Ink-Slinger Profiles: Charles D. Mitchell

Charles Davis Mitchell was born in Wilmington, Delaware on May 18, 1885, according to the Delaware Birth Records at Ancestry.com. Who Was Who in American Art (1985) has the same place and date. In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, he was the oldest of three children born to Charles and Caroline. They lived in Camden, New Jersey at 401 North Second. His father was a contractor. Mitchell provided interior illustrations for the Saturday Evening Post as early as April 1907, and continuing into the mid-1920s.



The Mitchell family was recorded in the 1910 census in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 5713 Thomas Avenue. He was a magazine illustrator. His other profession was actor. He drew himself and others in the play, What the Doctor Ordered, for the Public Ledger, February 27, 1917.


Springfield Republican (Massachusetts) 7/3/1918


Brooklyn Daily Eagle (New York) 3/28/1920


The Public Ledger published his Follies of the Passing Show beginning in July 1917. His final Follies was published March 28, 1920. He signed his World War I draft card on September 12, 1918. He lived at 210 Rutgers Avenue in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, and was a newspaper cartoonist for the Public Ledger. He named his wife, Reba Baxter Mitchell, as his nearest relative. His description was medium height and build with blue eyes and brown hair. American Art Annual Volume 16 (1919) listed his address as “518 Walnut St., Philadelphia, Pa.”


Public Ledger 1/19/1921

In the 1920 census, he lived in Springfield, Pennsylvania at 210 Rutgers Avenue. His daughter was 25 months old. He was an illustrator. During Prohibition, the Public Ledger sought the opinions of performing and visual artists about the absence of spirits. On June 8, 1922, Mitchell said, “Art need no stimulus, and the idea that wines or liquor of any kind are necessary for the production of good work is all wrong. It neither makes for better art, or a better appreciation of it. It would be a poor kind of art that depends on a false stimulus. Logic and common sense point out that better work is produced from a clear mind. A befuddled brain don’t make for a particularly high grade of work.”

Social Snapshots was another weekly feature he produced during the 1920s. In the second half of the 1920s, Mitchell contributed to The Delineator, Liberty, College Humor, McCall’s and others.

He has not been found in the 1930 census. His magazine contributions included Physical Culture, Good Housekeeping, Ladies Home Journal and Redbook. On August 22, 1938, they arrived, aboard the S.S Queen Mary, in New York City from Southampton, England.

Mitchell passed away March 30, 1940, in Charleston, South Carolina, according to the New York Times, which published the news on April 2. The article said he was 53 years old, which was incorrect, so most sources have 1887 as his birth year.

Ink-Slinger Profiles: C.D. Russell

Clarence Davis Russell was born in Buffalo, New York on August 19, 1896, according to his World War I and II draft cards. The same birthdate was recorded in U.S. Veterans Gravesites, ca.1775-2006 at Ancestry.com. His birth has been stated simply as 1895 in books and websites. In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, he was the first of two children born to Hamilton and Elizabeth. They lived in Buffalo at 43 East Balcom Street. His father was a bookkeeper.

In the next census, they remained in Buffalo, but at 143 North Pearl. His father was a claims agent. According to his New York Times, October 25, 1963 obituary, he studied at the Chicago Art Institute. In the World Encyclopedia of Comics (1976), Maurice Horn wrote, “…after freelancing cartoons to magazines around the country, he came to New York City in 1915. When WWI rolled around he enlisted in the Marines, became sports editor of The Leatherneck, the Corps’ publication, and was sent overseas with the American Expeditionary Force.” Russell signed his World War I draft card on June 5, 1918. He resided at 136 East 16th Street, Manhattan, New York City. He worked for the Western Electric Company. His description was medium height, slender build with blue eyes and light brown hair. History of Buffalo and Erie County, 1914-1919 (1920) had this entry, “Russell, Clarence D.—1st-class Pvt., Co. F, 11th USM.”

The Western Electric News published one of his cartoons (below) in its August 1918 issue.

The American Review of Reviews, November 1918, reprinted one of his Leatherneck cartoons.

Russell has not been found in the 1920 census. According to Famous Artists & Writers (1949), “…in the early Twenties [he] worked for the old New York Evening Post and Evening Mail….Russell’s professional interest in tramps began around 1927…’I began drawing tramps for Judge, the old humorous magazine…and pretty soon Pete [the Tramp] began to evolve…” (The entire profile is here.) He produced ads titled Electrified History for Western Electric.


He has not been found in the 1930 census. Famous Artist & Writers said, “
He signed a contract with King Features in 1930.” According to E. Simms Campbell‘s January 29, 1971 obituary in the New York Times, “…C.D. Russell, creator of ‘Pete the Tramp,’ encouraged and advised him…” His strip Pete the Tramp, began on January 10, 1932. Snorky was one of three toppers he used on Pete the Tramp. A 1937 issue of the Judge printed instructions for his word game.

