Monday, March 19, 2018

Comics: Billy Graham and the New York Amsterdam News

New York, New York, Birth Index, 1910-1965
Name: William H Graham
Birth Date: July 1, 1935
Birth Place: Bronx, New York City, New York

1940 United States Federal Census

255 West 144th Street, New York, New York 
Name / Age
Ernest Graham, 43 [born in North Carolina; barber]
Irene Graham, 40 [born in North Carolina]
William Graham, 4 [born in New York]
(In the 1940 census there were several young boys named William Graham but only one was black; he and his parents are listed above.)

High School of Music & Art
New York City
Class of 1953

Further Reading

Grand Comics Database
The New York Times
Who’s Who of American Comic Books, 1929–1999

An Incomplete List of Billy Graham in the New York Amsterdam News

November 12, 1977
page D14: 21 Brands, Inc. Congratulates the Nominees for the 5th Annual Audelco Recognition Awards [Audience Development Committee]
Nominees for Scenic Designer
Billy Graham “Sweet Talk”

October 7, 1978
page D12: Arts Calendar
LET’S STOP AND HAVE A HAMBURGER—Reading of a play for film by Billy Graham. Frank Silvera Writers’ Work­shop, 317 W 125 St, NYC. 662-8463. Mon Oct 9, 7:30 pm. (Contrib)

March 3, 1979
page 45: Arts Listings
Let’s Stop and Have a Hamburger—Reading of a play by Billy Graham. Frank Silvera Writers’ Work­shop, 317 W 125 St, NYC. 662-8463-69. Sat Mar 3, 3 pm. (Donation)

July 26, 1980
page 27: About The Arts: ‘Street Magician’ Special reading at N.Y. Public
By Mel Tapley
Billy Graham—the artist and playwright, not the evangelist—is excited about the special reading of his play, “The Street Magician,” which will be held July 28, 7:30 p.m., at the N,Y. Shakespeare Festival Public Theatre, 425 Lafayette St. Not only is the The Public Theatre’s Playwrights Workshop, which is coordinated and directed by winning playwright Ed Bullins, sponsoring the reading, but some of theatre’s topnotch  actors, Richard Gant, Elaine Graham, Clebert Ford, Rosanna Carter, Dianne Kirksey and Janice Jenkins will be participating.

August 16, 1980
page 48: Janice Jenkins, spellbinding in ‘Street Magician’
There was a reading recently at the New York Shakespeare Festival Public Theater, arranged by playwright Ed Bullins, director/coordinator of the Writers’ Workshop, for the {day, “The Street Ma­gician,” written by Billy Graham. “The Street Ma­gician (‘Let’s Stop And Have A Hamburger’)”—such an innocent tag, is a tale of “mystery and the macabre.” The story fo­cusses [sic] on a modern day Black family whose mother, ‘Gwen’, is the great granddaughter of the famed voodoo queen, Marie Laveau (who, according to Graham, may still be living in New Or­ leans). The play is about a magic war that’s been going on since the 1860’s between Marie Laveau and her nemesis/successor, Rosalee Douglass.

The pace of the play is interesting indeed and the business is fast and smooth but gets a little slower indicating you’re in “another time.” As soon as you realize it, the pace quickens again.

The dialog is humorous, fast-paced and a bit in the comic book style which comes from Mr. Graham’s long-term association with Marvel Comic books. You see, Billy created the first Black super hero “Luke Cage (Powerman) Hero For Hire.” His writing style comes through in the play with exaggerated exclamations, actors cutting off one another’s lines with excitements, realizations and confusions. It works! It also gives the play bits of needed humor and lightens the thick air of “mystique” created in the writing.

...Playwright/actor/artist Billy Graham, selected some of New York’s top Black (and white) actors who were excellent in their creation of his characters. “The Street Magician” (‘Let’s Stop And Have A Hamburger’) is presently being looked at by several Off Broadway producers and chances are it will undoubtedly be produced, probably by this fall. It will definitely be something to experience and not to be missed.

March 7, 1981
page 40: Movies beckon Billy Graham
Playwright/Actor/Artist, Billy Graham is taking a break from working on his soon-to-be produced stage play “The Stage Magician.”

