Monday, February 23, 2015

Typography: Chinese Oreo Cookies, Part 4

Oreo DeLight Thin Cookies

Regular and Thin

Regular Oreo
Transformers Tie-in

Golden Strawberry

(Next post on Monday: Watchmen)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Typography: New Chinatown and Exception

Los Angeles Chinatown

Exception Shop in Guangzhou, China

Today is the Chinese New Year 4713
 the Year of the Goat / Ram / Sheep

Related post: Chop Suey

(Next post on Monday: Chinese Oreo Cookies, Part 4)

Monday, February 9, 2015

Anatomy of a Logo: Skull & Bones

On September 12, 1991, I went to the DC Comics office and met with art director Jim Chadwick. He gave me a photocopy of Ed Hannigan’s rough cover design for his 3-book series, Skull & Bones, which Ed described as “A tale of Cold War intrigue set entirely in the Gorbachev era Soviet Union.” Jim wanted me to work out the letter design of Ed’s bilingual logo.

Back at my studio, I enlarged the photocopy and drew a grid over the words. I placed tracing paper over the photocopy and sketched out the letters.

Next, I drew guidelines on the tracing paper and refined the letterforms.

On September 23, I faxed the results to Jim. He called back and said, “Make the letters bolder.”

The next day I worked on a bolder version of the logo and alternate ampersands. I faxed the new version on October 3 and it was approved.

On October 10, I enlarged the bold version and added guidelines. It was positioned on my light box then a sheet of LetraMax was placed on top. The inking was smooth and quick. I delivered the finished logo on Monday, October 14.

Months later, the original art was returned. I saw that the first letter of the Russian word had been changed. Someone in the production department had drawn a new letter and rubber-cemented it over my art. When I peeled off the patch, a spot of the ink came off with it.

(Next post on Monday: Comedy)

Monday, February 2, 2015

Comics: Ned L. Pines

Noah Lewis “Ned” Pines was born in Malden, Massachusetts, on December 10, 1905, according to the Massachusetts Birth Records at and Who’s Who in Commerce and Industry (1965), Volume 14. Pines’s first name, Noah, was recorded in the census records from 1910 to 1930.

The 1910 U.S. Federal Census listed Pines in Brooklyn, New York, at 1141 44th Street. His parents, Joseph and Dora were Russian emigrants, and his older brother and sister, Abraham and Lillian, were born in Massachusetts. Joseph was a manufacturer of rain coats.

Five years later the Pines family resided at 1221 42nd Street, in Brooklyn, according to the 1915 New York state census.

Pines was a member of the Humane Club, a society for the prevention of cruelty. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, April 7, 1916 and March 15, 1918, used his birth name, Noah Pines, in a list of members. The April 6, 1919 edition of the Eagle used Pines’s birth name and nickname in an article about the Boy Scouts.

161 Has Troop Paper.
An interesting Troop paper called the Scout Courier is issued monthly by Troop 161. The editor in chief is Noah Pines, and associate editors, Sam Shapiro and Will Pankln. Some excerpts follow: 
…Ned Pines has organized the Rattlesnake Patrol. This is the third patrol, leaving only another patrol to be filled to complete the troop roster. Who is going to found the next patrol? 
…Rattlesnake—Ned Pines, patrol leader; A. Wassenberg, assistant patrol leader. 
…Troop 161 meets at the Borough Park Y.M.H.A., 14th ave. and 60th st.
The Eagle, November 23, 1919, named Pines’s father and older brother as members of Troop 161. Pines’s future as a publisher was foretold in the Eagle, April 11, 1920, below:

Form Company.
At the last meeting of the board of editors of the Scout Courier, official organ of Troop 161, it was decided to form an association to be called the Scout Courier Printing and Publishing company. The purpose of this company is to print and publish Scout magazines. Any troop desiring its paper printed should address Ned Pines, editor, at 1430 50th st.
In another publishing venture, Pines “advertised” in the Eagle’s Junior Eagle Exchange on May 2 and 9, 1920: “WANTED—Amateur papers for a collection. Write Ned Pines, 1430 50th st., Brooklyn, N.Y.”

In the 1920 census, Pines was in Brooklyn at 1430 50th Street. His father was in real estate, and his younger brother was named Kermit. The census enumerator recorded Pines’s first name as “Nora”. Who’s Who said Pines attended Columbia University from 1923 to 1924. He continued in scouting through the mid-1920s. The Eagle, January 20, 1924, noted his status.
Scout Myer Beckman has been appointed senior patrol leader. Scout Albert Kaplan, assistant senior patrol leader. Former Senior Patrol Leader Sydney Cantor has resigned, but is still staying with the troop. Veteran Scout Ned Pines has been made Assistant Scoutmaster. Through these columns we congratulate Mr. Pines….
According to Who’s Who, Pines was president of Pines Publications from 1928 to 1961.

