Thursday, January 21, 2010

Jack Welch: " extraordinarily talented man."

A couple of years ago I wrote a post about a long running series of ads from the '50s for Jello. These delightful, cleanly designed ads were illustrated in a wonderful, distinctive style by an artist named Jack Welch. (If you read that post you'll see what a revelation it was for me to make that discovery)

Last year Welch's son-in-law, Bob, stumbled upon my post. He sent me this very interesting additional info:

"Dear Mr Peng; The Jello animals were, indeed, the creation of my father-in-law, Jack Welch. I love these drawings and have tried to get the originals from the agency, but no one could find them."

"Jack was also responsible for the Birdseye kids (late 40's and early 50's). These kids were then transformed into Pekochan, who is the advertising logo of a Japanese candy company. Pekochan is the most widely recognized illustrated character in Japan."

"The model for the Birdseye kids and Pekochan was my wife, Janet who continually gets Pekochan memorabilia from our sister city of Nanae."

"When my daughter went to Nanae, she was treated like royalty and when the Japanese come here they all want their pictures taken with Pekochan and her daughter."

Jack Welch illustrated quite a few other high profile advertising campaigns during his career. One of my favourites was for U.S. Keds.

I had hoped to learn more about Jack Welch from his son-in-law but haven't had time yet to pursue our correspondence further. Hopefully, at some point in the near future, we can pick up where we left off. In his most recent note Bob wrote, "We would be pleased to share more of Jack's life with you and can try to send you electronic copies of some of his other work."

He concludes, "Thanks for bringing Jack's work back into the light of day, he was an extraordinarily talented man."

* My Jack Welch Flickr set


  1. I like these illustrations very much. I like all of these The Keds 2 color illustration in particular.
    The stylized realism is fun to look at.

  2. I loved that bit about Pekochan. Amazed at the gratefulness people can show towards the creators of popular symbols.

    Reminded me a bit of the Mr. Sparkle situations from The Simpsons. :)

  3. Hmm, is that polar bear sitting on what's left of Al Gore's melting glaciers? Amazing how those polar bears survived the industrial revolution, not to mention normal climate change over the ages. Just looking at that cute dopey looking guy (no, the bear, not Al Gore), makes me want to go to the zoo and hug a polar bear. ;-)

    Polar bear lover

  4. Tom; While no polar bears were harmed during the creation of this post, the management does NOT recommend the hugging of polar bears!

  5. Thanks for this I.D. Leif. About 20 years ago Joe Haidar gave me a sizeable set of the Jello animal ads he had duplicates of. We used to try and figure out who did we know.