Monday, September 18, 2017

Comics: Joe and Sam Rosen, Letterers


Joseph Walter “Joe” Rosen was born in New York City on December 25, 1920. The birth date is from the Social Security Death Index, and the birthplace and full name were determined from census records.

Samuel “Sam” H. Rosen was born in New York City on April 4, 1922. The birth date is from the Social Security Death Index and the birthplace was determined from census records. When Sam enlisted in the army he had a middle initial, H. Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999 said Sam had a pen name, Sam Harold. Presumably, Sam’s middle name was Harold.


In the 1920 census, which was enumerated in January, Joe and Sam’s parents resided in the Bronx at 586 Prospect Avenue. It’s possible Joe and Sam were born in the Bronx. At some point the family moved to Brooklyn.


1930 U.S. Federal Census

Home: 2861 West 33rd Street, Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York
Name / Age / Occupation
David Rosen, 45, proprietor/produce
Esther Rosen, 40, none
Morton Rosen, 13, student
Walter Rosen, 9, student [Was Walter the first name or middle name for Joe?]
Samuel Rosen, 8, student
Theodore Rosen, 6, student
Emanuel Rosen, 2, none
Son[?] Zinkowetsky, 80, (David’s mother-in-law), none
Harry Rosen, 50 (David’s brother), proprietor/produce

1940 U.S. Federal Census
Home: 3625 Mermaid Avenue, Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York
Name / Age / Occupation
David Rosen, 57, blank
Esther Rosen, 52, housewife
Morton Rosen, 23 (cripple), blank
Joseph Rosen, 19 (one year of college), blank
Samuel Rosen, 18 (two years of college), student
Jacob Rosen, 16, student
Emanuel Rosen, 12, student
(enumerator’s note: “This family on Relief, $90 a month; $15 N.Y.A.”)
Harry Rosen, 63 (David’s brother), pillow factory

The 1940 census was enumerated in April.

In Comics Interview #7, January 1984, David Anthony Kraft interviewed Joe who explained how he and Sam got into comics.

My father had a fruit store in Coney Island. In 1940, one of the customers he was well acquainted with mentioned that her son was an artist for Timely—the company that’s now Marvel Comics. The son, George Mandel, is now a novelist. This was during the Depression. My father asked her if her son could maybe do something for Sam. So Mandel introduced Sam to the big letterer of the time, Howard Ferguson, who was working for both Timely and Fox. Fox and Ferguson’s lesser account, and soon he gave it to Sam. Sam got me my first lettering job, at Fox, doing The Blue Beetle.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS (Beneficiary Identification Records Locator Subsystem) Death File, Joe enlisted August 21, 1942 and was discharged August 28, 1945. He served in the Army Air Corps.

Sam enlisted February 20, 1943 in New York City. Before Sam left, there was a party for him.


The Talented Miss Highsmith: The Secret Life and Serious Art of Patricia Highsmith
Joan Schenkar
Macmillan, 2009
page 214: 
Elizabeth Hardwick wasn’t the only prominent writer to work for a publishing company which also produce comic books. When Sam Rosen, a letterer for many comics companies, went into the army, his fellow artist Pierce Rice says, “there was a little going away luncheon for him…The participants were: Miss Highsmith, then a comics writer, one of the [comics] editors, the guest of honor, and myself.”

The editor at that going-away luncheon was Stanley Kaufman, later a theater critic for The New York Times and then, for twenty-five years, the film and theater critic for The New Republic magazine….
In the interview Joe explained what he did after the war.
Yeah, I was away in the service for three years, then I came back after the war and went to National—I don’t recall if it was called National or Detective Comics back then. I’d done some work for them before the war. I did one comic for them called The Shining Knight….I worked up at National when Julie Schwartz was an assistant editor. Let’s see…I worked with Mort Weisinger, Jack Schiff….I went to Harvey in 1950 and worked there until the 1970s, when I went to Marvel.
After military service, Sam worked for Will Eisner.