Before the paper and pencils are put back in the desk drawer, a neat game for groups of two, three or four is “Letter-Go,” an invention of cartoonist C.D. Russell, who is also the inventor of Pete the Tramp. Each player rules off, free-hand, a box containing twenty- five squares. This is done by making six horizontal lines about a half inch apart and crossing them with six more half inch apart vertical lines. The players then take turns in calling out letters. Each letter, as it is called, must be placed by each player in any one of his twenty-five squares, and no erasing either. The object is to make words horizontally and vertically. When all the squares have been filled in, papers are exchanged and scores totaled. A five-letter word counts 10, a four-letter word 5 and a three-letter word 2. Two-letter words don’t count at all. Neither do proper names nor foreign words. Also, adding an “s” on the end of a singular word to make it into a plural is just a waste of time. Your opponents will only allow you the singular. A perfect score is 100 — five five-letter words each way. But in stiff competition you should be able to pick up the marbles with anything in the neighborhood of 70.

Russell signed his World War II draft card on April 27, 1942. He lived in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He was a cartoonist for King Features. His description was 5 feet 8 inches and 165 pounds, with blue eyes and gray hair. He was involved in the founding of the National Cartoonist Society in 1946.


Russell passed away on October 23, 1963, according to U.S. Veterans Gravesites. However, the New York Times October 25 obituary said he, “…died of cancer Tuesday [October 22] in Kingsbridge Veterans Hospital, the Bronx. He was 67 years old and lived in Fort Lee, N.J.” That Tuesday date was used in the World Encyclopedia of Comics. He was buried at Long Island National Cemetery in Farmingdale, New York. Pete the Tramp ended December 22, 1963. A list of his comic book credits is at the Grand Comics Database.

Ink-Slinger Profiles: Bud Counihan

Daniel Francis “Bud” Counihan was born in Connecticut, January 10, 1887, according to his World War I draft card at Ancestry.com. In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, he was the second of nine children born to Daniel and Anastasia. They lived in Norwich, Connecticut at 51 Oakridge Street. His father was an iron moulder.

Counihan was recorded as a newspaper cartoonist in the 1910 census. He was part of his father’s household in Norwich at 55 Oakridge Street. In 1913 his strip Hinky Dee was published in the Trenton Evening Times from May 12 to October 13 (Allan pipes up: it is unclear who syndicated this strip, but it was syndicated; I have a run in the Pittsburgh Post for instance; at one time my guess was the Chicago Record-Herald or the Philadelphia Record, but I never found it in those papers). The Bridgeport Post (Connecticut) published, on January 6, 1972, the Associated Press obituary which said, “…Counihan began his career in Norwich, Conn., as a sports cartoonist and came to Providence round the turn of the century. He later worked at the Washington, D.C., Star and joined the staff of the New York World in 1915 [sic; 1914–Allan]. He remained with the New York World until that paper ceased publication about 1935 [sic; he left in 1928–Allan]. Over 400 of his New York Evening World comic strips and sports cartoons (1915–1922) can be viewed at Chronicling America.

He signed his World War I draft card on June 5, 1917. He lived in Brooklyn, at 580 22nd Street, with his wife and two children. His occupation was newspaper cartoonist for the New York World. His description was tall, slender, with blue eyes and brown hair.

Counihan has not been found in the 1920 census. A 1922 photo of him with other cartoonists is here. His strip Little Napoleon began in 1923. It was followed by Pinhead Dooley in 1928.


Trenton Evening Times, 5/12/1913


At Ancestry.com his name was transcribed as “Durell F Counchan” in the 1930 census. He lived in Brooklyn at 1860 East 19th Street. His wife, Margaret, and two daughters, Anita and Francine, were all born in Washington, D.C. The success of the early 1930s Betty Boop animated cartoons, was followed, in 1934, by the King Features comic strip by Counihan and Hal Seeger, according to Wikipedia. During this time, Counihan’s oldest daughter, Anita, a model and actress, may have been better known than her father. Counihan passed away January 5, 1972, in Wakefield, Rhode Island, according to the Social Security Death Index.

Ink-Slinger Profiles: Martin Branner

Martin Michael Branner was born in New York, New York on December 28, 1888, according to his World War I and II draft cards at Ancestry.com. In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, the Branner household lived in Manhattan, New York City at 242 East 110 Street. Bernard and Minnie, Romanian emigrants, had seven children. Branner’s twin brother was Isidor and they were the second oldest of the siblings.

In the 1910 census, Branner lived with his in-laws, the Fabbrinis, in Manhattan at 120 West 103 Street. His occupation was actor in theater; his wife, Edith, was an actress. They had been married three years. He signed his World War I draft card on June 5, 1917. His occupation was vaudeville actor. His description was short height, slender build, with blue eyes and brown hair.


The couple were with the same household at the same address in the 1920 census. After short runs on Louie the Lawyer and a few other strips, his hit comic strip Winnie Winkle the Breadwinner debuted September 20, 1920, according to the Syracuse University’s Special Collections Research Center’s collection of Martin Branner cartoons.


10/7/1923

Ten years later, the Branners lived in Queens, New York, at 608 157 Street, with their two sons, a nurse and servant. A New York Passenger List recorded their return from Bermuda on March 30, 1939. They lived in Flushing, New York at 4749 157 Street. Branner was profiled in the August 5, 1939, Editor & Publisher.


In the early 1940s, a police officer named “Martin Branner” appeared in Ad Carter’s Just Kids.


Times-Picayune, 5/11/1941


Branner signed his World War II draft card in 1942. He lived in Waterford, Connecticut. His employer was the Chicago Tribune-New York News. His description was five feet four inches, 145 pounds, blue eyes and gray hair.



