”

Mr. Lederer and his mother left the city yesterday afternoon for the south, and upon their return here will go back to Chicago. Mr. Lederer had the pleasure of meeting several of the San Francisco newspaper men and artists during his short stay here, and yesterday The Call‘s artist, Mr. Kohler, made his acquaintance.

At the request of The Call reporter, Mr. Lederer made a few hurried freehand sketches herewith presented.

News of Yore: King Tells Where He Gets Ideas for “Gasoline Alley”


Says There Are Loads of Ideas If You Can Tune in for Them

Real Characters
Artist Also Gives Some of His Own History
Winston-Salem Journal (North Carolina), 4/26/1926

Where do I get my ideas? I sit down and tune in and try to catch them as they go past. There are loads of ideas everywhere, but you must be tuned to receive them. Some come from real life direct. Most situations, however, are evolved by putting imaginary characters in possible situations and imagining what the result would be. By trying this over and over, if the wind is right, if the magnetic currents are favorable and the barometer O.K., a usable idea may be produced. If it has enough human nature in it, it is good—otherwise not.

The habit of observation is the important thing, both as regards ideas and drawing.

My Skeezix is five years too old. He is nine years of age and I have to remember back for material from that source. I also must remember a lot of things which didn’t happen but which might have happened. That is one of the fortunate things about human interest stuff. You are not limited to what has happened, but you must not do things which would never happen.

Many ideas are sent in, but very few of them are usable. Many come in in some form of propaganda, which have to be weeded out carefully. A few ideas come from friends’ children.

Yes, some of the characters are real people.

Skeezix is sort of a composite inspired by what I can remember of my own Skeezix, Robert Drew King. Skeezix is not a real doorstep baby, left on a bachelor’s doorstep, though many stories come back to me from people who know somebody, who knows somebody else, who had a maid, who had worked for my wife’s cousin, that such was the case. Or, that I have a baby just Skeezix’s age, or have nine children to draw upon for ideas.

In speaking of stories, one which seemed to become almost simultaneously current in all parts of the country, arose from somewhere last summer. This explains the mystery of Skeezix’s birth by asserting that Walt was shell shocked in the war and had married Mrs. Blossom, who was a war nurse. Skeezix, being the child of that union. Walt, however, losing his memory, forgot the whole affair and is still in ignorance of Skeezix’s parentage. This I heard on both coasts and from many places between.

Walt is a real a character. He happens to be a long-suffering brother-in-law, and the original inspiration for Gasoline Alley.

He kept his car in a private garage, one of a string in the alley, back of his apartment near Sixty-third Street, Chicago. It was the bunch of car tinkerers who were garage neighbors that suggested the characters which have endured to the present time.

Walt (Walter Drew) was taken almost bodily and though he has suffered many fictions and slanders in the strip, still remains good natured and up to date has undertaken no reprisals.
Bill is another character kidnapped from the original alley bunch.

Avery is composite of a series of individuals I have come in contact with.

There are several claimants to Doc.

Mr. Wicker is pure fiction and Mrs. Blossom has been evolved from a suggestion a woman sent in. She said she was a widow and used to sit at home alone evenings and Sunday afternoon, until she got a “flivver” and kept it in a garage in the alley. Then she had numerous offers of help fixing and cleaning her car, plenty of company, and rides in bigger cars.

Hobbies? About everything but bridge and golf. I don’t like cards and gave up golf because I would rather save up my days and half days and get out with a pack outfit on the Arizona desert, or load up the car and hit the road out through the mountains or make a canoe cruise.

My wife usually goes along and has ridden a mule hundreds of miles across the desert and hit mountain trails and many thousands of miles of auto roads. Son Robert has accompanied us on many trips and is comfortable and happy under any outdoor conditions.

As to biography—here goes. Birthplace, Cashton, Wis., but tired of the town and moved to Tomah one month later. High chair, measles and arithmetic there, also higher education culminating in learned essay at graduation from high school entitled “Newspaper Art” It embraced everything I had learned since and much more. Stuck type for Tomah Journal and spent four years in art department of Minneapolis Times. Left to go to art school in Chicago, and Minneapolis Times collapsed one month later. Three years with Hearst but he didn’t know it. Then The Chicago Tribune, Motorcycle Mike, Bobby Make-Believe, Rectangle, Gasoline Alley, Walt and Skeezix.

