Friday, May 22, 2009

NCS Luminaries: Frank Springer

I'm sitting in my hotel room at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel on the afternoon before the 2009 Reubens Awards and preparing this final post on the Luminaries of the NCS series! Ain't technology grand? Since this is the final post, I felt it would only be fitting to honour Frank Springer, long-time member and past-president of the NCS.

Many thanks to Dave Karlen for his generous assistance with this week's look at some of the luminaries of the National Cartoonists Society. Today we 'reprint' Dave's post on NCS member, Frank Springer:

"Here is the short N.C.S. bio [written during Springer's '95-'97 NCS presidency] on one of the longest lasting artists in comics, Frank Springer, whose wild point of view was always welcome as seen in this example from Dell's mystery anthology book."

"Born, December 6, 1924 in New York city. Malverne L.I.H.S. in 1948. Bachelor of Arts from Syracuse University in 1952. U.S. Army 1952-1954. Assistant to George Wunder on "Terry" 1955-1960. Freelance ever since. Comic books for Dell, D.C., Marvel, - Sports, Political cartoons for New York Daily News, Newsday and others."

"Illustrated strips for Playboy, National Lampoon, Inside Sports, Games. Drew "The Adventures of Phoebe Zeit-Geist "(Grove Press) with the late - alas - Michael O'Donoghue."

"My own strip "The Virtue of Vera Valiant" with Stan Lee - fun while it lasted. Animated some Saturday A.M. mayhem - "Space Ghost" - with a group which expanded - later- into "The Berndt Toast Gang" - now the Long Island chapter of the N.C.S. Currently illustrating "The Adventures of Hedley Kase" for "Sports Illustrated for Kids". Member of National Cartoonist Society since 1965 - category awards, comic books for 1973, 1977, 1982, served on board for off & on, eight years - currently president."

"Married Barbara Bunting in 1956 and we have five wonderful children. Acted in amateur theater for twenty years, biked across Iowa a few times, ran a marathon, followed the Mets. Toughest- the later. Enjoy opera, vintage pop & jazz. Live on the water in Damariscotta, Maine after sixty five years on Long Island. As you see by this sub-par lettering, I'm a lefty."

* Thanks to Dave Karlen for providing the text and original art scans above! I wanted to just add that it was an honour to meet Frank Springer at last year's Reubens Awards in New Orleans. Below is a photo of Frank (center) from that 2008 event, courtesy of my pal, Mike Lynch. At the time, I had no idea it would be the first and last time I'd meet Frank, whose work I'd always greatly admired... sadly, he passed away on April 2nd of this year.

Hy Eisman stands on Frank's right in this photo and on his left is Stan Goldberg. In a much longer, extremely comprehensive bio on Frank Springer on wikipedia, Stan is quoted as saying, "Very few people could surpass him as an artist, as a gentleman, and as a true gentleman in my field. . . . When you see a Frank Springer job, you know it's going to be the best job in the world."

To leave you with one final quote, I asked Thomas B. Sawyer (who was the subject of a week of posts here last year) about Frank. He called him "a lovely guy, handsome, witty, theatrical and colorful."

I know we at the National Cartoonists Society will all miss him.

1 comment:

  1. I had the pleasure of meeting Frank back at the SDCC in 2004 and he was super nice and fun to chat with.