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Saturday, February 7, 2009

"Nancy" - 1947 Pen and Ink by Ernie Bushmiller

I saw this piece when I had my company and was working through the issues of customer service. I thought it was an odd-ball piece that seemed to strike a cord with me at the time.

Nancy Pen & Ink

Here's some information on Bushmiller from Wikipedia...

Ernest Paul "Ernie" Bushmiller, Jr. (1905 - 1982) was an American cartoonist, best known for creating the long-running daily comic strip Nancy. Bushmiller's work has been repeatedly addressed by other artists: Andy Warhol made a 1961 painting based on "Nancy"; the artist and poet Joe Brainard made numerous works based on Nancy; and many cartoonists have produced work directly inspired by or commenting on Bushmiller's art, including Art Spiegelman, Bill Griffith, Mark Newgarden and Chris Ware. The American Heritage Dictionary uses a Bushmiller "Nancy" strip to illustrate its entry on "comic strip."
He was born in the Bronx on August 23, 1905 of immigrant parents. His father was also an artist. Bushmiller quit school at 14 to work as a copy boy at the New York World newspaper. At night, he took art classes at the National Academy of Design. Bushmiller married Abby Bohnet in 1930. They had no children.
In 1925, cartoonist Larry Whittington, creator of the comic strip Fritzi Ritz, left to produce another strip, Mazie the Model. Bushmiller then took over Fritzi Ritz, ghostwriting it, before eventually taking over officially. Bushmiller's name would not appear on the strip until May 1926. In 1933, Bushmiller introduced the character of Nancy, Fritzi's niece, to the strip. The character proved popular, and her appearances became more frequent and Aunt Fritzi's less frequent, so much so that the strip was renamed Nancy in 1938. Bushmiller also created the comic strip Phil Fumble, which ran from 1932 through 1938. Bushmiller worked briefly for film comedian Harold Lloyd in 1931, writing gags for the film, Movie Crazy.
Bushmiller was one of the founding members of the National Cartoonists Society. He received their Humor Comic Strip Award, and their Reuben Award in 1976 for his work on Nancy. In 1979, Bushmiller was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, but continued to produce the strip with the help of assistants Will Johnson and Al Plastino. On August 15, 1982, Bushmiller died of a heart attack.

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From “Nancy” (1947) by Ernie Bushmiller. A pen & ink of Nancy and customer service. Dated 9/2/1947. "Complaint Department." [Image: 18 5/8"w x 5 1/8"h. Frame: 24.5"w x 11"h] Acquired 1992. SeqID-0093

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