Monday, September 25, 2017

Anatomy of a Logo: Variety

The Variety logo was designed by Edgar Melville Miller, a sign painter and Mason. The magazine was created by Simon J. “Sime” Silverman and debuted December 16, 1905 (below). At the time, Variety was located in the Knickerbocker Theatre Building at 1402 Broadway. It’s not known when or how Silverman met Miller.

Miller also designed and illustrated the cover format. He signed his name, “Edgar M. Miller N.Y.” under the pillar on the right; other times it would say “E.M. Miller N.Y.” in the bottom middle. Miller’s name appeared on the covers from the beginning to July 27, 1917.

The first three issues of Variety also had advertisements for Miller’s services.

A revised Variety logo first appeared on the October 5, 1907 issue (below).

Miller was born in Milton, Pennsylvania on September 2, 1869 according to his Social Security application (at and a profile in Masonic Standard, February 28, 1903.

Bro. Miller was born in Milton, Pa., Sept. 2, 1869. He received his education in the schools of his native place. He learned his trade, that of sign and scenic painter, in Kansas City. Mo. He came to New York in May, 1898, and has since been connected with Keith’s Theatre.

In the 1870 U.S. Federal Census, Miller was the youngest of two children born to shoemaker Harry and Emma. They lived in Milton, Pennsylvania.

According to the 1880 census, the Millers resided in Ridgeway, Kansas. Apparently Miller’s older sister had died since her name was missing in the census. Miller was the oldest of four brothers whose father was a mine foreman.

The 1895 Kansas state census recorded Miller, his parents and brother William as residents of Topeka. Miller’s occupation was painter.

The Ohio county marriages, at, recorded Miller’s marriage to Fannie E. Smith on March 18, 1896 in Hamilton. A Social Security application by one of the daughters had her mother’s name as Francis Schmidt.

In May 1898 Miller moved to New York City. He has not yet been found in the 1900 census.

The Masonic Standard detailed Miller’s rise in its ranks. 

Zetland Chapter No. 141, Royal Arch Masons, celebrated its fiftieth anniversary last night by a special convocation and reception in the Commandery room, Masonic Hall. This interesting event comes too late for this issue, but will be fully described in these columns next week. The High Priest of Zetland Chapter, Comp. Edgar M. Miller, is also Master of Worth Lodge No. 210, and is necessarily a very busy man, Masonically….

…Bro. Miller was raised in Worth Lodge No. 210 May 25, 1900, and went actively to work. In December 1900, seven months after he was raised, he was elected Junior Warden, and served faithfully and with ability in 1901. The next year he was Senior Warden, and in December last was elected Master.

His fervency and zeal were equally marked in Zetland Chapter No. 141, in which he was exalted Nov. 15, 1900. He was appointed Principal Sojourner in December, 1900, was elected King in December, 1901, and High Priest in December 1902.

He received the grades in the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, up to and including the Thirty-second Degree, in October, 1900, and the Order of Nobility in Mecca Temple, Nobles of Mystic Shrine, Oct. 30, 1900.
Miller was in the center of a group photograph published in the Masonic Standard, March 7, 1903.

In Variety, December 23, 1905, Miller’s advertisement said his studio address as “782 Eighth Avenue, New York City, Near 49th Street”. He may have been involved with the signage on the front of the building. It’s not known how long Miller’s studio was there. In June 1909 the building had the notorious reputation as the site of Elsie Sigel’s murder.In the 1910 census, Miller made his home in the Bronx at 413 East 145th Street. The sign painter had three sons and a daughter; all born in New York except the youngest, a seven-month-old son whose birth was in Kentucky. 

Variety, March 19, 1910, reported Miller’s new job, “Edgar M. Miller, the well known sign painter of Broadway, who had been responsible for all of the showiest “boards” for the past years, has been engaged by the Plaza permanently.”

Miller’s “The Great White Plague. vs. The Great White Way” was published in the June 10, 1911 issue of Variety. The same issue had an outline version of the logo (below).

