Syd Hoff

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Syd Hoff
Born Sydney Hoffberg
(1912-09-04)September 4, 1912
Bronx, New York City, United States
Died May 12, 2004(2004-05-12) (aged 91)
Nationality American
Area(s) Cartoonist, author
Notable works
Danny the Dinosaur
Tuffy
Laugh It Off
The Ruling Clawss, as A. Redfield

http://www.SydHoff.org

Syd Hoff (September 4, 1912 Bronx, New York – May 12, 2004) was a Jewish-American cartoonist and children's book author. Although best known for his classic early reader Danny and the Dinosaur, his cartoons appeared in a multitude of genres, including advertising commissions for such companies as Eveready Batteries, Jell-O, OK Used Cars, S.O.S Pads, Rambler, Ralston Cereal and more.[1]

While Hoff was still in high school, Milt Gross, a popular 1930s cartoonist, told him at an assembly that "Kid, someday you'll be a great cartoonist!"[2] At 16, he enrolled at the National Academy of Design in New York City. At 18, he sold his first cartoon to The New Yorker, and would sell a total of 571 of them to the publication from 1931 to 1975. Hoff became known for his cartoons, in The New Yorker, depicting tenements and lower-middle class life in the city.[3][4]

His cartoons have appeared in a variety of publications including the New Yorker, Esquire, and Look magazine. He was also the host of a television show, Tales of Hoff, in which he drew and told stories.[3]

Hoff wrote and illustrated over 60 volumes in the HarperCollins "I Can Read" series for beginning readers, most notably Sammy the Seal and the popular Danny and the Dinosaur (1958), which sold 10 million copies and has been translated into a dozen languages.

In 1976, Hoff edited and published Editorial and Political Cartooning: From Earlier Times to the Present, which contains over 700 examples of works from the world's editorial and political cartoons.[3][4]

Syndicated comic strips[edit]

Hoff drew two long-running syndicated comic strips: Tuffy (1939–1949) and Laugh It Off (1958–1978). One of Hoff's recurring characters, a walrus-mustached man, eventually appeared as the father in his daily Tuffy, done for the King Features Syndicate from 1939 to 1950.[3]

Tuffy was originally commissioned by William Randolph Hearst in 1938, and was declared "essential for national morale" during the American involvement in WWII. This classification kept Hoff out of active military duty during WWII, although Hoff joined the Office of War Information and drew propaganda cartoons which were dropped behind enemy lines.[5]

Political cartoons as A. Redfield[edit]

Starting in 1933, Hoff began to contribute cartoons to leftist newspapers and magazines, including The Daily Worker and New Masses as A. Redfield, the pseudonym he adopted for his radical work.[6][7] Hoff's first published book, The Ruling Clawss (Daily Worker, 1935) collects over 150 Hoff cartoons originally published in the Communist daily, and his first book for children, Mr. His: A Children's Story for Anybody was published both as a pamphlet by, and within the pages of, New Masses magazine.[8]

Hoff's output under the A. Redfield pseudonym began to taper off by 1940, though he remained politically active. He was questioned by the FBI in 1952 about his A. Redfield work and alleged Communist Party association,[5] after being photographed with Marxist civil liberties advocate Corliss Lamont at a protest against the atomic bomb the previous year. Hoff was never formally charged, nor blacklisted. Nevertheless, he would remain concerned for the remainder of his life about being identified as a "Red" and the impact this might have on the reception of his children's books.[9]

Bibliography[edit]

Children's books[edit]

