George L. Carlson

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George Leonard Carlson (1887–1962) was an illustrator and artist with numerous completed works, perhaps the most famous being the dust jacket for Gone with the Wind.[1] He is cited by Harlan Ellison as a "cartoonist of the absurd, on a par with Winsor McCay, Geo. McManus, Rube Goldberg or Bill Holman."[2] Comic book scholar Michael Barrier called him "a kind of George Herriman for little children".[3] In the Harlan Ellison Hornbook preface to his essay on Carlson, Ellison relates how he contacted Carlson's daughters and attempted to get the material they sent him preserved in a museum or archive, to no avail.[2] According to Paul Tumey of Fantagraphics, Carlson's book Draw Comics! Here's How - A Complete Book on Cartooning (Whitman, 1933) was included in an exhibit on Art Spiegelman in the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit in 2009.[4]

Two episodes of "The Pie-Face Prince of Old Pretzelburg" (from Jingle Jangle Comics 5 and 24) are included in A Smithsonian Book of Comic-book Comics ed. by J. Michael Barrier and Martin T. Williams.[3]J. Michael Barrier and Martin T. Williams (eds.), A Smithsonian Book of Comic-book Comics. Smithsonian, 1982. Another "Pie-Face Prince" episode is reprinted in The Toon Treasury of Classic Children's Comics, ed. by Art Spiegelman.[5] "The Zheckered Zultan and His Three Little Zulteens" appears in The Golden Collection of Klassic Krazy Kool Kids Komics, ed. by historian Craig Yoe. [6]

In October 2013, a two-part article on Carlson's career appeared in The Comics Journal.[4] Calling Carlson "an under-appreciated, largely overlooked cartoonist, illustrator, game designer, and graphic artist extraordinaire" with a "playful, surreal world", writer Paul Tumey examined Carlson's life and work and announced the publication of Perfect Nonsense: The Chaotic Comics and Goofy Games of George Carlson by Daniel Yezbick (Fantagraphics, December 2013).[7] The article references Ellison's essay and another he wrote for a 1990 Carlson tribute comic book published by Innovation, Mangle Tangle Tales #1. It also includes an extensive bibliography of Carlson's work.

A more scholarly analysis appears in Daniel Yezbick's 2007 "Riddles of Engagement: Narrative Play in the Children's Media and Comic Art of George Carlson".[8]

Timeline of creative works[edit]

  • 1917 - Illustrates The Magic Stone: Rainbow Fairy Stories with paintings
  • 1920 - Illustrates Swiss Fairy Tales by William Elliot Griffis
  • 1920 - Illustrates Jane and the Owl by Gene Stone
  • 1921 - Illustrates Adventures of Jane by Gene Stone
  • 1928 - Illustrates The Adventures of Toby Spaniel
  • 1929 - Creates a dust jacket for The Whirlwind
  • 1931 - Provides black and white ink drawings and full color frontis for Fact and Story Reader - book eight
  • 1933 - Authored Draw Comics! - Here's How - A Complete Book on Cartooning
  • 1936 - Illustrated the original yellow dust jacket for Gone with the Wind
  • 1937 - Writes and Illustrates Fun-Time Games, Puzzles, Stunts, Drawings, also Fun For Juniors, and also Points on Cartooning.
  • 1939 - Illustrates "Uncle Wiggily and His Friends" by Howard R. Garis
  • 1940 - Cover illustration for "Treasure Chest of Stephen Foster Songs"
  • 1942 - Begins work with Jingle Jangle Comics at its birth, creating covers and contributing comic strips such as "The Pie-Face Prince of Old Pretzelburg", contributed for 8 years every other month, two strips per contributed issue.
  • 1949 - creates 1001 Riddles for Children
  • 1953 - Creates book I Can Draw for young artists
  • 1959 - Creates book Jokes & Riddles for young children

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bridgeport Telegram, Bridgeport Connecticut, September 27, 1962:
  2. ^ a b Harlan Ellison, "Comic of the Absurd". Harlan Ellison Hornbook (Penzler, 1990). Originally appeared in Dick Lupoff & Don Thompson, eds., All in Color for a Dime(Arlington, 1970).
  3. ^ a b J. Michael Barrier and Martin T. Williams (eds.), A Smithsonian Book of Comic-book Comics. Smithsonian, 1982.
  4. ^ a b Paul Tumey, "Figuring Out George Carlson". The Comics Journal, October 9, 2013. (Part 2 here.
  5. ^ Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly, eds., The Toon Treasury of Classic Children's Comics. Abrams, 2009.
  6. ^ Craig Yoe, ed., The Golden Collection of Klassic Krazy Kool Kids Komics. IDW, June 2010.
  7. ^ Daniel Yezbick, Perfect Nonsense: The Chaotic Comics and Goofy Games of George Carlson. Fantagraphics, December 2013.
  8. ^ Daniel Yezbick, "Riddles of Engagement: Narrative Play in the Children's Media and Comic Art of George Carlson". ImageTexT: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies, vol. 3 no. 3, Spring 2007. ISSN: 1549-6732.)

Sources[edit]