Since the play’s special re-reading in January for theatrical producers Woodie King, Jr., and Steve Tennen of Henry Street Settlement. Graham, busy sketching and designing the special sets and ironing out technical details, has been approached by several motion picture companies to write screenplays. One of them the Raft Theatre Ltd. Co., has offered Graham a play script to read prior to the possibility of his re-scripting it for the screen.

However, the playwright is being careful in his selections, although he is considering acquiring the right to a popular novel for adaptation to the screen on the life of an internationally known celebrity.

"I am very much aware,” says Graham, “that if this project is launched and proves successful, it’ll provide many much needed jobs in|the coming video revolution. Videotaping is in vogue now and many sources of its use has yet to be tapped.”

May 23, 1981
page 34: Richard Pryor is ‘Bustin’ Loose’ with laughs
(Billy Graham movie review)

June 13, 1981
page 30: Mad Mel Brooks dishes out corn ill-bred
(Billy Graham movie review of “History of the World—Part 1”)

page 31: ‘Fan’: Gory, suspense thriller
(Billy Graham movie review of “The Fan”)

June 20, 1981
page 32: Paramount gets ‘Evita’ world wide film rights

August 22, 1981
page 28: Flick on U.S. nine wise men
(Billy Graham movie review of “First Monday in October”)

October 3, 1981
page 37: ‘Carbon Copy’: Denzel Washington imprint
(Billy Graham movie review)

October 17, 1981
page 38: Silvera Writers Workshop opens season
By Billy Graham

October 24, 1981
page 30: Billy Graham scripts the Adam
On Monday evening, October 26th, at 7:30 p.m., the Frank Silvera Writers’ Workshop will be presenting the first public reading of the new drama, “The Trial of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.” by playwright/actor/artist/movie reviewer Billy Graham.

The play deals with the 1967 special elect committee of the House of Representatives and their investigations on the matter of denying Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. his seat in the 90th Congress as well as denial of his right to represent the people of his New York and Harlem district. Powell had been charged with misappropriating the funds of his committee on Education and Labor and retaining his estranged wife Yvette Diago Powell on the Congressional payroll while she was in Puerto Rico instead of performing her duties in Washington, D.C.

Powell’s problems exploded through the headlines when he called a Harlem widow a “bag lady” and she sued him.

The play is based on official Congressional records and articles published in various national and world-wide magazines as well as information gathered from the book “The Powell Affair, Freedom Minus One” by Andy Jacobs.

The reading of this play with an outstanding cast will be directed by Charles Turner. Admission is free at the workshop’s 3rd floor loft, 317 West 125th St.

For further information, call 662-8463/9.

November 21, 1981
page 28: The Pepsi Community Bulletin Board.
Nov. 22
B. G. Enterprises presents the cabarette comedy, “Don’t Step On My Foots,” by Billy Graham, 1 W. 125th St.

page 31: photograph
Nefretete Rasheed may be smiling because she’s the only girl in Billy Graham’s cabarette comedy, “Don’t Step On Mah Foots,” Sun, Nov. 22 4 p.m. and 8 p.m., at One West 125th St. (Poppa Charles’), in the Cabarette Disco Theatre. Starring with the singer-actress are Charles Kashi and Allen Taylor.

December 12, 1981
page 34: ‘Reds’: Colorful, passionate story about American communism
(Billy Graham movie review)

December 25, 1981
page 27: ‘Pennies From Heaven’ is pure gold entertainment
(Billy Graham movie review)

March 27, 1982
page 26: Chuck Norris battles in ‘Silent Rage’
(Billy Graham movie review)

August 14, 1982
page 41: Chemical Bank Applauds Audelco 
Nominees for the 10th Annual Recognition Awards 1981–82 Season
Nominees for Scenic Designer
Billy Graham/Yasmin Dixon/Hermon Futrell for Tut-Ankh-Amen, the Boy King
Audience Development Committee

November 27, 1982
page 29: AUDELCO: Ten years of applauding Black Theatre
When the first Audelco Awards for Excellence in Black Theatre were presented back in 1973 in the small space of the Afro-American Studio for Acting and Speech before an audience of less than 100 people, the purpose was two-fold—to pay tribute to those theatre a artists who had informed, entertained, motivated, provoked and wowed audiences during the 1972–73 theatre season and to provide an opportunity for the gathering of the black theatre clan in an atmosphere of family reunion-like fellowship. Though the attendance at the 18982 Audelco Awards celebration was over 700 people and the space is now the much more spacious Aaron Davis Hall at City College, that purpose has remained the same over the past ten years.