At some point Miller changed careers and residence.

Miller’s home was Jersey City, New Jersey at 16 Lembeck Avenue in the 1920 census. The traveling salesman had a second child, a daughter, born in Kentucky.

Back in New York, the Variety logo was condensed and bolder on the April 16, 1920 issue (below). It’s not known who did this version.

The logo on Variety, July 11, 1928, returned, to some degree, to the original design. Again, it’s not known who did this version.

The entire Miller family was counted at the same address in the 1930 census. Miller was medical salesman.

The Jersey Journal, February 26, 1931, published a death notice for Miller’s wife.

Miller—On Tuesday, February 24, 1931, at her residence, 16 Lembeck Avenue, Jersey City, Frances E. Miller, beloved wife of Edgar M. Miller. Remains reposing at the Funeral Home of Lewis W. Baumuller, 23 East 33rd Street, Bayonne, N.J. Funeral services will be held at Grace Episcopal Church, Pearsall and Ocean Avenues, on Friday, February 27, 1931, at 2 p.m. Interment Bay View Cemetery.
Miller and his youngest son continued to live at the same house in Jersey City as recorded in the 1940 census. Miller was retired. On July 23, 1941, he filed his Social Security application.

Miller’s death was noted in the New York Times, April 3, 1955.

Jersey City, April 2—Edgar M. Miller, a retired drug salesman, active for many years in New York Masonic organizations, died late yesterday in the Jersey City Medical Center. His age was 86. He resided here at 16 Lembeck Avenue.
Death notices appeared in the Times the following day.
Miller—On Friday, April 1, 1955, Edgar M., beloved father of John, Richard, Earl, Mrs. Ruth McGrath and Mrs. Thelma Vogel. Masonic Services will be held at the Baumuller Funeral Home, 23 East 33d Sy., Bayonne, N.J., on Monday, April 4, at 8:30 P.M. Interment New York Bay Cemetery, Jersey City.

Miller—Edgar M. Worth Lodge, No. 210, F. and A.M., sorrowfully announces the death of its believed Past Master, Worshipful Edgar M. Miller. Masonic Service will be held at the Baumuller Funeral Home, 23 East 33d Sy., Bayonne, N.J., on Monday, April 4, 8:30 P.M.
Carl T. Johnson, Master.
A.A. Ogilvie, Secretary
On April 5, 1955, the Jersey Journal published Miller’s obituary.
Edgar M. Miller, 86, of 16 Lembeck Ave., Jersey City, died Sunday [sic] at the Jersey City Medical Center. He was a retired drug salesman for a New York concern.

Mr. Miller was a member of the Zetland Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of New York, of Morton Commandery Number 4 of the Knights Templar of New York, and of Mecca Temple, A.A.O.N.M.S. of New Jersey.

He is survived by three sons and two daughters.

Funeral was held today from Lewis W. Baumuller Funeral Home in Bayonne.
The current Variety logo can be viewed here.

(Next post on Monday: THE)

Monday, September 18, 2017

Comics: Joe and Sam Rosen, Letterers

Joseph Walter “Joe” Rosen was born in New York City on December 25, 1920. The birth date is from the Social Security Death Index, and the birthplace and full name were determined from census records. 

Marvel Tales Annual #1, 1964

Samuel “Sam” H. Rosen was born in New York City on April 4, 1922. The birth date is from the Social Security Death Index and the birthplace was determined from census records. When Sam enlisted in the army he had a middle initial, H. Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999 said Sam had a pen name, Sam Harold. Presumably, Sam’s middle name was Harold.

In the 1920 census, which was enumerated in January, Joe and Sam’s parents resided in the Bronx at 586 Prospect Avenue. It’s possible Joe and Sam were born in the Bronx. At some point the family moved to Brooklyn.

