Monday, February 26, 2018

Comics: Ed Winiarski, Artist


Edward C. “Ed” Winiarski was born on May 6, 1911, in Niagara Falls, New York. The birth date is from the Social Security Death Index, and the birthplace is based on census records. New York County Marriages, at Ancestry.com, said Winiarski’s parents were Julian Winiarski and Carolina Wasiewicz.

In the 1915 New York state census, Winiarski was the fourth of five children. He had three older brothers and a younger sister. Their father had a hardware business. The family resided in Niagara Falls at 1228 East Falls. The Winiarskis have not yet been found in the 1920 U.S. Federal Census. The Winiarskis were at 
1220 East Falls in the 1925 state census.

Winiarski’s drawing was featured in the Buffalo Express, November 15, 1925.




The listings in the 1929 Niagara Falls city directory said Winiarski’s father passed away March 2, 1929. The Winiarski Hardware Company was operated by Winiarski’s brother, Theofil. Winiarski was a student.

According to the 1930 census, the Winiarski family was at the same address. Winiarski’s parents were identified as Polish emigrants.

Winiarski graduated from Niagara Falls High School. The 1931 yearbook, Niagarian, included several illustrations by Winiarski, who was an art editor on The Chronicle, a bi-monthly school publication. Winiarski did not have a senior photograph in the 1931 Niagarian.





Winiarski continued his education at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 8, 1934, reported the graduation at Pratt. Winiarski was in the School of Fine and Applied Arts’ Pictorial Illustration class. Two of his classmates were Lorence Bjorklund and Monroe Eisenberg, both future comic book artists.

The New York City, Marriage License Indexes, at Ancestry.com, recorded two people, Edward Winiarski and Rose A. Poida, who obtained a license in Manhattan on April 10, 1937. It’s not clear if the man is the same person of this profile.

Several sources said Winiarski worked in animation. Evidence of such work has not been cited. Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999 said Winiarski began working in comic books in the late 1930s. Winiarski produced art for National Comics and some of the stories were signed with the pseudonym, Fran Miller, which was the maiden name of his wife.

The Schenectady Gazette (New York), June 22, 1939, noted the marriage of Winiarski.

Winnearski [sic]-Miller
Announcement has been made of the marriage of Miss Frances Anna Miller of Plainville, Conn., daughter of Mr. and Mrs. B. D. Miller of Myron street, to Edward Winnearskl of Brooklyn, on Friday in the Plainville Congregational Church. Miss Margaret Miller of this city was her sister’s only attendant. Both Mr. and Mrs. Winnearskl are graduates of Pratt Institute.




Winiarski and Frances graduated in 1934. Frances was in Teacher Training in Fine and Applied Arts department. Frances was born and raised in Schenectady, New York. Her parents were Bruce and Rosa. Frances graduated high school in 1931. After graduating Pratt, Frances moved to “Bronxville, to be an arts and crafts teacher in Brantwood Hall, a boarding school”, according to the Gazette, September 25, 1934.

1931 Shucis

In the 1940 census, Winiarski resided in Brooklyn at 400 Washington Avenue. His occupation was “fine artist” for a “magazine company”. Frances was not recorded with him. Her whereabouts is not known at this time.

Winiarski’s mother passed away in 1942.

Winiarski also worked for Timely Comics, from the early 1940s to the late 1950s. On August 14, 1942, a photograph of some of the Timely and Funnies Incorporated staffs was taken at the Hotel Astor. In the detail of the photograph below, from front to back, are Syd Shores, Winiarski with glasses, George Klein and Martin Goodman.




Alter Ego #13, March 2002, published Jim Amash’s interview with Dave Gantz who provided a photograph of the Timely bullpen at the Empire State Building. Pictured were Chris Rule, Barbara Clark Vogel, Gantz, Marcia Snyder, Mike Sekowsky and Winiarski. The photograph was taken in 1943 or later. Many of Winiarski’s credits are at the Grand Comics Database.

Winiarski’s caricature of Timely publisher, Martin Goodman, was reprinted in The Secret History of Marvel Comics: Jack Kirby and the Moonlighting Artists at Martin Goodman’s Empire (2013) on page 89. Winiarski’s self-caricature, from Krazy Komics #7, April 1943, can be viewed at Timely-Atlas-Comics.

The Gazette, January 15, 1945, noted the visit to Winiarski’s in-laws, “Mr. and Mrs. Edward Winiarski of Brooklyn with their son, Bruce Edward, are visiting Mrs. Winiarski’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bruce D. Miller of 1436 Myron street.”

At some point Winiarski moved to Queens Village, New York. The Gazette, November 19, 1968, reported the election of Winiarski’s wife as president of the New York State Association of Teachers of Mentally Handicapped. She was one of the founders of the organization. The article also mentioned she was a Queens Village resident, mother of two sons, and teacher of art and elementary school classes.

The Gazette, December 25, 1972, reported the passing of Frances’s father and said, “Survivors include his wife, Mrs. Rosa Lasher Miller; two daughters, Mrs. Margaret Cozine of Scotia, and Mrs. Frances A. Winiarski of Queens Village, L.I., and four grandchildren.” Her mother passed away in September 1975.

Winiarski passed away December 24, 1975, in Queens, New York. The date of his death was found at the genealogy site, Geni. The Social Security Death Index said Winiarski’s last residence was Jamaica, Queens County, New York. According to Frances’s second husband and childhood boyfriend, Waldo Arthur Runner, Winiarski suffered “a severe cardiac condition”. Winiarski was laid to rest at Clovesville Cemetery, the same cemetery as Frances’s parents.

Frances passed away November 26, 2007, in New Bern, North Carolina. Runner wrote the obituary that was published in the Sun Journal, November 27, 2007. Frances was laid to rest with Winiarski. 


(Next post on Monday: How to Read an Artist’s Edition)

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