Art Helfant Top Shelf cartoonist for Humorama.
Well, by "top shelf" I am afraid I refer to the considerable racks Helfant drew on his women. Even biographical material on Art Helfant is filler, which I guess is appropriate for a cartoonist who created filler his whole life. In the Village Voice "Nothing of Importance" column of 1956, Art receives one sentence: "cartoonist called Art Helfant, who lives at 119 Washington Place, has slogan "A Helfant Never Forgets" printed on his stationary. Um…okay. A bit random, but all press is good press.
Art goes way back. Born TWO centuries ago, in 1898.
By 1927 he was drawing "Fables in Slang" for humorist George Ade, a series which was syndicated by the Bell company. George writes in Letters of George Ade by Terrance Tobin that three of Art's drawings were rejected "for putting the blush of shame into a very old person" but that didn't take much in 1927. At any rate, George promises to monitor the artist more carefully. "Now Art, you ruffled some feathers with that last set of sketches…keep your unhealthy desires to yourself."
I am sure his most familiar work was for Humorama…certainly the work we are most interested in here. Babes being hassled by yokels! The drawing is too large for my scanner, so I broke it up into two pieces…It ran in Snappy Digest in 1959. Here is another.
Comic historian Steven Thompson, creator of the Four-Color Shadows site has a full color (and hilarious) set of pages he drew during world war two called "Mighty Midgets Versus Gremlins HERE. The Lambiek site shows some work HERE. Much of Helfant's work was penciling and such. An apparently drew inside a scarce issue of Captain Marvel Jr.,l from 1944 has interior drawings done by Art, likely his filler character "Rubbernose" In the 1940s, he drew interiors for lots of DC and Fawcett Books. He "lettered" a Green Hornet comic book. "Colored" another. He wrote some, inked some, penciled some…Yet another journeyman cartoonist who would sell his work to anyone. It's a living. Art is buried in Suffolk County, New York.
BOOKS AND $5.99 EBOOKS BY JIM LINDERMAN ARE AVAILABLE HERE
Original Drawing (top) by Art Helfant 1959 Collection Jim Linderman
Original Humorama Art by Lowell Hoppes. "Gold Digger" was virtually extinct until Kanye West brought the term back. I'm not sure he did us any favors. Actually, in his case, I'm not really sure who is digging who, but they seem happy.
Lowell Hoppes original Cartoon Gag 1958 Collection Jim Linderman and appearance in Snappy Digest 1958, reprinted in Romp Digest 1966