Mort Walker's cartoon of an angel with a harp for the January 1940 contest

How Some of the 20th Century’s Most Notable Cartoonists Got Their Starts

Tom Heintjes at Hogan’s Alley kindly put my 2019 article on a popular early cartooning contest for young people online for free. For more than a decade, the magazine Open Road for Boys gave aspiring artists a chance to share their “solutions” to a problem cartoon. At the head of this post, you can see 16-year old Mort Walker’s contribution for January 1940.

This March 1931 entry by Reed Crandall, who went on to comics glory with his work for Quality and EC, is just a glimpse of what you’ll find. Other cartoonists, animators, and comics artists including Jack Davis, Bill Peet, Woody Kimbrell, John Stanley, and more are among the youthful contestants.

Reed Crandall’s March 1931 solution to the Open Road for Boys’ cartoon contest problem.

Read the full article here: And, if you don’t already subscribe to the award-winning Hogan’s Alley, consider doing so.