Detail of ad in World-Herald, 11/17/1957


The World-Herald (Omaha, Nebraska) published a profile of Jack Berrill, Branner’s assistant, on October 24, 1958.



Coach Owes Job to Winnie Winkle

…Mr. Berrill, 35, has been a comic-strip artist since his teens….[He] is Brooklyn-born and was graduated from Brooklyn Tech in 1941. He refused an art scholarship because his father thought added study would ruin his style as a cartoonist.


As a result, Mr. Berrill went to work as a copyboy on the New York News. His salary: 18 dollars a week.


But opportunity knocked in the form of Martin Branner, the creator of Winnie Winkle, another World-Herald comic feature.


Mr. Branner asked Mr. Berrill to become his assistant and he has worked with him since….

The New York Times published news of his wife’s passing on January 3, 1966. Branner passed away May 19, 1970, at the Nutmeg Pavilion Convalescent Hospital in New London, Connecticut. The Times published his obituary two days later.

Ink-Slinger Profiles: George L. Lee

George L. Lee was born in Jamestown, New York on July 27, 1906. In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Lee was the youngest of two sons born to George and Grace. They lived in Jamestown at 839 North Main Street. His father owned and operated a barber shop. In 1914, Grace took her two sons to Spokane, Washington, and later to Wenatchee and Seattle, where Lee graduated, in 1925, from Garfield High School. As a senior he was interested in art but had little formal training after high school, just a few months at the Chicago Art Institute.

Lee has not been found in the 1920 census. He moved to Chicago, in 1927, where he worked, for five years, as a messenger at the Pure Oil Company. The company magazine recognized his talent and he drew some of the covers. His interest in sports illustrations led him to the boxing publication, Bang, which published his first drawings on its cover in 1929. In a short time, Lee met Chicago Evening American sports editor, Eddie Geiger, who liked his work. The front page of the August 24, 1930 sports section was his debut in a major publication. He also contributed sports drawings to the Chicago Tribune.

Lee has not been found in the 1930 census. A syndication deal fell through, in March 1933, when it was learned that he was black. He rebounded quickly when Chicago Defender editor, Lucius Harper, collaborated with him on a series called Sporting Around. The following year, the Pittsburgh Courier engaged Lee to work on the feature, Your History, with text by J.A. Rogers, a black historian.

In 1936 Lee married Jennie Hicks; they had a son. He continued to freelance while employed, beginning in 1937, at the Postal Service. His series, Interesting People, combined portraits and brief biographies of black Americans. The series ran from 1946 to 1948. In the 1950s the International Boxing Club used Lee’s talents for their publicity cartoons for the big fights in Chicago.

Interesting People, Chicago Metro News, 9/25/1976


In 1969 he retired from the Postal Service. The following year, he returned to Interesting People, which ran until 1986, the year he retired; he was 80. The Chicago Metro News (Illinois) published the panel from September 25, 1976 to June 2, 1990 (probably included reprints after his 1986 retirement); he was profiled (see photo) in the October 2, 1976 issue. His work was collected in four books from various publishers: Interesting People (1976, 1989, 1992, 1999), Interesting Athletes (1990, 1993), Inspiring African Americans (1991) and Worldwide Interesting People (1992).

I believe Lee passed away on November 3, 1999 in Columbia, Maryland. The Social Security Death Index has a “George L. Lee” with the same birthdate and his Social Security number was issued in Illinois.


Sources:
African American Biographies: Profiles of 558 Current Men and Women (1992).
Chicago Metro News (Illinois), October 2, 1976, “Author of Interesting People Highlighted”, p. 5.

Ink-Slinger Profiles: A.C. Hollingsworth

[This week Herriman Saturday has been moved — it will be Herriman Wednesday — and for very good reason that will not be revealed until then. Be sure to check in on Wednesday for an important announcement — Allan]

Alvin Carl Hollingsworth was born in New York, New York, on February 25, 1928. His birthplace is from Who’s Who in American Art 1989–90 (1989), and his birth date is from the Social Security Death Index. (The Social Security Death Index misspelled “Hollingsworth”; it left off the second “H”. Who’s Who said he was born in 1930 but that is incorrect.)


In the 1930 U.S. Federal Census, Hollingsworth was the youngest of two sons born to Charles and Cynthia. His brother, Roy, was about four years older. The family lived in Manhattan, New York City at 258 West 153 Street, which was in Harlem. His parents were British West Indies citizens; his father, a shipping clerk at a dress house, emigrated 1917, and his mother, a presser in a dress factory, in 1920. They married around 1923 when she was 19.

Bill Schelly’s Man of Rock: A Biography of Joe Kubert (2008) has an account of Hollingsworth’s teenage years and struggles to get in the comic book field.

