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The Open Road for Boys Cartooning Contests: A Prosopography

Les concours de dessin de Open Road for Boys : une prosopographie
Carol Tilley

Résumés

Afin d’appréhender la culture de la bande dessinée américaine avant le comic book, cette étude prosopographique analyse un échantillon d’adolescent·es ayant participé dans les années 1930 aux concours de dessin de la revue Open Road for Boys. L’article explore des questions de démographie, leurs professions adultes, leurs vocations, et les potentiels réseaux de participation ; tout cela afin de comprendre mieux la jeunesse qui participait à ces concours quasiment mensuels. Un nombre considérable de participant·es à ces concours a poursuivi une carrière artistique professionnelle en tant que dessinateurs, artistes commerciaux, animateurs et d’autres domaines connexes.

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  • 1 Beebe is listed in the 1931 and 1932 Lincoln High School (Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin) Ahdahwagam y (...)

1In the August 1930 issue of Open Road for Boys, Burton Beebe of Vesper, Wisconsin, was one of the thirteen young people whose entries in the magazine’s cartooning contest was reproduced. In Beebe’s honorable mention drawing, a finely attired cowboy twirls his lasso to lend a helping hand to Finnegan the Fireman who is being tightly clutched at the top of his ladder by a woman he is supposed to be rescuing. It’s a skillful drawing with fine linework and characters that bear strong resemblances to those in the contest’s “problem” cartoon to which Beebe responded. A little shy of fifteen, Burton was about to begin work as cartoonist for his school newspaper, The Lincoln Times1.

2In the longer list of Open Road entrants who received an honorable mention designation is another Beebe—N.M.—from Vesper, Wisconsin. This was Nina Mae, nicknamed “Speed”, Burton’s younger sister. She would have been about 12 when she and her brother entered the Open Road cartooning contest. In a 1983 oral history interview conducted with Nina and her husband Ed as part of a campus and community history project, she describes her childhood as financially precarious and Vesper as a town without a library (“Interview with Ed & Nina Gold” 1983). Given their financial circumstances, it is unlikely the family subscribed to Open Road, but at a ten-cent cover price, a single issue might have been affordable, or perhaps she and Burton made use of a newsstand or otherwise borrowed copy.

3Both Burton and Nina pursued art in adolescence and adulthood. Her obituary remarks,

While in her teens, Speed took to the road with Burt. The two hitchhiked throughout the South, taking odd jobs and practicing their skills as portrait artists and sign painters. After she finished high school, Speed attended art school in Milwaukee. Despite her remarkable abilities, Speed never pursued commercial success (Nina ‘Speed’ Gold [obituary] 2008).

4In the 1983 interview, Nina elaborated on their hitchhiking trip. Burton wanted a companion to go to the South to explore the segregated world they read about in Faulkner’s novels. Leaving in January from Wisconsin when Nina was 16, they arrived in Jackson, Mississippi, and spent the next eight months or so wandering on foot through Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. Burton cut Nina’s hair so she could pass as a boy. He did courtroom sketches and odd jobs to help support their travels. Sometimes Nina would go for walks alone, save for her sketchbook (“Interview with Ed & Nina Gold” 1983).

  • 2 Two of Burton’s prints from his time with the WPA can be viewed at the Wisconsin Historical Society (...)

5Burton, like Nina, attended Layton School of Art and, like his sister, he did not finish. Layton was founded by Charlotte Partridge and Miriam Frink, lesbian partners who saw the need to imbue the arts with a sense of civic and social responsibility. At Layton and in work for the Federal Works Progress Administration2, Burton further developed the skills he needed to pursue a career in commercial art. Glimpses of that career can be found in various publications. A 1949 article, for instance, notes that he designed the December cover for the Torch, a publication of the Milwaukee Advertising Club (“Beebe Achieving Distinction…” 1949: 3). In a memoir by photographer and political gadfly Harold Gauer, Beebe is remembered as helping provide “classy art-work” for a series of newspaper political ads along with “free-hand art…[and] special effects” for “the best-looking 8-pager [for a Henry Reuss political campaign] on the scene so far” (Gauer 1991: 269, 237).

6As a print culture historian interested in young people’s participatory cultures created with and through comics and cartooning, stories like these of Burton and Nina Beebe fascinate me. Much historiography around comics and fandom dates the rise of that fan culture from the 1950s EC comics fan networks and the even more organized adult comics fan networks of the 1960s spurred by people like Don and Maggie Thompson. As Jean-Paul Gabilliet and Nicolas Labarre note, “It is undoubtedly inevitable that historiography has favored constituted groups, having bequeathed a set of documents and readable discourses, rather than a decentered history, for which the documents are lacking” (Gabilliet and Labarre 2021: §18). But for the past decade, I have delighted in the recovering and sharing stories from that decentered history. Through my scholarship I have helped make visible examples of young people speaking out against governmental and civic threats to comics in the 1950s (Tilley 2015), early youth participatory cultures around comics (Tilley 2014), and young people’s comics’ reading practices (Tilley 2020; Tilley 2023). The scattered and ephemeral nature of extant documentation as well as the task of teasing out young people’s experiences through sources that are nearly always mediated by adults make this sort of scholarship challenging, but it is essential work if we are to have a more full understanding of the historical social and cultural impacts of comics.

7The genesis for this current paper was a brief mention of cartooning contests in Open Road for Boys that I read several years ago in Mort Walker’s Private Scrapbook: Celebrating a Life of Love and Laughter (Walker 2000). Prodigious from an early age, Walker commented on the relationships he created with fellow cartoonists by participating in these contests. My university’s library happens to have a nearly complete run of Open Road, so I ventured to see what I might find through a quick-and-dirty attempt to identify prominent cartoonists. That early survey resulted in an essay (Tilley 2019) for the comics pro-zine Hogan’s Alley3. In it, I documented the broad scope of the contest and some of its notable participants such as animator Bill Peet, comic strip cartoonist George Crenshaw, and comic book artist Reed Crandall. In this paper, I take a more rigorous, systematic, and focused approach by examining a sample of nearly 1,000 contest participants from the early 1930s to understand who they were, their occupations and avocations, and what—if any—indications of networks and connections among them exist.

The Magazine

8Founded in 1916 by Ormond Loomis, Clayton Ernst, and William Blackett—three friends and recent graduates from Harvard University—Open Road for Boys entered a small, burgeoning periodicals market for younger readers. Ernst, who had worked for the esteemed periodical Youth’s Companion, seems to have been the only one of the three with any publishing experience, but the men shared an enthusiasm for outdoor recreation, Scouting, and adventure, which motivated the magazine’s editorial direction. Nathan Lincoln, another Harvard alum who joined the magazine’s staff following Blackett’s 1925 death, later wrote, Open Road sought, “without preaching, to guide boys in such matters as sports, physical fitness, vocation opportunities, social behavior; in short, to inspire them, almost without their knowing it, to constructive achievement” (“Nathan Burnham Lincoln” 1963: 398). In its 50 monthly, eclectic pages, Open Road shared fictional and real-life adventure stories, encouraged developing competencies in activities such as camping and marksmanship, supported international penpals and cultural awareness, and provided guidance on hobbies. The magazine’s circulation reached about 150,000 by 1930 before peaking at nearly 400,000 later in the decade [Abbott & Williams 1933; “Nathan Burnham Lincoln” 1963].

