News of Yore: Big Ben Bolt Debuts

Norman Rockwell Model To Produce Comic Strip

E&P – 1/28/50

At 15 John Cullen Murphy modeled for Artist Norman Rockwell and the picture became a cover on the Saturday Evening Post.

In the years that followed, Mr. Murphy went off to art school and the established artist took an interest in his work. During summers in Vermont, he let the younger man use his studio near New York. Before 1940, Mr. Murphy was in a class where he could draw covers, instead of sit for them.

Now, the 30-year-old artist will draw a daily strip, “Big Ben Bolt,” featuring a prizefighter (“a prizefighter who is highly intelligent but unsophisticated”) and drawn in realistic style. King Features will release it Feb. 20.

One of his earlier free lance jobs was drawing sports cartoons for Madison Square Gardens, Inc. He also used to hang around Stillman’s gym to sketch fighters in training.

Writing the continuity for the adventure strip will be Elliott Caplin, brother of cartoonist Al Capp and writer for “Dr. Bobbs.”

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