…Having grown up poor and black in Harlem, Hollingsworth…likely would have never known Joe Kubert if they hadn’t crossed paths at Holyoke [Publications]. This meeting was pivotal for Hollingsworth. It was Kubert who told the young artist about the High School of Music and Art, and suggested that he apply. Hollingsworth was in eighth grade at the time. Subsequently, Hollingsworth did apply and was accepted at M&A for his freshman year. Hollingsworth was Kubert’s junior by two years…


…Not that Kubert was the only influence on Hollingsworth. The younger boy’s work was also shaped by his West Indian and Caribbean heritage and the world of Harlem in the 1930s, which was a center for African-American culture. Hollingsworth’s biographer Valliere Richard Auzenne, PhD wrote, “Harlem was a thriving community which pulsated with life, a convergence of sight, sound and color, and a pivot for people of color. A community which supported art created within it confines, jazz, poetry, murals, sculpture, and paintings. This was the world Alvin grew up in.”

In an interview conducted [by Valliere Richard Auzenne] in the mid-1980s, Alvin Hollingsworth recalled, “My first cartoons were city scenes picturing the Empire State Building, cartoons where superheroes would be leaping from building to building. I got my first job [in comics] while I was in junior high school. I couldn’t get paid because I didn’t have working papers. My father had to take off from work to go down with me to get working papers so I could get paid.

“I would have to get up early in the morning, around six, take the work down to the building and leave it with the elevator driver and come up to my school to be there by 8:00 or 8:30. It forced me to be very disciplined.”

…On the weekends, Hollingsworth would visit Kubert at the Kubert home in Brooklyn. [According to his father’s, Jacob Kubert, World War II draft card, the home address was 48 East 51st Street.] Kubert said, “We were kids together. We knew each other through high school, I mean, we used to wrestle and stuff like that. Alvin was a good friend.”

…”Joe was very nice,” Hollingsworth recalled. “Every weekend while the other kids were out playing basketball, I was going over to study with Joe. Joe taught me a lot. He taught me how to cut a line [with] a razor blade…so the line was so sharp it looked like it was printed. He taught me a lot about how to give a picture force by having the punch look like it swept through the page.

…Hollingsworth…struggled doing both school assignments and trying to break into the comic-book business. “I remember one term,” Hollingsworth recalled, “[when] by midterm I had failed every course but one because I hadn’t done any work. I was getting as much artwork as I could do and going to Music and Art full time. Music and Art was a pretty rough school. I was too busy doing cartoons. Mr. Patterson, who know I was doing comic books, spoke to the administration on my behalf. They lightened my load back to four classes and I passed everything by next term.

“When I got into the field I began running into prejudice, for now I was competing for jobs,” Hollingsworth remembered. “I was no longer ‘helping people,’ ” At first he worked for Bernard Bailey, who had a shop operation, just because of the difficulty of lining up his own work. Eventually he was able to find assignments on his own. Hollingsworth went on to carve out a substantial career in the comics field, jumping around the genres, but proving most effective on the horror strips that became popular at the decade’s end. Much of his work was for Fiction House, Avon and Lev Gleason.

The Herald Statesman (Yonkers, New York), March 13, 1970, said he graduated in 1946. In the late 1940s, Hollingsworth produced a few stories for Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. At The Jack Kirby Museum website, Harry Mendryk said:

Another artist that shows up working for Simon and Kirby during this period is Alvin Carl Hollingsworth….Previously he worked for Holyoke Publishing Company working on Catman. Hollingsworth was also a talented fine arts painter. Joe Simon remembers Alvin and has a high opinion of him. Joe remarked that he thought he was the only African-American working in comics at that time. This is not truly accurate since there was also Matt Baker who played an important part in the early history of comics. But Matt Baker never worked for Simon and Kirby and so Joe was not aware of him, or at least of his background.

Hollingsworth is another of those artists whose current reputation is much lower then [sic] warranted by his talent. This is largely because he left the comic book field in the late ’50s first for syndications strips and then the fine arts. It is a recurring pattern that I have noticed that comic book artists who did not take part in the superhero revival of the 60′s and later generally do not get much attention today….

According to Who’s Who, Hollingsworth continued his art studies at the Art Students League of New York; his instructors were Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Ralph Fabri and Dr. Bernard Myers, from 1950 to 1952. At City University of New York, he earned his Bachelor of Arts in 1956, and Masters of Arts in 1959. The Art Students League of New York: Summer Schools in Woodstock and New York City, 1971 catalogue said, “…After graduating from the High School of Music and Art, he went on to City College of New York City and subsequently switched from social studies to a major in art. He was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate at City where he went on to earn his M.A….”

During the 1950s he worked on the comic strip Scorchy Smith, assisted George Shedd on Marlin Keel, and produced Kandy for the Pittsburgh Courier/Smith-Mann Syndicate . Samples of his original art and comic book cover art are at Heritage Auctions. Hollingsworth is mentioned in It’s a Man’s World: Men’s Adventure Magazines, The Postwar Pulps (2003).

…The illustrators who provided the fabulous covers of soldiers with anacondas wrapped around their necks surrounded by nymphos—now seen as classic period art—were a breed apart. Many were serious bodybuilders, actually resembling the action heroes on their covers. Art director Mel Blum, for one, was a huge, deaf weightlifter, though he remained terrified of publisher Martin Goodman. “Did Guh-man like it? Is it all right with Gun-man?” he would often ask Bruce Jay [Friedman]. Mort Kunstler was another top-dollar freelance artist, who could command about a thousand bucks for a detailed painting of a civil war death camp. He was the only one who could take Blum at arm-wrestling, in which they often engaged.