9Beginning with the March 1926 and continuing until the magazine’s demise in the 1950s, Open Road held near-monthly cartooning contests for its readers. The contest required entrants to respond to a prompt featuring a short poem and accompanying single-panel cartoon that typically placed a character in a fantastically improbable situation. The goal for the entrants was to draw the scenario’s resolution. After the first few contests, entrants were required to submit their cartoon solutions via postal mail in black ink on a piece of paper measuring four by five inches. For each contest the magazine reproduced the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners (and paid them $ 5, $ 3, and $ 2 respectively), along with two Special Mention and eight Honorable Mention entries. On the opposite page—together with the prompt for the next contest—Open Road reproduced the names and cities for each entrant whose work it reproduced. Several dozen additional entrants, who were designated as “Honorable Mentions”, had their names and cities listed there, although their cartoons were not reproduced. As detailed in the earlier article I wrote about the cartoon contest (Tilley 2019), Lev Gleason, who went on to become a comics publisher (e.g. Daredevil, Crime Does Not Pay), likely instigated the contest when he was employed as advertising manager at Open Road.

Fig. 1 – Open Road for Boys “Cartoon Contest”, list of winners and instruction for the next competition (April 1937).

Fig. 2 – Open Road for Boys “Cartoon Contest”, list of winners and instruction for the next competition (April 1937).

About This Study

10In my previous work on Open Road (Tilley 2019), I uncovered extensive evidence of the participation of young people who, as adults, pursued careers and vocational interests in cartooning, animation, fine arts, and related fields. Through this current study, I sought to understand via more systematic and rigorous means who the participants of the Open Road cartooning contests were and if the occupational patterns I seem to have found are real. Thus, I wanted to ascertain a) basic demographic characteristics of the participants (e.g. age, sex, location), b) their vocations as adults as well as art-related avocational pursuits as youth and adults, as well as c) any possible networks of relationships among participants (e.g. shared activity spaces, evidence of correspondence).

11Given these specific lines of interest, I relied on a prosopographical, or collective biographical, approach to gathering and interpreting information. Prosopography is a long-standing historical method that interrogates “the background characteristics of a group of actors in history by means of a collective study of their lives” (Stone 1970: 46). Prosopography tends to shed light on overarching, normative characteristics of a group, particularly where copious information about individuals is unavailable (Verboven, Carlier, and Dumolyn 2007). As with the field of history generally, prosopography expanded during the twentieth century to go beyond elite persons (i.e. white males in positions of authority) and is now used to explore more diverse lived experiences, while taking advantage of increasingly robust sources of data and social sciences methods. In contemporary scholarship most relevant to the Open Road project, prosopography is used as an inquiry tool for digital humanists (Schwartz and Crompton 2018), literary scholars (Booth 2009), and book and print culture historians (Shep 2015). While the aggregate representation of a group is foremost in prosopography, “[p]erhaps its greatest strength is the recognition that people, not abstractions, are the true stuff of history, and that each individual counts (literally and metaphorically) in an examination of a group” (Keats-Rohan 2019: 11).

12My data set for this study comprises the individuals whose names are included as prize winners or honorable mention recipients in twelve issues of Open Road from 1930, 1931, and 1932.4 My choice of these years was guided by the availability of resources that I could use for gathering biographical information. For example, these years’ proximity to the 1930 US Census meant that I might have a better chance of making both more and more accurate identifications. I determined the specific issues via a stratified, random sampling technique: four issues selected by random draw from each of the three years. Originally, I intended to use all extant issues from the 1930s available to me at the University of Illinois Library, focusing on those individuals whose entries were reproduced. After consideration I determined this approach might result in a less accurate characterization of the group as it focused solely on winners or honorees. My original approach would have resulted in a data set of about 1,000 individuals, whereas the revised approach resulted in a similarly-sized set (N= 951) and allows me to compare collectively those persons whose work was reproduced against the larger body of individuals. I used Google Sheets to record information and plug-ins from Awesome Table to do some basic geocoding and data visualization to support my analysis5.

13I used a variety of secondary resources to identify individuals and document information about their occupations, avocations, and related information. Census records, birth certificates, family genealogies, and similar sources—primarily available through the tool Ancestry.com— were most helpful in identifying individuals and establishing birthdates. For career and avocational information, I gave preference to retrospective and news sources including obituaries, death certificates, and news articles. Other potentially useful sources of information included Census records, city directories, World War II-era military enlistment and draft records, and school yearbooks. In addition to records available at Ancestry.com, I used news databases such as Newspapers.com, NewspaperArchives.com, and ProQuest Historical Newspapers. For some individuals, specialized tools like Lambiek Comiclopedia, the Grand Comics Database, and ArtNet offered helpful information. With these various resources, I identified 881 (93%) of the 951 entrants.

14Part of the data-gathering and analytical structure for this project relies on the concepts avocation and vocation (i.e. “their vocations as adults as well as art-related avocational pursuits as youth and adults”). From a sociological perspective, terms such as amateur and professional (Stebbins 1979) or even leisure and obligation (Lundberg, Komarovsky, and McInery 1934) might substitute here. I chose the terms avocation and vocation, however, because these are the terms predominant in the mid-century studies of occupational and educational guidance, which I draw on most closely for my work. The line distinguishing avocation from vocation, as well as amateur from professional and leisure from obligation, is not always bright. For instance, one may earn money at times from an avocational pursuit. In this study, I use avocation to correspond to any of a cluster of activities that include hobbies, leisure activities, and school extracurricular activities, which are often chosen on the basis of pleasure and/or personal interest, and vocation to denote a person’s job, profession, and/or occupation.

Findings

15In this section, I will disclose some of the key findings from this prosopographical study, but as someone who often finds stories more compelling than quantitative data, let me first share a vignette of a fairly typical entrant.

16In the study’s sample, Arthur Grott has two entries, January 1930 and November 1931. His January 1930 entry was reproduced as an honorable mention. It shows the problem character Jazzy Jeff, whose parachute was too small, landing on top of a blimp that was sailing above a landscape of skyscrapers. The scale of Jazzy Jeff’s body is a little too big for the rest of the image, but the perspective and premise are good, and the cartoon includes motion lines, speech balloons, and a sound effect.

Fig. 3 – Arthur Grott, Honorable Mention entry, Open Road for Boys “Cartoon Contest” (January 1930).

17Grott, the youngest of six children, was born in December 1914 in New York City to immigrant parents. His father was a barber and his mother worked as a building painter. Arthur lived with his siblings and parents on 9th Avenue in the Chelsea neighborhood until at least 1950. According to his 1942 military enlistment record, he completed only a single year of high school, which was not uncommon in the US in this decade. Arthur served as an Army warrant officer (i.e. a non-commissioned officer who has technical expertise) during World War II. Given his occupation as detailed below, it is possible he was assigned duties related to his artistic skills. He died in 1996, living in Long Island City, Queens, having never married.

