Friday, October 11, 2019

A Crowded Life in Comics –

The Long Trail a Little Longer.

by Rick Marschall.

Editorial cartoonist Jay Norwood “Ding” Darling received the news of Theodore Roosevelt’s death very close to his deadline for the Des Moines Register. It was January 6, 1919. Roosevelt and Ding had become friends, with natural affinities including reform politics and hunting.

As he told it afterward, he naturally wanted to make a profound statement in his cartoon, but also had the deadline monster in his studio. His cartoons appeared in the Register but also were distributed nationally by the New York Tribune Syndicate. Legend has it that he decided to hold the place with a recycled concept of a popular cartoon he drew two years ago almost to the day, a tribute to Buffalo Bill Cody on the latter’s death. “Gone to join the mysterious caravan,” shaking the hands of young admirers.

Ding would then, he thought, have a day to draw a proper, more thoughtful, detailed tribute to Col. Roosevelt.

He never had to draw a second cartoon. The reaction, in Des Moines and around the country, was overwhelmingly enthusiastic. It was printed in many newspapers and praised in editorials. Eventually it was printed as cards, posters, and prints. Ding himself  drew it as a signed, numbered etching. For years copies were displayed in schoolrooms and post offices.

Despite winning two Pulitzer Prizes, and fame as a naturalist (he designed the Government’s Duck Hunting stamps for years and has a wildlife refuge named in his honor on Sanibel Island, Florida), the hurried recycle is Ding’s most memorable work.

Recently I saw a third version. After speaking (and presenting legacy cartoons) at the Annual Symposium of the Theodore Roosevelt Center at Dickinson University, I joined a group that traversed the Enchanted Highway. Along a 32-mile stretch of local roads, through farm country of western North Dakota is a collection of the world's largest scrap metal sculptures Gary Greff, an amateur sculptor, began constructing two-dimensional images in 1989. There are nine built to date, at spots along the roads, with cut-offs for parking and a few recreational areas.
Most of Greff’s sculptures refer to the flower, fish, and fauna of North Dakota. But one pays tribute to another essential aspect of the region’s landscape: a 60-foot-high sculpture of Theodore Roosevelt. And he used Ding Darling’s famous and iconic image from “The Long, Long Train” cartoon as his model.

Against the grassy hills and the Dakota sky, it seems to come to life… as much as a cartoon can, in its own way.


Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Theodore Roosevelt Center AT DSU

Welcomes Rick Marschall To Team

Political cartoonist, historian and author Rick Marschall

Rick Marschall contributes a weekly column, A Crowded Life in Comics, to Yesterday's Papers 

Read more with links HERE.

J. Campbell Cory, June 29, 1912

The Theodore Roosevelt Center at Dickinson State University is creating a comprehensive digital library of all things Roosevelt, including correspondence, newspaper clippings, personal and office diaries, sound and film recordings, and political cartoons. To learn more about the Center, or to access any of the 57,000 items available to date, visit


Thursday, September 26, 2019

C. G. Bush, Cartoonist

by S. H. Horgan, The Inland Printer, Oct 1907


Sunday, September 22, 2019

A Crowded Life in Comics –

Down the Bunny Trail

Rick Marschall

I have just returned from the 14th annual Symposium of the Theodore Roosevelt Center at Dickinson State University. I recently was named their Cartoon Archivist, as noted here, and indeed the keynote was a “Cartoon-Off,” with the honorable Clay Jenkinson and myself showing 15 cartoons each, commenting, and inviting the registrants’ votes.

Among many things to which my “mind” raced back was not Roosevelt specifically, but peripherally:

When I was very young I already had twin obsessions – more than a couple, really – but two were Roosevelt and vintage cartoons. My mother’s mother was born in New York City of German parentage. She moved from Manhattan when young and quickly acquired and never lost a Brooklyn accent. “Berl the water” and “Don’t get boined,” were such footprints of speech.

