Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Caricaturist of the “First Water”

The Commoner, August 2, 1901
An early interview from 1905 with author Frederick Burr Opper, who signed his cartoon, caricature and comic strip artwork with ‘F.O.’ or ‘F. Opper.’ Five pages published in ‘Little Visits with Great Americans; or, Success ideals and how to attain them,’ by Orison Swett Marden (ed.), two volumes, New York: The Success Company, 1905: 353-357.

Letter from 1902. His letters and contracts Frederick Burr Opper signed with his full signature ‘F.B. Opper,’ as in this busy author’s letter that concerns a proposed book of F. Opper cartoons. Written on New York Journal stationery, the original is shown at the bottom. A full transcription reads:
Feb. 13, 1902
Peter Keary, Esq.

Dear Sir:

I have received your polite letter enclosing copy of contract, with the change made. The contract now seems to be alright and if you will send two duplicate copies of it signed, I will send one back to you signed.

I have got the material together, and find there are 38 or 39 originals of those subjects you selected. There are also three or four of which you will have to make plates from the clippings as I have not the originals. Beside this there are 16 or 17 originals of subjects you did not select, but which will be available to pick from. I will send all the originals in one large bundle, as soon as I receive your reply, with the contracts. I enclose herewith two photographs of myself, from which you can select one to use in the book, if you wish, also my signature to put under it. I have been thinking about the cover, and it seems to me that it would be better, after all, not have a humorous cover design, but a cover with good bold, attractive title lettered on it, in some good combination of color for letters and background. However this we can discuss later.

As regards the Antediluvian things I may do in the future, I haven’t been able to do any for the last ten days for the reason that I am now doing the cartoons for the Morning Journal, which, with my work for the Sunday Journal, leaves me no time to do anything for the Evening Journal. How long this may continue I cannot tell, but while it does I shall be unable to turn out more than an occasional Antediluvian. I thought I ought to tell you this so that if it makes any difference in your plans as regards the book you will know it in time. Of course I like to do the cartoons for the morning paper, yet I regret the interruption a possible stoppage of my Antediluvians and other comic series on account of it. However I will have the bundle of originals all tied up ready to send you as soon as I get your answer. With many thanks for your pleasant words, I am, Yours very truly,

F.B. Opper

Courtesy of Don Kurtz.

See ‘Our Antediluvian Ancestors’ HERE.

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