18Despite much formal training—there is no evidence that Grott attended any educational or vocational programs beyond his brief time in high school—his artistic talent allowed him to find work as a commercial artist. His 1940 military draft card indicates he was working for Lindsay’s Studio at 220 East 42nd Street, an art deco skyscraper that was known as the home to the New York Daily News. Coincidentally, this building “inspired the name and design of Clark Kent’s workplace, The Daily Planet in the original Superman comics” (SL Green Realty Corp). At some point following his military service in World War II, Grott was employed by Brinkman Studio Art Service, which became Lawrence Studio in 1957. Grott is named as a principal in this business (“Trade Talk” 1957: 71).

19There is little additional evidence I have found of Grott’s life, save for a brief note in a 1984 issue of Rocks and Minerals, a long-running magazine for hobbyists and researchers interested in mineralogy, geology, and related topics. According to the article, the magazine held a logo design contest in 1934. Arthur Grott, who would have been nineteen years old, was a member of the Rocks and Minerals Association and submitted one of the “many designs” to the contest. His logo was chosen as the “most appropriate” and stayed in use until the minor redesign in 1984 (“Chips from the Quarry” 1984, 204). Perhaps there are other art and design contests he entered as well, but this one in conjunction with his entries to the Open Road cartooning contest and his occupation give evidence that Grott viewed art as both avocation and vocation.

Fig. 4 – Logo designed by Arthur Grott for Rocks & Minerals, as reproduced in “Chips from the Quarry”. 1984. Rocks & Minerals (59) 5: 204.

Demographics

  • 6 I understand the diversity of sexual and gender identification and expression as well as changing c (...)

20My first analytic step was simply to determine who the entrants for the Open Road’s cartooning contest were. In particular, I sought to understand more about their ages, geographical distribution, and racial and sex6 characteristics. Additionally, I attempted to ascertain the number of unique individuals, a task somewhat complicated by a few entrants who submitted using variations of their given names. For instance, William Dean Smith, who had four entries in this sample, used the name Dean for three of them and William for one. In some instances, I was unable to identify the entrant using available records. Often this was a consequence of an entrant having a relatively common name and also residing in a larger city (e.g. Joe Simon from St. Louis, Missouri, who had four entries in the sample). In cases like this with multiple entries from an unidentified individual with the same name or close variant (e.g. Joe Simon, Joseph Simon) and the same location, I assumed the entries were all from the same individual. In Table 1, I summarize the sample and its extent.

Total in Sample

Identity Confirmed

Identity Confirmed but Occupation Unknown

Entrants

951

882

836

Unique individuals

724

668

628

Table 1. Description of the extent of the study’s sample.

21The entrants in this sample were not especially diverse in terms of race/ethnicity and sex, neither were they exclusively white and male. This relative homogeneity is unsurprising given the magazine’s titular focus (i.e. The Open Road for Boys) and the significant effects of racist economic, educational, and other social structures in the US during this period. In Table 2 provides an overview of those entrants whose identities I confirmed.

Male & white

Male & other race/ethnicity

Female & white

Female & other race/ ethnicity

Entrants w/ ID confirmed (n= 882)

851 (96 %)

25 (3 %)

5 (<1 %)

1 (<1 %)

Unique individuals w/ ID confirmed (n= 668)

647 (97 %)

15 (2 %)

5 (<1 %)

1 (<1 %)

Table 2. Demographic characteristics of the study’s sample.

22Of those individuals who were identified in records as other than white, seven persons including one female (11 entrants) were categorized as being of Japanese ancestry, two Chinese (3 entrants), two “Mexican” (4 entrants), two Black (5 entrants), two Native American (2 entrants), and one mixed race (1 entrant who had a white mother and Chinese father).

  • 7 Four of the females in this sample—Nina Beebe, Sylvia Mackey, Virginia Schwarting, and Dorothy Wall (...)

23Were I able to identify additional entrants, these figures would undoubtedly increase. For instance, I was unable to find conclusive vital records for one person with a female name (Dorothy). It is possible that some of the entrants whose identification proved elusive were females who were using initials (e.g. M.A.)7 or male-sound pseudonyms (e.g. Ted) to cloak their identities to better fit the profile of a magazine pitched to male readers. Additionally, there were several entrants from Puerto Rico who had names that indicated their possible Hispanic and/or Latino ethnicities, but complexities in naming conventions on vital records made their identities difficult to confirm.

24I was curious to what extent female and non-white entrants were represented among those whose cartoons were reproduced. Of the 21 total individuals who fit one or both of these demographic categories, three had their work printed in the magazine (about 2% of the total number of entries in the sample that were reproduced). Arthur Avant, a young Black teen from St. Louis, Missouri, had four entries in the sample. His November 1930 contribution was printed as an Honorable Mention. James Iwoa Onodera, a Japanese-American teen living in Seattle, received a Special Mention, also in the November 1930 issue; it was one of two entries from him in the sample. Finally, Woodrow “Woody” Kimbrell, best known for his work as the cartoonist for the syndicated Little Lulu comic strip, received 1st Place for his October 1932 entry. Kimbrell’s mother Mattie Worsham Kimbrell appears as a member of the Chickasaw Nation on the Dawes Rolls8, which were used to determine eligibility for tribal membership, although few biographical entries about Woody mention his Chickasaw ancestry. Although some participants’ names may have allowed the contest editors to surmise gender and racial and/or ethnic identities, not every name would afford this opportunity. That the percentages of female and non-white entrants whose work was reproduced roughly matches their presence in the overall sample suggests that the contest editors were not influenced by particular demographic characteristics.

25In terms of entrants’ ages, both the median and mode are 16, while the range is 7 to 55. The standard deviation here is 2.88, demonstrating the strong cluster of ages between 13 and 19. This finding is expected. For example, Open Road was the fourth most popular magazine titles in one survey of 500 fourth through seventh grade students; Child Life, Liberty, and Boy’s Life were more frequently named (Abbott and Williams 1933). In a study of high school (i.e. ninth through twelfth grades) students a few years later found that Open Road was read only by students in ninth and tenth grades (Brink 1940). The results are similar for those entrants whose work was reproduced: the average age was 16, with a range of 10 to 22. Worth noting is that Open Road did not ask entrants to list their ages so the consistency in both entrants’ and honorees ages is remarkable.

26The final demographic data I gathered were geographic locations, which I took directly from the city and state (or territory/country) noted in the lists of contest winners and honorees. Thus, these data include both individuals for whom I was able to verify their identities, as well as those for whom records remain elusive. Although in the 1930s, Alaska and Hawaii had not yet been granted statehood, I chose to include them as part of the US. Additionally, I counted Puerto Rico, a territory with some citizenship rights, as part of the US. Of the 951 entries, 17 (2%) came from outside the US, with Canada being the source of all but 2 (Scotland, Netherlands). Open Road sold subscriptions outside the US. The magazine also sought through a regular column about non-US cultures and pen pals to encourage readers to engage globally. Nonetheless I am unable to determine the extent to which international readers comprised an audience for the magazine to make a good determination whether the few numbers of non-US-based entries is proportional to its sales and subscriptions.

