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1941-06 Super Mystery
1948 March To Market
1941-12 Victory Comics
1949-01 Real Clue
1942 Nyoka Jungle Girl
1951-12 Love Journal
1942-04 Lightning Comics
1952-01 Wanted Comics
1942-04 Our Flag
1954-10 Marvel Tales
1947-01 Picture News
1954-12 Battlefront
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HARRY V. R. ANDERSON

(1911-1972)

Harry Victor Robert Anderson, Jr., not to be confused with two other artists of similar names, Harold Norman Anderson (1894-1973), and Joseph Harry Anderson (1906-1996), was born January 20, 1911 in Seattle, Washington. His father, also named Harry Victor Robert Anderson, was born in 1873 in New Jersey. His mother, Edith M. Osborne, was born in 1876 in New Jersey. His parents married on October 8, 1899 in St. Cloud, NJ, and moved to Seattle, where they had two children, Kathleen Hope Anderson (b.1901), and Harry V. R. Anderson, Jr. (b.1911). The family lived at 1819 Eighteenth Avenue in Seattle. The father was a Deputy U.S. Marshall, as well as a bookkeeper in the Sheriff's Office.

The children attended public schools in Seattle.

In 1922 the older sister, age twenty-one, moved to New York City, and two years later she married Loyal George Kochey. He was born in 1897 in Pennsylvania, and worked as an insurance adjuster. They lived at 106 East Center Street in Williston Park, Long Island, NY. They had two children Edith (b.1925) and Kathleen (b.1927)

In June of 1929 Harry Anderson graduated from high school in Seattle. That September he began to attend the University of Washington in Seattle, where he studied in the department of Fine Arts. After one year, he left college and moved to NYC, where he lived with his married older sister and her family in Queens, while he began to attend the Grand Central School of Art, which was located on the sky-lit top floor of the Grand Central Terminal building. Access to the art school was by a special elevator located on track 23.

The 1930 U.S. Census listed Harry Anderson, age nineteen, living with his sister's family in Queens, where he was listed as a student.

In 1933 he attended the Art Students League at 215 West 57th Street, where he studied figure drawing with George Bridgman (1865-1943).

On April 2, 1935 Harry Anderson married Jessamine Caravano in Manhattan Civil Court. She was born in 1918 in NYC. She was a high school graduate, and already had a four-year-old son, Ronald (b.1931), from a previous marriage.

On June 25, 1935 Harry Anderson took a job as an Assistant Bosun's Mate on the steam ship Sarcoxie, which sailed from New York City to France. The list of crew members described him as six-two, 175 pounds, with brown hair and a light complexion. His gave his address as his sister's home in Queens. After two months in France he returned to NYC in August of 1935.

In September of 1935 Harry Anderson began to work as a freelance commercial artist drawing pen-and-ink story illustrations for pulp magazines.

He and his wife and step-son moved to 41-05 Tenth Street in Queens, NY, where his daughter, January Anderson, was born in 1936.

In 1939 Harry Anderson drew, without credit, the newspaper comic strip "Robin Hood & Company" by Ted McCall (1901-1975) for the McClure Syndicate, after the strip's original artist, Charles Snelgrove (1893-1940), had grown ill.

The 1940 U.S. Census listed "Harry V. Anderson" at home in Queens with his wife and two children. His occupation was identified as "Artist" in the field of "Newspaper Syndicate."

In 1940 Harry Anderson began to draw for comic books that were published by Street & Smith.

In 1941 Harry Anderson began to draw for comic books as an artist at the Binder Shop, owned by Jack Binder, where they supplied material for comic books published by Fawcett, Marvel, Feature, Lev Gleason, and Street & Smith. Artists who worked at the Binder Shop included Kurt Paul Schaffenberger (1920-2002), Munson Leroy Paddock (1886-1970), Victor Eugene Dowd (1920-2010), Ann Brewster, Walter Darr, Charles Coll, Fred Eng, Arnold Hicks, David Moneypenny, Walter Popp, Gustav Schrotter, Marcia Snyder, Jimmy Thompson and E. C. Stoner. According to one of his artists, "Binder had a loft on Fifth Avenue and it just looked like an internment camp. There must have been fifty or sixty guys up there, all at drawing tables." Jack Binder eventually moved the business to a carriage house barn near his home in Englewood, New Jersey.

Anderson also worked for Lloyd Jacquet's Funnies Incorporated, and the art shop of Harry A. Chesler. These art studios created the contents of comic books published by Fawcett, Dell, Whitman, Parents Magazine, and Ace Publications. In this pre-war period Harry Anderson drew "Dr. Nemesis," "The Flag," "Sky Smith," "Typhoon Tyson," and "The Black Owl."

On March 8, 1943, during WWII, Harry V. R. Anderson entered military service with the Army Transportation Corps. He was honorably discharged on December 23, 1943. The fact that he did not serve for the duration of the war suggests some critical exemption developed while he served.

In 1944 Harry Anderson resumed his freelance art career in NYC. He drew "Bulletman," "Captain Midnight," "Lance O'Casey," and the first issues of "Nyoka The Jungle Girl." He also illustrated advertising pamphlets for Swift Meat Packers, Thom McAn Shoes, and General Electric Company.

In 1947 he became the art director at Brevity Advertising Agency at 424 Madison Avenue. He held this job for four years. Two instructional pamphlets he produced for this company were Fix It This Way and Let's Go Hunting.

In 1948 his third child was born, a son.

In 1949 Harry Anderson illustrated campaign literature for New York Senator Jacob Javitts and Connecticut Governor Chester Bowles.

In 1949 Harry Anderson's graphic designs for Cities Service Oil Company won the "Best in Industry" award from a national advertising association.

In the early 1950s he drew many mystery, adventure, and love comics for Atlas, Orbit, and Quality.

In 1952 he created a series of illustrated color slides for Teaching Films Incorporated of NYC. Other artists who also found work in this unique field included Rafael DeSoto, Robert Robison, Rafael Astarita, Henry C. Kiefer, Howard Sherman, and Sam Cherry.

Harry Anderson drew "Daniel In The Lion's Den" for the March 1954 issue of Bible Tales For Young People from Atlas Publications.

In 1954 Harry Anderson divorced his wife, Jessamine (Caravano) Anderson. He retained custody of his six-year-old youngest son. He and his son left NYC and moved to California, where they lived at 519 Hillside Drive in Woodside, south of San Francisco.

While in Califronia he drew illustrations for Sunset Magazine. He also did freelance work for Peninsula Lithographic Company and Hewlett-Packard.

In 1956 he began to teach an adult evening class of life drawing at the Palo Alto Art Club, at Ramona Street and Forest Avenue. He continued to teach this class for the rest of his life.

In 1960 he became the graphic designer at Schwabacher & Company, a San Francisco investment bank, for which he produced quarterly statements on municipal bond offerings. He remained at this firm for two years.

In 1963 he worked as the art director at Behavioral Research Laboraties, a textbook company in Palo Alto. In May of that year he typed out his professional resumé, which listed his complete employment history on two pages.

On October 11, 1969 The Progress-Bulletin of Pomona, CA, published an advertisement that featured several staff members, including Harry Anderson.

Harry V. R. Anderson died at the age of sixty-one on September 12, 1972.

                         © David Saunders 2017

 

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