Will Eisner: Conversations
Will Eisner, M. Thomas Inge
University Press of Mississippi, 2011
page 145: Alex Kotsky
“…I was there with Chuck Cuidera, Tex Blaisdell, Sam Rosen was the letterer, Bob Powell did Mr. Mystic, and Nick Viscardi did Lady Luck.”
page 167: Jules Feiffer
“The odd arrangement was that Will sat where the receptionist ordinarily would, in the outer office where he had his drawing table, a rather dark, windowless room, and inside, a larger room than where Will lived, were his staff: letterer Sam Rosen, John Spranger who did some penciling and some inking (he had a wonderful pencil technique, drawing large, clunky, blocky characters….Dave Berg, and I forget who else was around at the time. Later on he hired Jerry Grandenetti.”
In Joe’s interview he talked about lettering at a smaller size.
…Harvey used the big pages from the old times. The first I ever heard of the change to smaller pages for original art was when my brother Sam was complaining about these new, smaller pages they were instituting up at Marvel. He didn’t like it, ’cause he had to letter smaller and it was a strain on his eyes. But I didn’t find that they made that much of a difference.

…Sam was working for Marvel. He had too much work and I didn’t have enough, so I did a story for him. It was Sgt. Fury. And I thought: There’s only one way I’m going to get all this copy in—by making it as small as it was possible to letter it and still make it clear. I actually was not too sure it would be all right. I’m still not sure. But I’ve never had any complaints about it.
Marvelmania Monthly Magazine
#1, April 1970
page 5: Letters to the Editor

Dear Fans,
The pens I use are either B-6 or A-5 speedballs, bit are modified by guiding down and shaping on carborundum stone. Guide-lines are about 3/16 of an inch apart, separated about 1/16 from from another. For heavy lettering, I use A-6 of B-5, once again ground down until it feels right to me. As for the ink, I generally use Higgins black.
––Sam Rosen

















Public records at Ancestry.com have these addresses for Joe.

25 Henry Avenue, West Gilgo Beach, New York, 11702
179 Brendan Avenue Massapequa Park, New York, 11762
3219 Neptune Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, 11224
1530 West 27th Street, Brooklyn, New York, 11224

Sam passed away April 8, 1992. The Social Security Death Index said his last residence was Brentwood, New York. An obituary has not been found.

Joe passed away October 10, 2009. A death notice appeared in the Washington Post, October 12.

On Saturday, October 10, 2009 of Chevy Chase, MD. Son of the late David and Esther Rosen; brother of Emanuel Rosen. Shiva at the late residence for the full week. Memorial contributions may be made to Ezras Israel Congregation, 803 Montrose Rd., Rockville, MD. Arrangements entrusted to Torchinsky Hebrew Funeral Home, 202-541-1001. Call for graveside service time at Garden of Remembrance Memorial Park, Clarksburg, MD.

Further Reading
The Comics Reporter

Grand Comics Database
Sam Rosen
Joe Rosen

Todd’s Blog

Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999
Sam Rosen
Joe Rosen

Wikipedia
Sam Rosen
Joe Rosen


Related Posts


(Next post on Monday: Variety)

Monday, September 11, 2017

Comics: Joye Hummel, Wonder Woman Ghostwriter


Joye Evelyn Hummel was born in 1924 in New York state according to census records. According to the Florida Resident Database, the month and day are April 4. Part of her childhood was spent on Long Island, New York. Her activities and school days were reported in two local newspapers from 1937 to 1947.

Nassau Daily Review-Star
(Freeport, New York)
July 21, 1937

Personal Mention
Miss Joye Hummel of Cypress road, Inwood, has returned from a month's vacation in the Catskills.

Nassau Daily Review-Star

June 29, 1938
Play Is Feature at School Event
An original play, “On Trial,” written by two members of the class, Edward Doyle and Nicholas Cipollina, featured the thirteenth annual commencement exercises of the Freeport junior high school, last night….The list of graduates follows: …Joye Hummel

The 1939 Voyageur
Freeport High School
Sophomore Class
High Honor: Joye Hummel and 20 students

1940 United States Federal Census
Home: 138 South Grove, Hempstead, Nassau County, New York
Residence in 1935: Inwood Park, Nassau, New York
Name /Age / Occupation
Quenten Hummel, 37, manager, retail food store
Mavis Hummel, 37, blank
Joye Hummel, 16, blank

Nassau Daily Review-Star
February 15, 1940

Sweet Sixteen Party
Miss Ruth Kormendy of Moody avenue, Freeport, was hostess at a sweet sixteen party at her home on the occasion of her birthday. Her guests included the Misses Joye Hummel,…[and 15 guests]

Nassau Daily Review-Star
December 14, 1940

Freeport Pupils Give Annual Play
Pupils Outspell Parents
Students outspelled the parents in a spelling bee at the Freeport High school, Thursday night, a feature of the meeting of the Freeport Junior-Senior Parent-Teacher association. Margaret Kranz and Norma Lane were the winning students.
Other student contestants were Eugenie Unger, Ruth Kormendy, Joye Hummel, Joan Smith and Willard DaSilva….