27The US states that were the most and least common sources of entrants are noted below in Table 3, excluding Delaware and Nevada which had no entrants in the sample.

All listed entries (n =951)

All entries reproduced (n =156)

Most Frequent

Least Frequent

Most Frequent

Least Frequent*

Entrants (n =951)

(101) New York

(98) Pennsylvania

(73) Ohio

(63) California

(60) Massachusetts

(1) South Carolina

(2) North Dakota / Mississippi

(3) Alabama / District of Columbia / New Mexico / Wyoming

(4) Alaska / Rhode Island

(5) Kentucky / Puerto Rico / Vermont / Virginia

(17) New York

(15) Pennsylvania

(12) Ohio

(10) California / Massachusetts / Iowa

(9) Indiana

(1) Alaska / Arkansas / Montana / North Carolina / South Dakota / Tennessee / Utah

(2) Idaho / Kansas / Maine / New Jersey / Oklahoma / Texas

(3) Connecticut / Florida / Georgia / Washington / Wisconsin

Individuals (n =724)

(74) Pennsylvania

(73) New York

(58) Ohio

(48) California

(40) Massachusetts

South Carolina

Mississippi / New Mexico / North Dakota

Alabama / District of Columbia / Rhode Island / Vermont / Wyoming

Alaska / Puerto Rico

Virginia

(15) New York

(13) Pennsylvania

(11) Ohio

(10) Massachusetts

(9) California

(1) Alaska / Arkansas / Georgia / Montana / North Carolina / South Dakota / Tennessee / Utah

(2) Idaho / Kansas / Maine / Nebraska / New Hampshire / New Jersey / Oklahoma / Texas

(3) Connecticut / Florida / Michigan / Washington / Wisconsin

Table 3. Most and least common geographic locales entrees and honorees.

28In many respects the geographic data are unsurprising. In 1930, the five most populous states in the US were (in order), New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio, and Texas. Three of the top five states for entrants are among the five most populous. The other two states that drew significant numbers of entrants—California and Massachusetts—were numbers six and eight on the census population count. Delaware and Nevada, which had no entrants in this sample, were among the five least populated states at that time. Examining the distribution of entries from urban versus rural locations is a more complex undertaking than what is possible for me at this juncture, but my sense is that the sample is slightly more balanced toward urban areas, which were home to a little under 50% of the US population at the time (Bureau of the Census 1933).

29A handful of states were proportionally overrepresented when considering the ratio of entries to reproductions. Entries from Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, New Hampshire were more likely to merit reproduction, as per Table 4 below, which includes comparison data from the states with the highest number of entries.

State

percentage of Entries

percentage of Entries Reproduced

Indiana

4.10

5.77

Iowa

2.94

6.41

Minnesota

2.21

4.49

New Hampshire

1.37

5.13

California

6.62

6.41

Massachusetts

6.31

6.41

New York

10.62

10.90

Ohio

7.68

7.69

Pennsylvania

10.30

9.62

Table 4. Comparison of geographic locales with the most entries in the sample vs. frequency of reproduction.

30For each of these instances of over-representation, one or two individuals helped drive up the numbers. In the case of Indiana, future animator Bill Peet (who used his original surname Peed for the contest) had four entries reproduced out of the nine total represented here. For Iowa, two individuals—Carol Benge (who became a commercial illustrator) and Bob Davenport (who worked as a newspaper illustrator)—each had three entries reproduced, while Minnesota had one entrant, Junior (Frank) Schreiner who went into sales, with three entries selected. New Hampshire is the most lop-sided example, as seven of the eight entries from the state that were reproduced came from a single individual, Burton Blanchard. Blanchard had some art training at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts (now, the School of the Art Institute) and identified himself as an artist in his 1943 military enlistment records. He has proved to be largely elusive beyond one piece of fanzine art and a brief 1950 newspaper mention of his art for a military newsletter.

Fig. 5 – Science fiction fanzine art by Burton Blanchard from the cover of Amateur Correspondent (September/October 1937).

Vocations and Avocations

  • 9 Because of time constraints, I did not capture occupational data for participants’ parents for this (...)

31Beyond demographics, I wanted to interrogate the vocational choices the entrants in this sample made as adults as well as to begin to document any arts/design/publishing-related avocational choices in youth or adulthood.9 My hypotheses leading into this analysis was that those individuals in the sample a) would be more likely to enter arts/design/publishing-related fields than the general US population and b) would give evidence of involvement in arts/design/publishing-related hobbies. My hypotheses were informed by a variety of studies and reports that indicated, for instance, vocational interests remain relatively stable from age 15 onward (Strong 1934), hobbies can sometimes be good predictors of vocational choices (Dyer 1938), some persons in arts-related vocations (i.e. architects) frequently pursue arts-related avocations (“Art and Spaghetti…” 1932; “Hobby Show…” 1932), and some arts hobbyists (i.e. photographers) are somewhat more likely than other hobbyists to have arts-related occupations (Super 1940). While my first hypotheses is relatively easy to test because of the availability of Census and similar records that indicate occupation, the latter is less easily tested because of the uneven availability of school yearbooks, news clippings, and robust obituaries and similar remembrances.

  • 10 This harmonized list is “OCC1950” and was prepared by IPUMS USA. It can be found at https://usa.ipu (...)
  • 11 Bureau of the Census / United States Department of Commerce. 1943. Population: The labor force. Usu (...)
  • 12 Bureau of the Census / United States Department of Commerce. 1956. Special reports: Occupational ch (...)

32To identify an entrant’s occupation, I relied on the hierarchy of sources I described in the “Scope and Methodology” section. When there were changes or discrepancies—for instance, a 1940s military enlistment record might note an individual as being a “commercial artist” but that person’s obituary states he worked primarily as an insurance salesman—I recorded the latter in hopes that it was more representative of their overall employment experience. I classified occupations using hierarchical coding categories that I modified from a harmonized list of occupations based on census data and mapped to 1950 categories.10 I coded primarily for broad classes (e.g. Professional / technical, Service), although I also used more specific codes for arts and design-related occupations, which were not all situated in the same classes. For instance, sign painters fell in one class, while painters working in construction and maintenance positions fell in another. In Table 5, I compare occupations for the entrants in the sample against national data taken from the 1940 (men only)11 and 1950 (men and women)12 Censuses.

% of Sample (n =836)

1940

Census

1950

Census

Professional / technical

45.8

5

8.4

Farming

2.2

12.7

7.3

Managers / proprietors

5.9

7.6

8.6

Clerical

7.4

11.7

11.9

Sales / advertising

8.9

6.8

Craftsmen

11.3

14.8

13.8

Operatives

8.6

17.2

19.9

Service

3.1

5.4

9.1

Laborers

2.3

18.5

10.6

Table 5. Comparison of adult occupations of individuals from sample against US Census figures.

33Beyond these occupational categories noted in Table 5, there were 38 entrants who fell in one of two additional categories: died before the age of 30 (n= 29) and/or incapacitated (n= 9). The latter included those individuals who—per Census records—were housed in tubercular sanitariums, mental hospitals, or otherwise marked as being “crippled” or “invalid”.