News of Yore 1964: Richard Q. “Moco” Yardley Profiled

Moco the Magnificent by Charles Bissell
(originally published in AAEC News, April 1964)
There are two cartoonists in America who cannot be copied. One of these is Chas. Addams, intimate of ghouls, gourmets, poltergeists, calcars, spoorns, octopi, devils, demons, morticians, witches, werewolves, weirdos, and all the forces of evil. The other is Dick Yardley of Baltimore’s Morning Sun, whose perhaps even more sinister playfellows are the world’s captains and kings. Of course any fairly competent lifter could handily appropriate their styles. A truly skilled copyist might begin to get some of the other stuff. But if perfect copies were possible, they would have to carry the signatures too—so indelibly is the mark of exclusive possession stamped on their work.
The most remarkable thing about Yardley (avaunt, Addams!) is that he is an editorial cartoonist at all. In a field bound by tradition and usage, limited in subject matter, regenerating on its own cliches, he has operated almost as if all the rest didn’t exist.
His style, which might be described as early Ming, middle comic strip, late Picasso, and all Yardley—or perhaps better some other way-is not suitable for editorial cartoons. To begin with, it’s not serious. We all know how you’ve got to be mighty serious about lots of things-atom bombs, for instance. You couldn’t put over something big and profound by drawing a couple of nudeniks with four heads, a little banjo-eyed character in a beret and maybe a cat, all caught up in some sort of symbolical astral soup and expect to scare daylights out of your readers. Well, no, you couldn’t—but Yardley can.
And when you think of it, hasn’t he made his point in the most logical and familiar way? Aren’t we all familiar with nightmares, subconscious thoughts, subliminal images? Don’t we all have a horror of crawly and shapeless things, of mutations and monstrosities? Aren’t we awed by the stars and galaxies? Isn’t there a spooky ancient memory of signs and symbols, runes and cryptograms? And isn’t comedy always there in our minds too, flickering like so much heat lightning?
Yardley’s world is tremendously animate and in this quality too, it accurately reflects the state of the planet. Like something seen in a microscope, there are unexpected and beautiful mosaics, mysterious shapes and zillions of things whirling about in every direction. Oddly enough, the figures that suggest this motion are not in violent action. There are no flow lines and no straining for movement. Yet everything in the picture—houses, trees, water, animals, people—has a vitality of its own. The girls are corn fed and lovely, nubile and nifty. Villains are mean, ambitions are raw, politicos are crafty, embarrassments are keen. There is nothing static, nothing detached. Everything is involved with everything else as if in some over-sized, many-triangled love affair. Often as not, hovering over all this, may be a very special Cupid with wings sprouting from the glutei maximi rather than the shoulder locations favored by Fra Angelico, Rembrandt, Rubens and other knowing masters.
In fact, it is safe, I think, to say that love, more than anything else, make Yardley’s pictures go round and round. There is love of the work that shows in every line. And there is love of life, and humanity, and of things as they ought to be, that comes across, no matter what else he may be saying.
The experts on cartooning, who rise up every so often and tell us how bad we are, and what, on the other hand, great cartoons should be, are in agreement on several points. Foremost is the notion that all cartoons should be something like Goya’s war etchings. Another is that they should be biting caricature in the manner of Daumier. All agree they should be simple, direct, forceful, uncluttered, understandable at a glance, the pen lines jagged, the ink acid, and never, never, never, should they be full of little labels, signs and explanations.
Yardley’s great cartoons are great in spite of all this. He will probably never get any splendid prize or citation for conformity. If his work is Goyaesque in any way—it’s ‘La Maja Denuda’ Goyaesque. (Some of his figures wear less than Adam). And it’s hard to tell about his caricatures. Some are true, most are flattering, and others may be spitting images too, but not necessarily of the people depicted. His manner is often indirect, terribly cluttered, and even the Greek choruses (beret and cat) seem to have Greek choruses of their own. His lines are not jagged but flow as smoothly as Maryland rye, and as for labels— they are not only numerous but at times in foreign languages. You couldn’t possibly understand one of these cartoons at a glance, but that’s the point—you have to stay a while and look and think and enjoy.
I am not artist enough to know how much art goes into his work. These pictures may be thought out in almost mathematical precision, or, more likely, they come out spontaneously. Certainly the designs are intricate and inventive. Certainly there are complicated and sophisticated constructions.
Before becoming an editorial cartoonist, Yardley did a back page panel largely about the pleasures of Baltimore, that had no equal anywhere. We didn’t have the bomb then and he could give a lot of attention to crab cakes and high prices and a curmudgeon of a boss and the bounties of Chesapeake and the activities of a very lovely little girl who happened to be his daughter. His drawing, always beautiful, foliated into elaborate maps, nostalgic wood-cut effects and simulations of old engravings. They still do now and then – weight of the world or no – and an added nifty on rare occasions may be an old photo or painting retouched into some hilarious caricature of itself. As clever as things are, you never think of them being clever because there is no self-consciousness or striving for effect. They are the right thing at the right time and just what you can expect one day or another from Yardley.
Since he has no peers it is hard to evaluate him in relation to other cartoonists or even in relation to the profession. He probably never broke up a Tweed ring or cleaned up a rat alley. He has probably never ruined any public figure through merciless caricature. He doesn’t, as a rule, lend his talents to furthering the routine good causes, and if he has a hobby of collecting medals or doing woodwork, he doesn’t mention it anywhere. On the other hand, though, he can hit very hard while not seeming to do so. His likes and hates are intense and constant and there is never any doubt which side he is on. His touch is often light and always whimsical, but as with all the greatest satirists, his concern is with the largest things. About the state of the world and the state of man, Dick Yardley probably has more to say than any of us.