The 1925 New York state census and 1930 census said Pines resided with his parents and siblings at 260 Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn. His 1930 occupation was publisher.

Throughout his life, Pines was involved in a number of charities. The Eagle, January 21, 1934, reported his work on the Junior Federation ball.

Preparations for the biggest ball in the history of the Junior Federation of the Brooklyn Federation of Jewish Charities are being made this year, the committee in charge announced yesterday. 
The ball will be held at the Hotel Plaza on Saturday night, Feb. 17, and the proceeds will be added to the funds raised by the junior group to meet its quota in the Spring campaing [sic] to be conducted by the Federation to take care of the budgetary allotments to the 25 affiliated societies. 
This year's event will be the fifth annual ball and the first time it has been held outside Brooklyn. Several thousand tickets have been sent out and there has already been reported considerable response. 
Among those giving a large proportion of their time to the arrangements are Ned L. Pines, chairman; Miss Blanche Posner, Miss Anita Hirschhorn, Miss Charlotte Seplowitz and Miss Josephine Bachrach.
According to Who’s Who, Pines married Jacquelyn Sangor on August 29, 1938. The New York Times reported the birth of Jacquelyn’s two daughters, in 1939 and 1942, and referred to her as “the former Miss Jacquelyn Sanger [sic] of Chicago.”

The Echoes, 1931 yearbook of New Trier High School, Winnetka, Illinois

Sangor had entered publishing with Cinema Comics, which was incorporated in September 1939….It also packaged comic books for other publishers, starting with Nedor Publishing Company. Nedor was owned by Ned L. Pines, who had married Jacquelyn Sangor….It was probably that family connection that brought Sangor into publishing in the first place (and provided him with the necessary financing). Pines was a leading publisher of pulp fiction….Pines needed to take only a short step to enter the comic-book business. 
Sangor testified in 1943 that Pines called him in July or August 1941—that is, around the time that Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies Comics made its debut —“and told me that he would like…to get a magazine with animals in the order of the Fairy Tales, talking animals and we discussed it, and I started on it about that time. Early in 1942 Sangor delivered the contents of the first Nedor talking-animal comic book, Coo Coo Comics no. 1, for publication in August….
Pines has not yet been found in the 1940 census. The Times, May 11, 1942, said his address was 965 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

Mt. Morris Enterprise (New York), December 17, 1952
Ned Pines (left), publisher of REAL Magazine, and Otto E. Krause, President of Pal Blade Co., Inc., inspect the award which will be made to one of the outstanding sports writers, in connection with their entries to Pal Blades “Close Shave Awards” contest.
Pines and Jacquelyn divorced in 1959. The Alabama Divorce Index, at, said it was in July, while Who’s Who said August. Pines remarried to Maxine Firestone, with whom she had two sons.

Pines passed away May 14, 1990, in Paris, France. His death was reported the following day in the Times.

(Next post on Monday: Skull & Bones)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Comics: Ben Sangor

Benjamin William “Ben” Sangor was born in Kiev, Russia, on February 5, 1889. Sangor’s full name and birth information were on his World War I draft card. The U.S. Naturalization Record Index, at, said Sangor arrived in America on February 25, 1904. At this time it is not known who accompanied him. Sangor’s draft card said his dependents included his mother, so she may have emigrated with him.

In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, there are two women who were born in Russia and lived in Milwaukee. Sarah Sangor, 60 and a widow, was in the household of Harry Podolsky, her 35-year-old, Russian-born son-in-law, who was married to Rosa, also 35. The couple had two children, one born in New York and the other in Wisconsin. Rosa emigrated in 1904 which was the same year as Sangor’s arrival. Maybe Rosa and Sangor were siblings and traveled together in 1904; she would have been about 29 years old and Sangor around 15. There was no emigration date for Sarah.

Sangor has not yet been found in the 1910 census. His education was reported in Joe Mitchell Chapple’s “Heart Throbs” column which was printed in the Buffalo Evening News (New York), December 20, 1928.