Co-hosts Susan Taylor, editor-in-chief of Essence Magazine and Glynn Turman, a former Audelco Award winner who’s now starring in the drama, “Do Lord Remember Me”, at the American Place Theatre, led the packed house of theatre artists and supporters from the communications, corporate and club world in applauding this year’s winners.. Among those making the excited run to the stage to receive their coveted awards were…Billy Graham, Yasmin Dixon, Hermon Futrell and Wynn Thomas (Tie/Scenic Designer for “Tut-Ankh-Amen, the Boy King” and “Abercrombie Apocalupse” respectively)

National Scene Magazine Supplement
January 1983
(insert; New York Amsterdam News, January 22, 1983)
page 22: AUDELCO Celebrates 10th Year
...Billy Graham/Yasmin Dixon/Hermon Futrell won for scenic design in “Tut-Ankh-Amen, The Boy King.”

January 22, 1983
page 23: 2-column advertisement
“The Breaking by Jacqui Singleton”
set designer, Billy Graham, 1982

January 29, 1983
page 26: 2-column advertisement
“The Breaking by Jacqui Singleton”
set designer, Billy Graham, 1982

February 5, 1983
page 28: 2-column advertisement
“The Breaking by Jacqui Singleton”
set designer, Billy Graham, 1982

March 5, 1983
page 34: May–December tale told on a splendid set
review of “The Breaking by Jacqui Singleton”
…A special salute to set designer Billy Graham, winner of an AUDELCO award last season for his work on Tutankhamon…

March 12, 1983
page 35: 3-column advertisement
“The Trial of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.”
By Billy Graham

March 19, 1983
page 11: 2-column advertisement
“The Trial of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.”
By Billy Graham

March 26, 1983
page 26: 2-column advertisement
“The Trial of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.”
By Billy Graham

April 2, 1983
page 29: 2-column advertisement
“The Trial of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.”
By Billy Graham

April 9, 1983
page 29: 2-column advertisement
“The Trial of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.”
By Billy Graham

September 10, 1983
page 25: Silvera’s Open House
The Frank Silvera Writers Workshop announces their eleventh annual open house to start off their fall season. Workshop members, poets, writers, artists and friends are welcomed to 317 West 125th Street, Monday Sept. 12th at 7:30.

…As further part of the AUDELCO Black Theatre Festival, last seasons “The Trial of Adam Clayton Powell Jr.” will be performed at City College. It will open Sept. 30th, Oct. 1st and 2nd at the Aranow Theatre 138th St. and Convent Ave.

“The Trial of Adam Clayton Powell Jr.” written by Billy Graham, focuses on the explosive political events of the 1967 House-select committee censure of Harlem’s most famous Congressman, the play nominated for five AUDELCO Awards for best lead actor, best supporting actor, best production, best playwright and best sound design. For more info, call FSWW at 662-8463….

September 17, 1983
page 24: AUDELCO’s 2nd annual Black Theatre Festival
The 2nd Annual Audelco Black Theatre Festival will take place for four consecutive weekends starting Friday, September 23 and closing Sunday, October 16th at CCNY’s Aronow Hall (136th St. & Convent Ave.). According to Vivian Robinson, AUDELCO executive director, it will be a month-long tribute to Black wit, imagery and the Black form expression and will serve as a showcase for outstanding productions of the season.

…“The Trial of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.” by Billy Graham, opens Friday, September 30 and is scheduled for Saturday, October 1 and Sunday, Oct. 2. “TRIAL,” directed by Dianne Kirksey, features Timothy Simonson as the legendary Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.

September 24, 1983
page 20: 2-column advertisement
“The Trial of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.”
By Billy Graham

October 1, 1983
page 28: photograph caption
ADAM AND MRS. — At AUDELCO Festival, opening Sept. 30, will be Mizan Nunes as Mrs. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. and Timothy Simonson as Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. in ‘The Trial of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., by Billy Graham. (Bert Andrews Photo)

page 32: Audelco Festival
The award-winning “The Trial of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.” by Billy Graham, a Frank Silvera Writers’ Workshop production presented as part of the Audelco 2nd Annual Black Theatre Festival, will open on Friday, September 30th and run through Sunday, October 2nd at the  newly-built 418-seat Aronow Theatre on the City College Campus at 136th Street and Convent Ave. Performances are scheduled Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.