News of Yore: Henry McCarn


Henry McCarn Will Draw Cartoons For The Dispatch

The Dispatch (Lexington, North Carolina), 11/26/1963

Editorial cartoons of particular interest in North Carolina and the South will be published regularly in The Dispatch, through arrangements with Henry McCarn of Charlotte. He is the operator of “State Cartoon Service” and his work has brought honors to the newspapers he serves and to himself.

McCarn developed the cartoon service while he was assistant manager of Belk’s, in downtown Charlotte. He sketches political and newsworthy events for editorial pages, designed to meet the needs of North Carolina editors and publishers.

“Editorial cartooning is a tremendous responsibility,” McCarn says. Keeping up with news developments, he spends many hours reading newspapers and magazines and listening to newscasts.

He draws with a happy combination of newsworthy ideas and unmistakeable evidence of deep conviction, plus delightful humor. “A cartoonist should be a good reporter, illustrating history in the making,” he says. “A cartoonist’s work is tied in with the stuff of life—politics, the needs, successes, joys and sorrows of people.”

Some of his cartoons have appeared in “Editor and Publisher” and in a number of other publications in addition to the newspapers he serves. In 1954 the Julius Mathews Newspaper Service of New York honored him with an award for his editorial cartoon on the cancer crusade, which appeared in the Raleigh News and Observer.

Mr. and Mrs. McCarn live at their country home known affectionately as “Pine Acres”. His studio is located at 428 Hawthorne Lane in Charlotte. The McCarns are members of Hawthorne Lane Methodist Church, where Henry, is close associated with the church school activities, and has a deep sense of Christian responsibility, and says: “With the help of God my best cartoons are in the future.” They have two sons, Ural and Robert Gabriel. Ural lives in San Fernando, California. Robert lives in Charlotte. Mr. and Mrs. McCarn have three grandchildren.


[A photo and an editorial cartoon are here. Henry McCarn was born in Belmont, North Carolina, on March 13, 1904, according to the North Carolina Birth Index and his World War II draft card at Ancestry.com. In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, he was the sixth of seven children born to Jacob and Laura. They lived in South Point in Belmont, North Carolina. His father was a picker at a cotton mill. In the 1920 census the family remained in South Point.

Ten years later, McCarn, an older brother and parents lived in Belmont at 57 First Street. He was a warper at a cotton mill. Information about his art training has not been found. Hill’s Charlotte City Directory 1938 had a listing for him: “McCarn Henry (Myrtis G) artist Charlotte Engraving Co r Mount Holly”. The date of his marriage to Myrtis is not known. His panel, Carolina Hall of History, appeared in 1938, and was recorded in the Catalog of Copyright Entries, Part 1, Group 2, Pamphlets, Etc., 1938 New Series, Volume 35, Number 11.

He signed his World War II draft card on February 16, 1942. He worked at the Knit Products Corporation in Belmont. He was five feet five-and-a-half inches tall and weighed 118 pounds. He had blue eyes and brown hair. In the 1944 directory, he worked for in the advertising department of the Ed Mellon Company. According to the 1945-46 directory, he remained at the same company and resided at 428 Hawthorne Lane. McCarn passed away May 23, 1981 in Charlotte, according to the North Carolina Death Collection at Ancestry.com.]