1930 U.S. Federal Census

Home: 2861 West 33rd Street, Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York
Name / Age / Occupation
David Rosen, 45, proprietor/produce
Esther Rosen, 40, none
Morton Rosen, 13, student
Walter Rosen, 9, student [Was Walter the first name or middle name for Joe?]
Samuel Rosen, 8, student
Theodore Rosen, 6, student
Emanuel Rosen, 2, none
Son[?] Zinkowetsky, 80, (David’s mother-in-law), none
Harry Rosen, 50 (David’s brother), proprietor/produce

1940 U.S. Federal Census
Home: 3625 Mermaid Avenue, Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York
Name / Age / Occupation
David Rosen, 57, blank
Esther Rosen, 52, housewife
Morton Rosen, 23 (cripple), blank
Joseph Rosen, 19 (one year of college), blank
Samuel Rosen, 18 (two years of college), student
Jacob Rosen, 16, student
Emanuel Rosen, 12, student
(enumerator’s note: “This family on Relief, $90 a month; $15 N.Y.A.”)
Harry Rosen, 63 (David’s brother), pillow factory

The 1940 census was enumerated in April.

In Comics Interview #7, January 1984, David Anthony Kraft interviewed Joe who explained how he and Sam got into comics.

My father had a fruit store in Coney Island. In 1940, one of the customers he was well acquainted with mentioned that her son was an artist for Timely—the company that’s now Marvel Comics. The son, George Mandel, is now a novelist. This was during the Depression. My father asked her if her son could maybe do something for Sam. So Mandel introduced Sam to the big letterer of the time, Howard Ferguson, who was working for both Timely and Fox. Fox was Ferguson’s lesser account, and soon he gave it to Sam. Sam got me my first lettering job, at Fox, doing The Blue Beetle.
Alter Ego #81, October 2008 published Jim Amash’s interview with artist Everett Raymond Kinstler.
page 32: Jim Amash: You say that when you got the job at Cinema Comics, there was another artist working there….

Kinstler: His name was Sam Rosen, and he was a letterer. I don’t think he liked me. I was just a young kid coming along, and I’d met people like this all too often, who couldn’t quite make in their fields. It was just a 15-year-old kid’s instinct, but I just don’t think he cared for me very much. It had no consequence to me. …

JA: What were the offices like?

Kinstler: 45th Street between 5th and 6th Avenue in Manhattan was choice commercial property, and still is. The office was modest; it didn’t really have any personality. There was a big reception room where you entered, and there might have been somebody at a switchboard. Hughes’ office was right behind it, and I think there was another private office back there, possibly for an accountant who could come in and out. There was a bullpen that was maybe 10’ by 20’, which contained a couple of drawing tables. Rosen had a drawing board in there. They had drawing boards for people who came in with their strips—like Maurice Gutwirth—to make corrections. They’d come in, sit down, and ink a couple of panels while they were there, or correct something. I don’t think there were more than four of five full-time people there. …
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS (Beneficiary Identification Records Locator Subsystem) Death File, Joe enlisted August 21, 1942 and was discharged August 28, 1945. He served in the Army Air Corps.
Sam enlisted February 20, 1943 in New York City. Before Sam left, there was a party for him.

The Talented Miss Highsmith: The Secret Life and Serious Art of Patricia Highsmith
Joan Schenkar
Macmillan, 2009
page 214: 
Elizabeth Hardwick wasn’t the only prominent writer to work for a publishing company which also produce comic books. When Sam Rosen, a letterer for many comics companies, went into the army, his fellow artist Pierce Rice says, “there was a little going away luncheon for him…The participants were: Miss Highsmith, then a comics writer, one of the [comics] editors, the guest of honor, and myself.”

The editor at that going-away luncheon was Stanley Kaufman, later a theater critic for The New York Times and then, for twenty-five years, the film and theater critic for The New Republic magazine….
In the interview Joe explained what he did after the war.
Yeah, I was away in the service for three years, then I came back after the war and went to National—I don’t recall if it was called National or Detective Comics back then. I’d done some work for them before the war. I did one comic for them called The Shining Knight….I worked up at National when Julie Schwartz was an assistant editor. Let’s see…I worked with Mort Weisinger, Jack Schiff….I went to Harvey in 1950 and worked there until the 1970s, when I went to Marvel.
After military service, Sam worked for Will Eisner.

