“Lesson 3: Assignment 8” (06/10/1950)

“Lesson 3: Assignment 8” (06/10/1950)
by Wade Hillyard
12 x 16 in. pencil on paper
Coppola Collection

I picked this drawing up from an art dealer in NY who routinely deals in 1940s and 1950s era magazine illustration art. The provenance on this one is strong from the inscription in the corner. Someone named Wade Hillyard, from Santa Ana, CA, submitted this as “Assignment 8,” as a part of Lesson 3, on June 10, 1950.

I liked the drawing, and I assume it was drawn from life.

So, who is Wade Hillyard?

He appears to be a 1946 graduate from Santa Ana High School. The 1946 “Ariel” (yearbook) lists him (although I am not inclined to pay for a subscription to Yearbooks.com to get the detailed view), and there are two hits for the “Santa Ana Register” from 1940 and 1941 (one of which includes an age) which point to a Wade Hillyard (fortunately an unusual name) as a resident (from the Google Searches … and I am not inclined to pay for a subscription to Newspapers.com to get the detailed view):

May 6, 1940
Santa Ana Register
SANTA ANA REGISTER, MONDAY, MAY 6,1940 Anticipate South Main …. Youth’s Leg Broken In Fall ACTIVITIES OF GIRL SCOUTS Wade Hillyard, 11, of 1925 ..

February 28, 1941
Santa Ana Register
“During the next class, anyone Everyone in Orange county, but who plans to … Some of the boys are Bill Haynes, Wade Hillyard, Jim Nelson, Rodney Mead”

There is a still a 514 Cypress Ave in Santa Ana, so Wade might have been taking an art class at a relatively local college or university (of which there were not too many back then… if I have any luck locating more information, I will update this in a subsequent post; Santa Ana College is my first stop – it was right in town and has one of the largest fine art departments in Orange County).

FERPA is going to limit what anyone can tell me, but the question of whether this format was used for their student IDs during that era is enough to follow up on if I get a hit.

If the subject was drawn from life, then being outside in June in Santa Ana is reasonable, as would being at the coast, leaning on a boat.

There is also the question of the era, historically, that has my keenest interest. Seeing the casual life drawing depiction of an African-American man, posed outside and drawn by a white guy in 1950… strikes me as its own interesting story. By way of context, interracial marriage and school segregation had only been overturned in CA in 1947-48 (one of the earliest in the US), and segregation of public accommodations was still in effect in CA until 1954.

I guess Assignment 8 from Lesson 3 could have been to draw something from a photograph, but not likely.

I will likely never get the questions answered, but I certainly agree with the teacher who gave this drawing an “A” grade.


“The 1948 London Olympics in Collier’s” (September 25, 1948)

“The 1948 London Olympics in Collier’s” (September 25, 1948)
by Harry Devlin (1918-2001)
24 x 36 in., ink and acrylic on paper
Coppola Collection

 As an Ensign in the Navy, Harry was assigned to the Office of Naval Intelligence and assumed responsibility for all illustrations necessary for members of the armed services to identify enemy planes.

After the War, Harry began what became a ten year association with Collier’s Weekly. This association offered a chance at creative expression; an opportunity for Harry to design and paint relevant illustrations for magazine articles. In a short time, Harry Devlin became the leading editorial cartoonist at Collier’s. By 1950, Harry’s reputation as an editorial cartoonist was known throughout the publishing industry.

The illustration here relates to the 1948 Olympics, held in London. The Olympics had not been held in either 1940 or 1944 because of WW2. London was called upon on short notice, the politics of holding these in post-war London were clear, even though there will still significant shortages of essential materials. These were the first summer Olympics since the 1936 games in Berlin.

The London Games were the first to be shown on home television, although very few people in Great Britain actually owned sets. Starting blocks for athletes in sprint races were introduced for the first time, and the Empire Pool was the first covered Olympic pool to be used at the Games.

