Sunday, December 25, 2005

A Surprise Christmas Gift

Not too many people are aware that award-winning illustrator Louis Glanzman and his lovely wife Fran have been members of the Today's Inspiration list for some time now. Some people may already know the name Glanzman as that of Sam Glanzman, Lou's brother, who has drawn comics for many years, and is especially well known among fans of war comics.

I first discovered Louis Glanzman's work in the pages of True Magazine in the summer of 2004 and started hunting around for enough other examples to make up a week's worth for Today's Inspirations. As soon as I was ready, I searched online for info about Louis Glanzman and was thrilled to discover that he had a website. I contacted the Glanzmans and have had many wonderful exchanges with them ever since.

While preparing for this year's "Countdown to Christmas" I discovered this beautiful piece Lou had done for Collier's back in 1955. I emailed the Glanzmans hoping they could tell me a bit about this piece and about working for Collier's in general. Unfortunately, Lou has not been feeling too well and the last couple of weeks before Christmas came and went, but just after I had sent out the last piece for 2005 a reply came via Fran. Despite feeling under the weather, Lou had gratiously answered my questions, and so we are able to enjoy this surprise Christmas gift, just in the nick of time.

Despite fifty years having passed, Lou did remember doing this piece. It was done for Collier's art director, Bill Chessman through the assistance of Lou's art agent, John Locke - a well known agent at that time.

Lou did work for both Collier's ( a short story illustration plus a feature ) every week during that period, but this did not interfere with his getting work from The Saturday Evening Post, where he did several covers as well as inside illustrations.

Two neighbourhood boys were the models for this piece, and Lou used them often for other illustrations.

He considers working for Collier's a high point in his long and illustrious career, but his big break in the field had come some five or so years earlier when he had done a montage illustration of Louis Armstrong ( with a manuscript by Louis Armstrong! ) for True magazine.

I just want to thank Lou and Fran for taking the time to provide this gift of fascinating information. I feel very fortunate to have made their acquaintance and I know everyone who reads this wishes Lou a speedy recovery to good health. Best wishes for the rest of the holidays!

You can see some other examples of Lou's work on his site as well as at my Flickr.


  1. Wow...very cool Leif! That guy's a stud and versatile artist's artist.

    Thanks for the gifty!

    Happy Boxing Day!


  2. Thanks Leif or should I say Santa!

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  4. Just wanted to say thanks Leif, for being a great source of wonderful old illustration and I admire your dedication to it. Have a great new Year.

  5. Anonymous10:09 AM

    It's beautiful! And what a fantastic story ...

  6. Anonymous6:24 PM

    Thanks Leif, I admire you taking the time to share all these wonderful illustrator's work.
    I should also mention that the layouts that feature these works are fantastic as well.
    I was really impress with the Ric Grasso Santa illustration and layout.
    You've inspired me to start my own blog.
    Stay tooned.
    Best wishes and have a great New Year!

  7. I was familiar with Mr. Glanzman's Time Magazine covers (his RFK cover was a personal favorite that I clipped out as a boy)and I have enjoyed some of his civil war illustrations, but I had no idea of the breadth and depth of his work before. He obviously adapted his style to deal with changing trends over the years, yet he maintained a standard of excellence that was quite impressive. Where are all the great painter/illustrators like this today?

    Thanks for the link to his web site, which I studied with great interest. If you are still in touch with them, please give Mr. Glanzman and his family our best wishes for the holidays. He has led quite a career.

  8. It isn't the size of the gift that matters, but the size of the heart that gives it. your family Happy Holidays and a great and prosperous new