Will Eisner: Conversations
Will Eisner, M. Thomas Inge
University Press of Mississippi, 2011
page 145: Alex Kotsky
“…I was there with Chuck Cuidera, Tex Blaisdell, Sam Rosen was the letterer, Bob Powell did Mr. Mystic, and Nick Viscardi did Lady Luck.”
page 167: Jules Feiffer
“The odd arrangement was that Will sat where the receptionist ordinarily would, in the outer office where he had his drawing table, a rather dark, windowless room, and inside, a larger room than where Will lived, were his staff: letterer Sam Rosen, John Spranger who did some penciling and some inking (he had a wonderful pencil technique, drawing large, clunky, blocky characters….Dave Berg, and I forget who else was around at the time. Later on he hired Jerry Grandenetti.”
In Joe’s interview he talked about lettering at a smaller size.
…Harvey used the big pages from the old times. The first I ever heard of the change to smaller pages for original art was when my brother Sam was complaining about these new, smaller pages they were instituting up at Marvel. He didn’t like it, ’cause he had to letter smaller and it was a strain on his eyes. But I didn’t find that they made that much of a difference.

…Sam was working for Marvel. He had too much work and I didn’t have enough, so I did a story for him. It was Sgt. Fury. And I thought: There’s only one way I’m going to get all this copy in—by making it as small as it was possible to letter it and still make it clear. I actually was not too sure it would be all right. I’m still not sure. But I’ve never had any complaints about it.
Marvelmania Monthly Magazine
#1, April 1970
page 5: Letters to the Editor

Dear Fans,
The pens I use are either B-6 or A-5 speedballs, bit are modified by guiding down and shaping on carborundum stone. Guide-lines are about 3/16 of an inch apart, separated about 1/16 from from another. For heavy lettering, I use A-6 of B-5, once again ground down until it feels right to me. As for the ink, I generally use Higgins black.
––Sam Rosen

Public records at have these addresses for Joe.

25 Henry Avenue, West Gilgo Beach, New York, 11702
179 Brendan Avenue Massapequa Park, New York, 11762
3219 Neptune Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, 11224
1530 West 27th Street, Brooklyn, New York, 11224

Sam passed away April 8, 1992. The Social Security Death Index said his last residence was Brentwood, New York. An obituary has not been found.

Joe passed away October 10, 2009. A death notice appeared in the Washington Post, October 12.

On Saturday, October 10, 2009 of Chevy Chase, MD. Son of the late David and Esther Rosen; brother of Emanuel Rosen. Shiva at the late residence for the full week. Memorial contributions may be made to Ezras Israel Congregation, 803 Montrose Rd., Rockville, MD. Arrangements entrusted to Torchinsky Hebrew Funeral Home, 202-541-1001. Call for graveside service time at Garden of Remembrance Memorial Park, Clarksburg, MD.

Further Reading
The Comics Reporter

Grand Comics Database
Sam Rosen
Joe Rosen

Todd’s Blog

Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999
Sam Rosen
Joe Rosen

Sam Rosen
Joe Rosen

Related Posts

(Updated June 12, 2019; Next post on Monday: Variety)

Monday, September 11, 2017

Comics: Joye Hummel, Wonder Woman Ghostwriter

Joye Evelyn Hummel was born in 1924 in New York state according to census records. According to the Florida Resident Database, the month and day are April 4. Part of her childhood was spent on Long Island, New York. Her activities and school days were reported in two local newspapers from 1937 to 1947.

Nassau Daily Review-Star
(Freeport, New York)
July 21, 1937

Personal Mention
Miss Joye Hummel of Cypress road, Inwood, has returned from a month's vacation in the Catskills.