…Benjamin Sangor was an emigrant boy who in 23 years after landing at Ellis Island has become one of the largest real estate operators in the country. He attended night school at Milwaukee, and after graduating at the North Division School, attended the University of Wisconsin, working nights as a waiter or anything he could do to support himself, and finally graduated from the Marquette Law school.
The Cook County, Illinois, Marriages Index, at, said Sangor married Sophia B. Kitz on August 20, 1912, in Chicago, Illinois. However, eight months later, the Milwaukee Journal (Wisconsin), April 19, 1913, printed this announcement:
Naturalization Clerk Going to Be Married to Chicago Girl, Sunday.
Naturalization Clerk Benjamin Sangor got things all mixed up Saturday, but his boss, Clerk of Courts Charles Maas, forgave him. There’s a reason. Ben is going to be married Sunday. The lucky girl is Miss Sophie B. Kitz, 1480 Farragut-av, Chicago. The ceremony will take place there.
The 1913 Milwaukee city directory listed Sangor as deputy clerk at the Court House and his residence at 871 40th.

On September 18, 1914, Sangor became a naturalized citizen. His address was 757 Frederick Avenue in Milwaukee.

Sangor became a lawyer and was named in the article, “Moha Challenges Validity of Law”, which was published by the Milwaukee Sentinel (Wisconsin), January 23, 1915.

Sangor signed his World War I draft card on June 5, 1917. The card said he was a lawyer and lived at 757 Frederick Avenue in Milwaukee. Sangor’s mother, wife and child were his dependents. The description of him was medium height and stout build with gray eyes and brown hair.

According to the Cook County, Illinois Death Index, Sangor’s wife, Sophie, passed away March 27, 1918, in Chicago. She was buried at Ridge Lawn Beth El Cemetery. Her death certificate said she was born n Baraga, Michigan, on November 16, 1893, but the 1900 census and her gravestone have the birth year 1892. The cause of death was not stated.

Sangor was in the lawyers listings of the 1918 Milwaukee city directory. His address was 114 Grand Avenue. Sangor’s involvement in the Kroeger Brothers Company case was chronicled in the following newspapers.

The Milwaukee Journal, November 5, 1918: “‘Rummy or Liar,’ Says Court
The Milwaukee Journal, November 9, 1918: “Ready to Talk Now, He Says
The Evening Sentinel, November 16, 1918: “Judge Geiger Tells Herzog He Falsifies
The Evening Sentinel, November 18, 1918: “Court Declares Kroeger Bros. Co. Bankrupt
The Milwaukee Journal, November 19, 1918: “Kroeger Witness May See His Son
The Milwaukee Journal, November 20, 1918: “Rubin Explains Kroeger Deal
The Milwaukee Sentinel, November 21, 1918: “Rubin Undergoes Long Examination
The Milwaukee Journal, November 30, 1918: “Evidence Untrue, Says Court
The Milwaukee Sentinel, January 22, 1919: “Contempt Charge Against Lawyers
The Milwaukee Journal, February 24, 1919: “Rubin Denies He Sought Secrecy

The 1919 Milwaukee city directory had this listing: “Sangor Benj 835 Caswell blk”.

The 1920 census recorded Sangor as a resident of Chicago at 4518 Prairie Avenue. He was single and a general practice lawyer. His Wisconsin-born, seven-year-old daughter, “Jacqueline”, was enrolled at the Chicago St. Xavier Academy.

In Funnybooks (2014), Michael Barrier wrote:
By 1922, B.W. Sangor was listed in a legal directory as a Chicago attorney and was advertising real-estate auctions in the Chicago Tribune. Sangor moved to New York by the mid-1920s…
Sangor has not yet been found in the 1925 New York state census, which said his daughter, “Jacqulyn”, attended Highland Manor School in Tarrytown, Westchester County.

Sangor’s real estate business, B.W. Sangor & Co., used a New York City address, “1,459 Broadway (42d St.)”, in a New York Times classified advertisement dated May 14, 1925 (below).

Sangor also advertised in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle (1926) and Philadelphia Inquirer (1927).

 June 22, 1926

November 29, 1927

Sangor traveled to Europe in 1928. Aboard the S.S. Berengaria, he departed Southampton, England, on July 7, and arrived in New York, July 13. His address was 1457 Broadway, New York, New York.

The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (New York), December 24, 1928, published a longer version of Chapple’s “Heart Throbs” column on Sangor.