34The professional/technical category of occupations is heavily represented in this sample with entrants having these occupations between 5 and 8 times more frequently than the general population. Accountancy, engineering, journalism, medicine, music, and teaching (including at the college level) were frequent occupational fields in this category, but the largest concentration here was arts and design-related. In fact, 222 of the total number of entries in the sample (nearly 60% of those entries whose occupations assign them to the professional/technical class) are associated with individuals who went on to become artists, art teacher, architects, draftsmen, and/or photographers. Across all broad occupational classes, arts and design-related vocations account for 299 of 836 entries (36%). Table 6 provides a full account. If this figure included adjacent fields (e.g. acting, advertising, engineering, music, journalism, writing) with complementary skillsets and/or dispositions, then that figure rises to at least 360 of 836 entries (43%).

Occupation

# of Entries (n= 836)

% of Entries

# of Individuals (n= 628)

% of Individuals

1950 Census

Architect

8

.98

7

1.10 %

.04

Artist

183

22.34

115

25.28

.14

Draftsman

12

1.47

12

1.66

.21

Photographer

13

1.59

9

1.80

.09

Advertising

23

2.81

19

3.18

.06

Decorator

5

.61

3

.69

.08

Painter (construction/maintenance)

8

.98

6

1.10

.73

Engraver

9

1.10

7

1.24

.05

Printer

10

1.22

6

1.38

.09

Painter (sign and other)

28

3.42

19

3.87

.21

Table 6. Comparison of entrants holding arts and design-related occupations as adults with US Census figures.

  • 13 For an interesting overview of the life of a commercial artist from this time period, including the (...)

35The largest occupational category in Table 6 is “Artist”, a bit of a catch-all category that is used by the Census but which actually represents a wide range of vocational choices. In Table 7, I offer more detail about the specific occupations these people pursued. The prevalence of commercial art as an occupational choice among participants is not especially surprising. Commercial art, which includes creating advertising art, designing promotional materials, and producing illustrations for print publications, was the key income-earning opportunity during the mid-20th century for artists not working predominately in the fine arts tradition. Burgeoning consumer and print cultures meant commercial art skills were in demand.13

Occupation

# of Entries (n= 836)

% of Entries

# of Individuals (n= 628)

% of Individuals

Art director

19

2.3

11

1.8

Animator

10

1.2

4

.6

Cartoonist

34

4.1

18

2.9

Commercial

72

8.6

51

8.1

Illustrator

8

.9

4

.6

Painter (fine)

9

1.1

8

1.3

Teacher (any level)

10

1.2

8

1.3

Other

21

2.5

11

1.8

Table 7. Types of art careers pursued by those individuals classified as “artist” in Table 6.

  • 14 These positions preceded the establishment of the US Department of Education and its cabinet-level (...)

36Among the individuals in the sample who pursued occupations that were not directly art and design-related, some distinguished themselves in significant ways. For instance, John Clifford, who participated in the August 1930 contest, received the Navy Cross for his valor in the battle at Guadalcanal during World War II. The Navy Cross is the second highest honor awarded by the US Navy and since its inception in 1919 only about 6,000 have been given. Clifford pursued a career in the military. One of the May 1932 entries came from Sidney Marland, who had a distinguished career at many levels of education including serving as the US Commissioner of Education and then Assistant Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare for the US in the early 1970s.14 Theodore Weiss, who entered the November 1931 contest, was a lauded poet and long-time editor of the Quarterly Review of Literature. Weiss, taught at Princeton and during his career earned a number of prestigious awards including Guggenheim and Ford fellowships. I note these examples not to suggest that every individual who participated in the Open Road contests was superlative in some externally measurable manner. For every Weiss or Marland or Clifford, there were civil servants, machinists, insurance salesmen, and others who contributed (or not) to society in less publicly extoled ways.

37The same argument can be made about those individuals who participated in the Open Road cartooning contests and pursued more artistically-focused careers: there were some who met with significant public success and others who toiled to lesser acclaim. Thus, in the category of cartoonists, we have individuals like George Crenshaw (August and November 1931; March and June 1932), who created the syndicated comic strip Belvedere, juxtaposed with Roy Wolfe (March 1932), who drew sports and magazine cartoons for the Seattle Times. Among the notable artists represented in this study’s sample are,

  • Vincent Alascia (August, September, and November 1931) – cartoonist for Timely, Avon, Charlton, and other comic book publishers

  • Bob Bemiller (August 1931) – animator with Fleischer, Disney, Hanna-Barbera, Warner Brothers, and other studios

  • Lars Bourne (October 1932) – animator and writer for Terrytoons, Hanna-Barbera, and other studios

  • Henry Bumstead (May 1932) – Academy Award-winning art director on films including To Kill A Mockingbird, The Sting, and Vertigo

  • Jack Cole (August 1931) – cartoonist for Quality Comics, Lev Gleason, Playboy magazine, and other publishers

  • Reed Crandall (January and August 1930) – cartoonist for Quality Comics, EC, Treasure Chest, Gilberton, and other comic book publishers

  • Carl Fallberg, Jr (August 1930; June and October 1932) – animator, cartoonist, and writer with Disney, Hanna-Barbera, and Warner Brothers

  • Emmett Fritz (October 1932) – cartoonist, illustrator, and painter, who worked for a time with Norman Rockwell

  • Woody Kimbrell (October 1932) – cartoonist for the syndicated Little Lulu comic strip

  • Bill Peet (August, September and November 1931; March, June, and October 1932) – animator for Disney and children’s book writer/illustrator

  • Bernard Pfriem (May 1932) – fine art painter, who studied with Diego Rivera and later founded the Lacoste School of the Arts in France

  • Arthur Pinajian (August and November 1930) – cartoonist for Centaur, Fox, Timely and other comic book publishers, turned abstract expressionist painter

  • Milton Wolsky (August and November 1931; June 1932) – commercial illustrator for magazines including Esquire and Redbook, turned fine arts painter

  • 15 I performed a Chi-Square test on these data. With the caveat that for the two null cells I entered (...)

38In Table 8, I examine the occupations of those individuals whose cartoon contest entries were reproduced in Open Road. Those entrants who went into art and design-related occupations are not over-represented15 among those whose work was recognized by the contest judges. The judging criteria for the contest were not explicitly articulated. Entrants had to follow the rules regarding the size and medium of their submission (4×5 inches, white paper, black ink) with their name and address printed clearly on the back and meet the contest deadline. Beyond that, the typical contest appeal stated that winners would represent the “best and funniest” cartoons that responded to the contest’s “problem”. Examining nearly any of the pages of cartoons that Open Road reproduced demonstrates the broad spectrum of skills these adolescents had. For instance, the entries included in the August 1931 and May 1932 issues give evidence of varied skill levels in lettering, composition, perspective, proportion, and shading.