Nassau Daily Review-Star

June 29, 1938
Play Is Feature at School Event
An original play, “On Trial,” written by two members of the class, Edward Doyle and Nicholas Cipollina, featured the thirteenth annual commencement exercises of the Freeport junior high school, last night….The list of graduates follows: …Joye Hummel

The 1939 Voyageur
Freeport High School
Sophomore Class
High Honor: Joye Hummel and 20 students

1940 United States Census
Home: 138 South Grove, Hempstead, Nassau County, New York
Residence in 1935: Inwood Park, Nassau, New York
Name /Age / Occupation
Quenten Hummel, 37, manager, retail food store
Mavis Hummel, 37, blank
Joye Hummel, 16, blank

Nassau Daily Review-Star
February 15, 1940

Sweet Sixteen Party
Miss Ruth Kormendy of Moody avenue, Freeport, was hostess at a sweet sixteen party at her home on the occasion of her birthday. Her guests included the Misses Joye Hummel,…[and 15 guests]

Nassau Daily Review-Star
December 14, 1940

Freeport Pupils Give Annual Play
Pupils Outspell Parents
Students outspelled the parents in a spelling bee at the Freeport High school, Thursday night, a feature of the meeting of the Freeport Junior-Senior Parent-Teacher association. Margaret Kranz and Norma Lane were the winning students.
Other student contestants were Eugenie Unger, Ruth Kormendy, Joye Hummel, Joan Smith and Willard DaSilva….

Nassau Daily Review-Star
January 7, 1941

P.-T. A. Panel
Parent And Two Pupils In Freepert Round Table Parley
A round table discussion on “The Responsibility of the Teacher and the Classroom in Eduction” will feature a meeting of the Freeport Junior-Senior High schnol Parent-Teacher association, Thursday night at 8:15 o'clock, in the teachers’ cafeteria at the school. Participating will be a parent. Colonel Waiter G. Sheard, and two students, Joye Hummel and Joseph Crasson. Mrs. Douglas Mathewson. president, will preside and refreshments will be served under the supervision of Mrs. Dora Brandt….

Nassau Daily Review-Star
January 11, 1941

Plans Fund Drive to Aid Students
To Solicit Contributions from Organizations in Freeport
A round table discussion on “The Responsibility of the Teacher end the Classroom Education,” brought out the fact that the teacher has a great influence in shaping the future lives of students, at a meeting of the association, Thursday night. Mrs. Fred C. Hewlitt led the discussion, with Colonel Sheard representing the parent and Joye Hummel and Joseph Crasson the students.

Nassau Daily Review-Star
April 10, 1941

Freeport Has Two Valedictorians
...This year’s graduating class has 12 honor students who have maintained Averages of 90 per cent or better throughout their courses, as compared with 16 last year. This years outstanding students are: …Joye Hummel…

The Leader
(Freeport, New York)
June 5, 1941

Stadium Is Solemn Scene of Memorial Day Exercises
…There was a Bible reading by Eugene Unger, followed by a prayer by Joye Hummel….

The 1941 Voyageur
Freeport High School
Senior Class Scholastic Honors
The following students have maintained an average of 90% or better over a period of 3.5 years: Joye Hummel and 24 students

Senior Photograph

Nassau Daily Review-Star
September 17, 1941

Mrs. Joseph Gallo and Mrs. Quentin Hummel of Freeport returned from a motor trip to Middlebury, Vt., Monday night. Miss Joy [sic] Hummel motored up with her mother and Mrs. Gallo and entered Middlebury college. She was graduated in June from Freeport High school.
All Star Comics #8, October 1941
first appearance of Wonder Woman who was created by Dr. William M. Marston and drawn by Harry G. Peter

Sensation Comics #1, January 1942
Wonder Woman is the lead feature

The Leader
February 19, 1942

Joye Hummel Joins in Middlebury Fete
Miss Joye Hummel, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Quentin Hummel, of 132 South Grove st., a freshman at Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vt., is among those who have been selected to participate in the 11th annual winter carnival and Interscholastic Ski Union meet which will get under way there tonight….

