Monday, July 31, 2023

Lettering: Popeye, Olive Oyl, Brutus, Wimpy, Sweetpea and Jeep Mini-Banks

In 1979 Alper Industries, Inc. or its agency hired Continuity Associates for a packaging project. The company wanted to present King Features Syndicate characters (Popeye, Olive Oyl, Brutus, Wimpy, Sweetpea and Jeep) as mini-bank toys to coin-operated machine vendors. 

Four mini-bank samples were adhered with two-sided tape then shrink-wrapped onto cardboard (8.1875 x 9.3125 inches or 20.8 x 23.65 centimeters) and sent to potential customers. 

I did the lettering for “Popeye Sez:” and characters’ names. Someone else did the balloon lettering. Here are the pencil roughs that Neal Adams approved. I rubbed graphite on the back of the tracing paper and traced the letters onto kid finish Bristol board for inking. The original lettering was delivered to the client.


The decal and mini-bank were inside a capsule. After peeling off the decal’s backing, the decal was positioned on the bank. A decal measured .9375 x 3 inches or 2.4 x 7.6 centimeters.

(Next post on Monday: Otto Pirkola, Lettering Artist and Art Director)

Monday, July 24, 2023

Comics: Ed Hamilton, Artist and Letterer

Edward Thomas “Ed” Hamilton was born on November 11, 1900, in Port Washington, New York, according to his World War II draft card and the New York State Birth Index at

The 1910 United States Census said Hamilton (line 6) was the oldest to three children born to John, a carpenter, and Jennie, both New York natives. They were residents in North Hempstead, Nassau County, New York. This census and the next state and federal censuses recorded his first name as Edwin.

The 1915 New York state census counted the Hamilton family of six (lines 26–31) in Port Washington, Nassau County, New York at 11 Pleasant Avenue. 

According to the 1920 census, Hamilton (line 100) was an office clerk. He lived with his parents at the same address. Information about his art training has not been found. 

The 1925 New York state census said Hamilton’s occupation was cartoonist (line 50). His address was unchanged. 

Hamilton (line 96) was a printer at a private company in the 1930 census. He continued to live with his parents in Port Washington.

The Nassau Daily Review and Patchogue Advance published Hamilton’s historical panel ’Round About Long Island. 

On March 31, 1936, Hamilton and Alice M. Masset obtained, in Queens, New York, marriage license number 1425. Their license was noted in the North Shore Daily Journal (Flushing, New York), April 3, 1936. The date of their marriage is not known. 

The 1910 census said Masset also lived in Port Washington. It’s not clear how long her family was there because, five years later, they lived in Great Neck, a short distance west of Port Washington. It’s possible she and Hamilton knew each other at school. By 1920, Masset had moved to Queens. In 1930 she was a bookkeeper at a bronze factory. 

The 1940 census said Hamilton (line 31) and his wife were Astoria, Queens residents at 31-15 21st Avenue. He was a display designer. His highest level of education was two years of high school. In 1939 he earned nine hundred dollars. 

Hamilton signed his World War II draft card on February 16, 1942. His address was the same. He was described as five feet six-and-a-half inches, 165 pounds, with blue eyes and brown hair. Hamilton worked for the Dura Products Manufacturing Company, a Canton, Ohio company with an office in Manhattan at 55 West 42nd Street. 

Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999 said Hamilton assisted on Fontaine Fox’s Toonerville Trolley comic strip in the early 1940s. However, Fox already had an assistant, Ted Clark, since 1928. Sometime earlier Hamilton probably met Fox. Hamilton resided in Port Washington until the early 1930s then moved to Queens in the mid-1930s and married. In 1920 Fox also lived in Port Washington then, by 1930, he was in Roslyn, New York. It’s likely cartoonist Hamilton (1925 New York state census) met Fox by the mid-1920s. Fox moved again to Del Ray, Florida in the mid-1930s. He was counted twice in the 1940 census with homes in Del Ray and Greenwich, Connecticut. In the early 1940s Hamilton had a job in Manhattan and was pursuing freelance comic book lettering. If Hamilton was a Fox assistant in the early 1940s, he had to commute to Connecticut.

Todd Klein covered Hamilton’s comics lettering career in Part 1 and Part 2. The Grand Comics Database has a checklist of Hamilton’s work. 

