Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ron Ferdinand Interview 2

b) Who were all his ghosts?

The names I recall are Fitzgerald, Al Wiseman, Lee Holley, Bob Bugg and later Frank Hill….there were a few more that escape me at the moment. (Marcus Hamilton - jk)

When did Ketcham start using assistants?
I think he did the whole enchilada for the first year or two.

Who did the Sunday pages in the 50s and sixties?

Y’know , here, I’m really not sure.
I know Fitzgerald was doing Sundays but there are some names I’m not sure of.
I think Lee Holley did Sundays for a while as well as the Golden Books.
And there was all the product stuff, too.

When did the comic books start up and was that a completely different team of people?

I think it was pretty much the same artists doing everything. Of course the dailies were always Hank’s baby.

You know I am a fan not only of Ketcham, but of Owen Fitzgerald too. I find it fascinating to see 2 of my favorite cartoonists working together.

Do you now anything about their working relationship?

Not really. Hank and Fred Toole always spoke very highly of him.

How they met?

Not sure.
Fred Toole said Owen developed some kind of nervous condition that caused his drawings to get looser and looser until they were no longer usable. He moved to LA and got treatment and went on to work in animation

How were the stories crafted? Was Ketcham involved?

Don’t think he was very involved with the comic book writing until we were doing the Marvel comic.
Fred Toole was the main writer for the earlier Fawcett comics.

I read his book and remember that he said he worked with a team of gag writers for the dailies.
Did you work with the same people? Were they the same writers for the comic book?

Nope. Different guys.


RooniMan said...

Fitzgerald had a nervous condition? Never knew that.

Anonymous said...

According to Wikipedia, the UK comic of Dennis the Menace was first published 3 days after Ketcham's. They must be unrelated though, right? Just a coincidental title...

Are there any British cartoonists you like, John?

Anonymous said...

I learn something interesting everyday. I had no idea there was anything wrong with Owen Fitzgerald. Whatever it was, he was an incredible draftsman. A standard all great animation artists should be striving for.

Elana Pritchard said...

Thank you for sharing this John. I am always interested to learn the inner workings of the cartoon industry. :)

Robair said...

To jog Mr. Ferdinand's memory, Bob Paplow drew Dennis in the mid-50s Sundays, with Bob Harmon writing many of them.

I'm thinking Wiseman may have done some Sundays before him; I also think Ketcham himself did the first few Sundays.

Ron Ferdinand said...

Yep....Bob Paplow and Bob Harmon!
And Bob Saylor was actually Hank's 'right hand man' in the daily gag writing department.

Ger Apeldoorn said...

Although some people on my blog have said otherwise, I am convinced Ketcham did a lot of the early sundays himself or was heavily involved in redrawing or designing them. They look like his and many of them are little more than a colection of single cartoon situations.

I think Hamilton does a fine job, but what I have seen of the huy who does the dailies isn't it for me. Ketcham gets it right everytime, but this guys gags are often hard to read or filled with unnecessary detail.

I didn't know Bob Bugg worked for Ketcham, but it figures. I will show some of his illustrations on my blog soon. I sort of suspect he or Fitzgerald (or both of them together) was responsible for the lovely Sgt. Bilko series of comic strip ads for Philip Morris in the late fifties. I have many of those, but most of them not yet scanned in.

Dave Mackey said...

Mr. Paal - That's correct - the original "Dennis the Menace", both UK and US, were published in the same week. Oftentimes, when the US "Dennis" was imported (whether the comic strip or the comic books or the Jay North TV show), his name was changed to "Dennis" or "Just Dennis".

Mykal Banta said...

John: Always great to see Fitzgerald!

Ron Ferdinand said...

Karen Matchette is another ghost I forgot to mention.She and I were part of the same training program. In fact, she was Hank's only female ghost, I believe. Karen went on to do THE FLINSTONES comic strip and Scooby Doo comic books. She is currently one of our main writers.