“Bringing Up Father” (05/07/1945)


“Bringing Up Father” (05/07/1945)
by George McManus (1884-1954) and Zeke Zekley (1915-2005)
23.25 x 5.75 in., ink on paper
Coppola Collection

The 7thWar Bond campaign was announced on April 20, 1945, backed by the new President, who had taken office on April 12, and using the Iwo Jima flag-raising as its symbol. With the war winding down, there was a concern that the campaign would not be as successful as the previous ones.

This strip, from May 7, 1945, appeared just as VE Day was happening (May 8, 1945).

The $26B raised in this 6-week campaign turned out to be the highest dollar amount of any of the eight bond drives during WW2.


“Small Change” (10/31/1943)

“Small Change” (10/31/1943)
by Al Capp  (1909-1979)
25 x 16 in., ink on paper
Coppola Collection

Rather than send Li’l Abner off to war, Al Capp instead created this patriotic strip to promote the sale of war bonds. Capp was unable to serve in the military due to the loss of one of his legs in a childhood accident.

In 1942, eight years after it began, theLi’l Abnerstrip was hugely popular. Capp decided that the horrors of war would not intrude into Dogpatch.

He made his case in the July 4 strip, itself: “Perhaps this small section of our daily newspaper can do its part best by helping us to remember that a free world once did exist-and will again!!”

Capp, sensitive to the need for service, contacted the United States Treasury Department and offered himself as a highly visible homefront propagandist.

The result was a strip titled Small Fry.

The U.S. government had been selling bonds to private citizens since 1789. The Liberty Bond campaign had funded much of the US participation in the European War in 1917 and 1918. For WW2, the Treasury was offering the new Series E issue and appealing to Americans, via a massive promotional campaign, to put aside 10 percent of their weekly paychecks for these star-spangled bonds that would surely buy defeat for Axis powers.

Capp neither bylined nor signed Small Fry— with his prodigious commitments, most of the strip is thought to have been produced by his longtime Boston-studio assistants, Al Amato, Harvey Curtis and Walter Johnston. Even with Abner, though, Capp would touch up the faces of the main characters to give them his signature feel, but the art was mainly produced by his studio.

Made available to newspapers free of charge by Treasury, Small Fry premiered on Sunday, May 31, 1942, introducing a solemn little runt who was much too small a fry to get into the Army or the Navy or the Marine Corps or even to land a defense-plant job and who accordingly settled for helping to win the war by buying as many of Treasury’s war bonds as he could afford and shaming his tightwad neighbors into doing the same. And here was the strip’s sole mission.

“Taxes alone cain’t do it!” whispered Tallulah as the determined Small Fry chased down one deranged scheme after another.

Series E securities were $18.75 apiece and they were guaranteed to repay their bearers $25 after ten years. “Eighteen seventy-five” bought a thousand bullets. A hundred bought a bomb. Fifty thousand built an airplane.

 Treasury officials were introduced to the cartoonists in New York, and during the height of the bond campaigns, reminders and notices were integrated (or just pasted into) the daily comics.

Capp retitled the strip to Small Change (“It don’t matter how MUCH or how LI’L yo’ invests—EVEN SMALL CHANGE WILL DO IT!”) and it appeared every two or three Sundays in as many as 120-plus cities between 1942-1945.

By war’s end, more than 85 million Americans had bought more than $185 billion worth of what by then were known as Victory Bonds.

“Do it for the people who love you”

Although active recruiting posters date back to the Civil War, arguably one of the most recognizable of these is the “I Want You!” poster designed by James Montgomery Flagg, issued in 1917 near the end of WWI (the US entered the war on April 6, 1917). The effect proved to be quite successful, and the theme was used again in WWII… and in the Smokey the Bear “Only YOU can prevent forest fires!” campaign, which began in 1947.

Flagg was inspired by a 1914 poster used in Britain, which depicted Secretary of State for War, Lord Kitchener, compelling recruits that “your country needs you.”

The War Bond drives in WWII used the direct approach, too. Here is an ad from one of the era’s Captain America comics.