Fig. 6 – Open Road for Boys “Cartoon Contest” (August 1931).
With notes on the approximate ages and future occupations of the winners.
Top Row (left to right): Michael Visaggio (New York, NY), age 16, stenographer — Fred Coreaux (Atlanta, GA), age 19, inspector
2nd Row: Burton Blanchard (Cornish Flat, NH), age 19, artist — [Problem cartoon by Phil Rolfson] — Matty Ryan (New York, NY), unidentified — Vincent Alascia (New York, NY), age 17, cartoonist
3rd Row: Ray Stoner (Quincy, MA), age 13, production engineer — Milton Wolsky (Omaha, NE), age 15, illustrator / painter — Wilson Hirschfeld (Cleveland, OH), age 15, journalist / editor — Richard Manton (Hackensack, NJ), age 12, unknown
4th Row: Curtice Cottrell (St Petersburg, FL), age 16, musician — Bob Davenport (Gladbrook, IA), age 16, artist / illustrator — Russell Hersam (East Lynn, MA), age 15, chemist — Bill Peed (Indianapolis, IN), age 16, animator / illustrator

Fig. 7 – Open Road for Boys “Cartoon Contest” (May 1932).
With notes on the approximate ages and future occupations of the winners.
Top Row (left to right): Charles Holloway (St. Louis, MO), age 16, sign painter — Charles Reed, Jr (Philadelphia, PA), age 14, commercial artist
2nd Row: Junior Schreiner (Two Harbors, MN), age 17, sales — [Problem cartoon by unknown] — Bill Peed (Indianapolis, IN), age 17, animator / illustrator — Bob Davenport (Gladbrook, IA), age 17, artist / illustrator
3rd Row: Edmund Steeves (Lincoln, NE), age 15, journalist / public relations — Leroy Gensler (Lebanon, PA), age 17, cartoonist — Fred Coreaux (Atlanta, GA), age 20, inspector — Jack MacQuarrie (Kentville, NS), age 15, civil engineer
4th Row: Darrell Porter (Luray, KS), age 16, commercial / newspaper artist — Morris Kampner (Dorchester, MA), age 16, unknown — Ralph Ramstad (St. Paul, MN), age 13, illustrator — Oliver Riel (Ware, MA), age 13, bookkeeper

Artist*

Other Art**

Non-Art

Unknown***

1st Place

6 (50 %)

4 (33 %)

2 (17 %)

2nd Place

3 (25 %)

1 (8 %)

6 (50 %)

2 (17 %)

3rd Place

4 (33 %)

1 (8 %)

7 (58 %)

Special Mention

12 (50 %)

1 (4 %)

8 (33 %)

3 (12 %)

Honorable Mention

31 (32 %)

9 (9 %)

45 (46 %)

12 (12 %)

Overall (n = 157)

56 (36 %)

12 (8 %)

70 (45 %)

19 (12 %)

Table 8. Adult occupations of those individuals whose entries were reproduced.
*Entries for whom the person is associated with an occupation as described in Table 7.
**Entries for whom the person is associated with an occupation – other than “Artist” - as described in Table 6.
***Includes entries for whom the person is unidentified, their occupation is unknown, and those who died young or were incapacitated in some manner.

39As I gathered demographic and occupational information, I attempted to note avocational and hobby-related information about the entrants. This type of information—such as high school activities and adult leisure pursuits—came much more serendipitously via school yearbooks, death remembrances, and news articles. A growing number of school yearbooks are available in digitized forms and prove helpful for projects such as this one (Comacchio 2006; D’Ignazio 2017; Thelin 2018), but not all high schools or colleges had detailed yearbooks, others suspended yearbook production during the Depression of the early 1930s when many of the entrants were students, and some are available only in scattered print repositories. Additionally, while yearbooks provide a source of school-based avocations, they do not reflect in full how young people spent their out-of-school time. Similarly not all obituaries and death remembrances give lengthy accounts of persons’ lives that give fuller glimpses of what they enjoyed outside work and family. With those caveats in mind, I was still able to ascertain some information that helps contextualize the art and design-related pursuits of some of the individuals in the sample.

40At least 36 individuals in this sample served as staff members on high school and/or college yearbooks with about two-thirds of this number engaged in art-related tasks (e.g. cartoonist, art editor, photographic editor, layout editor); were I able to investigate records for all participants the number would likely be higher. School publications tended to draw participation from among high-performing students (Smith 1936) and the large numbers of participants who went on to professional and technical vocations suggests they likely would have been identified as high-performing. Particularly interesting for this project are the individuals who contributed cartoons or other types of art to their schools’ yearbooks. Although cartoons and student-created art appear less frequently in today’s yearbooks, they were more commonplace in the 1930s (Fleenor 1932). The three examples that follow are representative of the art that some Open Road entrants supplied for high school yearbooks.

Fig. 8 – Full-page yearbook page drawn by Bob Hermans (January 1930; January and November 1931) for the 1933 Cooley High School yearbook [Detroit, Michigan].

Fig. 9 – Two- page section introduction drawn by Marvin Warnke (March and May 1932) for the 1938 DeVilbiss High School yearbook [Toledo, Ohio].

Fig. 10 – Title page drawn by Charles Williams (September 1931) for the 1932 East Liverpool [Ohio] High School yearbook.

41Yearbooks also revealed career aspirations as well as how some individuals were perceived by their peers. An example of the former is James Iwao Onodera (November 1930; January 1931). The 1932 Franklin High School (Seattle, Washington) yearbook lists his career plan as cartooning. I found no evidence that he pursued this course, only that he died in a tubercular sanitarium in 1942. Similarly, Donald Secor (November 1930) is listed as intending to go to art school in the 1934 Kearney High School (North Arlington, New Jersey) yearbook, although the other information I found for him suggests that never happened. He became a mechanic instead. In terms of peer perceptions, one example is D.L. (Dorothy) Lawrence (June 1932), who is described as a “clever little artist” in the 1935 yearbook for Deering High School in Portland, Maine. Similarly, Israel Latkowitch (August 1930), who later changed his name to Mayo Israel Larkin and worked as a commercial artist, is described in the 1938 yearbook of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design as having “a dozen clever caricatures in his notebook.”

42In news articles and obituaries, I gleaned additional insights about individuals that are often missing from more formal records. By way of example, Ted Hotko (November 1930, his last name listed as “Hatko”) worked primarily as a sign painter. A news article reveals, though, that during his time serving in the Navy during World War II, he co-created a cartoon called “The Drip” that appeared in Navy publications (“Hotko Creates…” 1945). Hotko’s obituary reveals that he also worked for two years in the mid-1930s as a cartoonist/animator for Disney (“Theodore Hotko” 1993, 10). John Haughn (November 1930, his last name listed as “Houghn”) was a retail buyer for department stores, although his obituary notes that he “painted and wrote poetry” (“John Chester Haughn” 2007, 42). Similarly Edwin Mlekush (October 1932, his last name listed as “Inlekush”) had a long career as a high school English and music teacher. But his obituary offers hints of his love for art, noting that his undergraduate degree “focused on art and music” and he “possessed a special talent for art in general, and cartooning in particular” which he displayed through “unique Christmas card creations” (“Edwin Mlekush” 2005: 12). A final example is Noyes Leech (June 1932), who became a law professor at University of Pennsylvania. As a professor, though, he also curated an art collection for the law school (Strauss 1978), which became nationally newsworthy when he accepted a donation of a painting depicting the 1976 execution of convicted murderer Gary Gilmore.