Wonder Woman #1, Summer 1942

1943 Platen
Joye Evelyn Hummel
Katharine Gibbs School, New York, New York

The Leader
March 23, 1944

Joye Himmel [sic] at School
Miss Joye Hummel, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Quentin Hummel, of 132 South Grove st., has entered the Katherine [sic] Gibbs School in New York. She is a graduate of Freeport High School and attended Middlebury College in Vermont.

The Leader
March 30, 1944

Miss Joye Hummel, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Quentin Hummel, of 132 South Grove st., has been graduated from the Katherine Gibs [sic] School in New York. She is a graduate of Freeport High School and attended Middlebury College in Vermont.[After graduating, Dr. Marston invited Hummel to assist him on writing Wonder Woman.]

Nassau Daily Review-Star
April 13, 1944

Miss Hummel has completed a course at the Katharine Gibbs secretarial school in New York city. Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Quinten Hummel of South Grove street, Freeport, she is a Freeport High school graduate and attended Middlebury college, Middlebury, Vt.

Nassau Daily Review-Star
April 24, 1947

Miss Joye Hummel Engaged
Script Writer Will Be Bride of D.W. Murchison
Mrs. Mavis Hummel of Shipherd avenue, Lynbrook, has announced the engagement of her daughter, Miss Joye Evelyn Hummel, to David Wood Murchison, son of Mr. M. David Murchison of Glen Cove.

The bride-elect, daughter of Quinten Hummel of Freeport, is a graduate of Freeport High school; attended Mlddlebury college, Middlebury, Vt. and was graduated from the Katharine Gibbs school, New York city. She is employed as a script writer for the comic strip “Wonder Woman.”

Mr. Murchison, a graduate of Friends academy, Locust Valley, attended Clarkson College of Technology, Potsdam. He served three years in the army and was stationed in China and India. He is now associated with the firm of Aitkenhead and Murchison, building contractors, Glen Cove.

The Leader
May 1, 1947

Miss Joye E. Hummel to Wed Glen Cove Man
The engagement of Miss Joye Evelyn Hummel, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Quenten Hummel, to David Wood Murchison, son of Mr. and Mrs. M. David Murchison, Chestnut st., Glen Cove, was recently announced by Mrs. Marvis [sic] Hummel of Shipherd ave., Lynbrook, mother of the bride-elect.

Miss Hummel is a graduate of Freeport High School, attended Middlebury College and was graduated from the Katherine Gibbs School, Manhattan. She is employed as a script writer for the comic strip “Wonder Woman.”

Mr. Murchison, a graduate of Friends Academy, Locust Valley, at tended Clarkson College of Technology, Potsdam, Pa. He served three years in the Army and was stationed in China and India. He is now associated with Aitkenhead and Murchison, building contractors, Glen Cove.

William Moulton Marston, creator of Wonder Woman, passed away May 2, 1947.

Nassau Daily Review-Star
August 1, 1947

Joye Hummel Plans Wedding
Miss Joye Hummel, daughter of Mrs. Quinten Hummel of Shipherd avenue, Lynbrook has chosen August 17 as the date for her marriage to David Wood Murchison, son of Mr. and Mrs. M. David Murchison of Glen Cove.

The ceremony will be performed at 4 p. m. at the Rockville Centre Presbyterian church. The Rev. J. Milton Thompson will officiate and a reception will follow for the immediate family at the Elks clubhouse, Freeport.

Mrs. Kenneth Murchison of Glen Cove will be matron of honor and Mrs. James O. Wroten of North Bergen, N. J. and Miss Olive Ann Marston of Rye will be bridesmaids. Kenneth Murchison will be best man for his brother and the ushers will be Dr. William Martin of Glen Cove and Arthur Crowder of Sea Cliff.

Nassau Daily Review-Star
August 19, 1947

Joye Hummel Is Married At Church
Middlebury Alumna Becomes Bride Of David Murchison
Miss Joye Hummel, daughter of Mrs. Quintan Hummel of Shipherd avenue, Lynbrook, was married Sunday to David Wood Murchison, son of Mr. and Mrs. M. David Murchison of Glen Cove.

