Category : Ink-Slinger Profiles

Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Richard Brand

Richard Marmon Brand was born on July 25, 1900, in Urbana, Ohio, According to his World War II draft card. In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Brand was the only child of Thomas, a dentist, and Bessie. The family resided in Urbana at 403 Church Street.
On September 12, 1918, Brand signed his World War I draft card. He was a student who lived at 229 Scioto in Urbana. His description was slender build, medium height, with blue eyes and light brown hair. Brand named his mother as next of kin.
The same address was recorded in the 1920 census. Unemployed Brand lived with his parents.
Shortly after the census Brand moved south to Cincinnati. The 1921 Cincinnati city directory listed Brand as a Commercial Tribune reporter whose address was 540 West 7th. Editor & Publisher, February 11, 1922, said “Richard Brand has left the Cincinnati Commercial Tribune to go on the desk of the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch.”  “Richard M. Brand” was his byline at the Dispatch.
The Ohio Archaeological and Historical Publications, Volume 31, 1922, told the story of Brand’s portrait of Senator Thomas Morris that was drawn based on a person’s memory.
Brand illustrated at least one of his articles. Below are details of his illustration in the Dispatch, April 25, 1926.
American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Brand produced the Sunday panel, Along Our Street, from September 12 to December 5, 1926, for the Dispatch. Information about his art training has not been found.
The Dispatch, October 12, 1927, reported Brand’s marriage, to Helen Armpriester, which took place on June 4. The paper said Brand attended Wittenberg College at Springfield and Ohio State University where he was a member of Phi Kappa Psi.
In the 1930 census, the couple were Columbus residents at 55 Hamilton Avenue. Brand was a newspaper reporter. The 1931 Columbus, Ohio city directory listed the same address. He was employed at the Dispatch.
According to the 1940 census, Brand had returned to Urbana where he was the head of the household, which included his father, a widower. Brand’s house was valued at $6,000 and located at 239 Scioto Street. He was a self-employed magazine writer who had three years of college education. The Dispatch, March 10, 1952, said Brand wrote true detective stories for several national magazines.
Brand signed his World War II draft card on February 14, 1942. His address was unchanged. He was described as five feet five-and-a-half inches, 138 pounds, with blue eyes and brown hair.
The Dispatch, February 27, 1944, said Brand was named news editor of the Urbana Daily Citizen. He also served several terms as coroner of Champaign County. In 1950 Brand settled in Naples, Florida where he was editor of the Collier County News.
Brand passed away on March 9, 1952, in Fort Myers, Florida. He was laid to rest at Oak Dale Cemetery.

Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Carl Ryman

(This profile is an update of the 2016 version.)
Carl Ryman was born Carl Adolph Reimann Jr. on May 10, 1903, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, according to his World War II draft card. Ryman’s birth name was found in his father’s biography in the book, German-American Artists in Early Milwaukee: A Biographical Dictionary (1997).

Reimann, Carl A., b. 3-13-1873 in Milwaukee, d. 12-17-1937 in Milwaukee. Muralist, religious painter, and designer of stained glass windows whose name is sometimes given as Charles A.F. Reimann. The son of a Swiss immigrant father and German immigrant mother, Reimann grew up in Milwaukee and was educated in Lutheran schools. He was a pupil of Richard Lorenz and later studied at the Weimar Art School under Max Thedy (1858–1924)….Reimann’s name appears in Milwaukee city directories from 1891 until his death, his occupation being variously given as artist, designer, and craftsman in stained glass. His church decoration firm, the Carl A. Reimann Company, went under during the Depression….Reimann’s son, who spelled his name Carl Ryman, was a cartoonist and gag writer living in California.