Networks of Relationships

43Finally, I sought to find evidence of any possible networks of relationships among participants (e.g. shared activity spaces) that might indicate the development of a more formal participatory culture (Jenkins 2009). In my earlier essay on The Open Road contest (Tilley 2019), I offered an example from the magazine’s June 1940 issue (fig. 11) in which former competitor Martin Filchock provided the problem cartoon. Mort Walker, who was a frequent entrant, took first place in that month’s contest, but it was the Special Mention entry by another regular contest entrant Alvin Ellis that caught my attention. In Ellis’ cartoon, he drew a sign which name-checked Walker, indicating—even if they did not correspond—that Ellis was paying attention to other young cartoonists’ submissions. Even if a reader might not feel this exchange gives strong evidence of a robust participatory culture, it offers the possibility that one might have existed.

Fig. 11 – The problem, first prize winner, and special mention cartoons from the June 1940 issue.

44While I have not found in the present sample anything quite as compelling as this Filchock/Walker/Ellis example, there are some intriguing indicators of stronger relationships. First, at least eleven pairs of siblings and one father and son submitted individual entries to the cartoon contest. Whether these individuals were competing against one another explicitly, providing encouragement, engaging in a shared pastime, or altogether something else is nearly impossible to discern, but it is difficult to imagine a scenario in which they were unaware of one another’s submissions. Second, some individuals like Burton Blanchard, Bill Peet, and Roland Riel appear in the sample multiple times. The contest parameters invited persistence, and serious competitors likely noted who was entering (e.g. to see if there was anyone from their hometown) and what kinds of cartoons were honored. Thus, it seems likely that individuals who entered the contest multiple times had some awareness of one another. Third, a few of the young people who competed in the Open Road contests attended the same school at the same time (e.g. Leonard Brahms and Jack Shafton both served together on their high school’s newspaper staff), were part of other cartooning networks (e.g. George Crenshaw and Albert Kaelin had drawings published simultaneously in the Los Angeles Times Junior Section, November 29, 1931), or competed with one another in other art competitions (e.g. Bob Hermans and Theodore Bonnicksen were among the winners of a 1934 national cartoon contest sponsored by the National Education Association).

So what?

45In this essay, I have offered preliminary insights into a project that I anticipate expanding and continuing to explore as part of my research during the next several years. I set out to explore the demographic characteristics, hobbies and future occupations, and potential networks of relationships for a small sample of young people who entered a long defunct magazine’s cartooning contests nearly a century ago. Many readers, even those interested in comics history, might see this pursuit as an ephemeral investigation into an ephemeral topic with an ephemeral outcome. After all, what does it really matter if a pair of siblings from Vesper, Wisconsin, drew and mailed off a couple of drawings to a boys’ magazine in the summer of 1930?

46While I have presented some of my findings in this project as data in tabular forms, the individuals whose lives I am describing are not data: they were real people who found a magazine and its contest and decided to enter. Perhaps they were bored or hoped they might win the $ 5 first prize (a decent sum in the midst of the Great Depression) or wanted to stake their claims as aspiring artists. No one from this particular project sample remains alive for me to ask their motivations and as I alluded early in this essay, extant documentation about historical young people’s lives requires some persistence and creativity to find. Throughout my scholarly career, I have been drawn to individual stories, most often of young people, who latched on to the medium of comics—as readers, creators, fans, social activists—and made it their own. And that sentiment is true here: there are compelling stories about the lives of the adolescents who gave the Open Road contest a try.

47Beyond those stories, the contest and the individuals who entered it offer possibilities for extending other lines of questioning. For instance, in future work, I hope to situate this project in terms of hobbies and avocational interests. Historian Steven Gelber’s work (1991; 1999) on the changing meaning of hobbies and leisure during the Great Depression-era suggests one potential area for exploration. He argues that the Scouting movement—which had ties to Open Road through the magazine’s founders—along with early adult concerns about juvenile delinquency spurred broader concerns about young people’s leisure activities. Gelber also raises questions about the relationship between hobbies and vocation. This line of scholarship has been explored in studies such as Scott and Willits’ (1989) long-term examination of how hobby pursuits in adolescence shaped adult interests. Similar studies such as Hong, Milgrim, and Whitson (1993) and Milgrim and Hong (1999) together with the scholarship summarized by Silvia (2006) also suggest possibilities for interpreting the Open Road contests. Ample opportunities exist to explore larger print culture elements here such as the role of contests in shaping a magazine’s readership (e.g. Literat 2013) and the effect of commercial innovations in young people’s cultural milieus (e.g. Jacobson 2004). Likewise, one might investigate comics-related questions around fandom, humor, and aesthetics. In these ways, the stories from the Open Road for Boys cartooning contests have the capacity to expand meaningfully our field’s understand of pre-comic book comics cultures and fandom. Moreover, this project and others like it can center the experiences of those young people who wanted to be part of the world of comics and cartooning.

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Notes

1 Beebe is listed in the 1931 and 1932 Lincoln High School (Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin) Ahdahwagam yearbooks as the cartoon editor for the school’s newspaper. He graduated in 1933.

2 Two of Burton’s prints from his time with the WPA can be viewed at the Wisconsin Historical Society’s digital gallery, https://bit.ly/BurtonBeebe.

3 This first article was published online at Hogan’s Alley on January 6, 2023: https://www.hoganmag.com/blog/2023/1/4/on-the-road-to-the-big-time-the-open-road-for-boys-cartooning-contest.

4 The data set is drawn from the following issues, 1930 (January, May, August, November); 1931 (January, August, September, November); 1932 (March, May, June, October).

5 The visualization of the data set is available online: https://view-awesome-table.com/-NLHejR-CBtkXU5FEuDl/view.

6 I understand the diversity of sexual and gender identification and expression as well as changing categories for race and ethnicity. For this project, I had to rely on categories reflected in extant documentation. My only attempt to contemporize historical data is to update terminology for racial and ethnic categories (e.g. Asian, rather than Oriental). Additionally, in most US records from the early and mid-20th century, Hispanic and/or Latino did not exist as descriptive options and individuals in these categories were most often identified as white or Caucasian, although some were noted as “Mexican”.

7 Four of the females in this sample—Nina Beebe, Sylvia Mackey, Virginia Schwarting, and Dorothy Wallace—used initials rather than their feminine given names.

8 You can search the Dawes Rolls at https://www.okhistory.org/research/dawes.

9 Because of time constraints, I did not capture occupational data for participants’ parents for this study. Such data could provide insights about socio-economic status (SES), mobility, and leisure. In future work, I will incorporate this data as possible.

10 This harmonized list is “OCC1950” and was prepared by IPUMS USA. It can be found at https://usa.ipums.org/usa-action/variables/OCC1950#description_section.

11 Bureau of the Census / United States Department of Commerce. 1943. Population: The labor force. Usual occupation. Washington : United States Government Printing Office. https://books.google.com/books?id=-VurnKqkxasC.

12 Bureau of the Census / United States Department of Commerce. 1956. Special reports: Occupational characteristics. Washington: United States Government Printing Office. https://www2.census.gov/prod2/decennial/documents/41601751v4p1ch2.pdf.

