Monday, April 9, 2018

Comics: Al Avison, Artist

Alfred Dean “Al” Avison was born on July 7, 1920, in Norwalk, Connecticut. The birth information is based on a transcription of Avison’s World War II draft card, at, which also had his full name. The birth date was the same at the Social Security Death Index.

1920 United States Federal Census
Home: Perry Street, Norwalk, Fairfield, Connecticut
Name / Age / Occupation
Geo A Avison, 34, illustrator
Edith Dalton Avison, none
Geo Marshall Avison, 10, student
Mildred Leila Avison, 9, student
Anna G Ireland, 35, housekeeper
(census enumerated in January)

1930 United States Federal Census
Home: Riverview Drive RFD. Norwalk, Fairfield, Connecticut
Name / Age / Occupation
George Avison, 44, illustrator
Edith D Avison, 45, none
G Marshall Avison, 21, none
Mildred L Avison, 19, none
Alfred D Avison, 9, none

Stamford Advocate
May 10, 1937

Merrill Business Schools Conduct Festival, Friday
More than 300 students and guests attended the May Night Festival given by the faculty and pupils of the Merrill Business Schools at Hubbards Heights Club on Friday evening…

Guests and Merrill students from New York, Greenwich, Port Chester, Stamford, New Canaan, Ridgefield, the Norwalks, Darien and Wilton attended….
Avison was among the attendees.

New York Sun
June 13, 1938

Prizes Awarded at Pratt Institute
…Scholarships of $50 each, from a fund raised by student entertainments were awarded to seven students in the School of Fine and Applied Arts of Pratt Institute. The winners were chosen by competition. They are Erwin Liebig, architecture; John Shelley, industrial design; Richard Brunell, advertising design; Julius Svendsen, illustrations; Alfred Avison, illustration; Joseph Amisano, architecture; Charles Wagner, advertising design.
1940 United States Federal Census
Home: McKinley Street, Norwalk, Fairfield, Connecticut
Name / Age / Occupation
George A Avison, 54, artist
Edith Avison, 55, blank
George M Avison, 31, blank
Alfred D Avison, 20, blank

1940 Prattonia
page 54 (slide scroll bar to 56-57): Avison, Alfred Dean, Pic. Ill. III, Rowayton, Conn….Football ’38, ’39, ’40; Basketball ’38, ’39, ’40; Softball ’38, ’39, ’40; Ping Pong ’39, ’40; Social Contact Man; Artsmen Representative.

The New York Times
June 11, 1940

Pratt Institute to Graduate 660
Four Schools of the Brooklyn Institution to Award Diplomas at the Exercises Today
School of Fine and Applied Arts
Alfred D. Avison
Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999
Comic book career begins in 1940

World War II Army Enlistment Record
Name: Alfred D Avison
Enlistment Date: June 27, 1942
Enlistment Place: New York, New York
Education: 3 years of college
Civil Occupation: Commercial artists

Rome Sentinel
(New York)
September 17, 1945

Map Program to Deflate Japanese Ego
MacArthur Institutes Measures Designed to Emphasize Defeat
TOKYO—(AP)—Gen. MacArthur instituted today a broad American information program to convince every Japanese of the empire's defeat, of its war guilt, to eleminate [sic] militarism and to encourage democratic principles.

The direct information program will employ the Japanese press, radio and schools.

The Army forces in the Pacific Psychological Warfare Branch has been converted into an “information dissemination section” [IDS] under Brig. Gen. Bonner F. Feller, MacArthur’s military secretary.

…At the outset the information dissemination section will operate through the Japanese Board of Information, contacting representatives of Japanese publications, radio, movie distributors and schools.

…The planning group os headed by Capt. Arthur Behrsock, former Chicago newspaperman.

The IDS staff, in charge of the various departments, will be:
Education—Maj. Harold G. Henderson, on leave from Columbia University.
Movies—Robert Perkins, OWI who was born in Japan.
Chief of Releases—-Capt. Donald F. McCammon, formerly with the United Press in Chicago.
Radio—Capt. William Roth. Helena. Mont.
Pictures and Art—Lt. Alfred D. Avison, Norwalk, Conn.
Magazines—Capt. John R. Kennedy, Washington, D. C.
Nisei and Japanese Employees—Lt. Taro Tsukahara, San Francisco.
OWI Representatives—Bradford Smith chief of the OWI in Japan who spent five years here as a teacher and writer and served with the OWI at Honolulu; and David Conde….
Avison passed away December 30, 1984, in Norwalk, Connecticut.

Connecticut Death Index
Name: Alfred D Avison
Occupation: President
Industry: Avison Associates [advertising studio in New York]
Marital Status: Married
Birth Date: July 7, 1920
Birth Place: Connecticut
Address: Homewood Lane
Residence: Darien, Connecticut
Death Date: December 30, 1984
Death Place: Norwalk, Connecticut
Age: 64 Years
Spouse: Marga
Father's Surname: Avison

Further Reading
The Scudder Association
Grand Comics Database

Allen Bellman: The Interview
Michael J. Vassallo: What about Al Avison and Al Gabrielle?
Allen Bellman: They weren’t on staff when I was there. Either they predated me, were freelancers or worked strictly for Funnies Inc. and bypassed the staff completely in which case I would have likely missed them.

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