Nassau Daily Review-Star
January 7, 1941

P.-T. A. Panel
Parent And Two Pupils In Freepert Round Table Parley
A round table discussion on “The Responsibility of the Teacher and the Classroom in Eduction” will feature a meeting of the Freeport Junior-Senior High schnol Parent-Teacher association, Thursday night at 8:15 o'clock, in the teachers’ cafeteria at the school. Participating will be a parent. Colonel Waiter G. Sheard, and two students, Joye Hummel and Joseph Crasson. Mrs. Douglas Mathewson. president, will preside and refreshments will be served under the supervision of Mrs. Dora Brandt….

Nassau Daily Review-Star
January 11, 1941

Plans Fund Drive to Aid Students
To Solicit Contributions from Organizations in Freeport
A round table discussion on “The Responsibility of the Teacher end the Classroom Education,” brought out the fact that the teacher has a great influence in shaping the future lives of students, at a meeting of the association, Thursday night. Mrs. Fred C. Hewlitt led the discussion, with Colonel Sheard representing the parent and Joye Hummel and Joseph Crasson the students.

Nassau Daily Review-Star
April 10, 1941

Freeport Has Two Valedictorians
...This year’s graduating class has 12 honor students who have maintained Averages of 90 per cent or better throughout their courses, as compared with 16 last year. This years outstanding students are: …Joye Hummel…

The Leader
(Freeport, New York)
June 5, 1941

Stadium Is Solemn Scene of Memorial Day Exercises
…There was a Bible reading by Eugene Unger, followed by a prayer by Joye Hummel….

The 1941 Voyageur
Freeport High School
Senior Class Scholastic Honors
The following students have maintained an average of 90% or better over a period of 3.5 years: Joye Hummel and 24 students

Senior Photograph



















Nassau Daily Review-Star
September 17, 1941

Mrs. Joseph Gallo and Mrs. Quentin Hummel of Freeport returned from a motor trip to Middlebury, Vt., Monday night. Miss Joy [sic] Hummel motored up with her mother and Mrs. Gallo and entered Middlebury college. She was graduated in June from Freeport High school.
All Star Comics #8, October 1941
first appearance of Wonder Woman who was created by Dr. William M. Marston and drawn by Harry G. Peter

Sensation Comics #1, January 1942
Wonder Woman is the lead feature

The Leader
February 19, 1942

Joye Hummel Joins in Middlebury Fete
Miss Joye Hummel, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Quentin Hummel, of 132 South Grove st., a freshman at Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vt., is among those who have been selected to participate in the 11th annual winter carnival and Interscholastic Ski Union meet which will get under way there tonight….

Wonder Woman #1, Summer 1942

1943 Platen
Joye Evelyn Hummel
Katharine Gibbs School, New York, New York


















The Leader
March 23, 1944

Joye Himmel [sic] at School
Miss Joye Hummel, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Quentin Hummel, of 132 South Grove st., has entered the Katherine [sic] Gibbs School in New York. She is a graduate of Freeport High School and attended Middlebury College in Vermont.

The Leader
March 30, 1944

Graduated
Miss Joye Hummel, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Quentin Hummel, of 132 South Grove st., has been graduated from the Katherine Gibs [sic] School in New York. She is a graduate of Freeport High School and attended Middlebury College in Vermont.[After graduating, Dr. Marston invited Hummel to assist him on writing Wonder Woman.]

Nassau Daily Review-Star
April 13, 1944

Graduate
Miss Hummel has completed a course at the Katharine Gibbs secretarial school in New York city. Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Quinten Hummel of South Grove street, Freeport, she is a Freeport High school graduate and attended Middlebury college, Middlebury, Vt.

Nassau Daily Review-Star
April 24, 1947

Miss Joye Hummel Engaged
Script Writer Will Be Bride of D.W. Murchison
Mrs. Mavis Hummel of Shipherd avenue, Lynbrook, has announced the engagement of her daughter, Miss Joye Evelyn Hummel, to David Wood Murchison, son of Mr. M. David Murchison of Glen Cove.

The bride-elect, daughter of Quinten Hummel of Freeport, is a graduate of Freeport High school; attended Mlddlebury college, Middlebury, Vt. and was graduated from the Katharine Gibbs school, New York city. She is employed as a script writer for the comic strip “Wonder Woman.”