October 22, 1983
page 23: two photographs of cast members
DYNAMIC DEFENSE: Christine Campbell appears as Adam Clayton Powell’s attorney while Timothy Simonson has the title role in “The Trial of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.” by Billy Graham, who also designed the sets, Woodie King, Jr. is presenting the Frank Silvera Writers Workshop production for a limited engagement which plays Thursday through Sunday evenings at 7:30 p.m., with matinee performances on Sundays at 3 p.m. (Bert Andrews Photos)

AFFECTIONATE ADAM: Eldon Bullock, Mizan Nunes, and Timothy Simonson in a scene from “The Trial of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.” which opened a limited engagement at the Henry Street Settlement’s New Federal Theatre, 466 Grand Street, on Thursday evening, October 20, at 7:30 p.m. Written by Billy Graham and directed by Dianne Kirksey, the play focuses on the 1967 Special Select Committee’s investigation into Congressman Powell’s affairs. The setting is being designed by the playwright; the lighting is by Zebedee Collins and the costumes are by Karen Perry.

At New Federal
Billy Graham pens powerful drama on Adam Powell
review of “The Trial of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.”

…The production has been skillfully researched and written by a young Black playwright, Billy Graham…

page 28: 2-column advertisement
Red Ant Way presents a Benefit Party
Sunday, Oct. 23rd—7 p.m. to 12 Midnight
at Jazzmania
Featuring…& playwright Billy Graham…

page 29: 2-column advertisement
“The Trial of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.”

October 29, 1983
page 27: Theatre briefs
…“The Trial of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.” on stage at the Henry Dejur Theater at the Henry Street Playhouse in the Village. It was written by Billy Graham…

November 26, 1983
page 27: Billy Graham has new drama-mystery
Prolific playwright/artist Billy Graham presents a new mystery drama, “Waiting for Joyce Miller,” a work-in-progress reading, featuring Dianne Kirksey and Jerome Preston Bates with Betty Vaughn and Mark Kaplan, at PSW Studios, 243 W. 55th St., Mon., Nov. 28, 7:30 p.m. There’s a $3 admission.

“The Trial of Adam Clayton Powell Jr.,” Graham’s powerful drama on Harlem’s dynamic congressman/preacher leaves the New Federal Theatre for a nationwide tour. Its first stop will be Washington, D.C.

page 31: Jazzmania special
Red-Ant-Way Cabaret will feature Peter J. Fernandez, S. Epatha Merkerson, Ruddy Garner, Harbert Rawlings, Billy Graham, Timothy Graphenreed, staged by Susan Watson, at Jazzmania, 40 W. 27th St., on Sun., Dec. 4, 6 p.m. to 12. Info: 857-1539.

December 3, 1983
page 28: 2-column advertisement
Red Ant Way presents a Benefit Party
Sunday, Oct. 23rd—7 p.m. to 12 Midnight
at Jazzmania
Featuring…& playwright Billy Graham…

January 14, 1984
page 26: photograph
PARTY SCENE—Playwright/artist Billy Graham was the guest of Essence Magazine’s charming Health Guide editor, Jean Perry, at the Magazine’s New Year’s Eve party at JoAnna’s disco/supper club. Graham is currently researching for a project on the upcoming celebration of Martin Luther King’s birthday. (Bert Andrews Photo)

January 12, 1985

(Artist, cartoonist and writer Mel Tapley is profiled here.)

February 9, 1985
page 24: advertisement
Theatre in Progress presents
The Dreams of Dr. King and the Memphis Mission

May 4, 1985
page 32: Fire destroys current home of Theatre In Progress
By Billy Graham

page 47: Billy Graham honored in two cities
Harlem playwright/actor/director Billy Graham has been busy working on a new stage play entitled, “King Spats and the Gorilla Brothers,” a musical comedy which will soon have its first public reading.