Perhaps her ears were affected, too; or maybe my famously quiet voice, but one day in the kitchen I wanted to ask if she ever laid eyes on Theodore Roosevelt in her youth. An  “excuse me” and a “what?” and “speak up” had me repeating “Theodore”… until she thought I was asking if she attended the theater as a girl.

An unconscious shift to my second interest. Her face lit up, and she recalled being taken to a Broadway musical as a girl. It was one of several musical comedies staged around the pioneer comic-supplement character Foxy Grandpa. She didn’t remember much about the plot or the songs… but she remembered that there were moments so funny that a fat man sitting on the aisle laughed and laughed.

“His face turned so red when he laughed that I thought he was going to pop!” she told me. So that was tattooed on my memory, too, and through years since I cannot think of Foxy Grandpa and his two grandsons without thinking of little Augusta Vagt watching that man almost laugh himself to death.

Foxy Grandpa commenced in 1900 in the color pages of the Sunday New York Herald. The artist was Carl Emil Schultze, who had signed his cartoons in Life magazine with his surname, but his newspaper work as “Bunny,” often beside a furry mascot. His other features for the Sunday funnies were random gags or short strips under the title Vaudevilles, and were collected in a book of that name.

An immediate hit was Foxy Grandpa. Its premise was simple – indeed, a one-gag premise. Oddly enough, the early strips virtually all were variations on a single joke. Happy Hooligan was a well-meaning tramp whose kindly efforts backfired. Hans and Fritz would conspire, execute a prank, and be punished. Little Jimmy was distracted from every errand, with comic results. Buster Brown’s pranks went awry on their own. Maud the Mule kicked people – usually her owner, Si – into the next county to assert her dominance. Alphonse and Gaston’s politesse inevitably resulted in chaos, not order.

… and so on. In all, a remarkable but ironic foundation for commercial successes and a viable and pliable art form. Yet such was the early days of the comics. Foxy Grandpa’s formula was, simply, the mirror-image of the Katzenjammer Kids. The grandsons plotted a trick on the old boy, who predictably outsmarted them in the ultimate panel. It is amazing that for almost 20 years the boys were surprised each week. And each week.

And in various formats, appearances, books, and Broadway musicals. As far as I have seen, or remember (having the complete run in the Herald and Hearst’s American to which he moved amidst much fanfare soon afterward; and ultimately to Munsey’s Sun) neither Grandpa nor the boys had Christian nor surnames. Neither “Little Brother” who eventually joined the cast. No intermediate generation of parents were ever seen, beginning tradition that a homonymic namesake, Charles, continued. (On stage, Grandpa had a name: Goodelby Goodman; and the boys were Chub and Bunt.)

I will share here memorabilia including buttons and songsheets generated by the stage sensations. Not pages nor reprint-book covers here; maybe later.

“Bunny” had a sad ending to his life and erstwhile successful career. He died in poverty in New York City’s West side in 1939, filling his last years with occasional pages for early comic books, a couple of children’s books, and drawing sketches of Foxy Grandpa for neighborhood businesses and kids.


Saturday, September 14, 2019

Western Illustrations of Arthur H. Lindberg

Arthur Harold Lindberg

1895          Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, the son of an immigrant Swedish Metal Worker.

1909          At 14 years old, worked his first job at the Goddard works of the Wickwire-Spencer Company, Worcester. (Worked 54 hours a week at 10 cents an hour)

1915          Graduated from high school at the age of 20, took art classes at the Worcester Art Museum School, then studied at the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn.

1917          During his senior year at Pratt, enlisted in the US Air Force and served 14 months in France as a Sergeant-Major during World War I.

1919-22     After the war, returned to Worcester, worked at Wickwire-Spencer and resumed evening art classes at the Worcester Museum School, and then moved to New York City.

1922-30     Studied nights at the Grand Central School of Art, and the Art Students League of NY, where he was awarded a life membership for his superior work.  Studied under Harvey Dunn, Dean Cornwell, Frank Vincent Dummond and George Bridgeman.  Worked as a commercial artist.  Became friends with Girard Delano and a student of Walter Beck, who advised him in making his own pastels.