James Bama, a first-string artist, was yet another weightlifter, Bruce Jay recalls visiting his studio, where he worked upon a dozen canvasses at once—adding brushstrokes to Mag[azine] Management covers, advertisements, other magazines’ covers and back. Finally, there was Al Hollingsworth, possibly the first Black cartoonist in men’s adventure, whom Bruce Jay brought in early on. Hollingsworth was an exceedingly jolly fellow who later became a distinguished painter and—needless to—was also a massive weightlifter.

His interior art work has been identified in Man’s Daring Adventures #1, November 1955 and #3, July 1956.

Who’s Who said Hollingsworth was a graphics instructor at the High School of Art & Design from 1961 to 1971. Jet magazine, May 16, 1963, said, “Harlemite Alvin Hollingsworth, acclaimed by art critics as an ‘internationally significant’ painter, is one of the busiest artists in New York. In addition to his art work for the publication Manhattan East, he teaches at the Pan American Art School and the High School of Art and Design.” Who’s Who said he won the 1963 Emily Lowe Art Competition Award, and the 1964 Whitney Foundation Award. His participation in the Civil Rights movement and the art group Spiral were covered in Artwords: Discourse on the 60s and 70s (1992).

The Art Students League of New York: Summer Schools…1971 catalogue said, “…His show at the Dintenfass Gallery in 1965 featured the use of fluorescent materials which under ultraviolet light, produced astonishing, even eerie, effects….” In Black New York Artists of the 20th Century (1998), Victor N. Smythe wrote, “…Interested in the effects of ultraviolet light on fluorescent material, he [Hollingsworth] collaborated with electronic music pioneer Edgard Varese in the late 1960s to create a large multi-media work that provided sensory experience for the spectators….”

Men of Achievement, Volume 6 (1979) said he married Stephanie Ann Knoepler in 1966; they had four children. At the Harlem Freedom School, Office of Economic Opportunity, he was a consultant on art and the art coordinator, from 1966 to 1967. He was director at the Lincoln Institute of Psycho-Therapy Art Gallery, from 1966 to 1968. That was followed by supervisor of art at Project Turn-On, in New York, from 1968 to 1969. From 1969 to 1975, he was a painting instructor at the Art Students League.

His books include Art of Acrylic Painting (1969, co-author); The Sniper (1969, illustrator); Black Out Loud (1970, illustrator); I’d Like the Goo-gen-heim (1970, author and illustrator); and Journey (1970, illustrator).

The Herald Statesman, March 25, 1970, said he was a Ph.D. candidate at the School of Education of New York University. The ART Gallery Magazine, April 1970, said, “…Hollingsworth teaches full days at New York’s High School of Art and Design, continues to work toward his Ph.D. (fluorescent materials), and steadily adds to a seemingly endless series of paintings, drawings, sculptures, and prints (some 200 at last count), all of which take the Guggenheim Museum as a sort of leitmotif. ‘I love that building,’ says Hollingsworth, ‘and it’s a real challenge to see how many creative things I can evolve from that one theme.’ ”
According to an October 24, 1970 listing in the New York Times, “You’re Part of Art” debuted October 24 on New York City TV station WNBC. The description said, ” ‘City Textures and Art’, produced in cooperation with the Art Students League of New York. First of ten programs, Alvin C. Hollingsworth is host.”

The Art Students League of New York: Summer Schools…1971 catalogue said, “…His mural for the Paul Robeson Lounge at Rutgers University was completed in the spring of 1970.” He received the 1971 Award of Distinction, from the Smith-Mason Gallery. His painting was included in the Ebony magazine, April 1971, feature, “Artists Portray a Black Christ. Who’s Who said he was assistant professor of painting at Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College, from 1971 to 1977, then associate professor in 1977, and then professor of visual and performing arts.

Something About the Author (1985) included a note from Hollingsworth on his recent work: “A mural for Hostos Community College entitled, ‘Hostos Odessey’; a commissioned portrait of Rose Morgan presented to her in June, 1981; a commissioned portrait of Lena Horne presented to her in May, 1982 in celebration for fifty years in show business, I am currently a full professor of art at Hostos Community College [New York].”

Hollingsworth passed away July 14, 2000, in Hastings on Hudson, New York. An obituary was published July 17 in the Journal News (Hastings on Hudson, New York).

His art is in the Chase Manhattan Bank, New York; Brooklyn Museum Permanent Collection; IBM Collection, White Plains, New York; Williams College Art Collection; and the Johnson Publishing Permanent Art Collection, Chicago.


African American Visual Artists Database has an extensive bibliography and list of exhibitions for Hollingsworth.

Ink-Slinger Profiles: Bill Chase



William Charles Chase was born in Brinkley, Arkansas on July 20, 1910. His birthplace was named at Salute to Pioneering Cartoonists of Color. His birthdate was recorded at the California Death Index and U.S. Veterans Gravesites, both at Ancestry.com. Information on his childhood has not been found.


Chase has not been found in the 1920 and 1930 U.S. Federal Censuses. The date of his move to New York City is not known. Artprice.com said he was a “graphic artist”, who studied at Howard University, and exhibited in the Harmon Foundation’s 1933 show. The Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance, Volume 1 (2004) has an article on the Harmon traveling exhibition.

