Monday, April 30, 2018

Comics: Lin Streeter, Artist

Lindsay Robert “Lin” Streeter was born on May 6, 1915 in Englewood, New Jersey, according to his New York, New York National Guard Service Card. However, 
the Social Security Death Index said Streeter’s birth date was May 4, 1916. According to My Heritage, Streeter’s parents were Robert Lindsay Streeter and Mary (Marie) Louise Klenk. Streeter’s full name was also at My Heritage, the Internet Speculative Fiction Database, Archie Comics Wiki, and World Wrecker: An Annotated Bibliography of Edmond Hamilton (2009).

In the 1920 U.S. Federal Census, Streeter was the oldest of two children born to Robert, a brokerage office clerk, and Marie. The family resided in Brooklyn, New York at 352 East 23rd Street.

The 1930 census recorded the Streeter family in Westfield, New Jersey at 419 Colonial Avenue. Streeter’s father was a broker at a brokerage firm.

Streeter attended the University of Pennsylvania which had this listing in its Directory of Officers, Faculty, Students, Departments 1934–1935: “Streeter, Lindsay Robert Wh 1 Westfield NJ 27 Thomas Penn Dorm”.

On December 19, 1935 Streeter enlisted in the New York City National Guard. He was assigned to Company L of the 107th Infantry. Streeter was a Westfield, New Jersey resident.

Streeter’s address was unchanged in the 1940 census. He was a freelance artist who had two years of college and lived with his parents and sister. Information about Streeter’s art training has not been found.

From 1940 to 1942, Streeter’s illustrations were published in the science fiction pulps, Future Fiction and Science Fiction.

According to Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999, Streeter’s comic book career began in the early 1940s.

During World War II Streeter enlisted in the army on April 3, 1942 at Newark, New Jersey.

A Soldier’s Journal: With the 22nd Infantry Regiment in World War II (2005) described the origin of a new weekly newspaper with Streeter as its cartoonist.

September 18 [1942].
Izzy Goldstein decided that his energy and talent were not being utilized to the fullest as a reporter for the Division weekly newspaper, The Ivy Leaf. He organized a staff and began a regimental publication. He named it Double Deucer, for “22nd” Infantry Regiment. By the second issue the paper received a hearty commendation from the Division commanding general, Major General Barton. By the their disuse the weekly had become virtually a tradition in the regiment. One reason is the pithy cartoons by ex-civilian professional cartoonist Lin Streeter. Another is the writing of fiction writer John Cheever, renowned for his stories in The New Yorker….
Streeter was named in John Cheever: A Biography (2016). 
Things began to look up, a little, when Cheever was transferred to Special Services a couple days later and declared editor of a weekly regimental newspaper, The Double Deucer. Paired with a cartoonist, Lin Streeter (best known for “Pat Patriot, America’s Joan of Arc”), Cheever tried to make the newspaper as entertaining as possible. Spoofing such hackneyed features as the Inquiring Reporter (I don’t know how the Major will take it, but I’m sure the men will like it”). Meanwhile he almost fell in the line of duty. On a cold day in February, an officious lieutenant insisted on helping him build a fire in the Recreation Hall, near the newspaper office, and ended up burning the place to the ground. With flames licking at his feet, Cheever ran out the back door with a typewriter and the stencil for the latest Double Deucer, which became “a special fire issue”: when copies arrived from the printer, he and Streeter singed the bundle with a blowtorch as if it had been yanked from the fire in the nick of time.
The Star-Journal (Long Island City, New York), September 28, 1942, published this United Press article.
Painter and Cartoonist Do Stuff in Army
Augusta, Ga. (UP)—Whether the men in the 22nd Infantry are comic book fans or prefer the art galleries, they can keep up either interest—thanks to Lin Streeter and Red Robin.

Private Red Robin is a member of the Zuni Tribe, ancient Indian group discovered by Coronado 300 years ago. Robin attended art school in Denver and studied under John Sloan, high ranking American painter. He has exhibited at the Museum of Modem Art, the Brooklyn Museum and several other outstanding galleries. At present he is working on the rough sketches of a mural depicting the progress of the 22nd Infantry, to which he is attached.

Streeter also recently in the 22nd Infantry, is the creator of comic book super-supers. He is doing his stuff now for the “Double Deucer,” the 22nd Infantry’s mimeographed publication.

The South Carolina, County Marriages, 1910–1990, at, said Streeter married Eleanor E. Hershey on January 5, 1943 at Edgefield.

