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

Also Vernon McKissack?

Sunday, September 10, 2006


While searching through magazines for next week's topic, I stumbled upon this little ad signed "McKissack" in a 1958 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. Could this be the same (Vernon?) McKissack who's work we looked at a couple of days ago? I don't see a strong resemblance of style - but you have to wonder, could there have been two cartoonists named McKissack (not exactly a common name) working in commercial art at around the same time period?

2 comments

  1. I hope that it's not too late for someone to notice this post. My name is Jeff McKissack and I am the son of Vernon McKissack (a lot of people called him Mac). He passed away in 1989; I think I remember that there is another artist/children's book author (or 2?)with the same last name who is not a contemporary and not related. I can verify that he did illustrate both within the Childcraft encyclopedias/textbooks and in the ad seen here. I was delighted to see this illustration. I don't know if I have ever seen it; if so, it has been a long time. I can tell it's his because of how his name is printed, although I'm pretty good at picking out his style with or without the name. Unfortunately, often times in advertising art signing your name was not allowed and/or it was removed before it was printed in say a magazine, so I'm happy and surprised to see it in the example in the Hastings piston rings ad. I think these kinds of omissions got more prevalent in the 70's and 80's. I have quite a number of original examples of his work, but sadly many originals have been lost, perhaps forever. I have often considered trying to recoup these things. Although he did not do Frosty, I can see how someone might think that. I believe he contributed to the development of Winnie the Witch, a Hanna Barbara cartoon character. He was a freelance artist for many years in Chicago and also worked for Feldkamp-Malloy. He did a lot of work for Kellogg's and took over the Raggedy Ann series for Johnny Gruelle after he passed away in producing a series of children's books and merchandise. He was born May 6, 1921, graduated from the Cleveland School of Art, and served during World War II as an artist. He created numerous illustrations for military manuals at that time and had a one-panel cartoon in the Stars and Stripes for a while. He was primarily a cartoonist and caricaturist. He did a lot of pen and ink, and also used magic markers and watercolors. He had a dream to have a synicated comic strip which he never realized. I was adopted in 1967, and I regret that I never got around to help him achieve it, but I was a young fool. Give me time and I will gladly help to supply and identify more images of his work. Thank you for helping to honor his memory. He was a wonderfully kind and beautiful man. Please feel free to contact me at jeffry@mail2try.com

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  2. I would also like to comment that he did some illustrations for Motorola . I have a set of trays with the artwork on them. Very whimsical. I was searching for other artwork by him and ran across this blog.

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