And The Men Who Do The Designing For Them.
A Process for making Illustrations Less Expensive Than by Engraving -- Leading Cartoonists and Sketch Artists -- The Prices Paid.
[New York Correspondence Feb. 3, 1885]
The New York Star claims the bad eminence of having, in 1870, originated the system of pictorial illustrations in the daily journals now so much in vogue among the otherwise irreproachable and business-like papers on that metropolis. Then the Goodsells introduced in the Daily Graphic the Leggo process for making illustrations quicker, simpler and less expensive than by engraving. The Leggo process was first used in column measure by The Democratic News and when the lately defunct Truth newspaper appeared under the management of The Dramatic News people, cartoons, comics, little grotesques, news sketches and outline portraits were printed. There was a lull in the business of sketches, so far as most of the daily newspapers were concerned; but the Star continued to give pictorial sketches in its “Man About Town” columns, by means of the process, which it had adopted as soon as it became known. When Joseph Pulitzer came to New York about a year and a half ago and bought The World, he revived the craze for illustrated daily journalism by printing a lot of outline portraits with written sketches of the characters of the men and women thus shown. Then The Morning Journal followed suit. Old Bob Bonar and, later, Tom Nast, the famous cartoonist, had furnished in the interim some sketches for Bennett’s Evening Telegram. De Grimm, an importation from Europe, continued the pictures in Saturday’s Telegram and occasionally in The Herald, but he has not done anything that has made his name famous like that of Nast, Wales, Keppler, Gillam, Hamilton and others. James A. Wales, formerly of Frank Leslie’s, and who is now making sketches for The News and Texas Siftings, and for a time for Puck, is even better than Nast. His cartoon of the fifteen puzzle, representing Uncle Sam looking for a presidential candidate, four years ago, was so clever that it made him a reputation. He is corpulent, wears specs, is an Ohio man, and has a weakness for dramatic management.
“Yes, Gribayedoffe, the Russian, or, as Capt. Aleck Williams calls him “Grabyourheadoff.” He combines reportorial with artistic ability and makes many of those clever portrait sketches you see in The World. He is a partner of Schultze of Frank Leslie’s, and is a strong type of the young go-ahead Russian; is well-educated, about 30 years old, with a colorless, sallow face and blonde hair. I think McDougall takes the lead in the daily newspaper work. He makes sketches for The World and The Judge. Young Flanagan is bright and is rising in the art. He has done some clever work. I think that all the other fellows have outgrown Ramsden, who is, singularly enough, too conventional in his work. Theodore Butler, Crill and Johnson are finished portrait engravers; and do those splendid figures you see in Harper’s and The Century. Then there is Charley Kendrick, who formerly had a hand in Chic; he is a fine sketch artist, who is known for the accuracy of his outlines. He is an Englishman, about 30 years old, wears specs like most of his craft and is a decided blonde.
“The big sums reported to be made by some of them are a fable. Tom Nast, it is said gets $15,000 a year, and Frank Leslie brought Matt Morgan -- who is a long way ahead of Nast as an artist -- over to this country from London and employed him at a salary of $10,000 a year. Morgan is at Cincinnati, and still does clever work for the newspapers, as well as painting theatrical curtains and scenery and pictures in oil and watercolors. But I tell you the best of these sketch artists do not get more than $50 a week, and many of them not more than $25 or $30. Tenniel, of London Punch, gets about $7000 a year for furnishing a cartoon each week, but no one else gets any such large sum. Joe Keppler, the clever cartoonist of Puck, has an interest in that paper, but I don’t think Gillam and Opper get $1000 a minute for their very clever sketches and cartoons. Of the others of the funny papers ‘Zim’ (Zimmerman) on Puck, Hamilton and Dalrymple on The Judge, Nicholls and a few I cannot remember are good artists but poorly paid.”