Mr. Murchison, a graduate of Friends academy, Locust Valley, attended Clarkson College of Technology, Potsdam. He served three years in the army and was stationed in China and India. He is now associated with the firm of Aitkenhead and Murchison, building contractors, Glen Cove.

The Leader
May 1, 1947

Miss Joye E. Hummel to Wed Glen Cove Man
The engagement of Miss Joye Evelyn Hummel, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Quenten Hummel, to David Wood Murchison, son of Mr. and Mrs. M. David Murchison, Chestnut st., Glen Cove, was recently announced by Mrs. Marvis [sic] Hummel of Shipherd ave., Lynbrook, mother of the bride-elect.

Miss Hummel is a graduate of Freeport High School, attended Middlebury College and was graduated from the Katherine Gibbs School, Manhattan. She is employed as a script writer for the comic strip “Wonder Woman.”

Mr. Murchison, a graduate of Friends Academy, Locust Valley, at tended Clarkson College of Technology, Potsdam, Pa. He served three years in the Army and was stationed in China and India. He is now associated with Aitkenhead and Murchison, building contractors, Glen Cove.

William Moulton Marston, creator of Wonder Woman, passed away May 2, 1947.

Nassau Daily Review-Star
August 1, 1947

Joye Hummel Plans Wedding
Miss Joye Hummel, daughter of Mrs. Quinten Hummel of Shipherd avenue, Lynbrook has chosen August 17 as the date for her marriage to David Wood Murchison, son of Mr. and Mrs. M. David Murchison of Glen Cove.

The ceremony will be performed at 4 p. m. at the Rockville Centre Presbyterian church. The Rev. J. Milton Thompson will officiate and a reception will follow for the immediate family at the Elks clubhouse, Freeport.

Mrs. Kenneth Murchison of Glen Cove will be matron of honor and Mrs. James O. Wroten of North Bergen, N. J. and Miss Olive Ann Marston of Rye will be bridesmaids. Kenneth Murchison will be best man for his brother and the ushers will be Dr. William Martin of Glen Cove and Arthur Crowder of Sea Cliff.

Nassau Daily Review-Star
August 19, 1947

Joye Hummel Is Married At Church
Middlebury Alumna Becomes Bride Of David Murchison
Miss Joye Hummel, daughter of Mrs. Quintan Hummel of Shipherd avenue, Lynbrook, was married Sunday to David Wood Murchison, son of Mr. and Mrs. M. David Murchison of Glen Cove.

The ceremony took place at the Rockville Centre Presbyterian church at 4 p. m. with the Rev. J. Milton Thompson officiating. A reception for the immediate family followed at the Elks clubhouse, Freeport.

The bride, given in marriage by her father, Quinten Hummel of Freeport, wore a white silk ninon gown with a bertha of lace, long sleeves and a long train. Her fingertip veil was secured by a crown of seed pearls and aha carried white roses and white orchids.

Mrs. Kenneth Murchison of Glen Cove was the matron of honor and Mrs. James O. Wroten of North Bergen, N. J., and Miss Olive Ann Martson of Rye were bridesmaids. [Mrs. James O. Wroten and her husband did the lettering on Wonder Woman. Olive Ann Marston was the daughter of Wonder Woman creator, Dr. William M Marston.]

Kenneth Murchison was best man for his brother and ushers included Dr. William Martin of Glen Cove and Arthur Crowder of Sea Cliff. Following a wedding trip the couple will reside in Glen Cove where Mr. Murchison is associated with Aikenhead and Murchison, building contractors.

Mrs. Murchison is a graduate of Freeport High school, and attended Middlebury. college, Middlebury, Vt, and Katharine Gibbs school, New York city. Mr. Murchison attended Friends academy, Locust Valley, and Clarkson college of technology, Potsdam. He served in the army three years and was stationed in China and India.

Murchison’s first wife passed away June 15, 1946. Murchison passed away July 13, 2000. David W. Murchison, Jr. passed away October 1, 2015.


Further Reading


Rocket’s Blast-Comicollector
#88, 1972
Howard P. Siegel’s column “Comic Collector’s Comments”
Excerpts from Hummel’s letter to Jerry Bails


































The New Yorker
Wonder Woman Returns by Jill Lepore

Smithsonian Magazine

The Surprising Origin Story of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore

Lambiek Comiclopedia
The name of Hummel’s first husband is incorrect. Robert Prosper Murchison should be David Wood Murchison.

