Willard Mullin's Golden Age Of Baseball Drawings 1934-1972

Overview

This first-ever retrospective of the dean of American sports cartooning “stars” baseball greats such as Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Lou Gehrig, and many others.
In Fantagraphics’ ceaseless effort to rediscover every world-class cartoonist in the history of the medium, we turn your attention to a neglected part of the art form—sports cartooning—and to its greatest practitioner—Willard Mullin. The years 1930-1970 were the Golden Age of both American sports and American comic strips,...

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Overview

This first-ever retrospective of the dean of American sports cartooning “stars” baseball greats such as Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Lou Gehrig, and many others.
In Fantagraphics’ ceaseless effort to rediscover every world-class cartoonist in the history of the medium, we turn your attention to a neglected part of the art form—sports cartooning—and to its greatest practitioner—Willard Mullin. The years 1930-1970 were the Golden Age of both American sports and American comic strips, when giants strode their respective fields—Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Hank Aaron in one, George (Krazy Kat) Herriman, Milton (Steve Canyon) Caniff, Walt (Pogo) Kelly in the other—and Mullin was there, straddling both fields, recording every major player and event in the mid-20th-century history of baseball. Mullin was to baseball players what Bill Mauldin was to soldiers: advocate and critic, investing them with personality, humanity, dignity, and poignancy; Mauldin had Willie & Joe and Mullin had the Brooklyn Bum, his affectionate 1939 character representing the bedraggled figure of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Willard Mullin’s Golden Age of Baseball: Drawings 1934-1972 collects for the first time Mullin’s best drawings devoted to baseball—depictions of players like Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Yogi Berra, and Sandy Koufax, legendary managers like Casey Stengel and George Steinbrenner, and events like Lou Gehrig’s emotional retirement speech on July 4, 1939, for which Mullin not only drew a portrait but composed a poem (which he often incorporated into his cartoons). Mullin’s fluid line and delicate but vigorous brushwork are shown to beautiful effect, with many drawings reproduced from original art. See why millions of baseball fans from the ’30s to the ’70s looked forward to Mullin’s cartoons in their daily paper. Mullins was voted “Sports Cartoonist of the Century” upon his retirement by his peers, and his legacy has been summed up by New Yorker cartoonist Bob Staake, who wrote, “Mullin defined the modern sports cartoon by combining representative portraiture, cartoonish doodlery, and editorial commentary—part news account, part personal observation, his cartoons celebrated sport for its entertainment, cultural, and artistic value.”

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Editorial Reviews

Bob Costas
“"A beautiful compilation of the finest work of a uniquely talented artist."”
Library Journal
10/01/2013
Fantagraphics has compiled and published comic collections from several great artists, including R. Crumb, Harvey Pekar, and Charles Schulz. Now it presents the work of Mullin (1902–78), the sports cartoonist most famous for creating the iconic "Brooklyn Bum" of Dodgers lore. Mullin, whose cartoons appeared in the New York World-Telegram & Sun, combined skillful realistic drawings of the day's players with a lissome, ebullient cartooning style that brought movement and energy to his images. This book, which does not credit an editor, is organized by each decade Mullin was active as an artist, from the 1930s to the 1970s. Each of these sections includes a brief overview of the baseball stars and events of that era, along with details about Mullin's artistic choices and inspirations. Later sections include magazine artwork and ephemera as well as cartoons. There is also a section of Mullin's color work. VERDICT Baseball fans will love poring over Mullin's depictions of 20th-century baseball legends, from Babe Ruth to Joe DiMaggio to Jackie Robinson and Mickey Mantle. This loving and well-crafted tribute will make a great addition to any public or graphic art library, appealing both to baseball and classic comic fans. Highly recommended.—Brett Rohlwing, Milwaukee P.L.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781606996393
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books
  • Publication date: 8/17/2013
  • Pages: 200
  • Sales rank: 576,631
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 12.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Willard Mullin (1902–1978) was an American sports cartoonist most famous for his creation of the “Brooklyn
Bum,” the personification of the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team. He was widely published: he cartooned daily for Scripps-Howard’s New York World-Telegram and
Sun for decades and was often published in Scripps-Howard’s papers, as well as in The Sporting News.

Michael Powers was born in Long Beach, California and grew up on the beaches of Southern California and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. He is an attorney and a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of the Pacific. Over the last 30 years he has written about Baseball, Jazz, Boxing, Art History, Sports Law and Politics, among other subjects.

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