The 1905 Wisconsin state census recorded Ryman and his parents in Milwaukee.
In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Ryman, his parents and brother, George, lived at 844 Fourth Street in Milwaukee. Ryman’s father was producing art glass works.
The Milwaukee Journal, November 3, 1949, profiled Ryman and said he attended a Lutheran parochial school where he  was “drawing comics for the other kids in exchange for school supplies and candy.” He went to the Lutheran high school and “graduated from Northwestern college, Watertown, where he was welterweight boxing champion and a top swimmer.”
On September 11, 1918, Ryman’s father signed his World War I draft card which had his address as 914 Island Avenue, Milwaukee.
The 1920 census said Ryman was a Milwaukee resident at 168 Wright Street. The Journal said Ryman worked for his father as a stained glass artist and salesman. They also raised dogs.
Ryman was married with three children in the 1930 census, which said Ryman was 21 years old when he married Edna. The family resided in Milwaukee at 1679 4th Street. Ryman was a designer of art glass. The 1933 Milwaukee city directory listed designer Ryman at 116 East Wright Street. He was a painter, at the same address, in the 1936 directory. The Great Depression ended his father’s stained glass business.
According to the 1940 census, Ryman’s widow mother was the head of the household which was in Milwaukee at 116 East Wright Street. Ryman was the proprietor and designer of a stained glass studio. He had attended college for three years.
The Journal said Ryman had been a taxicab driver, brewery worker, swimming pool attendant, tea salesman and gag writer.
On February 14, 1942, Ryman signed his World War II draft card. HIs description was six feet, 150 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. According to the Journal, Ryman was rejected for military service, and “worked as an inspector in a defense plant until 1944.”
The Journal said Ryman had a chronic throat ailment and sinus trouble, causing him to experience bouts with pneumonia. In 1944 he moved to Los Angeles, California, where he was, at different times, a stained glass worker and caretaker of a park. Ryman’s 1948 voter registration, at, said he was a Democrat who lived at 7015 St. Estaban Street in Los Angeles.

According to American Newspaper Comics (2012) Ryman produced the strip, Alfred, for the McClure Syndicate. Alfred debuted October 17, 1949 and ended in 1954. The Alfred character was created by Foster Humfreville who produced the panel, which was published in Collier’s magazine, beginning in 1941. Editor & Publisher, October 1, 1949, explained how Humfreville and Ryman produced Alfred.

The gag-a-day strip … is the outgrowth of a Collier’s panel drawn by Foster Humphreyville [sic] with Carl Ryman supplying the gags. Mr. Humphreyville relinquished the character to Gag Man Ryman and trained another artist who will draw the strip under Mr. Ryman’s direction.

After leaving Alfred, Humfreville found work in advertising and the aerospace industry.
Ryman was selling Alfred original art in Writer’s Digest, January 1953.

“Alfred” Comic Strips. Genuine Originals of Nationally Syndicated Feature. $2. Three for $5. Carl Ryman, 1012 2nd St., Santa Monica, Calif.

The Catalog of Copyright Entries, Third Series, Volume 5, Parts 7–11A, Number 1, Works of Art, etc., January–June 1951, listed three cartoon characters by Ryman. The following year, Ryman and his wife, Edna, received copyrights on two cartoon characters.
Ryman illustrated a BarcaLounger advertisement in the December 1952 issue of Esquire.
According to Ryman’s California voter registrations, he was a Republican who lived in Los Angeles at 1311-C 23rd Street in 1950, 1952. Santa Monica, California city directories, from 1952 to 1954, listed Ryman as a cartoonist who lived in the Fairmont Apartments at 1012 2nd Street, apartment 5. The 1958 directory said Ryman was a salesman with the Trans-Western Land & Investment Company in Los Angeles. In 1962, Republican Ryman was a Joshua Tree, California resident on Sunny Vista Road.
The Journal, July 24, 1963, reported the passing of Ryman’s mother and said in part:
…Mrs. Reimann, the former Sarah Geiger, died Monday of a heart attack at St. Mary’s hospital. She lived at 116 E. Wright st.
Her husband, who died in 1938, operated the Carl A. Reimann Co., which specialized in church decoration. Their son, Carl, jr., Joshua Tree, Calif., is a comic strip artist. His strip, “Alfred.” formerly appeared in The Milwaukee Journal Green Sheet….
Ryman passed away September 23, 1963, in San Bernardino County, according to the California Death Index. He was laid to rest at Westminster Memorial Park.

Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Foster Humfreville

D. Foster Humfreville was born on March 1, 1902, in  St. Joseph, Missouri, according to his World War II draft card, Who’s Who on the Pacific Coast (1949), and Who’s Who in the West (1954). His parents were Daniel Louis Humfreville and Helen Boldt Medsker.
The 1910 U.S. Federal Census recorded Humfreville as the oldest of three brothers. Their father was a physician who had remarried to Josephine Hardesty. The household included Josephine’s sister and a servant. They lived on Ashland in St. Joseph.
In the 1920 census, Humfreville, his three brothers and parents were Los Angeles, California residents at 5357 Loma Linda Avenue.
Humfreville was listed in Pasadena, California city directories from 1923 to 1928. His address was 1055 Laguna Road.
Who’s Who on the Pacific Coast said Humfreville was a student at the University of California. He was an undergraduate in the university’s Catalogue of Officers and Students 1923–24. His photograph appeared in the 1924 yearbook, Blue & Gold.
According to Who’s Who on the Pacific Coast, Humfreville attended the Otis Art Institute, in Los Angeles, from 1925 to 1926, and the California Art Institute in 1927.
A passenger list at said Humfreville sailed from the Panama Canal on February 15, 1928 and arrived in New York on February 22.
Who’s Who on the Pacific Coast said Humfreville, from 1928 to 1940, specialized in decorative murals; produced sculptures at the New York World’s Fair, the Museum of Science and Industry, and Rockefeller Center. He began his freelance cartooning career in 1941 which included the creation of Alfred for Collier’s Magazine.
For the Works Progress Administration, Humfreville created the 1936 poster “Shame May Be Fatal”.
The 1940 census listed commercial artist Humfreville in Manhattan on West 99th Street. In 1939 he earned nine-hundred dollars.
Freelance cartoonist Humfreville signed his World War II draft card on February 16, 1942. His address was 318 West 102nd Street in Manhattan. In 1942 that address was crossed out and replaced with 1055 Laguna Road, Pasadena, California. Later, the street address was updated to 506 Lake View Road. Humfreville’s description was six feet two inches, 145 pounds, with blonde hair and blue eyes.
In 1944, the R. M. McBride & Company, published a collection of Hunfreville’s Alfred cartoons called Alfred, Ahoy! A profile appeared on the back of the dust jacket.
Born in St. Joseph, Mo., Foster Humfreville blossomed in Hollywood and Pasadena, where he was not, he admits, a genius at school, having attended fifteen and having been graduated from none, chiefly because his principal interest was in collecting snakes and lizards.
His first job was in a Los Angeles bank, which he left at the end of two years to attend art school. Later he migrated to New York to become an artist via sculpture, painting, drawing, and designing museum displays. However, having doodled with cartoons and caricatures since childhood, our subject naturally would up as a comic man. In 1941 he sold his first gag to Collier’s and has drawn for that publication exclusively ever since.
In the summer of 1942 the Foster father of Alfred returned to California but continued to entertain Collier’s readers with Alfred’s antics.
Humfreville says he knows very little about the Navy and that used to get his ideas and backgrounds by talking to sailors about ships and Navy life. As the war progressed, this proved to be more and more embarrassing, and he has had to curb his queries in order to prevent landing in the hands of certain Federal officials.
Like Alfred, Mr. Humfreville has never been married. “Who would have us?’ He asks. Wistfully, it seems.
The Catalog of Copyright Entries, Part 1, Group 1, Books, 1944, New Series, Volume 44, Number 4, said Humfreville held the copyright to the book.
In late 1948 or early 1949 Alfred stopped appearing in Collier’sAmerican Newspaper Comics (2012) said Alfred was continued as a strip by the McClure Syndicate, who hired Carl Ryman to produce it. The strip began on October 17, 1949. In 1944, Ryman moved from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Los Angeles, California. Ryman met Humfreville and assisted him on Alfred. Editor & Publisher, October 1, 1949, explained how Humfreville and Ryman produced Alfred.