Hamilton had an entry in the Catalog of Copyright Entries, Part 1, Books, Group 2, New Series, Volume 42, Number 12, 1945. 
Hamilton, Edward Thomas,* Astoria, N.Y.
35862, 35863
Current art markets. © Dec. 1, 1945; AA 500593. The Hamilton method for applying art ability. © Dec. 1, 1945; AA 499336.
Six years later he had another one in the Catalog of Copyright Entries, Third Series, Volume 5, Part 1B, Number 1, Pamphlets, Serials and Contributions to Periodicals, January–June 1951. 
Hamilton, Edward Thomas
Straight ahead to success. 1 v. © Edward Thomas Hamilton (in notice: Ed Hamilton); l5Nov51; AA199372.
The Catalog of Copyright Entries, Third Series, Volume 8, Part 1, Number 2, Books and Pamphlets, Serials and Contributions to Periodicals, July–December 1954, printed a revision. 
Hamilton, Edward Thomas
Current art markets. NM: revision. © Edward Thomas Hamilton; 1Nov54; A160529. 

Hamilton, Edward Thomas
The Hamilton method, how to turn your art ability into money; prepared especially for the amateur and semi-professional artist and cartoonist. Appl. states prev. pub. as The Hamilton method for applying art ability. NM: new matter. © Edward Thomas Hamilton; 1Nov54; A160509.
Hamilton’s residence was the same in the 1950 census (line 14). He was a commercial artist.

Hamilton passed away on December 1, 1979, in New York, New York. He was laid to rest at Saint Mary Cemetery. His wife passed away on April 7, 1989. 

Further Reading

Related Posts

Monday, July 17, 2023

Comics: A Few New Details About Publisher M.C. Gaines and His Wife Jessie Kathryn Postlethwaite

1916 Instano yearbook

M. C. Gaines was born Maxwell Charles Ginsburg on September 21, 1894, in New York, New York, according to his World War I and II draft cards. However, a birth certificate for “Max Gensberg” said he was born on the 13th day of September 1894. His parents were “Abraham Gensberg” and “Rosie Reginsky”. An family tree has the names “Abraham Ginsberg” and “Rose Roginkin”. The certificate appears to be a good match for Gaines despite the slightly different surname spellings and birth days. “Ginsberg” was the spelling on census records. 

In the 1900 United States Census, Gaines (line 12) was the second of four sons born to Abraham, a rags dealer, and Rose, both Russian immigrants. They were Manhattan residents at 442 East 86th Street. 

The 1910 census counted Gaines (line 77), his parents and two younger brothers in the Bronx at 1819 Barnes Avenue. 

The 1916 Instano yearbook of the Pennsylvania State Normal School said Gaines graduated from Morris High School

According to the 1915 New York state census, Gaines (line 7) was a college student. He was counted in his father’s household in the Bronx at 1735 Victor Street. 

In 1916 Gaines graduated from Pennsylvania State Normal School in Indiana, Pennsylvania, where he met his future wife who graduated the same year.

On June 5, 1917, Gaines signed his World War I draft card. His address was 321 Maple, Bridgeport, Connecticut. Gaines was described as medium height and build with blue eyes and brown hair. 

Gaines’ father passed away on September 3, 1917. 

Gaines’ New York military record said his service started on December 15, 1917. 

Gaines was identified in the Dallas Morning News (Texas), February 26, 1918.
Doings of Texans at Camp Travis
Many Officers Ordered from Leon Springs to Kelly Field for Duty.

... Leon Springs Officers Assigned.
A large number of unassigned officers at Camp Stanley, Leong Springs, Texas, who were graduates of the second officers’ training school, and who have been undergoing additional instruction and duty, have been assigned to duty last the Kelly Aviation Field with the aviation section, Signal Corps. The list includes the following named ...

... To be Second Lieutenants in the aviation section, Signal Corps, and assigned to duty at the Kelly Aviation Field: ... Max Ginsburg ...
He served overseas from November 2, 1918 to January 4, 1919, and honorably discharged on June 26, 1919. 

The New York Tribune, June 23, 1919, reported a lease. 
Leases Show Demand for Loft and Store Space
More Business Concerns Locate in Building in the Downtown Sections

Cross & Brown Company has leased the building ... at 835 Broadway to Max Ginsburg and William A. Saffrin ...
Gaines has not yet been found in the 1920 census which was enumerated in January. 

The Normal Herald, July 1920, reported Gaines’ marriage. 
Jessie Kathryn Postlethwaite, ’16, was married to Max Ginsburg, of the same class, on Monday, May 31, 1920, at the home of her mother in Du Bois, Pa. Mr. and Mrs. Ginsburg will make their home at No. 1819 Barnes avenue, New York City.
The Social Security Death Index said Postlethwaite was born on June 17, 1896. In the 1920 census, Postlethwaite (line 72), a Pennsylvania native and public school teacher, lived with her mother, Elizabeth, in Du Bois, Pennsylvania. 

