Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday, February 20, 2012

Creator: Reed Crandall

The story of how Reed Crandall was able to attend the Cleveland School of Art is told in the following article from The Santa Fe Magazine, August 1935.

Exceptional Newton, Kan., Art Student Wins High Honors in National Art Department Contest

By Vincent C. Root
Master Mechanic’s Office, Newton, Kan.

Newton, and all Kansas, in fact, should be mighty proud of one of its studious and artistic sons, Reed Crandall, senior in the Newton high school, who recently won six separate awards in a contest sponsored by the Scholastic, a weekly high school magazine. Crandall being the only student this year out of a group of 10,000 to win honors from all the states west of the Mississippi. So far as is known, Crandall is the only student from Kansas to have ever won distinction in this yearly contest in art.

Newton, enrolling only in one department of the contest—the art department—entered six different groups of the work of Crandall, 18 years old, and emerged from the contest very much a winner.

Crandall entered three pieces of sculpture in plastic wood. One of these, which won for him second place, was a model of a newsboy selling his papers. His second entry was a plastic wood model of a runner, and the third was a model of a pirate, depicting Long John Silver of Treasure Island. In addition to winning the high honors in plastic wood modeling, this young artist won a cash prize in oil painting and three places of honorable mention in pictorial arts division, black inks division and the oils division. Not only did his individual pieces win distinction but his group as a whole was outstanding in the pictorial arts division, also winning honors in this department.

This honor won by Reed Crandall is even more impressive when one considers that half a million high school students during the past year have turned their efforts toward winning these honors, and of this vast number only 10,000 survived the preliminary eliminations, which were conducted in their individual cities by judges selected from the teaching staff.

The jury, consisting of Audrey Avinoff, director of Carnegie Museum; Royal B. Farnum, director of the Rhode Island School of Design; C. Valentine Kirby, director of art in Pennsylvania schools; Alfred Pelikan, director of Milwaukee Art Institute; W.A. Readio, chairman, department of painting and design, Carnegie Institute of Techology [sic], and Dudley Crafts Watson, Chicago Art Institute. This group distributed eighteen scholarships and 215 prizes to excelling students scattered widely over the entire United States.

The work of Crandall now is at the International High School Art Exhibit in the Fine Arts Galleries of Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, Pa., the American division of which is made up entirely of work submitted for the scholastic awards. Seven nations are represented in this show, which will be released for a tour of the entire country upon completion of its engagement at Carnegie.

The main award won by Crandall for his exhibit is a scholarship in the Cleveland School of Art, beginning next September, which he is planning to enter next fall.

Reed is an exceptional student in school, and in addition to excelling in art is a prize pupil in typewriting, having recently won distinction by typing for ten minutes without making a single mistake. Miss Marie Orr, art instructor in our Newton schools, has been Reed's only instructor, and she is past president and past secretary of the State Art Teachers Association, which organization she was very active in bringing into existence.

Miss Orr has been active in Newton schools for the past fifteen years, having been art instructor during this long period, and due to her outstanding ability she has turned out of our Newton schools many very brilliant students of art as well as winning for herself high acclaim in this field and taking part in the various organizations for the advancement of art in this state.

Crandall is a cousin of Harrison Crandall of Boise and Jackson Hole, Idaho, who is nationally known as painter of Tetone mountain country scenes. His parents are Mr. and Mrs. Rayburn Crandall of Newton. Newton is mighty proud of Reed and we trust all Kansas is equally proud of him for bringing high honors in art to our city and state, and we wish him the greatest measure of success in his profession in the years to come.

(Crandalls birthday is February 22. Below are links to additional information about Crandall and images of his work. Next post on Monday)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Anatomy of a Logo: Spirits of Vengeance: Ghost Rider/Blaze

The movie Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance opens February 17. The title is based on the comic bookSpirits of Vengeance: Ghost Rider / Blaze, published by Marvel Comics. Bobbie Chase was the editor of the comic and related titles. Spirits of Vengeance #1 was part two of "Rise of the Midnight Sons" a six-part crossover with these titles: Ghost Rider #28, Part 1; Morbius #1, Part 3; Darkhold #1, Part 4; Nightstalkers#1, Part 5; and Ghost Rider #31, Part 6. I was designed with the crossover title, Rise of the Midnight Sons, and the logos except for Ghost Rider.

On August 19, 1991, I met with Bobbie and she offered the logos to me. On September 6, my initial Spirits of Vengeance designs were rejected. Bobbie suggested a more fluid approach, like brushstrokes.

On September 15, I used a crayon pencil to rough out "Ghost Rider/Blaze" and "Spirits of Vengeance".

Then I used a felt-tip marker to draw the letters.

An outline version was made.

I combined the two groups into the logo. On September 16, I faxed the revised logo to Bobbie and she approved it.

About a week later, I enlarged the photocopy then added some guide lines. The photocopy was taped to a light box and a sheet of LetraMax 2000 was placed on top of it.

I used a variety of Rapidograph pens to ink the letters. Also used were a french curve and ellipse guides. The flames and outline were inked freehand. The finished art was delivered September 23.

Logo measures 7.875 by 14.5 inches / 20 by 36.8 centimeters

The comic book was released in Spring 1992. What I saw wasn't the logo I had drawn. A decision was made to redo my logo so it resembled the the Ghost Rider logo. The basic design of my logo was used, but the "S" was widen and its top stroke enlarged and extended so "Ghost Rider & Blaze" could fit inside. Then "of" was reduced and the vertical stroke of the "F" was separated from the vertical stroke of the "N". Despite the changes, the logo worked very well.

