Frank Volp was born January 22, 1912 in Queens, New York City. His father, also named Frank Volp, was born 1883 in NYC of German ancestry. His mother, Martha Gruen, was born 1887 in NYC and her family ancestry was also German. His parents were married in Queens on June 20, 1909. He was their only child. The family lived at 47 West Jackson Avenue in Queens, NY. His father owned and operated a local butcher shop.
In 1924 they moved to 43-20 Junction Boulevard, Elmhurst, Queens, NY. He attended NYC public schools.
On November 16, 1926 his father's butcher shop at 35 Boerum Avenue in Flushing, Queens, was robbed at gun point.
Young Frank Volp was fascinated with boating. His high school yearbook describes him affectionately as, "SEa legs disguised by a smock. More at home wit ships on canvas than with canvas on ships, Easy-going but knows what he wants." In 1929, while boating on the East River during Fourth of July festivities, his boat was overturned by a sudden squall. He was saved from drowning by an alert policeman on shore, who commandeered a passing motorboat and sped to his rescue.
In the summer of 1930, after graduating high school, his family vacationed in East Haven, Connecticut, a quaint coastal town with an active marina. This was during the depth of the Great Depression, which suggests a degree of prosperity.
In September 1930 he began to attend Pratt Institute of Brooklyn, School of Art. His teachers included H. Winfield Scott, Frederick Blakeslee, and Monte Crews.
On June 8, 1933 he graduated from Pratt Institute of Brooklyn, School of art. It was not yet an accredited college, so instead of a BFA degree he earned a Certificate of Course Completion in Pictorial Illustration. His graduating class included Milton Rosenblatt, who went on to a significant career under the name Milton Luros.
In the summer of 1933 he won a Tiffany Foundation Scholarship, which included a private art studio at the Tiffany Estate on Long Island. In previous years John Fleming Gould and W. Ralph Kiefer won this same honor after graduating from Pratt.
In 1935 he painted a pulp magazine cover for the June issue of Real Western. Aside from this unique cover painting, he drew many pen and ink story illustrations for pulp magazines. His work appeared in Aces, Fighting Western, Leading Western, Private Detective, Real Western Romances, Spicy Adventures, Speed Mystery, Speed Western, Super Detective and Wings. He developed a uniquely inconspicuous signature motif composed of his initials "FV."
In 1940 he began to draw for Loop Logan for MLJ comic books. He went on to draw Crime Does Not Pay, London, and Swoop Storm for Lev Gleason comics.
On April 4, 1941 he enlisted in the Army and served for the duration of WWII.
In 1942 his father, age fifty-eight, worked at Wallach's Laundry Service at 330 East 59th Street in Manhattan.
In 1946, after the war, he was honorably discharged and returned to NYC to resume his art career. He drew pen and ink story illustrations for pulp magazines that were primarily produced by Harry Donenfeld's Trojan Publications under the art direction of Adolphe Barreaux.
In the 1950s he married and moved to 127 South Broadway in Red Hook, Dutchess County, New York, where his daughter Linda Volp was born in 1955. His widowed and elderly father lived with them.
On October 1968 his father died in Red Hook at the age of eighty-five.
On June 22, 1973 his daughter Linda Volp graduated from Red Hook High School.
Frank Volp died in Red Hook, NY, at the age of sixty-eight in April of 1980.
© David Saunders 2012