The Duane Crowther Letters Pt. 2

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duane-from-ny-11-25-52.jpg As a tribute to both Duane Crowther and the fine (battered) city of New York, we present his letters to Bob (Bobbert) and Cima Balser from Nov. 12th and 25th, 1952. Duane could stay at the YMCA in N.Y. in those days for $2.50 a night! Winter coats were only $125.00, and he was doing TV commercial layout for the great Gene Deitch! What a life, seeing Beatrice Lillie performing live, dishing on Radio City Music Hall and the Rockettes, going to art shows at the Museum of Modern Art. This was New York City at it’s most artistic and user-friendly. I thought that Mike Sporn and Greg Ford in particular might enjoy reading these. I love Duane’s drawing on the back of the Nov. 12th letter, note he’s walking on a sidewalk heating grate! He draws himself a little like Waldo, don’t you think? I love Duane’s jokes about the Sunsweet Prunes commercial he worked on in the 11-25 letter: “Looseness goes with prune juice, anyway.” (He writes in the margin: “Note! Joke..((It’s a bit cut-off from my scanner.))) These letters are reproduced through the courtesy of Cathy Karol-Crowther, Duane’s widow. It’s so wonderful that Bob and Cima Balser kept these letters.

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yogi-11-11-62.jpgyogi-11-18-62.jpgyogi-11-25-62.jpg Yowp just put the b/w “tab’ versions of these half-page Yogi Bear Sunday pages from Nov. 1962 on his website. Go there by clicking the link to your right and read what he has to say about the comics. Harvey Eisenberg drew and lettered all four of these. His “Yogi Bear” logos were always distinctive, in a very slick way. I, too like the cow/fresh buttermilk gag in the 11-25 page. Duane would hate his letters being on the same page as these H-B Sundays. He never had any respect for their cartoons, going all the way back to the first Tom and Jerrys. He DID like some of the artists who worked on the H-B stuff, however. He really got along well with George Nicholas, and I remember the two of them playing chess at Fred Calvert’s old studio. Remember California readers, vote “Yes” on Prop. 37! Go to Itza Cat’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/someothercat to see his political posters about “Frankenfoods”. See you here again soon!

4 Responses to “The Duane Crowther Letters Pt. 2”

  1. Charles A. Brubaker Says:

    I’m enjoying these letters. Hope you continue posting ‘em!

    $2.50 a night!? In New York!? Wow, things change in 50+ years.

  2. Michael Sporn Says:

    I get a kick out the letters, too. That full page cartoon by crowther is a real laugh. Great work. More, please.

  3. Matt Says:

    Wow Mark, these are fantastic! My dad was really an unsung hero of animation, I never really had many details of his time in New York.

  4. Mark Says:

    Hey Matt,
    I’m so glad you are reading these. Duane seldom talked in detail about this time in his life to me, so it’s great to hear the details of his day-to-day life in NYC. We have Bob Balser and Cathy Karol-Crowther to thank for these, I’m just passing them along. Great to hear from you,
    Mark

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