(Next post Monday: Reed Crandall)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Street Scene: Frank Frazetta's High School

Abraham Lincoln High School
2800 Ocean Parkway, Brooklyn

Main entrance

Plaque in entrance stairway

Brooklyn Daily Eagle,
December 11, 1944;
see sub-head,
“Something Modern”

Frank Frazetta was born on February 9, 1928. Part one of Armand Eisen’s interview with Frazetta was published in Ariel magazine, Autumn 1976. When asked the question, Was there any single art teacher whom you particularly admired or became close to or who influenced you?, Frazetta answered:

There was one outstanding man who really, really gave me incentive. He seemed to know how to get to me. Others had just the opposite approach. They felt, keep him down so he will fight and strive for better things. Right? His attitude was, tell him he’s great—in other words, make him happy and he will perform. And that really worked with me, in art. And you get those who try to push you down, and you come up just to show them—and they say “He’s great!” You are trying to show both sides that you are great. Whether it is in sports or in art, you’ve got to convince the non-believers and confirm the believers. That sort of thing. It is a marvelous feeling. That is what life is all about.

...By the way, what was the name of that art teacher?


Where did he teach?

He taught in Abraham Lincoln High School.

And how old were you when he was your teacher?

I was in my teens, oh, 15 or 16. He was very encouraging. You know, he just made me feel important.

Do you think that had any influence at all on your work?

Well, no influence on my work, none whatsoever. It was simply that I was going my way no matter who came along and he simply made my life more pleasant and just reaffirmed what was in my own heart, that I was good. I had it.


A copy of Frazetta’s high school transcript is here.


Paul Grubman was born in Brooklyn, New York on August 11, 1898, according to the Social Security Death Index. In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, he was the youngest of eight children born to Joseph and Flora, both Russian emigrants. They lived in Brooklyn at 24 Osborn. His father was a machinist.

In the 1910 census, Grubman, his parents and three siblings lived in Brooklyn at 1623 Eastern Parkway. His father was an optician. He graduated from Manual Training High School on June 28, 1917, as reported in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle on June 29. He signed his World War I draft card on September 10, 1918. He lived at 1672 Union Street in Brooklyn and worked as a machine helper.

Grubman has not been found in the 1920 census. The Eagle reported, on September 26, 1922, that he was licensed to teach textile design at the evening high schools. He lived in Belle Harbor, Long Island at 238 North 132 Street.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle,
September 26, 1922;
see last two lines.

He has not been found in the 1930 census. In July 1933 he was licensed to teach freehand drawing in high school, according to the Eagle, July 1, 1933. On November 27, 1934, the Eagle reported his appointment to Abraham Lincoln High School; he had been a substitute teacher.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle,
July 1, 1933

Brooklyn Daily Eagle,
November 27, 1934

Grubman passed away in May 1984 in Brooklyn, according to the Social Security Death Index. He was buried on June 4 in Green-Wood Cemetery.

(Frazetta's baseball daysStreet Scene post on Monday)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Street Scene: The Charles Dickens House Museum

48 Doughty Street (link)

February 7, 2012 is the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens.

(Next post on Thursday: Frank Frazetta's High School)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Creator: Hal Foster

Hal Foster's Influence on Frank Frazetta

Hal Foster's Tarzan daily comic strips, from January and February 1929, were reprinted as a book, The Illustrated Tarzan Book #1, published by Grosset & Dunlap in 1929. The book can be viewed at Golden Age Comic Book Stories. Frank Frazetta's art was in the first issue of Thun'da, King of the Congo, which was published in 1952.

Select panels from Tarzan and Prince Valiant are followed by panels from either Thun'da or Frazetta book covers. The panels show either similar compositions or concepts.


Tarzan, daily 30

Tarzan and the Lost Empire

Thun'da, Gods of the Jungle, page 6

Tarzan, daily 21

Tarzan, daily 26

Tarzan, daily 43

Thun'da, Monsters from the Mists, page 1

Tarzan, daily 37

Thun'da, King of the Lost Lands, page 6


Tarzan, daily 37

Thun'da, Monsters from the Mists, page 6


Tarzan, daily 25

Tarzan, daily 47

Thun'da, Monsters from the Mists, page 7


Tarzan, daily 26

Thun'da, King of the Lost Lands, page 8


Tarzan, daily 44

Thun'da, Monsters from the Mists, page 5

Tarzan, daily 25

Tarzan at the Earth's Core


Prince Valiant, December 25, 1937

Thun'da, Gods of the Jungle, page 5

(Frazetta's high school; next post on Tuesday: Charles Dickens)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Street Scene: 85 Court Street

85 Court Street, Brooklyn

The location of Michele Falanga's
Brooklyn Academy of Fine Arts.

Building on the left is number 85. (January 2012)

Advertisements of previous tenants at 85 Court Street.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, April 28, 1901

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, April 18, 1921

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, October 29, 1922.

Broad side of the building faces Livingston Street,
while the narrow side, the entrance, faces Court
Street. The building is number 81. (January 2012)

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, November 30, 1923

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, August 15, 1924

Il Carroccio, February 1935

Friday, February 3, 2012

Creator: Brooklyn Academy of Fine Arts Students

Frank Frazetta was one of many Brooklyn Academy of Fine Arts students who studied with Michele Falanga and made a name for themselves; among the illustrious alumni were Italo Botti (1923-2003), William Ehrig (1892-1969), Albert Pucci (1920-2005; Frazetta's classmate), Lily Shuff (1906-2002) and Louis Wolchonok (1898-1973); Norman Garbo (1919-) resides in Long Island, New York.

Portsmouth Herald, April 7, 1969

Aberdeen American News, October 12, 1967

Who's Who in American Art: 1989-90

Design for Artists and Crafsman, 1953

Pull Up an Easel, 1955
Compilation of syndicated newspaper columns

(Tomorrow's post: Street Scene: 85 Court Street)