News of Yore: A.D. Condo’s Aim Is True


Everett True
A.D. Condo, Artist Who Created Him
New Orleans States, 10/2/1917




A.D. Condo, the man who draws Everett True for The States, was born some forty odd years ago near Toledo, Ohio. Long before Ardo was out of his teens, his father, a preacher, was killed in cyclone and the boy had to turn in and help make a living for the family.


One of young Condo’s earliest jobs was as a printer. Later he became an engraver. His natural drawing ability took him from the engraving department to the art staff of theToledeo News-Bee. Here he drew cartoons and covered regular assignments from fires to picnics. More than ten years ago he left Toledo and went to work for theCleveland Press.

Condo’s caricatures attracted much attention. Next, the Newspaper Enterprise Association secured his services. Today as a member of NEA’s art staff, Condo is drawingEverett True for more than 250 of America’s leading newspapers.

Psychologists say each man’s hero is his exact opposite. Everett is fat. Condo isn’t skinny but used to be.

Everett’s “let’s go” whenever he is displeased, landing with fists or his umbrella. Condo is long suffering and never had a fight in his life. He is big-hearted and loves children.

Something after this fashion, Condo does his work: He walks around the block until he finds a human pest and he sicks Everett one that particular pest—on paper of course. For example:

“An acquaintance told me people pestered him into buying a Liberty bond,” recounted Condo. “So he bought the smallest one he could get—$50. He’s rich. It made me so mad I wanted to kick him.”

Condo didn’t dare to do that so he had Everett administer the punishment.

And that’s the way Everett True first broke into print. Condo came to the office one morning after a neighbor’s rasping phonograph had annoyed him unusually the evening before—kept him awake, in fact, long after he had retired.

Why wasn’t there someone to put a machine like that out of business, or to teach the owner of the machine a practical lesson, thought Condo. And before the day was over Everett was born—and the never-ending procession of pests has kept him busy ever since.

Condo’s home is in Berkeley, California. He is a widower and lives with his mother and his little daughter.


[Armundo Dreisbach Condo was born in Freeport, Illinois on September 19, 1872. The Montana Daily Independent, November 18, 1923, reported his birth location. His World War I draft card had his birthdate.
Dreisbach was his mother’s maiden name. In the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, Condo lived with his maternal grandparents in Thompson, Ohio. The grandparents operated the Orphan Institute. His mother, Esther, and younger brother, Early, lived in Carthage, Missouri. His missionary father, Eli, was killed by a cyclone in Marshfield, Missouri, on April 18, 1880, according to Historical Data and Life Sketches of the Deceased Ministers of the Indiana Conference of the Evangelical Association, 1835 to 1915 (1915).

In the 1900 census, he lived with his mother and brother in Toledo, Ohio at 430 Raymer Street. Both brothers were newspaper artists. According to Don Markstein’s Toonopedia, “A Chapter from the Career of Everett True, as the series was originally titled (it was quickly shortened to The Outbursts of Everett True), was created by A.D. Condo and J.W. Raper. It first appeared on July 22, 1905.” Everett True panels can be viewed at Chronicling America. In 1908 he drew the panel, Mr. Skygack, from Mars.


Seattle Star, 7/28/1905


Seattle Star, 7/31/1905

Seattle Star, 3/18/1910


Condo, a widower, was recorded in Cleveland, Ohio at 10819 Tacoma Avenue, according to the 1910 census. He was the head of the household of four which included his three-year-old daughter. He was a newspaper cartoonist and his brother was a printer. He drew the comic strip Osgar and Adolf from 1911 to 1915. Condo wrote about his first newspaper assignment in Pep, January 1917. He signed his World War I draft card on September 12, 1918. He was an NEA newspaper cartoonist who lived at 964 Tulare in Albany, California. His description was medium height, slender build, with gray eyes and brown hair.

In the 1920 census he, his daughter and mother were at the same address as the one on his draft card. He worked for NEA as an illustrator. Ten years later, Condo and his mother remained at the same place. He continued as a cartoonist. According to the California Death Index at Ancestry.com, Condo’s mother passed away March 20, 1947, and he on August 24, 1956, in Albany, California.


