November 23, 2014
November 21, 2014
November 14, 2014
With thanks to George Chastain.
November 9, 2014
Cartoonist, Olympic athlete, radio host, our featured artist enjoyed a charmed life and an eclectic career. I also nominate Feg Murray as a Monster Kid.
As admittedly circumstantial evidence, I submit the frequent, lovingly illustrated monster movie references in his Seein’ Stars newspaper feature of the Thirties and Forties, especially considering how little coverage the movie magazines and the celebrity gossips ever gave the classic era horror stars and their films, unless for cracking wise and looking down at them.
As another piece of evidence, it is worth noting that Murray’s very first Seein’ Stars cartoon spread in 1933 featured Boris’ Monster sharing equal space with Greta Garbo!
When Murray parlayed his newspaper fame into a radio host gig, he presided over the extraordinary on-air appearance of Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi performing a now legendary duet, signing, “We’re Horrible, Horrible Men”! Listen to the clip here. And as another small hint, we note that the inventory listing of the Feg Murray Papers, archived at Stanford University in California, includes a photograph of Feg posing with makeup man Jack Pierce. That’s one still I’d love to see!
Digging up info on Murray, trying to find pictures of the artist and more samples of his work, I came upon film footage of Feg. This is from THAT'S RIGHT, YOU'RE WRONG, a 1939 RKO musical that introduced radio bandleader Kay Kyser to the movies. As a novelty — and a guarantee of lots of free publicity — the film features cameos by all the big-name movie reporters and Hollywood gossip columnists of the time. These included Sheila Graham, Jimmy Starr, Harrison Carroll, Erskine Johnson and, sharing the screen with the formidable Hedda Hopper, our friend Feg!
Here’s the brief clip where Adolphe Menjou is introducing starlet “Sandra Sand” to celebrities at a poolside party. Sand is played by a very young Lucille Ball… Enjoy!
November 6, 2014
From the collection of George Chastain.
November 4, 2014
Here’s a stunning portrait of The Monster and his Bride by celebrity cartoonist and broadcaster Feg Murray, created for his Seein’ Stars feature syndicated to newspapers in 1936. This, the original art, was found in makeup man Jack Pierce’s personal scrapbook and sold through Heritage Auctions for $2,151 in 2007.
The perfect likenesses suggest that Murray’s art was traced from photos, likely projected onto an art board, a common technique and a necessary expedient for someone drawing realistic portraits on a tight schedule.
Murray’s elegant brushwork and judicious use of screentone shading combine to make a truly outstanding piece. Note, also, Murray's signature and his strip's little teddy bear-like mascot.
Coming up: Feg Murray's Sunday features in full color!
November 2, 2014
Click the thumbnails to see the whole feature.