Dark Laughter: The Satiric Art of Oliver W. Harrington (1993) named Chase as an art director and cartoonist at the New York Amsterdam News Magazine.


…Among the sixteen contributors listed and pictured in the full-page advertisement were four cartoonists: E. Simms Campbell, prominently featured and the best known at the time; William Charles Chase, the art director; the prolific Jay Jackson; and Ol’ Harrington. Beginning in the newly inaugurated tabloid section. New York Amsterdam News Magazine, on 25 May [1935], Harrington’s first Dark Laughter panel appeared, alongside a full-page series of cartoons by Campbell called Harlem Sketches, a small panel by Chase about modern young women appropriately titled Modernettes, and what would prove to be a long-running illustrated serial novel by Jackson about an exotic woman named Tisha Mingo (which opens interestingly in a Chicago bawdy house)….


A sample of his Pee Wee strip is here. A passenger list at Ancestry.com recorded Chase’s voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. Aboard the S.S. Paris, he sailed, on August 28, 1936, from Southampton, England. He arrived in New York City, September 4. His date and place of birth was “July/20/1911 Brinkley, Ark.” and his address was “208 W. 149th Str — N.Y.C.”, which was in Harlem. Presumably he spent time in Europe. One of his sports cartoons is here and an editorial cartoon is here.


According to the U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records at Ancestry.com, Chase enlisted July 11, 1943. His birth year was “1911”. He was single without dependents, and had “4 years of high school”. His occupation was categorized under “authors, editors, and reporters”.
Some time after the war, Chase moved to San Francisco, California, where he passed away on March 1, 1956.
The Plaindealer (Kansas) published news of his death March 9, 1956.


Frisco Editor Dies

San Francisco—(ANP)—Bill Chase, 45, editor of the San Francisco Independent, died in his office Thursday morning, apparently of a heart attack.

Chase was born in Fort Smith, Arkansas, attended Howard University and Traphagen School of Deign in New York.

He was well known as a cartoonist and formerly served as society editor of the Amsterdam News in New York City, where he lived for a time.

He became editor of the Independent in January, 1955.



On March 8, Chase was buried at the Long Island National Cemetery in Farmingdale, New York, according to U.S. Veterans Gravesites.

Ink-Slinger Profiles: Ted Shearer


Thaddeous E. “Ted” Shearer was born in May Pen, Jamaica on November 1, 1919. His full name was obtained at Ancestry.com in the U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records; USGenWeb Archives has a transcription of the New York County, New York Archives, Military Records which has his full name. His date of birth is from the Social Security Death Index.

He and his mother, Sophia were found on a New York passenger list. Aboard the S.S. Turrialba they departed Kingston, Jamaica on October 25, 1921, and landed in New York City on October 27. According to a New York Times obituary, published December 30, 1992, he grew up in Harlem. Almost seven years later, Shearer returned from another trip to Jamaica. On the passenger list, his mother’s name was recorded as “Moodie, Sophie R.”; she had remarried to “P.D. Moodie” who resided at “2 St. Nichols Place, N.Y.” Joining them was his older brother, Raphael D., and step-brother, Hugh B. Moodie. They sailed aboard the S.S. Yoro from Port Antonio, Jamaica on September 21, 1928, and arrived in New York City on September 28.

According to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census, Shearer’s step-father was Percy, a railroad waiter. The family of five lived in Manhattan at 408 West 150th Street. The Herald Statesman (Yonkers, NY), in its April 8, 1980 issue, said he “began his career at 16 with a two-column panel, ‘Around Harlem,’ in the Amsterdam News…” From the Piqua Daily Call (Ohio), July 10, 1970, is an excerpt about his education and art training.

Ted sold his first free-lance cartoon at the age of 16, while still a student at New York’s DeWitt Clinton High School. And his teachers regularly bought Ted’s etchings. He won five medals and two scholarships at that school and attended both the Art Students League and Pratt Institute on scholarships.

The U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records indicate Shearer enlisted on October 27, 1942 in New York City. He had three years of high school education; a commercial artist; single, with dependents; height, 68 inches, and weight, 148 pounds. The Arkansas State Press published, on January 15, 1943, an article about him in the army.


Cartoonist Swaps Brushes for Rifle

Fort McClellan, Ala.—A prominent newspaper and magazine cartoonist is now a member of the 92nd Infantry Division. He is Pvt. Ted Shearer, whose cartoon has appeared in 35 different newspapers. Now his cartoons will become a weekly feature of the new 92nd Division newspaper. Pvt. Shearer’s idea for his cartoons will originate from his life and work with the 92nd. Only 23 years old, he has won two scholarships, many medals, and has had his work displayed at the World’s Fair and the New York Public Library. His cartoons also have appeared in “Click,” “Swank,” and “Collier’s” magazines, and two water color paintings were shown at Macy’s New York City.

One of his features “Next Door” is a weekly feature of this paper.

The Troy Record (New York) carried this story on January 2, 1944:

Newspaper an Aid in Army Training

Fort Huachuca, Ariz. (AP)—The 92nd Division’s weekly newspaper is an instrument of training and has won the praise of high Army authorities for its effectiveness.