His last play, “The Dreams of Dr. King” had a successful four-month extended run at Theatre In Progress, N.Y.C. and is now slated for an Off-Broadway theatre. Meanwhile, his Audelco Award-winning play, “The Trial of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.” is presently being performed at The Bushfire Theatre, 2285 52nd Street, in Philadelphia, PA.

On Saturday, May 11th, Graham will be honored for his outstanding achievements in the arts by “Hun-E” Enterprises, which will be celebrating its 19th anniversary and holding its Gold­ en Star Awards ceremony.

An award will be presented to Graham by Rita Hunter, president of “Hun-E” Enterprises, in conjunction with the opening of her new off-off Broadway play, “Reach For The Stars”.

May 25, 1985
page 29: advertisement
Chemical Bank Salutes…Winners All!
A Cabaret Celebration
A Galaxy of AUDELCO Award winners in a Spectacular Evening of Entertainment
Billy Graham

June 1, 1985
page 23: advertisement
Chemical Bank Salutes…Winners All!
A Cabaret Celebration
A Galaxy of AUDELCO Award winners in a Spectacular Evening of Entertainment
Billy Graham

May 17, 1986
page 28: Billy Graham play re-opens Silvera
Billy Graham playwright/actor/director, is producing again. This time his three-act, four-character mystery drama “Waiting for Joyce Miller” is currently being considered for production. It was first read Mon., Mar. 12th at the Frank Silvera Writers’ Workshop.

Graham’s mood-melding theme of the play is based on the Grammy-award winning song “This Masquerade” (by George Benson) on infidelity, greed and mistrust between best friends and lovers. The play also touches on the Supreme Court’s ruling on abortion and asks the question, “is it a woman’s right or is it murder?”

The reading cast consisted of Carol Mitchell Smith as Joyce Miller with Randy Frazier as her boyfriend and Cyrus Lee Simmons as the vagabond best friend. Betty Vaughn played the staunch mother with Gail Tishchoff as the narrator. Dianne Kirksey skillfully directed the piece before the packed audience....

October 10, 1986
page 29: Graham’s anti-Crack play
Playwright-artist Billy Graham’s latest “Crack, the Ultimate High,” was applauded at PS 28, Tremont and Anthony Aves., Bronx, when it was read by a group of schoolchildren.

Presented by Elvira Lebron, former candidate in the 77th A.D., the 30-minute drama tells about a mother and father whose son is on Crack.

The surprise ending makes this a short play that is tailor-made for churches and community groups fighting the current threat by Crack to our community. For info., call 862-9095.

July 4, 1987
page 26: advertisement for Billy Graham’s “Don’t Step on Mah Foots”

April 9, 1988
page 23 c4: Billy Graham’s ’Just Say No’ wins award
The name Billy Graham on television may mean Rev. Billy Graham, but in New York it is the name of a creative artist whose talents are unlimited, playwright-actor-artist Billy Graham.

The latest product of his fertile imagination, “Just Say No” (to “Crack, the Ultimate High”) a play, has recently received a sizable cash award and a grant from the N.Y. State Division of Substance Abuse Services to tour throughout the N.Y. Board of Education’s Junior High Schools in the Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens area.

Graham, a member of the Negro Ensemble Company’s writers’ workshop (1975–82) and a 1983 Audelco Award-nominated playwright for his “The Trial of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.,” wrote “Just Say No” specifically “to be aimed at school children, but I missed having it picked up for a touring grant by the N.Y.C. Dept. of Cultural Affairs’ Arts Connection last year,” says Billy.

But Graham, a writing student of Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, Charles Fuller (“A Soldier’s Play”), was fortunate this year when he re-wrote a few lines then changed the title from “Crack; the Ultimate High,” to “Just Say No,” and was ultimately contacted through the networking of Karen Baxter and Pat White of the Frank Silvera Writers’ Workshop (of which Graham is a long-time member) by Ms. Toni Greene and Priscilla Chatman, of Diamond Cut Productions. They submitted Graham’s play, “Just Say No,” to the New York State Division of Substance Abuse.

As a result, Diamond Cut Productions are now the executive producers of Billy Graham’s play and are currently scheduling performances in junior high schools while the actors are in rehearsals at the Drew Hamil­ ton Senior Citizens Community Center at 220 W. 143rd St.