A rather provocative ad campaign from the “Retailers for Victory” event, where more than a million retailers in the US donated 4% of their July 1942 sales to the US Treasury’s Bond Drive, from the Bullock’s chain (LA Times, July 1, 1942, p 3), that I came across while looking for something else altogether.
Uncle Sam re-appeared on one of the most famous and powerful protest slogans from the Viet Nam war (1971): Join the Army; travel to exotic, distant lands; meet exciting, unusual people and kill them.

In the modern age, the 1980s musical-TV Army campaign “Be All You Can Be” and the Marine Corps’ “We’re Looking for a Few Good Men” and “The Few, The Proud, The Marines” are probably the most memorable.

The War Bond Drive starring Captain America featured prominently in the 2011 Marvel Studios movie and some of the publicity.

A stunningly clever take on military recruiting that is reminiscent of the 1971 Viet Nam protest slogan can be found on the super-catchy, particularly-in-catching-you-unaware, 2014 pop song recorded by (the super-talented) Troye Sivan and appearing on the album TRXYE – an anthem for the wars in the Middle East titled “Fun” – a sardonic take on recruiting soldiers.

“Fun” (2014) performed by Troye Sivan

Well, don’t you want to see the world, boy
All the countries and their stars, boy
Just don’t look them in the eyes, boy
You just gotta’ take their lives, boy
Let me take you for a drive, boy
Oh, I swear you’ll feel alive, boy

All you gotta’ do is trust that I’m being true
And do it for the people who love you

Let’s go have
fun, you and me in the old jeep
Ridin’ ’round town with our rifles on the front seat
Fun, you and me in the Middle East
Shootin’ at rocks bullets cocked in the mid-day

Sun, you and me in the old jeep
Ridin’ ’round town with our rifles on the front seat
Fun, you and me in the Middle East
Shootin’ at rocks bullets cocked in the mid-day, sun

Listen to what I tell you
You’ll see, my sign
Now you know what you gotta do
Let’s go have fun
When you’re standing on the line, boy
Don’t go looking for goodbye, boy
Yeah you gotta set them free, boy
‘Cause you know that’s what they need, boy
Yeah you’re gonna make them cry, boy
Til’ they put you in the ground, boy

All you gotta’ do is trust that I’m being true
And do it for the people who love you


“Bringing Up Father” (06/27/1942)

“Bringing Up Father” (06/27/1942)
by George McManus (1884-1954) and Zeke Zekley (1915-2005)
23.25 x 5.75 in., ink on paper
Coppola Collection

Unlike the editorial page, the war did not always intersect with the funny papers. Here is an example, then, from the “Bringing Up Father” strip by George McManus.

On Saturday June 27, 1942, the FBI captured eight Nazi saboteurs from a submarine off NY’s Long Island. Two days earlier, Dwight Eisenhower was appointed as the commander of US forces in Europe (his decision to proceed with D-Day is still two years away). Less than a week earlier, on June 22, a Japanese submarine was discovered at the mouth of the Columbia River, in Oregon. Two weeks earlier, on June 14, Anne Frank began writing her diary and Disney studios released the animated feature “Bambi.”

Creative Doctoring

Listening to my former students who ended up with MD degrees, there are negotiations in the medical profession, especially in large settings, which sound remarkably the same as any blue-collar labor negotiations. How many days off? Which hours for work? And so on. These are even issues that are negotiated up front during the hiring process.

Not too surprisingly, this situation means that (on average) the attending physicians who work in the evenings do not necessarily have the same profile as those who work during the day.

The demands from the greater fraction of sleeping people, in the evenings, are also less (just board a long-haul transoceanic flight that leaves in the afternoon or early evening – the cabin turns into a flying dormitory within moments after the refuse from that first, quickly-served meal is collected).

There are places in a hospital where circadian rhythm rest cycles do not matter: the Emergency Room, for one, and the Intensive Care Unit, for another.

Improving care in the ICU by coaxing senior physicians to take the evening shift is a challenge in doctoring.

The ICU is an interesting place, in addition, because the bulk of the information comes from electronic monitors, and these data are used to make strategic choices for treatment, often with an overriding sense of urgency.