The ceremony took place at the Rockville Centre Presbyterian church at 4 p. m. with the Rev. J. Milton Thompson officiating. A reception for the immediate family followed at the Elks clubhouse, Freeport.

The bride, given in marriage by her father, Quinten Hummel of Freeport, wore a white silk ninon gown with a bertha of lace, long sleeves and a long train. Her fingertip veil was secured by a crown of seed pearls and aha carried white roses and white orchids.

Mrs. Kenneth Murchison of Glen Cove was the matron of honor and Mrs. James O. Wroten of North Bergen, N. J., and Miss Olive Ann Martson of Rye were bridesmaids. [Mrs. James O. Wroten and her husband did the lettering on Wonder Woman. Olive Ann Marston was the daughter of Wonder Woman creator, Dr. William M Marston.]

Kenneth Murchison was best man for his brother and ushers included Dr. William Martin of Glen Cove and Arthur Crowder of Sea Cliff. Following a wedding trip the couple will reside in Glen Cove where Mr. Murchison is associated with Aikenhead and Murchison, building contractors.

Mrs. Murchison is a graduate of Freeport High school, and attended Middlebury. college, Middlebury, Vt, and Katharine Gibbs school, New York city. Mr. Murchison attended Friends academy, Locust Valley, and Clarkson college of technology, Potsdam. He served in the army three years and was stationed in China and India.

Murchison’s first wife passed away June 15, 1946. Murchison passed away July 13, 2000. David W. Murchison, Jr. passed away October 1, 2015.

1950 United States Census
Home: 102 Maple, Glen Cove, Nassau, New York
Name / Age / Occupation
David Murchison, 33, 
Joye Murchison, 26, housewife
Sally [illegible] Murchison, 7, blank
David Wood J Murchison, 1, blank

Florida Department of Health
Name: Joye Hummel Murchison
Spouse: Jack A Kelly
Marriage Date: November 3, 2001
Marriage Place: Polk, Florida

Joye Hummel Murchison Kelly passed away on April 5, 2021, in Winter Haven, Florida. An obituary appeared in The New York Times, April 16, 2021 and The Ledger, April 20, 2021. 

Further Reading

Rocket’s Blast-Comicollector
#88, 1972
Howard P. Siegel’s column “Comic Collector’s Comments”
Excerpts from Hummel’s letter to Jerry Bails

The New Yorker
Wonder Woman Returns by Jill Lepore

Smithsonian Magazine

The Surprising Origin Story of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore

Lambiek Comiclopedia
The name of Hummel’s first husband is incorrect. Robert Prosper Murchison should be David Wood Murchison.

Smithsonian Institution

Joye Murchison Kelly Papers Relating to the Wonder Woman Comic Book Series1944–1948
Papers produced and collected by Joye Murchison Kelly relating to her work with William Moulton Marston on the Wonder Woman comic book series published by All-American Publications (later DC Comics). The collection includes a typed letter signed by Marston (1 page) dated 3 March 1944 to Miss Joye Hummel; a mechanically-reproduced typescript psychology examination (2 pages on 2 sheets) given by Marston to his students at the Katharine Gibbs School in New York City on 25 January 1944; 2 account books listing work done by Kelly for Marston with the amounts she had been paid for various expenses between January 1945 and August 1947; and hand-annotated carbon copies of several typescript stories for the Wonder Woman Sensation comics series written by Marston and/or Kelly: 17A, 18A, 18C, 20 A, 20B, 21B, 21C, 27B, 28A, 28B, 28C, 29A, 29C, 30A, and Sensation scripts (from the Comic cavalcade series) 29, 82, and 83.
Grand Comics Database

Related Posts

Harry G. Peter, Illustrator and First Wonder Woman Artist
Marjorie Wilkes Huntley

* * * * *

The Nassau Daily Review-Star, August 19, 1947, said Hummel and her mother lived in Lynbrook, while her father resided in Freeport. This suggested that Hummel’s parents were separated or divorced. The following article reported that a divorce was pending.