July 9, 1988
page 26: Graham’s anti-drug play ‘Crack down on Crack’ for schools
The Billy Graham Ensemble Company is forming a second touring troupe for another anti-drug play. Thus far, Graham’s first anti-drug play, entitles, “JUSt SAY NO,” has performed before over three-thousand school kids throughout N.Y. City.

…Meanwhile, Graham is busily writing a screenplay entitled “LUCKY ACE,” a tongue-in- cheek action yarn concerning the fictional escapades of a high-living, Black, wealthy Vietnam veteran and Congressional Medal of Honor winner who has cliffhanging adventures after he’s recruited by the C.I.A. to help the U.S. government retrieve the world’s newest ‘Star Wars’ type hand-phaser-pistol before several subversive countries do.

Graham has spoken to his friend Robert Townsend who expressed interest in the script which was originally planned to be sent to Eddie Murphy through Graham’s agents, Diamond Cut Production.

For further information about auditioning for the playwright’s production company (B.G. Enterprises), and auditioning for “CRACK DOWN ON CRACK,” call (212) 907-4599, or 979-0808, or 862-9055.

September 24, 1988
page 30: Billy Graham’s anti-drug reading at NEC
On Mon., Oct. 3rd, at the Negro Ensemble Company’s Theatre Four, at 424 W. 55th St., there will be a reading of playwright/Director Billy Graham’s latest stage play on drugs, “Crack Down on Crack.” There will also be a special reading of a “rappers” play on teenage pregnancy, “Pretty Special and the D.J.’s Rap,” a one-act dramatic musical-comedy.

Both plays were written specifically to be performed before pre-teens and teenagers as well as adults and were designed—dramatically, through theater—to educate children in elementary, junior high and high schools about the perils of unsafe sex, drugs, and certain precautions to take against contracting AIDS.

“Crack Down on Crack” and “Pretty Special and the D.J.’s Rap” will be presented by the playwright as an incentive to State Agencies in New York and Albany, such as the N.Y. State Division of Substance Abuse Services, the N.Y. State Department of Health, and Corporate Services, to sponsor and fund these “made-for-schools” dramas which will serve as educational training and teaching guides.

Graham has also entered “Pretty Special and the D.J.’s  Rap” into the N.Y. Board of Health’s request for the “AIDS Educational Program” which is offering $50,000 to any non-profit community organization willing to reach out and provide basic information about AIDS to individuals (specifically ethnics, Blacks, Hispanics, Haitians) in high risk neighborhoods.

The Dept. of Health has been soliciting proposals with the intent of selecting NPO’s with his educational dramas for community schools.

For auditions for the Billy Graham Ensemble Acting Company, send photos and resumes to B.G. Enterprises, Theatrical & Film Productions, 115 W. 143rd St., NYC 10030.

November 5, 1988
page 29: Billy Graham’s 'Telebrain’ has Los Angeles buzzing
Los Angeles, CA—Billy Graham, playwright/director/actor, with his entourage of actors, Billy Mitchell and Denise DuMaine, all from New York, breezed into Los Angeles, on October 22, like a tornado and captured everyone they came in contact with and virtually swept the town up in their effervescent wake.

...Graham’s “Telebrain,” was selected for the second annual competition held, by the Inner City Cultural Center, in Los Angeles. From the first moment the script for the play arrived at ICCC and was received by the competition’s coordinator, Barbara Barnes, it, as well as its creator, caused excited speculation when it was discovered that Graham’s play was one of the most unusual pieces included in this year’s competition.

From over 2,000 pieces submitted, “Telebrain” not only made it into the first round of the judges decision, it also was selected to be re-performed in the second round of the competitive one-act plays—which are usually selected after several “weeks” of judging nearly a hundred other plays until only 25 have been chosen for the finals.

Well, Graham’s “Telebrain” was selected for the 2nd round “before” the 1st round even began. By virtue of the writing and the story idea, this play is a hands down contender for the finals—which could earn the winning playwright a contract, as a writer, with Warner Brothers motion, pictures. Second prize is $1,000 and third prize is $500....

(Next post on Monday)

Monday, February 26, 2018

Comics: Ed Winiarski, Artist

Edward C. “Ed” Winiarski was born on May 6, 1911, in Niagara Falls, New York. The birth date is from the Social Security Death Index, and the birthplace is based on census records. New York County Marriages, at, said Winiarski’s parents were Julian Winiarski and Carolina Wasiewicz.