Each week a great deal of space in The Buffalo is devoted to pictures, drawings and cartoons showing the troops in action and illustrating the purpose of that week’s training. Sometimes a story accompanies the pictures, but the staff has found art more effective….

…Two magazine and newspaper cartoonists, Sergts. Ray Henry and Ted Shearer, both of New York, contribute….


After the war, the Times said, “He later freelanced, selling drawings to The Ladies’ Home Journal, The Saturday Evening Post and other publications. Mr. Shearer was an art director for 15 years at the advertising agency BBDO.” The Herald Statesman, in its October 6, 1971 issue, said, “he worked on major accounts as Betty Crocker, Schaefer Beer, and New York Telephone.” He also appeared in ads, for Lucky Strike cigarettes, published in newspapers including The Afro American (November 7, 1953) and Baltimore Afro-American (October 8, 1955).

Quincy original art courtesy of Heritage Auctions.


The Herald Statesman published an interview with Shearer on April 17, 1976 and he explained how Quincy came to be.


…Shearer…landed a job as TV art director for the advertising firm of Batten, Barton, Durstine and Osborne. The story of how he left his job, which he held for 15 years, for his present career could be fare for somebody else’s fanciful comic strip.

As Shearer tells it, the turning point in his career came about when he was commuting from Westchester [New York] to his office in New York City in 1970.

“I’m always drawing,” he says, “and back then I carried a sketch pad with me on the train. One day, the man sitting next to me said he liked my work. It turned out he worked for King Features and on another day, I showed him one of the free lance strips I had been doing all along for the Amsterdam News. He showed my work to his colleagues at King Features, and that’s how ‘Quincy’ was born….”


The Herald Statesman, on October 6, 1971, said, “And who was the artist who ‘discovered’ Shearer on the Penn Central? It was William Gilmartin of Elmsford [New York]—at the time a King Features staff artist…” The Herald Statesman TV schedule for January 17, 1975 listed the WCBS afternoon program, The People, which was titled, “Quincy and His Man,” a filmed interview with Shearer.

According to the Times Shearer passed away on December 26, 1992 at Northern Westchester Hospital Center in Mount Kisco, New York. He lived in Pound Ridge, New York. His son, John, said he died of cardiac arrest. The father and son had collaborated on the Billy Jo Jive book series. It formed the basis of an animated feature for the PBS series Sesame Street. He was survived by his wife, Phyllis, daughter, Kathleen Shepherd, and three grandchildren.

African Americans in the Visual Arts (2003) profiled Shearer; it can be viewed here. A lengthy profile of Shearer can be viewed at The Cartoonists website.

Ink-Slinger Profiles: Garfield T. Haywood



Garfield Thomas Haywood was born in Greencastle, Indiana on June 15, 1880, according to his World War I draft card. The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis (1994) said he “moved with his family to Indianapolis as a child, locating in the Haughville neighborhood. He was educated at School 52, attended Shortbridge High School…” His artistic talent was noted in The Recorder (Indianapolis, IN) in its July 15, 1899 issue: “Young Haywood, the artist, is making rapid progress, being patronized by both white and colored[,] office 934 Bismark avenue.”

In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Haywood was the oldest of six children born to Bennet and Penann. They lived in Indianapolis, Indiana at 948 Bismark Avenue. He was a day laborer. The Freeman (Indianapolis, IN) published this item on March 1, 1902: “G.F. [sic] Haywood, artist on the Recorder, and Miss Ida Howard, were married last week.” According to the Indiana Marriage Collection, 1800-1941, at Ancestry.com, the couple married on February 11, 1902. The exact date of Haywood’s departure, in 1902, from The Recorder is not known.

His front-page editorial cartoons appeared in The Freeman beginning on December 20, 1902. The paper followed up with an article on January 3, 1903:


Garfield A. [sic] Haywood

Young Haywood, the artist, was “discovered” and his talents brought prominently before the people about a year ago by Geo. P. Steward, editor of the Indianapolis Recorder. He is a moulder for the Malleable Iron Works company, and it is only at odd moments that he is prepared to make his drawings, which have attracted so much attention and favorable comment lately. Not since the palmy days of Moses L. Tucker have we had so excellent an artist of color among us as Mr. Haywood. The frontispiece of the holiday number of The Freeman is a drawing from his pen, and is an illustration of what a young man may do when he centers his mind and his efforts on some object catering to his fancy.


The Colored American (Washington, DC) profiled Haywood (see photo) on February 21, 1903; an excerpt:


A Hoosier Artist
A Promising Colored Cartoonist Who Is Making His Way to the Front

…One of our most promising young men is Mr. Garfield F. [sic] Haywood, of Indianapolis, Indiana, who has already made an enviable record in the artistic world. With but little, if any instruction, but with a native gift to be recognized. In his earlier years his bent seemed to be drawing and his marvelous fidelity to nature soon attracted wide attention. He was born in Greencastle, Indiana, in 1880, but soon found the necessity for a wider field, and coming to Indianapolis found not only remunerative employment in humbler walks of life, but opportunity to develop his remarkable talent. There his wonderful felicity as a cartoonist brought him prominently before the people. The Recorder and The Freeman of his adopted city has availed itself of his services on several occasions….


