Friday, October 14, 2011

Summer Anne Burton - Every Hall of Famer

2011.10 -
I first read about Summer Anne Burton's project Every Hall of Famer in the May web-issue of ESPN Magazine, and I immediately liked the project. Beginning in January 2011, Ms. Burton began drawing a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame every day in chronological order. This really is a momentous and monumental task.

I have always appreciated the sports editorial cartoonists when I was growing up, Bill Gallo and Bruce Stark. The art was great and the subject matter was usually the Yankees, Mets, boxing, horse racing, etc...A a child it was like reading the daily comics but learning about the current events in sports...

As I grew older I became more aware of artists like Willard Mullin, creator of the Brooklyn Bum, the iconic image of the Dodgers and Karl Hubenthal...Now when newspapers are cutting back on their content, most sports cartoons have vanished. Editorial cartoonists have picked up a few sports subjects, usually the worst of sports like steroid use, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Michael Vick, Tiger Woods...

I miss the sports cartoons...although there are a few sports related comic strips like In the Bleachers by Steve Moore, Tank McNamara and Cleats (which recently ended its run) by Bill Hinds, Benchies by Rick Pearson, Small Market Sports by Bill Charbonneau, Gil Thorp created in 1958 by Jack Berrill and currently drawn by Rod Whigham

When I read about Every Hall of Famer I knew I would like to obtain a sketch, and who better than Mickey Mantle. Admittedly I rooted for Roger Maris as a kid, probably because my brother rooted for Mantle. Since the USPS issued a set of stamps honoring baseball heroes Mantle, Roy Campanella, Mel Ott and Hank Greenberg, my choice for a sketch on cover had to be Mantle! What a joy I saw the drawing of Mantle, it's a hit!

I had the pleasure of meeting Mickey Mantle 1990.10.28 at a sports card show in Edison, NJ... I have an autograph book in which I do sketches of the athlete and then have them sign the page...

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Jack Matsuoka is best known for his book about Japanese relocation camp life titled Camp II, Block 211 (Japan Publications, Inc. 1974), a humorous look at life in Poston relocation camp.

Matsuoka began drawing at an early age. With no formal art education, Matsuoka would soon draw for the camp newspaper. In the 1960's Matsuoka was living in California and began drawing cartoons for the UC Bears and Berkely Gazette. By 1969 he was a freelance cartoonist, working as the Editorial cartoonist for Pacifica Tribune, as well as providing drawings for the San Francisco Examiner, San Mateo Times, San Jose Mercury. At the Times, Matsuoka would mostly draw sports cartoons...

Matsuoka has donated original drawings to the Japanese Historical Museum, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Cornell Universities.
2002 National Japanese American Historical Society.

Random sports in comic strips
Lio by Mark Tatulli - 2011.06.14
Shoe by Chris Cassatt, Gary Brookins and Susie MacNelly - 2006.03.24

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