  • Mr. His: a Children's Story for Anybody (New Masses, 1939)
  • Muscles and Brains (Dial Press, 1940)
  • Mom, I'm Home! (Doubleday/Doran & Co., 1945)
  • Oops! Wrong Party! (Dutton, 1951)
  • It's Fun Learning Cartooning (Stravon Publishers, 1952)
  • Oops! Wrong Stateroom! (Washburn, 1953)
  • Out of Gas (Ives Washburn, 1954)
  • Eight Little Artists (Abelard-Schuman)
  • Patty's Pet (Young Readers Press, 1955)
  • Danny and the Dinosaur series (Harper & Row, 1958–1996)
    • Danny and the Dinosaur (1958)
    • Happy Birthday, Danny and the Dinosaur (1985)
    • Danny and the Dinosaur Go to Camp (1996)
  • Julius (Harper & Row, 1959)
  • Sammy the Seal (Harper & Row, 1959)
  • Ogluk the Eskimo (Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1960)
  • Oliver (Harper & Row, 1960)
  • Where's Prancer? (Harper & Brothers, 1960)
  • Who Will Be My Friends? (Harper & Row, 1960)
  • Chester (Harper & Row, 1961)
  • Albert the Albatross (Harper & Row, 1961)
  • Little Chief (Harper & Row, 1961)
  • Stanley (Harper & Row, 1962)
  • Grizzwold (Reader's Digest Services, 1963)
  • Lengthy (G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1964)
  • Mrs. Switch (Putnam, 1966)
  • Irving and Me (Harper & Row, 1967) — for young adults; no illustrations
  • Jeffrey at Camp (Putnam, 1968)
  • Slithers (G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1968)
  • Wanda's Wand (C. R. Gibson Co., 1968)
  • The Witch, the Cat, and the Baseball Bat (Grosset & Dunlap, 1968)
  • Baseball Mouse (Putnam, 1969)
  • Herschel the Hero (Putnam, 1969)
  • Roberto and the Bull (McGraw-Hill, 1969)
  • The Horse in Harry's Room (Harper & Row, 1970)
  • A Walk Past Ellen's House (McGraw-Hill, 1973) ISBN 0-437-47019-9
  • Barkley (Harper & Row, 1975)
  • Henrietta series (Garrard Pub. Co., 1977–1985)
    • Henrietta Lays Some Eggs (1977)
    • Henrietta, Circus Star (1978)
    • Henrietta, the Early Bird (1978)
    • Henrietta Goes to the Fair (1979)
    • Henrietta's Halloween (1980)
    • Henrietta's Fourth of July (1981)
    • Happy Birthday, Henrietta! (1983)
    • Henrietta's Vacation (1985)
  • Walpole (Harper & Row, 1977)
  • The Young Cartoonist, The ABC's of Cartooning (Stravon, 1983)
  • Barney's Horse (Harper & Row, 1987)
  • Mrs. Brice's Mice (Harper & Row, 1988)
  • Captain Cat (Harper Collins, 1993)

Books for adults[edit]

  • "The Ruling Clawss" (Daily Worker, 1935)
  • Naval Secrets: This Book is Filled with Man-to-Man Ideas and Aids to Help you Record Your Bang-up Navy Experiences (Hillair Publishing Company, 1943)
  • Military Secrets: This Book is Filled with Man-to-Man Ideas and Aids to Help you Record Your Bang-up Army Experiences (Hillair Publishing Company, 1943)
  • Feeling No Pain: an Album of Cartoons (Dial Press, 1944)
  • Okay—You Can Look Now! (Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1955)
  • The Better Hoff (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1961)
  • Upstream, Downstream and Out of My Mind (Bobbs-Merrill, 1961)
  • Twixt the Cup and the Lipton (Bobbs-Merrill, 1962)
  • So This is Matrimony: Cartoons (Pocket Books, 1962)
  • Hunting, Anyone? (Bobbs-Merrill, 1963)
  • From Bed to Nurse, or, What a Way to Die (Dell, 1963)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Syd Hoff official website.
  2. ^ Syd Hoff:Autobiography Official Syd Hoff Website, retrieved January 13, 2013
  3. ^ a b c d Syd Hoff Cartoons Syracuse University, Nov 6, 2009, Retrieved November 30, 2010
  4. ^ a b HarperCollins–Authors & Illustrators HarperCollins Publishers, 2010, Retrieved November 30, 2010
  5. ^ a b Biographical Timeline www.sacreddoodles.com, the official Syd Hoff website, retrieved 1/5/2013
  6. ^ The Ruling Clawss: Syd Hoff's Cartoons in The New Yorker and The Daily Worker Robert Mankoff, The New Yorker, September 19, 2012
  7. ^ Syd Hoff's Teeth: The Leftist Satire of A. Redfield Nine Kinds of Pie: Philip Nel's Blog, 2011, Retrieved 1/5/2013
  8. ^ Syd Hoff and A. Redfield...Two Sides of the Same Coin A. Redfield section on www.sacreddoodles.com, the official Syd Hoff website. Retrieved 1/5/2013
  9. ^ Syd Hoff, A. Redfield, and Me: Part II Nine Kinds of Pie: Philip Nel's Blog, October 30, 2011, retrieved 1/5/2013

External links[edit]