Condo’s characters Everett True, Osgar and Adolf appeared in Alley Oop from the last week of March to the third week of April 1969.


Alley Oop, 4/3/1969

Alley Oop, 4/9/1969


Alley Oop, 4/21/1969

Yesterday’s Papers transcribed a 1923 profile of Condo.]

News of Yore: Lad Cerny

LAD CERNY
Cleveland Plain Dealer 7/12/1947

Lad Cerny, 33, an editorial artist for the Cleveland News since October 1934, died yesterday in St. Luke’s Hospital.

Mr. Cerny, who lived at 3521 W. 97th Street, entered the hospital on Monday for an operation which was performed on Wednesday. His wife, Bernice Cerny, arrived at the hospital a few minutes before he died.

Most of his life had been devoted to art and he was a frequent contributor to the May Show at the Cleveland Museum of Art. In 1933 one of his works, a drawing of his mother, won him a prize. Early this year he received an award from the Cleveland Newspaper Guild for his art layout.

His art education was received at the Cleveland School of Art and the John Huntington Polytechnic Institute. He was also a graduate of Benjamin Franklin School.

Surviving Mr. Cerny, besides his wife, are his mother, Mrs. Dorothy Cerny, now in Czechoslovakia; a daughter Kay, and three brothers, James, Joseph and Frank Cerny.

[Ladislaus Cerny was born around 1914 in Cleveland, Ohio, according to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census. He was the third of four sons born to Joseph and Dorothy, both Bohemian emigrants. The family lived in Cleveland at 2514 Tate Avenue. He has not been found in the 1930 census. He was one of two cartoonists who drew the panel Local Oddities. The spelling of his name was found in the Cleveland City Directory for 1938 (4251 W 23d), 1939 (2923 Lincoln av) and 1942 (2624 Portman av).]


New of Yore: Harry Weinert

‘Vignettes Is Family Favorite
The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Washington) 11/22/1953

One of America’s favorite comic features for the last 30 years has been “Vignettes of Life,” a gently satirical cartoon treatment of human foibles and social mannerisms. No less today than at the time of its inception, this feature appeals to many readers because of the deftness of its characterizations. Readers can usually identify familiar personalities from among the cartoon characters—the man next door, the girl at the office, the youngster who lives in the corner house down the block.

“Vignettes” is created each week by Harry Weinert in the Inland Empire magazine of The Spokesman-Review on Sundays. Weinert was born in Royersford, Pa., in 1901, and developed an interest in art while attending Royersford public schools. His art training was furthered through studies at Corcoran School of Art, Washington, D.C.

After joining the art staff of the Philadelphia Public Ledger, Weinert continued his studies at the Pennsylvania School of Industrial Art, and later continued his studies abroad.

As a free lance artist he contributed to such publications as the Saturday Evening Post, Esquire and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

His spare time art work is devoted chiefly to the study of early American arts and crafts, particularly Pennsylvania Dutch. Aside from the art field, his hobbies are travel and when possible, chugging around Great Egg Harbor bay, New York, in an outboard motorboat, crabbing and fishing.

Seattle Daily Times, 10/12/1952


Seattle Daily Times, 4/9/1961


[Harry S. Weinert was born in Royersford, Pennsylvania on September 2, 1901; his birthdate is from the Social Security Death Index. In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, he was the only child of John and Nellie. They lived in Royersford at 252 Washington Street. His father was a glass blower. The magazine, St. Nicholas, July 1917, published a list of young adult contributors to the St. Nicholas League. The “Roll of Honor” list included Weinert, for his drawing.

The Weinerts remained at the same address in the 1920 census. Weinert was a newspaper artist. A New York passenger list, at Ancestry.com, recorded his return from Europe. Aboard the S.S. Republic, he sailed from Bremen, Germany and arrived in New York City October 16, 1928. His address was 619 North 17 Street in Philadelphia.

He has not been found in the 1930 census. According to the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Marriage Index, at Ancestry.com, he married Regina M. Scally in 1936.

Philadelphia Inquirer Gold Seal Novels has an annotated list of illustrators, including Weinert, who contributed from the 1930s to the 1950s. The Philadelphia Directory 1950 had his address as “702 S Wash Sq”. In 1952, he took over Vignettes of Life when Kemp Starrett passed away.

Weinert passed away in December 1968, according to the Social Security Death Index. His last residence was in Philadelphia.]