In the 1915 New York state census, Winiarski was the fourth of five children. He had three older brothers and a younger sister. Their father had a hardware business. The family resided in Niagara Falls at 1228 East Falls. The Winiarskis have not yet been found in the 1920 U.S. Federal Census. The Winiarskis were at 
1220 East Falls in the 1925 state census.

Winiarski’s drawing was featured in the Buffalo Express, November 15, 1925.

The listings in the 1929 Niagara Falls city directory said Winiarski’s father passed away March 2, 1929. The Winiarski Hardware Company was operated by Winiarski’s brother, Theofil. Winiarski was a student.

According to the 1930 census, the Winiarski family was at the same address. Winiarski’s parents were identified as Polish emigrants.

Winiarski graduated from Niagara Falls High School. The 1931 yearbook, Niagarian, included several illustrations by Winiarski, who was an art editor on The Chronicle, a bi-monthly school publication. Winiarski did not have a senior photograph in the 1931 Niagarian.

Winiarski continued his education at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 8, 1934, reported the graduation at Pratt. Winiarski was in the School of Fine and Applied Arts’ Pictorial Illustration class. Two of his classmates were Lorence Bjorklund and Monroe Eisenberg, both future comic book artists.

The New York City, Marriage License Indexes, at, recorded two people, Edward Winiarski and Rose A. Poida, who obtained a license in Manhattan on April 10, 1937. It’s not clear if the man is the same person of this profile.

Several sources said Winiarski worked in animation. Evidence of such work has not been cited. Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999 said Winiarski began working in comic books in the late 1930s. Winiarski produced art for National Comics and some of the stories were signed with the pseudonym, Fran Miller, which was the maiden name of his wife.

The Schenectady Gazette (New York), June 22, 1939, noted the marriage of Winiarski.

Winnearski [sic]-Miller
Announcement has been made of the marriage of Miss Frances Anna Miller of Plainville, Conn., daughter of Mr. and Mrs. B. D. Miller of Myron street, to Edward Winnearskl of Brooklyn, on Friday in the Plainville Congregational Church. Miss Margaret Miller of this city was her sister’s only attendant. Both Mr. and Mrs. Winnearskl are graduates of Pratt Institute.

Winiarski and Frances graduated in 1934. Frances was in Teacher Training in Fine and Applied Arts department. Frances was born and raised in Schenectady, New York. Her parents were Bruce and Rosa. Frances graduated high school in 1931. After graduating Pratt, Frances moved to “Bronxville, to be an arts and crafts teacher in Brantwood Hall, a boarding school”, according to the Gazette, September 25, 1934.

1931 Shucis

In the 1940 census, Winiarski resided in Brooklyn at 400 Washington Avenue. His occupation was “fine artist” for a “magazine company”. Frances was not recorded with him. Her whereabouts is not known at this time.

Winiarski’s mother passed away in 1942.

Winiarski also worked for Timely Comics, from the early 1940s to the late 1950s. On August 14, 1942, a photograph of some of the Timely and Funnies Incorporated staffs was taken at the Hotel Astor. In the detail of the photograph below, from front to back, are Syd Shores, Winiarski with glasses, George Klein and Martin Goodman.

Alter Ego #13, March 2002, published Jim Amash’s interview with Dave Gantz who provided a photograph of the Timely bullpen at the Empire State Building. Pictured were Chris Rule, Barbara Clark Vogel, Gantz, Marcia Snyder, Mike Sekowsky and Winiarski. The photograph was taken in 1943 or later. Many of Winiarski’s credits are at the Grand Comics Database.

Winiarski’s caricature of Timely publisher, Martin Goodman, was reprinted in The Secret History of Marvel Comics: Jack Kirby and the Moonlighting Artists at Martin Goodman’s Empire (2013) on page 89. Winiarski’s self-caricature, from Krazy Komics #7, April 1943, can be viewed at Timely-Atlas-Comics.

The Gazette, January 15, 1945, noted the visit to Winiarski’s in-laws, “Mr. and Mrs. Edward Winiarski of Brooklyn with their son, Bruce Edward, are visiting Mrs. Winiarski’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bruce D. Miller of 1436 Myron street.”