The entire profile can be read at Chronicling America. The Freeman Gallery was an art and text feature focused on stage performers; it debuted on September 16, 1905. The first three and sixth portraits were unsigned, so, probably, they were not drawn by Haywood. His first signed portrait was on October 7, 1905. The poems were by Charles Marshall. The last three weeks of April 1906 were written by someone named Duncan. Haywood assumed the writing on May 5, 1906. The Gallery ended with him on September 21, 1907. The Freeman praised the artist on November 11, 1905.

A Leading Young Artist of the West

The Past and Present Career of Garfield T. Haywood, Present Cartoonist of The Freeman—The Greatest Known Artist of His Race—Several of His Successes Here Produced.

The above sketch is one that Mr. Garfield T. Haywood recently made of himself during a few of his leisure moments. Those who have seen him as he generally appears in every day life will say that it very much resembles him.

To look back over the course of three or four years and to remember the steady climb Cartoonist Haywood had made since then amid all sorts of struggles, is indeed gratifying. How often newspapers and other publications had refused his work is almost countless, but with his iron faith, he went on until he conquered. George P. Stewart, publisher of the Indianapolis Recorder, was the first to take hold of him and put him before the public. From the very first cartoon of his that was published he was pronounced a winner, and he won praise from his town, State and nation. His work has appeared in white publications as well as colored. For some time he was staff artist for Dignam’s Magazine of Richmond, Ind., and occasionally he received checks from Bobb-Merrill’s Reader Magazine, and has done a great amount of illustrating for book concerns. Probably his most effective work has been done since he has been connected with The Freeman as cartoonist. His cartoon work has received a great deal of praise in the last year or so, and seems to be gaining more from the evidence we gain from the mail. The world has become very familiar with his “Jim Crow” and “Scare Crow,” and many children have laughed at his humorous sketchings and says of his parrot. Mr. Haywood has assumed a style of cartooning that is purely his own and that no one has been able to imitate. There are a few who know that he has produced some very clever oil paintings of his own, which adorn the walls of his palatial residence 944 Bismark avenue, where he is surrounded by a happy little family consisting of a wife and a four year old daughter.


According to Memoirs of Wayne County and the City of Richmond, Indiana (Western Historical Association, 1912), Dignam’s Magazine was published from September 1904 to August 1906. The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis said, “As a young man Haywood was very active in religion, serving as Sunday school superintendent for the Methodist and Baptist churches. In 1907, Haywood attended a gathering of Pentacostals in Indianapolis and became part of that movement. Two years later, he founded the Christ Temple Apostolic Faith Assembly. Haywood, who published numerous articles and tracts on behalf of his faith, rose to become Presiding Bishop of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World.”

In 1910 the Haywoods lived in Indianapolis at 1101 Fayette Street. He was a preacher at a church. He signed his World War I draft card on September 12, 1918. He lived in Indianapolis at 1924 Boulevard Place, and was a minister at a church on “Senate and 11th, Indianapolis.” His description was medium height and build with brown eyes and black hair.

In 1920 they lived in Indianapolis at 1902 Capitol Avenue. He was a “minister of the gospels.” Several years later, he took his family overseas. Aboard the S.S. Leviathan, they departed Southampton, England on June 21, 1927 and arrived in New York CIty on June 27.

The couple remained at the same address in 1930. He was a “Minister, Pentacost Church.” He and his wife spent time in Jamaica. They returned on the S.S. Metapan to New York City on February 18, 1931. Less than two months later, Haywood passed away on April 12, 1931 in Indianapolis, Indiana, according to The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis.

Apostolic Archives International has a profile of Haywood.

Ink-Slinger Profiles: Sam Milai



Ahmed Samuel Milai was born in Washington, DC on March 23, 1908, according to a family tree at Ancestry.com. In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, he was the youngest of three children born to Mohamed and Sarah; his name was recorded as Elisha S.H. Milai. The family lived in Locust Dale, Virginia. The census said his father, a traveling artist, was born in “Spain Hindi”; he immigrated in 1898. Milai’s paternal grandparents were born in “India Hindi.” His mother and maternal grandparents were born in Virginia; in the 1880 census under the column, Color of Race, her family was classified as mulatto. In 1910 the Milai family was described as mulatto.

Milai’s father painted the murals for the Central Baptist Church in Charleston, South Carolina. A report documented the history of the church with photographs of the church exterior and interior, and the murals.

In 1920 the family lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at 174 Auburn. Milai’s name was recorded as Samuel, and his father’s name was Amohamed, who was born in India. According to the family tree, Milai’s father passed away on March 1, 1924 in Detroit, Michigan.

Milia has not been found in the 1930 census. Shortly after the census, Milai married Bernice Rucker. The family tree said their son, Ahmed Samuel Jr., was born in Pittsburgh on August 23, 1931. According to the Delaware Death Records at Ancestry.com, Milai’s mother passed away on April 15, 1932 in New Castle.

Milai found work as a cartoonist at the Pittsburgh Courier, which published his strips Bucky (1937), Your History (1940), Don Powers (1950) and others.

Your History


Milai passed away on April 30, 1970 in Pittsburgh. A photo of Milai was published in African Americans in Pittsburgh (2006). The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, at Ohio State University, mounted the exhibition, Sam Milai of the Pittsburgh Courier in 2008.