Gaines’ mother married Sam Starkman on February 14, 1922 in Manhattan. 

Gaines’s son, William, was born on March 1, 1922. 

After his son’s birth, Gaines changed his Ginsburg surname.  

The 1925 New York state census recorded Gaines (line 40), his wife and three-year-old son, William, in the Bronx at 2497 Grand Avenue. Gaines’ occupation was sales manager. 

The 1930 census said the Gaines family resided in Brooklyn at 1827 Mansfield Place. His home was valued at $19,000. The marriage age, 24, is incorrect. At that age his marriage would have been in 1918. Gaines (line 64) was a sales manger at a clothing store. 

Gaines’ venture into comic books was told in Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters, and the Birth of the Comic Book (2004). 

Gaines’ Brooklyn home in the 1940 census was at 1827 East 24th Street. The publisher (line 7) had a twelve-year-old daughter, Elaine, who was not counted in the 1930 census. 

Gaines was heard on the radio. 

Corning Evening Leader (New York), April 21, 1942

On April 27, 1942, Gaines signed his World War II draft card. His home address was unchanged. Gaines was self-employed and worked in Manhattan at 225 Lafayette Street, which was the location of his All-American Publications

Gaines’ son, William, a student, signed his draft card on June 30, 1942.

Gaines’ Picture Stories from the Bible was examined in the Brooklyn Eagle, August 29, 1942. 

Print, Volume 3, Number 2, Summer 1942, published Gaines’ article, “Narrative Illustration: The Comics”. The next issue, Volume 3, Number 3, 1943, featured his article, “Good Triumphs Over Evil!”. 

The New York Times, May 15, 1943, reported Gaines’ purchase of a house at 16 Colonial Drive in White Plains, New York. 

Gaines’ wife’s role in the family was described in The Mad World of William M. Gaines (1973). 

Gaines was killed on August 20, 1947 in a boating accident at Lake Placid, New York. 

Nassau Daily Review-Star,
August 21, 1947

Buffalo Courier-Express,
August 22, 1947

The Alumni News Bulletin (Indiana State Teachers College, Indiana, Pennsylvania), December 1949, said 
Jessie K. (Postlethwaite) Gaines, 1916, has sold her beautiful home on Colonial Road, White Plains and will reside on Colonial Avenue, Brooklyn in a apartment. Her daughter, Judy, announced her engagement to a minister’s son in Passaic. The Gaines’ son now heads his fathers’ successful publishing business. Last summer Mrs. Jessie Gaines and daughter spent six weeks in Europe and in Italy.
The Alumni News Bulletin, June 1950, published two items about Postlethwaite.
Elaine Gaines, daughter of Jessie Postlethwaite Gaines and the late Max Gaines, both of Class 1916, was married January 4, 1950 to Mr. Jack Mac Adie of Passaic, New Jersey. The wedding took place at Sherry’s in New York City.

Mr. and Mrs. Mac Adie are both students at Bard College.

In March 1950 Mrs. M. C. Gaines (Jessie Postlethwaite, 1916) and Mrs. Everett Sanford (Flossie Wagner, 1917) enjoyed an extensive trip. They went, by air, from New York City to Bermuda, to Nassau in the Bahamas, to Miami Beach, Florida and back to New York. Going through customs in Miami they met by chance, Dr. and Mrs. William Lehrick, who, with their daughter, Janet, had been traveling the three months previous, in the West Indies. Mrs. Lehrick is the former Lillian Firestone, Class of 1916, and, at the time. President of the New York City Unit.
The June 1966 issue of the Alumni News Bulletin said 
... Special recognition was given to Mr. and Mrs. Guy Foster, Mrs. Jessie Postlethwaite Gaines, and Mrs. Bertha Statler Walker, all of whom are enjoying 50 years or more as members of the Indiana Alumni.
The New York Times, June 16, 1967, published this death notice.
Gaines—Jessie K. on June 13, 1967 widow of M.C. Gaines, mother of William & Virginia E. MacAdie, grandmother of Geoffrey, Bruce, Cathy, Wendy & Chris. Service Friday 10:30 AM at “The Universal” Funeral Chapel 52 St. and Lexington Ave. Interment private.

Further Reading
Print, Rare Vintage Articles About Comics and the Comic Book Industry

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(Updated December 21, 2023; next post on Monday: Ed Hamilton, Artist and Letterer)