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Celebrating Illustration, Design, Cartoon and Comic Art of the Mid-20th Century

Golden Books and comic strips

Thursday, November 24, 2005


When I mentioned to Mr. Hess that a friend had just made me aware of his work for Golden Books he enthusiastically proclaimed he had done thirteen storybooks for the publisher, "and one on math."

Oh, you also did a math textbook?

"No, it was a sort of 'Fun with Math' book," he explained.

I wondered if he had ever considered doing a newpaper comic strip.

"Yes, I tried one, but they weren't interested. I did the samples but it didn't sell. It was about a witch and her... frogs and things."

"But a few years later a strip came out by a fellow... Myers? about a witch and so on and for the first while it looked an awful lot like mine. I think they might have suggested it to him up at the syndicate."

Did they keep the samples up there, I ask.

"No, I got them back."

So this strip was never published anywhere?

"No. But I think they might have thought it was a pretty good idea. But by then I was on to other things. Greeting cards and things."

I tell Hess that this is how I first located him - through a greeting card company called Graphics3.

"Where are they located?" he asks.

In Florida, I reply.

"That was mine. That was my company."

At this point I was remiss in not asking Mr. Hess for more details about that stage of his career and later, after emailing Bob Herlin at Graphic3 with a request for more info, I realized how close it was to American Thanksgiving, but Mr. Herlin was kind enough to fire off this quick note before leaving for the holidays:

Hi Leif:

We are in the midst of Christmas selling season - and
departing for the Turkey gig today.
Lowell is a peach - a man of many talents well beyond his illustration
career.

Regards,
Bob Herlin

I hope to get in touch at a later date with Mr. Hess to flesh out some of the details and will post them here for Todays's Inspiration readers.

*A special note of thanks: To Drazen Kozjan of Hypnotik Eye for the Aladdin scans - thanx Draz!

If you would like to see more of Lowell Hess' art for Golden Books head on over to Eric Sturdevant's Flickr album - its part of the good work being done by the Retro Kid gang - with thanks to Eric!

4 comments

  1. I love the genie coming out of the smoke, beautiful! It's too bad Mr. Hess's strip was never published, our loss.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This stuff is brilliant. A man with a unique voice in cartooning able to travel through mediums like breathing. I can't enough. I just wished there was a collected book of his work for those who want to better understand the basic and profoundly difficult concept of "shape is character"! Please tell me he's still drawing!?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hello from France.
    This blog have a lot of document about Golden Books.
    In addition, you can read 20 free books from Golden Books in english from this list :

    1. The Lively Little Rabbit (par Ariane, Golden Book Publishing, Inc.
    Copyright 1943).
    2. Mister Dog (Par Margaret Wise Brown, Golden Book Publishing, Inc. Copyright 1952).
    3. The Big Little Book (Par Dorothy Hall Smith, Golden Book Publishing, Inc. Copyright 1962).
    4. The Adventures of Brownie and Puff (par Anne-Marie Dalmais, Golden Book Publishing, Inc., Copyright 1970).
    5. Baby's Mother Goose (Par Aurelius Battaglia, Golden Book Publishing, Inc., Copyright 1948).
    6. Corky's Hiccups (Par Nicolete Meredith Stack, illustré par Tom O'Sullivan, Golden Book Publishing, Inc., Copyright 1968).
    7. Doctor Dan, the Bandage Man (By Helen Gaspard, Golden Book Publishing, Inc., Copyright 1950).
    8. The Animals of Farmer Jones (Pary Leah Gale, Golden Book Publishing, Inc., Copyright 1942).
    9. Five Little Firemen (Par Margaret Wise Brown, Golden Book Publishing, Inc., Copyright 1949).
    10. How To Tell Time (Par Jane Werner Watson, Golden Book Publishing, Inc., Copyright 1957).
    11. The Little Golden Book of Hymns (Ensemble d'histoires compilées par Elsa Jane Werner, Golden Book Publishing, Inc., Copyright 1947).
    12. Numbers : What They Look Like and What They Do
    (Par Mary Reed and Edith Osswald, illustré par Violet LaMont, Golden Book Publishing, Inc., Copyright 1955).
    13. Counting Rhymes (Illustré par Corinne Malvern, Golden Book Publishing, Inc., Copyright 1947).
    14. Little Black Sambo (Par Helen Bannerman, illustré par Bonnie and Bill Rutherford, Golden Book Publishing, Inc., Copyright 1961).
    15. Words (Par Selma Lola Chambers, Golden Book Publishing, Inc., Copyright 1972).
    16. Little Red Riding Hood (Par Elizabeth Orton Jones, Golden Book Publishing, Inc., Copyright 1948).
    17. Dogs (Par Nita Jonas, Golden Book Publishing, Inc., Copyright 1957).
    18. The Fourteen Bears ( Par Evelyn Scott, illustré par Virginia Parsons, Golden Book Publishing, Inc., Copyright 1978).
    19. The Taxi That Hurried (Par Lucy Mitchell, Irma Black, and Jessie Stanton, illustré par Tibor Gergely, Golden Book Publishing, Inc., Copyright 1946).
    20. My Big Dog (Par Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel, Golden Book Publishing, Inc., Copyright 1999)

    ReplyDelete
  4. that is cool, is really good..
    XDXDXDXD

    best regards from Madrid

    ReplyDelete

 

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