Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Complete Guide to Cartooning

The above profile of Flora appeared in The Complete Guide to Cartooning (Grosset & Dunlap, 1950), by Gene Byrnes. Byrnes had a long, distinguished career as a syndicated cartoonist (Reg'lar Fellers) from 1915 to 1949.

Flora never claimed to be a cartoonist per se, tho his commercial illustrations—in particular the 1940s Columbia album covers featured in the profile—certainly were cartoonish. In his quotes (click the image for enlarged reading), Flora doesn't address any aspect of cartooning; he offers an artistic credo vis-a-vis the demanding world of commercial art. Ironically, by the time this book hit store shelves, Flora had bailed from his executive perch at Columbia and was en route to Mexico with his family to spend 15 blissful months creating art without commercial pressure.

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