Sunday, February 20, 2011

Larry’s Cartoon Vault Pt II: The Cartooning Correspondence Courses

In the last post I focused on the early 20th century cartoon instruction books.
Those booklets were easily accessible and were for most young hopeful cartoonists the only educational outlet available-- with the exception of the mail-order cartoon courses.
The premier correspondence course was Charles N. Landon’s Landon School of Illustration and Cartooning. Landon, a veteran cartoonist of The Cleveland Press and art director of NEA (the Newspaper Enterprise Association) probably wasn’t the first to offer a correspondence course in cartooning but his was most certainly the most successful.
The roster of graduates includes many of the most renowned comic strip, editorial and magazine cartoonists of the 1930’s,40’s and ‘50’s.
Among them were Milton Caniff , Bill Maudlin, Merrill Blosser, Floyd Gottfredson, Edwina Dumm, Carl  Barks, Jack Cole, Gil Fox, Chic Young , V.T. Hamlin, Gene Byrnes, Clifton Meek, Roy Crane, Dorman H. Smith (who started his own mail-order course years later –see previous post), Stanley Link, Edgar Martin, Ethel Hays and Bill Holman.  
Here from the Cartoon Vault is a sampling of the Landon correspondence course.

Landon placed ads in a variety of magazines such as Cartoons Magazines.

Students received lessons on a regular basis.

Students returned work for evaluation.

Landon also published Pen and Ink Magazine which published students work.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Larry's Cartoon Vault: Cartoon Instruction Books

In the olden days –the first half of the 20th century-- if you wanted to become a cartoonist you would find few places that  offered formal training in comic art (Unlike today. Now students can study cartooning, animation or the aesthetics of the graphic novel at a variety of institutions including  the Center for Cartoon Studies, CalArts  and the Kubert  School of Cartoon and Graphic Art).
Young hopefuls used to rely on correspondence art schools such as the Landon School of Illustration and Cartooning, Correspondence Institute of America, W.L.Evans School of Cartooning or they purchased one of the many how-to instruction booklets.

Below is a sampling from my archives of some early cartoon instruction books:

This one is by George Lichty 1944

This series is by the great George Carlson

Dorman H. Smith was a fine editorial cartoonist.
He lived out the latter years of his life right here in Fairfax, Ca.


Billy Hon from 1927
A caricature of Billy Hon by San Francisco cartoonist Douglas Rodger

Someone left clear evidence of the cartooning student learning curve.

Frank Webb 1948

Chuck Thorndike published numerous such booklets.
This one is from 1936
Ed Cullen's ultra-strange Kartoon Kadoodler concept.
It comes with a plastic "Kadoodler" template. 1951

by J.A. Patterson

from Cartoonist's Exchange 1941

by Gerald Findler. Published in London.
by Charles Stoner 1941

  by veteran Chas. Kuhn the creator of the Grandma comic strip.
This one is from 1921