1927          Married Esther Perry Barlow, who learned to paint under his tutelage and became and accomplished watercolorist and was also an award winning quilter.  They moved to Long Island, NY, the new headquarters of Wickwire-Spencer.

1928-29     Illustrated Western Magazines – now referred to as pulps

1931          Daughter, Perryann born

1933-37     instructor & Registrar at Nassau Institute of Art

1937-38     Did illustrations for Gulf Oil Company weekly cartoon strip about the Mayan Indians.

1939          Received BFA at the Pratt institute

1941          Received BE in Art at the Pratt Institute, and moved to Buffalo, NY.  Took Art Instructors position at Kenmore Senior High School.

1942-43     Worked steel production in the summer in Western NY factories doing war production.

1944-45     Taught private art classes, did illuminated scrolls, started doing art restoration of paintings.

1946          Summer study, received MA at Columbia University

1946-48     Obtained permission from the City of Buffalo to enter industrial site (previously restricted due to defense work) and executed a series of fifty paintings.  He found beauty and color even in the blast furnaces of Bethlehem Steel.

1947          One man show at Carl Bredemier Gallery, Buffalo, “Our Industrial Waterfront”.  Received Frontiersman Award from Buffalo Business Magazine for the time and effort he had given to the presentation of Buffalo Industrial scenes in oil paintings.

                  During the mind 1940’s was voted into the Buffalo Society of Artists by its members.  Exhibited in the society’s membership shows and served as its president in 1954 and 1955.
Arthur H. Lindberg devoted his retirement years to art, private art classes, illuminated scrolls, cleaning and restoration of paintings, commissioned portraits and Fall painting trips to New England.  Increasingly frustrated and disillusioned by emphasis on and the support of abstract art in the Buffalo Art Community, he refused to exhibit his work for fear of being misunderstood and rejected for continuing as a realist in such pro-abstract surroundings.

He was commissioned to do illuminated scrolls for many groups and people in the Buffalo area.  He was especially proud of the scroll which was presented in 1955 to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth of England.

Art was active with the Buffalo Society of Artists and was president for a couple of years.  He sketched with Art Kowalski, Bill Ludecke and Walter Prochoniak.
Art painted in oil, watercolors and pastel.  He loved to include water in his paintings and was drawn to the shipyards in New England, as well as the waterfront in Buffalo.  Another series of his paintings represented the area around Stowe, VT with its’ brilliant fall color.

1953          Did independent study in Sweden and Denmark, and was included in Who’s Who of American Artists.

1977          Died in Kenmore, NY.

1980          Retrospective show at AAO Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

1982          One man show, “Beauty in Buffalo Industry”, held at the International Institute, Buffalo.

1984          Included in exhibit “Buffalo Waterfront”, at the Charles Burchfield Center, State University College at buffalo, Buffalo, NY.

1987          Included in exhibit and catalogue “The Wayward Muse: A Historical Survey of Paintings in Buffalo”, The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

1987-88     One man show of industrial paintings of Buffalo’s waterfront, Linda Hyman Gallery, NY City, NY.
1988          Retrospective exhibit of drawings, watercolors, pastels, lithographs and oil from 1916 to the late 1960’s, at Art Dialogue Gallery, Buffalo, New York.

2009          Six of Arthur H. Lindberg’s pieces are in the Burchfield Penney Collection, Burchfield Penney Art Center, Buffalo, NY and one piece is in the permanent collection of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.
























[24] Mimi and Papa


[26] Shields & Co. Mural

[27] Courtyard Art Show

[28] Richard Nixon Scroll

[29] Arthur H. Lindberg Article Pg. 1

[30] Restoration Before and After

Previous Post:

Cartoonist Arthur H. Lindberg (“Lyndell”) and Gulf Funny Weekly 

Arthur H. Lindberg’s Gulf Funny Weekly comics and artwork
 have been donated to Ohio State University

Special thanks to Pam H.