13 For an interesting overview of the life of a commercial artist from this time period, including the overlap of cartooning and commercial art, see J.J. Sedelmeier’s illustrated 2018 essay on Louis Paeth, which appears at the website for Print Magazine (https://www.printmag.com/article/commercial-artist-louis-paeth/).

14 These positions preceded the establishment of the US Department of Education and its cabinet-level directorship in 1979.

15 I performed a Chi-Square test on these data. With the caveat that for the two null cells I entered values of “1” to make calculation possible, there was also no statistical significance at any desirable level for any of these data.

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Table des illustrations

Légende Fig. 1 – Open Road for Boys “Cartoon Contest”, list of winners and instruction for the next competition (April 1937).
URL http://0-journals-openedition-org.catalogue.libraries.london.ac.uk/comicalites/docannexe/image/8468/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 297k
Légende Fig. 2 – Open Road for Boys “Cartoon Contest”, list of winners and instruction for the next competition (April 1937).
URL http://0-journals-openedition-org.catalogue.libraries.london.ac.uk/comicalites/docannexe/image/8468/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 336k
Légende Fig. 3 – Arthur Grott, Honorable Mention entry, Open Road for Boys “Cartoon Contest” (January 1930).
URL http://0-journals-openedition-org.catalogue.libraries.london.ac.uk/comicalites/docannexe/image/8468/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 93k
Légende Fig. 4 – Logo designed by Arthur Grott for Rocks & Minerals, as reproduced in “Chips from the Quarry”. 1984. Rocks & Minerals (59) 5: 204.
URL http://0-journals-openedition-org.catalogue.libraries.london.ac.uk/comicalites/docannexe/image/8468/img-4.png
Fichier image/png, 109k
Légende Fig. 5 – Science fiction fanzine art by Burton Blanchard from the cover of Amateur Correspondent (September/October 1937).
URL http://0-journals-openedition-org.catalogue.libraries.london.ac.uk/comicalites/docannexe/image/8468/img-5.png
Fichier image/png, 925k
Légende Fig. 6 – Open Road for Boys “Cartoon Contest” (August 1931).With notes on the approximate ages and future occupations of the winners. Top Row (left to right): Michael Visaggio (New York, NY), age 16, stenographer — Fred Coreaux (Atlanta, GA), age 19, inspector2nd Row: Burton Blanchard (Cornish Flat, NH), age 19, artist — [Problem cartoon by Phil Rolfson] — Matty Ryan (New York, NY), unidentified — Vincent Alascia (New York, NY), age 17, cartoonist3rd Row: Ray Stoner (Quincy, MA), age 13, production engineer — Milton Wolsky (Omaha, NE), age 15, illustrator / painter — Wilson Hirschfeld (Cleveland, OH), age 15, journalist / editor — Richard Manton (Hackensack, NJ), age 12, unknown4th Row: Curtice Cottrell (St Petersburg, FL), age 16, musician — Bob Davenport (Gladbrook, IA), age 16, artist / illustrator — Russell Hersam (East Lynn, MA), age 15, chemist — Bill Peed (Indianapolis, IN), age 16, animator / illustrator
URL http://0-journals-openedition-org.catalogue.libraries.london.ac.uk/comicalites/docannexe/image/8468/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 333k
Légende Fig. 7 – Open Road for Boys “Cartoon Contest” (May 1932).With notes on the approximate ages and future occupations of the winners.Top Row (left to right): Charles Holloway (St. Louis, MO), age 16, sign painter — Charles Reed, Jr (Philadelphia, PA), age 14, commercial artist2nd Row: Junior Schreiner (Two Harbors, MN), age 17, sales — [Problem cartoon by unknown] — Bill Peed (Indianapolis, IN), age 17, animator / illustrator — Bob Davenport (Gladbrook, IA), age 17, artist / illustrator3rd Row: Edmund Steeves (Lincoln, NE), age 15, journalist / public relations — Leroy Gensler (Lebanon, PA), age 17, cartoonist — Fred Coreaux (Atlanta, GA), age 20, inspector — Jack MacQuarrie (Kentville, NS), age 15, civil engineer4th Row: Darrell Porter (Luray, KS), age 16, commercial / newspaper artist — Morris Kampner (Dorchester, MA), age 16, unknown — Ralph Ramstad (St. Paul, MN), age 13, illustrator — Oliver Riel (Ware, MA), age 13, bookkeeper
URL http://0-journals-openedition-org.catalogue.libraries.london.ac.uk/comicalites/docannexe/image/8468/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 289k
Légende Fig. 8 – Full-page yearbook page drawn by Bob Hermans (January 1930; January and November 1931) for the 1933 Cooley High School yearbook [Detroit, Michigan].
URL http://0-journals-openedition-org.catalogue.libraries.london.ac.uk/comicalites/docannexe/image/8468/img-8.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 130k
Légende Fig. 9 – Two- page section introduction drawn by Marvin Warnke (March and May 1932) for the 1938 DeVilbiss High School yearbook [Toledo, Ohio].
URL http://0-journals-openedition-org.catalogue.libraries.london.ac.uk/comicalites/docannexe/image/8468/img-9.png
Fichier image/png, 1,2M
Légende Fig. 10 – Title page drawn by Charles Williams (September 1931) for the 1932 East Liverpool [Ohio] High School yearbook.
URL http://0-journals-openedition-org.catalogue.libraries.london.ac.uk/comicalites/docannexe/image/8468/img-10.png
Fichier image/png, 1,6M
Légende Fig. 11 – The problem, first prize winner, and special mention cartoons from the June 1940 issue.
URL http://0-journals-openedition-org.catalogue.libraries.london.ac.uk/comicalites/docannexe/image/8468/img-11.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 108k
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Référence électronique

Carol Tilley, « The Open Road for Boys Cartooning Contests: A Prosopography »Comicalités [En ligne], Dessins d’enfance dans la bande dessinée, mis en ligne le 24 décembre 2023, consulté le 22 juin 2024. URL : http://0-journals-openedition-org.catalogue.libraries.london.ac.uk/comicalites/8468 ; DOI : https://0-doi-org.catalogue.libraries.london.ac.uk/10.4000/comicalites.8468

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Auteur

Carol Tilley

Carol Tilley is an associate professor in the School of Information Sciences at University of Illinois. Tilley’s comics scholarship focuses on young people’s comics readership, especially in the US during the mid-20th century. Her research on Fredric Wertham was featured in the New York Times and other media outlets. She is a founding member and past president of the Comics Studies Society.

Carol Tilley est professeure associée à la School of Information Sciences de l’université de l’Illinois. Ses recherches sur la bande dessinée portent sur les jeunes lecteurs et lectrices de bande dessinée, en particulier aux États-Unis au milieu du xxe siècle. Ses recherches sur Fredric Wertham ont été présentées dans le New York Times et d’autres médias. Elle est membre fondatrice et ancienne présidente de la Comics Studies Society.

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Le texte seul est utilisable sous licence CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. Les autres éléments (illustrations, fichiers annexes importés) sont « Tous droits réservés », sauf mention contraire.

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