The gag-a-day strip … is the outgrowth of a Collier’s panel drawn by Foster Humphreyville [sic] with Carl Ryman supplying the gags. Mr. Humphreyville relinquished the character to Gag Man Ryman and trained another artist who will draw the strip under Mr. Ryman’s direction.

After leaving Alfred, Humfreville found work in advertising and the aerospace industry. In 1949 and 1950, Humfreville illustrated a number of Haber Hinges advertisements. Who’s Who in the West said Humfreville was an illustrator for the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, in California, since 1953. His home address was 301 South Kenmore Avenue, Los Angeles.
The 1963 Glendale, California city directory listed “Humfreyville” and his wife, Eleanor, at 1647 Fernbrook Place. He was employed at Rocketdyne. The Rocketdyne Engineering Personnel Assignment List, January 1965, said Humfreville was in Illustrations, Department 086, Group 309, Engineering Production Support. (See PDF page 70)
Humfreville passed away on November 7, 1971, in Riverside, California. He was laid to rest at Riverside Cemetery.
Further Reading and Viewing
Naval Historical Foundation: Alfred, Ahoy! Foster Humfreville and His Cryptic Cartoons of World War II
The Fabulous Fifties: Silent Cameo

Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Ray Doherty

Raymond Henry “Ray” Doherty was born on December 4, 1906, in Garyville, Louisiana, according to his World War II draft card. In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Doherty was the oldest of two sons born to William, a boilermaker, and Noelie. The family resided in St. John the Baptist, Louisiana. 
The 1920 census said Doherty’s mother was a widow and head of the household. She, her sons and an aunt lived on Little Hope Street in St. John the Baptist. 
In 1927 Doherty married Eva. According to the 1930 census, Doherty, his wife and two daughters lived with his mother whose address was unchanged. Doherty was a grocery salesman.
The San Francisco Chronicle (California), January 26, 1963, said Doherty “moved to San Francisco with his wife and family in 1935 and took a job on the old Call-Bulletin.” Information about Doherty’s art training has not been found. The 1938 San Francisco city directory listed Doherty at 3303 Army Street. 
The 1940 census recorded Doherty, his mother, wife, four children and brother, a bank clerk, in San Francisco at 391 Rolph Street. Doherty was a newspaper artist whose highest level of education was the second year of high school. His house was valued at five-thousand dollars. In 1939 Doherty earned $2,705. 
On October 16, 1940, Doherty signed his World War II draft card. He was employed by the Call-Bulletin newspaper. His description was five feet eleven inches, 180 pounds, with brown eyes and hair.
Editor & Publisher, January 18, 1941, reported Doherty’s new business. 

Ray Doherty, San Francisco Call-Bulletin advertising artist, and his brother, W. T. Doherty, have begun syndication of a daily one-column panel cartoon, “Nuttibits”.

Wood Cowan’s Sissy was syndicated by Doherty. 
The Chronicle said Doherty joined the Chronicle, in 1942, as a staff artist and cartoonist. 
The Writer’s Market (1945) had an entry for Doherty. 
Ray Doherty Syndicate, 391 Rolph Street, San Francisco, California. W. T. Doherty, Editor.
Syndicates editorials, industrial and general news, cartoons, features to company publications throughout the nation. Material must be condensed, colorful, authoritative and accurate (sources of facts, dates, etc., should accompany manuscripts), and written with popular appeal. 
Doherty had an item in the Catalog of Copyright Entries, Third Series, Volume 8, Parts 7-11A, Number 1, Works of Art, Etc., January–June 1954. 
Doherty, Ray.
Horse-rating gadget. [Dial] Cardboard work. © Raymond Henry Doherty; 21May54; IP2403.
The Chronicle said Doherty left the paper in 1956.
Doherty passed away on January 25, 1963 in San Francisco. He was laid to rest at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery

Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Burt Thomas

Burt Randolph Thomas was born on December 4, 1881, in Cleveland, Ohio, according to his World War II draft card and Who Was Who in America (1981). His parents were Martin Lee Thomas and Mary Randolph. He graduated high school in 1899 and attended the Cleveland Art School from 1899 to 1902. 
The 1900 U.S. Federal Census recorded Thomas, his parents and older brother in Cleveland at 103 Newell Street. Thomas’ father was the proprietor of a planing mill where Thomas was a bookkeeper. 
Who Was Who said Thomas was an artist on the Cleveland Press from 1900 to 1902. He did advertising illustration from 1902 to 1904. 
Thomas continued his art training at the Detroit Art School from 1903 to 1905. The 1903 Detroit, Michigan city directory listed Thomas at 121 Lysander Street. Directories from 1905 to 1908 said Thomas boarded at 494 Putnam Avenue and was a Detroit News artist. 
In the 1910 census, newspaper artist Thomas was a lodger in Detroit at 22 Adelaide Street. 
Thomas’ address was 310 Merrick Avenue in the 1911 city directory. On June 3, 1911, Thomas married Margaret Yarger in Detroit. Their address in the 1912 city directory was 657 Lothrop Avenue. 
Cartoons Magazine, October 1914, published Thomas’ “Utopia Under the Big Top”.
Thomas’ Our Neighbors ran from February 5 to August 17, 1915 and was syndicated by Herbert Ponting. 
Thomas was featured in Editor & Publisher, April 7, 1917. 
Cartoons Magazine, June 1918, published a photograph of Thomas’ seventy foot Liberty loan billboard. 
On September 12, 1918, Thomas signed his World War I draft card. The Detroit News cartoonist resided at 629 La Salle Gardens South. His description was tall and slender with blue eyes and brown hair. 
Thomas had the same address in the 1920 census. 
American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Thomas produced Mr. Straphanger, for the Detroit News, from February 26, 1922 to 1933. 
According to the 1930 census, Thomas, his wife and daughter were residents of Grosse Pointe, Michigan, at 886 Washington Street. The same address was in the 1940 census. Thomas’ highest level of education was the fourth year of high school. In 1939 he earned over five-thousand dollars and his house was valued over twelve thousand dollars. 
Thomas signed his World War II draft card on April 24, 1942. His address was unchanged. He was employed at the Detroit News. His description was five feet ten inches, with blue eyes and gray hair. 
At some point Thomas moved to California. The 1948 Santa Barbara city directory listed him at 22 East Los Olivos. His office was at 735 State Street in room 334. In 1951 his address was 8 Virginia Road. 
Thomas’ retirement was noted in Editor & Publisher, September 22, 1951. 
Detroit—Burt Thomas, creator of Mr. Straphanger, has retired. His present address is Santa Barbara, Calif., where he has ideas (jokingly) of becoming a beachcomber.
For 48 years, Mr. Thomas drew pictures for the Detroit News. For more than a score of years he was one of the nation’s celebrated editorial cartoonists whose work was syndicated to hundreds of newspapers.
Thomas passed away on July 3, 1964, in Berkeley, California, according to Artists of Early Michigan: A Biographical Dictionary of Artists Native to or Active in Michigan, 1701–1900 (1975). 

One comment on “Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Burt Thomas

  1. One thing that baffles me is that there doesn't seem to be any collections of Thomas' work. Quite a few of his cartoons were reprinted in The Literary Digest, and the Britannica Book of the Year had some of his later work, but considering his relative prominence in the field (and how lovely his art is), no collections.

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