Nassau Daily Review-Star
April 20, 1945

More Evidence Asked by Court
…Six other matrimonial cases were considered by Justice Stoddart.
Decision was reserved on the petition for divorce of Mavis Hummel of 269 Vincent avenue, Lynbrook, from Quinten Hummel, aged 40, of Freeport. They were married in 1940. There are no children. Witnesses told of an alleged meeting of the defendant and another woman at a Freeport hotel. The court wished further evidence.
The date of the marriage, 1940, appears to be incorrect since Joye had the family name, Hummel, in a newspaper article dated July 21, 1937. But the most interesting statement was that the couple had no children. This suggested that Hummel’s mother had a previous marriage.

Hummel and her mother were found in the 1930 census by searching their first names, Joye and Mavis, in New York state.

1930 United States Census
Home: 1345 Gipson Street, Queens, New York
Name / Age / Occupation
Mavis Meyer (divorced), 27, secretary
Joye E Meyer, 6, blank

Hummel’s birth surname was Meyer. Her mother’s marriage was recorded in the New York, New York, Marriage Index at

Names: Mavis Zicree and Nathan Meyer
Marriage Date: December 22, 1921
Marriage Place: Queens, New York

There was doubt about the groom’s surname when the following newspaper article was found.

The Wave
(Rockaway Beach, New York)
December 29, 1921

Miss Mavis C. Zicree, of 539 Beach 65th street, daughter of H. Z. [sic] Zicree, was married on Thursday of last week, to Nathan Myers, son of the Rev. Hyman Myers, of Arverne. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. Dr. Corcos, of Manhattan.
Mr. and Mrs. Myers are now spending a short time at Atlantic City. Upon their return they will make their home on the Beach.

A search of the groom’s father, “Rev. Hyman Myers”, produced no relevant results. When the surname was changed to “Meyer”, he was found in the 1918 book, History of the Rockaways from the year 1685 to 1917, and mentioned over 300 times in New York newspapers. The Wave published the wrong surname for the groom.

Mavis Zicree and her family were found in the 1920 census.

1920 United States Census
Home: 108 East 121 Street, Manhattan, New York
Name / Age / Occupation
Harry Zicree, 40, factory hand at candy company
Marcella Zicree, 39, blank
Gertrude Zicree, 20, telephone operator
Mavis Zicree, 18, stenographer at candy company
Montegue Zicree, 13, blank
Estelle Zicree, 11, blank
Dorothy Zicree, 9, blank
Gladys Zicree, 8, blank
Esther Zicree, 6, blank
Ruby Zicree, 4, blank

Mavis Zicree’s passport application was found at

Name: Mavis Zicree
Birth Place: Manchester, England
Residence Place: 108 East 121 Street, New York City, New York
Passport Application Date: April 2, 1920
Passport Issue Date: April 17, 1920
Father: Harry Prosper Zicree, emigrated in August 1904 aboard the steamship Baltic from Liverpool; naturalized November 16, 1916
Occupation: Telephone Operator
Destination: France
Reason: Visiting

A death notice for one of Mavis’s sisters appeared in the Star-Journal (Long Island City, New York), February 24, 1953.

McGuire—Gladys, on Feb. 22, 1953; beloved wife of James T.; Loving mother of Marie Stokes, Barbara and Muriel, daughter of Harry and Marcella Zicree, sister of Monte Zicree, Mavis Kerpen, Estelle Vainio, Dorothy Lober and Esther Young, also survived by 2 grandchildren….
Mavis remarried to Frank Kerpen, a florist, whose obituary was published in the Long Island News and The Owl (Rockville Centre, New York), June 30, 1972. He passed away June 25. The Social Security Death Index did not have the day of his death.

Quinten Hummel passed away in 1974. Mavis Kerpen passed away in January 1990.

(Updated January 13, 2023; next post on Monday: Joe and Sam Rosen, Letterers)