Smithsonian Institution

Joye Murchison Kelly Papers Relating to the Wonder Woman Comic Book Series1944–1948
Papers produced and collected by Joye Murchison Kelly relating to her work with William Moulton Marston on the Wonder Woman comic book series published by All-American Publications (later DC Comics). The collection includes a typed letter signed by Marston (1 page) dated 3 March 1944 to Miss Joye Hummel; a mechanically-reproduced typescript psychology examination (2 pages on 2 sheets) given by Marston to his students at the Katharine Gibbs School in New York City on 25 January 1944; 2 account books listing work done by Kelly for Marston with the amounts she had been paid for various expenses between January 1945 and August 1947; and hand-annotated carbon copies of several typescript stories for the Wonder Woman Sensation comics series written by Marston and/or Kelly: 17A, 18A, 18C, 20 A, 20B, 21B, 21C, 27B, 28A, 28B, 28C, 29A, 29C, 30A, and Sensation scripts (from the Comic cavalcade series) 29, 82, and 83.
Grand Comics Database


Related Posts

Harry G. Peter, Illustrator and First Wonder Woman Artist
Marjorie Wilkes Huntley


* * * * *


The Nassau Daily Review-Star, August 19, 1947, said Hummel and her mother lived in Lynbrook, while her father resided in Freeport. This suggested that Hummel’s parents were separated or divorced. The following article reported that a divorce was pending.


Nassau Daily Review-Star
April 20, 1945

More Evidence Asked by Court
…Six other matrimonial cases were considered by Justice Stoddart.
Decision was reserved on the petition for divorce of Mavis Hummel of 269 Vincent avenue, Lynbrook, from Quinten Hummel, aged 40, of Freeport. They were married in 1940. There are no children. Witnesses told of an alleged meeting of the defendant and another woman at a Freeport hotel. The court wished further evidence.
The date of the marriage, 1940, appears to be incorrect since Joye had the family name, Hummel, in a newspaper article dated July 21, 1937. But the most interesting statement was that the couple had no children. This suggested that Hummel’s mother had a previous marriage.

Hummel and her mother were found in the 1930 census by searching their first names, Joye and Mavis, in New York state.

1930 United States Federal Census
Home: 1345 Gipson Street, Queens, New York
Name / Age / Occupation
Mavis Meyer (divorced), 27, secretary
Joye E Meyer, 6, blank

Hummel’s birth surname was Meyer. Her mother’s marriage was recorded in the New York, New York, Marriage Index at Ancestry.com.

Names: Mavis Zicree and Nathan Meyer
Marriage Date: December 22, 1921
Marriage Place: Queens, New York

There was doubt about the groom’s surname when the following newspaper article was found.

The Wave
(Rockaway Beach, New York)
December 29, 1921

Myers-Zicree
Miss Mavis C. Zicree, of 539 Beach 65th street, daughter of H. Z. [sic] Zicree, was married on Thursday of last week, to Nathan Myers, son of the Rev. Hyman Myers, of Arverne. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. Dr. Corcos, of Manhattan.
Mr. and Mrs. Myers are now spending a short time at Atlantic City. Upon their return they will make their home on the Beach.

A search of the groom’s father, “Rev. Hyman Myers”, produced no relevant results. When the surname was changed to “Meyer”, he was found in the 1918 book, History of the Rockaways from the year 1685 to 1917, and mentioned over 300 times in New York newspapers. The Wave published the wrong surname for the groom.


Mavis Zicree and her family were found in the 1920 census.

1920 United States Federal Census
Home: 108 East 121 Street, Manhattan, New York
Name / Age / Occupation
Harry Zicree, 40, factory hand at candy company
Marcella Zicree, 39, blank
Gertrude Zicree, 20, telephone operator
Mavis Zicree, 18, stenographer at candy company
Montegue Zicree, 13, blank
Estelle Zicree, 11, blank
Dorothy Zicree, 9, blank
Gladys Zicree, 8, blank
Esther Zicree, 6, blank
Ruby Zicree, 4, blank

Mavis Zicree’s passport application was found at Ancestry.com.

Name: Mavis Zicree
Birth Place: Manchester, England
Residence Place: 108 East 121 Street, New York City, New York
Passport Application Date: April 2, 1920
Passport Issue Date: April 17, 1920
Father: Harry Prosper Zicree, emigrated in August 1904 aboard the steamship Baltic from Liverpool; naturalized November 16, 1916
Occupation: Telephone Operator
Destination: France
Reason: Visiting

A death notice for one of Mavis’s sisters appeared in the Star-Journal (Long Island City, New York), February 24, 1953.

