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

David Stone Martin Revisits Omar Khayyam

Thursday, May 22, 2014

"Lovely as they are, the verses of Omar Khayyam sound slightly out of tune in the panorama of our time. Yet what they say to us is as true today as it was eight centuries ago. here then, is the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, recast into contemporary terms - in the way Mr. Khayyam would write them if he were living among us now." ~ from the dust jacket of Omar Khayyam Revisited, 1974

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Joe Isom Illustrates The Rubayyat of Omar Khayyam

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

I found a remarkable little book at a local thrift shop last week. Published by Hallmark Cards Inc. in 1967, it's beautifully illustrated throughout by an artist named Joe Isom.

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(Above; the dust jacket image and below, the hardcover artwork)

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"Chester Joe Isom Jr. grew up in Kansas City and started his freelance career at Hallmark among other great artists/friends of the time. He worked as a freelance illustrator for over 35 years. In November of 2000, our dad passed away unexpectedly at the young age of 58." ~ Matthew Isom (Joe Isom's son)

Thanks to Dave Groff for locating the brief biographical information above, originally posted in a comment on this blog.

Lost Treasure Unearthed: the Forgotten Creations of Aurelius Battaglia?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

When this week's guest author Matthew Chaney began cleaning and sorting the hundreds of photos, letters, notes and original artworks he found in a box he'd won at a local auction, he discovered many lost treasures. Although the contents of the box had clearly belonged to long-forgotten graphic artist, Eleanor Dalton, not all of the originals therein appeared to be by her hand.

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Matthew found several hand-drawn children's book 'dummies.'

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Over the course of our conversations in preparation for this week's series, it became apparent to both of us that the style of the sketches in these dummies was not Eleanor Dalton's.

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Since she lived for many years with her long-time boyfriend, the famous children's book illustrator Aurelius Battaglia, it seems likely that these dummies were either created by him alone or in collaboration with Dalton.

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Matthew tried searching these book titles online, but turned up no sign of published versions.

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This raises the tantalizing prospect that we are looking at never-published children's book concepts by one of the most acclaimed and beloved artists of that field...

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... which have been lost for half a century...

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... until they were unearthed by Matthew.

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Here is a selection of pages from the third and final children's book dummy Matthew found...

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To see all the pages of all three of these remarkable little children's book dummies, please visit Matthew Chaney's Facebook page.

* Matthew also has a Facebook album of Aurelius Battaglia's caricature art, clipped from newspapers of the late 1940s and early '50s.

* Aurelius Battaglia illustrated children's books for Little Golden Books during the 1950s. There is an upcoming show that will feature some of his originals, along with the work of many other popular '50s Little Golden Book artists.
 

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