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

Moving Forward By Backing Up

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

It sure is good to be back up and running! Thanks to everyone for your words of encouragement, sympathy for my unhappy computer situation - and even for your motherly finger wagging and admonishments. Shame on me for not being prepared for the inevitability of technological failure. I have taken your excellent advice and backed up twice on two shiny new external hard drives - one here and one off site.


But to properly move forward I must back up in another way: to the post I had planned on that fateful pre-Christmas day when my Mac became sad. Below, the image I had intended to show you then. One of Dom Lupo's wonderful Giant Telephone Repairmen!


I love this series of ads Dom Lupo illustrated in 1957.

Happily, Dom was available to answer some questions about his involvement on this campaign. Dom used a photographer named Bill Joli to shoot the reference for these ads. About the Christmas concept above, Dom writes, "Photos for all of the telephone illustrations were taken in the photographer's two story home studio. The one you included in your e-mail was very creatively shot downward from the 2nd story balcony!"

"All of the artwork was then done in my own home studio."


"My agent in New York, Gil Sutton, and the photographer contributed scenarios - but most were suggested by the director for the advertising agency of General Telephone."


I've come across other ads Dom did that appeared in The Post and other national magazines, but the General Telephone series is exceptionally high profile. I asked Dom if it was a lucrative account for him and he replied, "Yes, it was a very lucrative and my best account. Certainly I was sorry to see it end."


After Dom's series, General Telephone introduced a new page design to its ads, consisting mostly of unspectacular photography. A redesigned Giant Repairman was relegated to a minor role in the bottom left corner of each ad.


This new Repairman artwork, done in the increasingly popular Bob Peak style of the late 50's, went unsigned. While I still prefer Dom's version of the GT Repairman, these later ads would have been far more interesting had the agency made the illustration the main visual instead of an 'afterthought' included more for brand identity continuity than anything else.


A year or two later, the GT Repairman was eliminated altogether. But at least we now know, thanks to the skill and creativity of Dom Lupo, he was once a giant striding across the the American ad landscape.

* My Dom Lupo Flickr set.

1 comment

  1. Muy interesante todo lo que se encuentra en este blog, además de diferente es un material necesario para quienes gustan de la ilustración y no quieren dejar morir los recuerdos.

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