McGuire—Gladys, on Feb. 22, 1953; beloved wife of James T.; Loving mother of Marie Stokes, Barbara and Muriel, daughter of Harry and Marcella Zicree, sister of Monte Zicree, Mavis Kerpen, Estelle Vainio, Dorothy Lober and Esther Young, also survived by 2 grandchildren….
Mavis remarried to Frank Kerpen, a florist, whose obituary was published in the Long Island News and The Owl (Rockville Centre, New York), June 30, 1972. He passed away June 25. The Social Security Death Index did not have the day of his death.

Quinten Hummel passed away in 1974. Mavis Kerpen passed away in January 1990.



(Updated September 12, 2017; next post on Monday: Joe and Sam Rosen, Letterers)


Monday, September 4, 2017

Comics: Harry G. Peter, Illustrator and First Wonder Woman Artist


Henry “Harry” George Peter was born on March 8, 1880 in San Rafael, California, according to his World War II draft card. The same date was recorded on Peter’s World War I draft card.

Census, marriage, military and directory information are from Ancestry.com.


1880 United States Federal Census
Home: San Rafael, California
Name / Agee / Occupation
Louis Peter, 39 (born in France), tailor
Louisa Peter, 37 (born in France)
Louis Peter, 8
Mary Peter, 3
Henry Peter, 2 months

1900 United States Federal Census
Home: San Rafael, California
Name / Agee / Occupation
Louis Peter, 59; merchant tailor
Louise Peter, 57
Louis Peter, 28, tailor
Mary Peter, 23, milliner
Harry Peter, 20, newspaper illustrator

1900 United States Federal Census
Home: 323 or 325 Grant Avenue, San Francisco, California
Name / Age / Occupation
Harry G Peter, 20, newspaper artist

1900 San Francisco, California, City Directory
Name: H G Peter
Occupation: Artist, Examiner [newspaper]
Residence: San Rafael

1901 San Francisco, California, City Directory
Name: Harry G Peter
Occupation: Artist, Bulletin [newspaper]
Residence: San Rafael

California, Voter Registration c1902
Name: Harry G Peter
Residence Place: Marin, California

1903 San Francisco, California, City Directory
Name: Harry G Peter
Occupation: Artist, Bulletin
Residence: San Rafael

1904 San Francisco, California, City Directory
Name: Harry G Peter
Occupation: Artist, Bulletin
Residence: San Rafael

1905 San Francisco, California, City Directory
Name: Harry G Peter
Occupation: Artist, Bulletin
Residence: San Rafael

The Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake
Like many artists, Peter eventually moved to New York City.


San Francisco Chronicle

(California)
December 12, 1906
Newspaper Artists Make Annual Exhibit
The annual exhibition work of the newspaper artists of San Francisco opened yesterday with a good attendance and much interest, in Calvary Church, at Fillmore and Jackson streets, and will continue until Saturday. This is the third annual exhibit of the Newspaper Artists’ League.

The artists represented by drawings and sketches are: V. Nahl, H.A. Igoe, J.M. Kelly, A.L. Houchin, Dan Sweeney, C.W. Rohrhand, S.E. Armstrong, R.F. Thompson, W. Francis, Frank A. Todhunter, Fred J. Behrie, R.W. Borough, Atlee F. Hunt, M. Del Mue, L. Maynard Dixon, Theo Langguth, H.G. Peter, W.R. de Lappe, L.R. Foss, H.C. [“Bud”] Fisher, Joseph A. Marion, R.M. Stagg, Sylvan Schul, R.L. Goldberg, William Stevens, H.R. Chapin, Laura E. Foster, Adonica Fulton [Peter’s future wife], J.V.S. Sternberg, H.G. Roth and J.W. Cantrell.

There are 267 subjects in the exhibition of sketches and drawings, and the first day’s sale was satisfactory. The exhibit is open both afternoon and evening.