I recently learned of an interesting solution to this situation (and the fact that this solution exists tells you that it is, in fact, considered a problem).

That solution? Find a comparable hospital in a time zone that is 12 hours away, in a reasonably interesting and attractive part of the world, and let the attending physician serve 8-12 months at this location, where the day shift locally equals the night shift back home.

Does being on-call and hooked up by distance, for a more experienced and senior physician, compensate for the day/night difference when that same person will never be serving the night shift back home?

Currently, data are being collected about this, but there is at least one large academic hospital that I just learned about (no, not the one where I am) that has been trying this out for a while. The other location is in a large city along the coast of Western Australia.

At first the idea struck me as just weird, but changed my mind within a few hours.


“Elan Meets Rafa” (Ch 33, p 28)

Elan Meets Rafa (Ch 33, p 28)
by The Mice
8.5 x 11 in, pencil on board
Coppola Collection

Elan Meets Rafa is a weekly webcomic that ran for 7 years (2011-2018), and was created, written and illustrated by the artist known as The Mice. The Mice is a Latina illustrator working in digital and traditional media.

Synopsis: To free himself from his wealthy father’s demands Elan leaves everything behind to start a new life. He quickly finds that he is ill-prepared for the real world. He meets Rafa–a strong and resilient boy from a poor family, who provides protection for him. With Rafa and many new friends, Elan starts to find a place for himself in the dangerous urban neighborhood they live in. Then things turn horribly wrong and love is tested against deception, crushing guilt, and the demands of two different worlds.

These two illustrations are from the penultimate chapter in the series. By this point, The Mice had shifted from analog to digital, although I think her style (and every else’s) loses a little something in the translation. The infinite ability to correct and adjust infinitely often shows up in digitally constructed or edited drawings. I’ve picked up art from this series over the years, and The Mice was gracious enough to reproduce these two images using old-school techniques.

She writes: “Yes, I love old-school technology. But time constraints are impossible nowadays. Maybe if I could quit my day job!”


“Fantastic Four #35 p 8” (February 1965)

Fantastic Four #35 p 8 “Calamity on the Campus” (February 1965)
by Jack Kirby (1917-1994) and Chic Stone (1923-2000)
13 x 20 in., ink on paper
Coppola Collection

A comic featuring two noteworthy milestones in the history of comics: the origin of Dragon Man and the marriage proposal between Reed Richards and Sue Storm.

In this issue, Reed Richards has been invited back to his old alma mater at State University to deliver a lecture and has brought the rest of the Fantastic Four along with him. They stop as they pass by Professor Gilbert’s laboratory and are shocked at his latest creation, a massive android fashioned after a dragon.

While the male members of the team play against the State U football team, Sue happens to partially recognize Diablo as he drives past in a car, but the man exits the vehicle before she can get up close enough to examine him. Diablo pays a visit to Professor Gilbert and offers him a means of using alchemy to bring his android to life.

In the aftermath of the battle, Reed takes Sue down to the sweetheart tree on campus and proposes to her.

“Avengers 19 p 14”  (August 1965)

“Avengers 19 p 14 ‘The Coming of the Swordsman!’ ”  (August 1965)
by Don Heck (1929-1995) and Dick Ayers (1924-2014)
13 x 22 in., ink on paper
Coppola Collection

Finally got to see “Avengers: Infinity War” in English. I did catch all the major points in the Italian dubbed version, where I could take a good guess at about one in every ten words. Although there was plenty of the fun stuff that I missed “in translation.”

Back to the US soon and a chance to see it on a Big Screen.

And, now, from 1965, in just the second year of the original run of The Avengers

The Swordsman, who trained Hawkeye as a kid, lays a trap for Captain America. Cap leaves Avengers HQ alone, to supposedly meet with Nick Fury.

Hawkeye finds out about the plan and gathers the other Avengers to help him.

Captain America, arriving at a warehouse that sure does not look like a SHIELD installation, is about to get ambushed by the Swordsman.