Streeter was mentioned in three letters Cheever wrote to his wife Mary. A summary of each letter is at the Morgan Library and Museum: undated; February 9, 1943; and February 24, 1943.

The Pittsburgh Courier (Pennsylvania), December 18, 1943, reported the results of an art contest that included Streeter.

Wins 2nd Prize In Art Contest
Camp Gordon Johnston, Fla.—Pfc. Cornelius Griffin, son of Mr. and Mrs. Cyrus Griffin, 316 North Calhoun street, Baltimore, Md., second prize winner in the recent special service branch art content at Camp Gordon Johnston…

…Other participants in the art contest were professional artists Cpl. Lin Streeter, former staff artist of the Bell Syndicate, publishers of the famed character, “Captain Valor of the Marines” and “Nightime Tally,” featured in the popular comic book “The Shield;” Cpl. Larry Spivack, Pfc. Steven Vegh, Jr., and Cpl. Roy Bolitser.

Streeter was mentioned in Hemingway at War: Ernest Hemingway’s Adventures as a World War II Correspondent (2016). 

Whiting goes on about Hemingway’s failure to interact with the common soldiers. This is contradicted by several accounts of his behavior. Sergeant Rothbart quotes 4th Division journalist Lin Streeter, who had comments about the civilian journalists he encountered: “Some of them were pretty arrogant….Ernest Hemingway and Ernie Pyle were among the unassuming.”
One of Streeter’s cartoons was described in Hell in Hürtgen Forest: The Ordeal and Triumph of an American Infantry Regiment (2001). 
One of the cartoons drawn by Lin Streeter, Double Deucer graphic artist and originator of the cartoon character “The Flash,” shows a new “older” recruit walking down the company street while a corporal standing on the side comments, “That’s the guy who promised me my ol’ job back after the war.”
In Editor & Publisher, April 26, 1969, Harry Shorten was profiled and said, “In 1943,” he explains, “Henry Aldrich was a popular radio show and the kid made a tremendous impact. I suggested to Sunbell that we start a strip with a Henry Aldrich-type kid. In those days everything we did concerned blood, thunder and guts. I created ‘Wilbur’ with Lin Streeter as the artist and the character came out looking exactly like him….”

Life, April 23, 1951, printed several 1944 Christmas cards including Streeter’s hand-drawn card.

When Streeter finished his army service he returned to comics. American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Streeter was one of the cartoonists to draw the strip “Sergeant Stony Craig”, which began with Don Dickson on September 20, 1937. Gerald Bouchard took over in 1941 to March 3, 1945. He was followed by Bill Draut from March 5, 1945 to July 13, 1946. Streeter continued the strip from July 15 to December 14, 1946. The strip was distributed by the Bell Syndicate. Streeter went on to work for a number of comic book publishers in the late 1940s into the mid-1950s. A chronological list of Streeter’s credits is at the Grand Comics Database. Original art of Streeter’s “The Enchanted Fish” can be viewed at Heritage Auctions here and here.

In Alter Ego #13, March 2002, Jim Amash interviewed artist Dave Gantz. Amash asked, “Do you remember Lin Streeter?” Gantz answered, “I sure do. Lin Streeter was a wild, funny guy who did a lot of teenage stuff. He came from a family that made ice cram. I think he went back into the ice cream business after comics, but I’m not sure. We were about the same age. He was a pretty good artist who pencilled and inked. He wasn’t at Timely too long and he worked for other companies, too. I think he even worked for Archie Comics.”

Streeter passed away October 18, 1968 in Basking Ridge, New Jersey according to an estate notice in The Courier-News (Bridgewater, New Jersey), October 31, 1968: ”Lindsay Robert Streeter, 139 S. Ave., Basking Ridge, died Oct. 18. Left estate to wife, Mrs. Eleanor Streeter.” 

Streeter’s first name was spelled “Lindsley” in the Social Security Death Index.

Streeter had at least one child. The Echoes-Sentinel (Warren Township, New Jersey), March 28, 1985, reported the engagement of his son, Richard, and Gail Bennett.

Mr. and Mrs. Edward Bennett of Basking Ridge have announced the engagement of their daughter, Gail Ellen Bennett, to Richard S. Streeter, the son of Mrs. Eleanor Streeter, also of Basking Ridge, and the late Lindsey [sic] Streeter. Both are graduates of Ridge High School. Miss Bennett attends Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania. Mr. Streeter is the owner of Streeter’s Taxidermy. No date has been set for the wedding.

Further Reading
Lambiek Comiclopedia

(Next post on Monday: Autograph Ghosts)

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