1907 San Francisco, California, City Directory
Name: Harry G Peter
Occupation: Artist, Chronicle [newspaper]
Residence: 1132 Buchanan

1908 San Francisco, California, City Directory
Name: Harry G Peter
Occupation: Artist, Chronicle
Residence: 1132 Buchanan

1910 United States Federal Census
not found

The Outing Magazine
September 1910
Animals of Prey by Harry G. Peter

New York City, Marriage Indexes
Name: Henry Peter
Marriage Date: January 16, 1912
Marriage Place: Manhattan, New York City
Spouse: Adonica Fulton
Certificate Number: 1621

Puck
December 4, 1912
The Spirit of Xmas

The Judge
September 6, 1913
Revue of the Zoo by H.G. Peters
(follows contents page)

The Judge
October 18, 1913
Revue of the Tube Skirt by H.G. Peters
(follows contents page)
The Language of Flowers and Its Echoes by H.G. Peter
(precedes “The Modern Woman”)

The Judge
November 1, 1913
Revue of the Family by H.G. Peters
(follows contents page)

The Judge
November 15, 1913
Revue of the Horse Show by H.G. Peters
(follows contents page)

Find a Grave
Louise Peter, 1843–December 3, 1914 (Peter’s mother)

World War I Draft Registration Card
Name: Henry George Peter
Address: 526 West 122 Street, Manhattan, New York, New York
Birth Date: 8 March 8, 1880
Occupation: Newspaper Artist, New York American
Nearest Relative: Antonia [sic] F. Peter
Height/Build: Medium/Medium
Color of Eyes/Hair: Black/Black
Signature: September 12, 1918

1920 United States Federal Census
Home: 71 Central Avenue, Staten Island, Richmond County, New York
Name / Age / Occupation
Henry G Peter, 39, newspaper artist

Printers’ Ink
February 26, 1920
[advertisement]

H. G. PETER
Mr. Peter is now a member of this organization. He has been added to our staff because of his wide experience as a black and white artist, and a colorist of infinite imagination. Mr. Peter is also a specialist in animal and Western subjects, which gives his prowess an added value and wider scope.

It is the aim of this organization to thus meet all demands upon it for highest class pictorial co-operation on any subject whatsoever.

Louis C. Pedlar, Inc.Counsellors in Art95 Madison Av

Board of Elections of the City of New York
December 31, 1921
List of Enrolled Voters, First Assembly District, Borough of Richmond
page 14: Peter, Adonica, 63 Portland pl….Socialist

1922 New York, New York, City Directory
Name: Harry G Peter
Business Address: 49 Wall Street
Employer: PZK Services

1925 New York, State Census
Residence Place: 63 Portland Place, Staten Island New York
Name / Age / Occupation
Harry G Peter, blank
Adonica Peter, blank

1925 New York, State Census
Name: Henry G Peter
Residence Place: Portland Place, Staten Island New York
Name / Age / Occupation
Henry G Peter, 45; artist
Adonica Peter, 40; house work

College Life
Harry G. Peter illustration
December 1928, January 1929, February 1929

1930 United States Federal Census
Home: Staten Island, New York
Name / Age / Occupation
Henry G Peter, 47, artist
Adonica Peter, 48, none

Find a Grave
Louis Peter, 1841–December 10, 1932 (Peter’s father)

1940 United States Federal Census
Home: 63 Portland Place, Staten Island, New York
Name / Age / Occupation
Henry Peter, 60, newspaper artist
Adonica Peter, 60, blank


In 1941 Peter sent Wonder Woman costume designs to Dr. William M. Marston, the creator of the super heroine.

All Star Comics
#8, October 1941
Wonder Woman’s first appearance

#1, January 1942
Wonder Woman is the lead feature

The New York Times
April 15, 1942
Business Lease...Harry G. Peter, cartoonist, in 130 W 42d St—Albert B. Ashforth, Inc, brokers.

Wonder Woman

#1, Summer 1942

World War II Draft Registration Card
Name: Harry George Peter
Birth Date: March 8, 1880
Birth Place: San Rafael, California
Residence: 63 Portland Place, Staten Island, New York
Occupation: Self, 130 West 42th Street
Nearest Relative: Louis Peter [brother], 1240 4th Street, San Rafael, California
Height/Build: 5’ 7.5”
Color of Eyes/Hair: Brown/Gray
Signature: April 26, 1942


1942 New York, New York, City Directory
Name: Harry G Peter
Business Address: 130 West 42nd Street
Telephone: WI sconsin 7-7950

1943 New York, New York, City Directory
Name: Harry G Peter
Business Address: 331 Madison Avenue
Telephone: MU rryhll 2-1033

Marston and Peter’s Wonder Woman comic strip debuted May 8, 1944 and ended December 1, 1945. It was distributed by King Features Syndicate.