In two sharply-contrasted environments, both of which he calls home, Benjamin W. Sanger, one of the largest realty operators in the country, eminent in community building, gave me his heart throb. In the brilliant and almost blinding glare of Broadway, shining in on his apartment at the Astor Hotel, New York, he began repeating the enchanting verses from Longfellow’s “Evangeline”…
…That was the story of a tragic Arcady, but it brought to mind another and a happier one—at Pinewald, New Jersey, “where the pine forests meet the sea,” and where a new day play city is in the making, as Mr. Sangor said: 
“This is my city home, but I want you to come with me to my real home in the pine woods on the Jersey Shore a few hours away, and you will understand why I am so intense in my love of Longfellow’s lines. When I first began to read English, Longfellow seemed to be the poet who took me by the hand and welcomed me to the rich storehouse of American literature.” 
Three hours after I found myself with him at his home, called “Cedar Crest,” among the whispering pines and sands of the Jersey shore. Pointing to the west, called attention to a beautiful sunset, he continued: 
“There is a picture that hangs on the wall of heaven painted by the great Creator that to me surpasses all the thrills that I can ever hope to have in any art gallery. The quiet of these woods and the close contact to nature will perhaps explain to you why my favorite poem is ‘Evangeline.’”
According to the 1930 census, Sangor was married and involved in real estate. His wife was not listed. He resided on Pinewald in Bayville Village, Berkeley Township, Ocean County, New Jersey. Pinewald was Sangor’s failed real estate project.

At some point, Jacquelyn Sangor returned to Illinois where she was a student at the New Trier High School in Winnekta. She was a senior in 1931.

The Echoes, 1931 yearbook

Sangor’s involvement in the comic book industry is told in Michael Vance’s Forbidden Adventures: The History of the American Comics Group (1996), Michael Barrier’s Funnybooks: The Improbable Glories of the Best American Comic Books (2014), and Alter Ego #61, August 2006. A list of people who worked in the Sangor Studio is here. Sangor’s daughter, Jacquelyn, married publisher, Ned L. Pines, in 1938. The New York Times reported the birth of Jacquelyn’s two daughters, in 1939 and 1942, and referred to her as “the former Miss Jacquelyn Sanger [sic] of Chicago.”

In the 1940 census, Sangor resided in Manhattan, New York City at 205 West 54th Street. He was married and an executive in personal services. His wife was not recorded. Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999 said his wife’s name was Frances.

After the census enumeration, Sangor traveled by ship to Mexico. He departed Vera Cruz, Mexico, on June 5, 1940, and arrived, six days later, in New York.

Sangor signed his World War II draft card in 1942. His address was 205 West 54th Street in Manhattan. He was employed at Cinema Comics, Inc., 45 West 45th Street, New York, New York. He named his daughter, “Jacqulyn Pines”, who resided at 965 5th Avenue, New York City, as his nearest relative. On the back of the card was his description: five feet six inches, 175 pounds with gray eyes and hair.

The Brooklyn Eagle, January 16, 1948, published a legal noticed which named Sangor in a complaint.

Apparently, Sangor retired to Florida where he passed on January 26, 1953, in Miami Beach. A death notice was published in the New York Times, January 29, 1953.

Sangor—Benjamin W., on Monday, Jan. 26, 1953, at Miami Beach, Fla., dear husband of Frances Unger Sangor, beloved father of Jacquelyn Pines, loving grandfather of Susan and Judy Pines. Service at Frank E. Campbell, Madison Ave. at 81st St., New York City, Thursday, 12 noon.
Under the year 1953, DC’s “Other” Comics said: “Ben Sangor dies. Frances Sangor, his widow, is listed as co-owner for the next year.” There was a widow, Frances Sangor, who died at Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton, Ohio, on April 1, 1964. She was born in 1896.

Further Reading

#61, August 2006
“Forbidden Adventures: The History of the American Comics Group”

#62, October 2006
“ACG Horror and Fantasy”
“If You Could Bring Richard Hughes Back, He’d Be My Favorite Editor”
“Forbidden Adventures: The Back Pages”

#112, August 2012
Something…?” A Study of Comics Pioneer Richard E. Hughes
includes photograph of Ben Sangor

#117, June 2013
“Richard E. Hughes: Life After ACG…?”

Publisher Insignia and Indicia Data


The Wikipedia profile of Sangor said: “…On October 1, 1925, a Benjamin Sangor married Etta Weidenfeld at the Hotel Martinique in Manhattan, New York City, though it is unclear if this is the same Sangor…” Wikipedia misspelled the name and had the date wrong. Below is the announcement in the New York Times, October 25, 1925.

Sanger–Weidenfeld—Mr. Joseph Weidenfeld announces the marriage of his daughter, Etta, to Mr. Benjamin Sanger at the Hotel Martinique Oct. 18, 1925.
The 1930 census recorded the couple in the Bronx. New York-born Sanger owned and operated an importing company.


(Updated 7:34 pm, January 28, 2015; next post on Monday: Ned L. Pines)