1945 New York, New York, City Directory
Name: Harry G Peter
Business Address: 331 Madison Avenue
Telephone: MU rryhll 2-1033

1946 New York, New York, City Directory
Name: Harry G Peter
Business Address: 331 Madison Avenue
Telephone: MU rryhll 2-1033

New York, New York, Death Index
Name: Adonica Peter
Age: 64
Death Date: September 20, 1947
Death Place: Staten Island, New York

New York, New York, Death Index
Name: Harry Peter
Age: 77
Death Date: January 2, 1958
Death Place: Staten Island, New York

Daily Independent Journal
(San Rafael, California)
January 4, 1958

Cartoonist Harry Peter Dies in N.Y.
Harry G. Peter, San Rafael-born cartoonist who drew “Wonder Woman,” died of a heart attack Thursday [January 2] in Staten Island, N.Y., it was reported today by Kenneth Irwin of San Rafael. Irwin is the husband of Peter’s niece Marie Peter Irwin. Peter, 77, had drawn “Wonder Woman” for 10 years, Irwin said. His parents were the late Louis and Louise Peter, who arrived in San Rafael in 1875 and later built the Peter Building https://calbricks.netfirms.com/brick.fortin.html at Fourth and C streets. He is survived by a sister, Marie F. Peter, who lives with the Irwins in the Peter Building. Peter worked as an illustrator for the old San Francisco Call, Irwin said, before moving to New York as a free-lance commercial artist in 1910. Funeral services will be held Tuesday in Staten Island.

Related Posts

Marjorie Wilkes Huntley
Joye Hummel, Wonder Woman Ghostwriter


Further Reading


Todd’s Blog

Photographs of H.G. Peter

The Comics Journal

Wonder Woman: The Complete Newspaper Strip

Pappy’s Golden Age Comics Blogzine

H.G. Peter's last Wonder Woman

Lambiek Comiclopedia

Potrzebie

Wroten on the Wind
“Jim quit Keuffel & Esser when we got our studio; he thought it would be a nice little business for the two of us to do together. Our studio was Doc Marston’s office. We were on the 12th floor. The art studio where Harry G. Peter worked was upstairs, right over us on the 13th floor. They had another artist, a girl named Arlene, who did backgrounds for him. Harry G. Peter was a nice old gentleman; he was just a nice person. We went out to Doc’s home several times, but after Doc died we never kept in touch with the rest of the family. He had an assistant who helped him write stories; her name was Joye Hummel. She married, and I think she’s down in Florida someplace.
Wonder Woman: Enigmatic Heroine of American Popular Culture
Karen M. Walowit
University of California, Berkeley, 1974

page 26: The artist he chose to draw the series was Harry G. Peter, whom Marston describes as “an old time cartoonist who worked with Bud Fisher on the San Francisco Chronicle,” and later did sports cartoons for Hearst.[15] Little specific information is available about Peter. Marjorie Wilkes, who worked as his letterer in the Marston Art Studios between 1944 and 1947, describes him as a “quiet, thoughtful and sensitive” man who never talked about himself.[16] He apparently liked and approved of Wonder Woman. Ms. Wilkes also indicates that he was working for the San Francisco Chronicle during the earthquake of 1906, and lived on Staten Island with his wife after they moved east.[17]

…Precisely how Peter was selected to draw Wonder Woman is uncertain. Ms. Wilkes suggests that Gaines may have asked various artists to submit their conceptions

page 27: of the new superheroine, and that Marston chose Peter’s work because it made Wonder Woman look appropriately attractive, athletic and intelligent. The affiliation between Peter and Marston is reported to have been a happy and productive one, and the results, seen in the early Wonder Woman stories, would certainly substantiate this claim.

Harry Peter is one of the most underrated artists in the comics field. He is particularly criticized for his flat, two-dimensional style and for his anatomy drawings. The main problem in not being appreciated, I would suggest, is that he was simply not interested in what might be termed “realistic” drawing or accurate technology, but rather in conveying the imaginative essence and psychological impact of whatever he was depicting….
Wonder Woman: The Complete History
Les Daniels
Chronicle Books, 2004

The Superhero Reader
Charles Hatfield, ‎Jeet Heer, ‎Kent Worcester
University Press of Mississippi, 2013

The Secret History of Wonder Woman
Jill Lepore
Knopf, 2014



(Next post on Monday: Joye Hummel, Wonder Woman Ghostwriter)