At some point Winiarski moved to Queens Village, New York. The Gazette, November 19, 1968, reported the election of Winiarski’s wife as president of the New York State Association of Teachers of Mentally Handicapped. She was one of the founders of the organization. The article also mentioned she was a Queens Village resident, mother of two sons, and teacher of art and elementary school classes.

The Gazette, December 25, 1972, reported the passing of Frances’s father and said, “Survivors include his wife, Mrs. Rosa Lasher Miller; two daughters, Mrs. Margaret Cozine of Scotia, and Mrs. Frances A. Winiarski of Queens Village, L.I., and four grandchildren.” Her mother passed away in September 1975.

Winiarski passed away December 24, 1975, in Queens, New York. The date of his death was found at the genealogy site, Geni. The Social Security Death Index said Winiarski’s last residence was Jamaica, Queens County, New York. According to Frances’s second husband and childhood boyfriend, Waldo Arthur Runner, Winiarski suffered “a severe cardiac condition”. Winiarski was laid to rest at Clovesville Cemetery, the same cemetery as Frances’s parents.

Frances passed away November 26, 2007, in New Bern, North Carolina. Runner wrote the obituary that was published in the Sun Journal, November 27, 2007. Frances was laid to rest with Winiarski. 

(Next post on Monday: How to Read an Artist’s Edition)

Monday, February 19, 2018

Comics: Bruce Baker Is or Isn’t Al Stahl


According to Who’s Who of American of Comic Books 1928–1999, Al Stahl used the pen name, Bruce Baker. But there really was a comic book artist named Bruce Baker.

Bruce Edward Baker was born on March 20, 1916, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, according to Baker’s Social Security application which was transcribed at His parents were Olin J. Baker and Margaret E. Thompson.

When Baker’s father, a self-employed photographic supplier and New York native, signed his World War I draft card on June 5, 1917, the family of three lived in Grand Rapids at 1416 Sherman Street. The same address was recorded in the 1920 U.S. Federal Census.

In the 1930 census, Baker and his parents, both photographers, remained in Grand Rapids but at a different address, 542 Livingston.

Baker attended Central High School and was in the class of 1935. He was on the art staff of the school yearbook, Helios, in 1934 and 1935.

The 1940 census recorded Baker, a student, in Brooklyn, New York at 11a South Portland Street. Baker was staying with his cousin Walter Homiak and his two sisters, Anna and Mildred. Baker was studying at Pratt Institute. In the 1940 Prattonia yearbook, Baker was in Pictorial Illustration at the School of Fine and Applied Arts (see page 45).

During World War II, Baker enlisted in the army on May 27, 1943. He was discharged December 24, 1945.

Baker’s comic book connection was revealed in the Utica Daily Press (New York), April 3, 1946.

Last Rhoadsman Appears Friday
Final issue of the Mohawk Rhoadsman semi-monthly publication at Rhoads General Hospital, will appear Friday, it was revealed yesterday by Col. A J. Canning, commanding officer. The magazine is being discontinued due to the lack of personnel experienced in publishing a magazine.

Originally named Cross Rhoads at its inception in September, 1943, just after the first patients arrived at Rhoads, the magazine was discontinued in May of 1944 in order to help alleviate the paper shortage. It was published under its present name from May, 1945, until now.

Among the reporters, photographers and artists who worked for The Mohawk Rhoadsman were: T 3 Vic Tampon, former New York Times cameraman, now working for Vogue: T 5 Bruce Baker, comic book artist; Signal Corps photographer Cpl. Joe Petak, survivor of the death march from Batan [sic]; T 5 Ed Robbins, former Hollywood photographer; T 4 Bill Cloonan, industrial publications writer, and S. Sgt. Bill Casey, newspaper reporter and rewrite man.

There were at least nine comic book stories signed “Bruce Baker”.

Ding Dong #1, 1946; Doodle Doo and Doodle Dee

Ding Dong #3, 1946; Sally Salt and Peter Pepper

Frisky Fables, v2 #11 [14], February 1947; Lee O’Lion

Frisky Fables, v3 #4 [19], July 1947; Lee O’Lion

Frisky Fables, v3 #7 [22], October 1947; Lee O’Lion

Frisky Fables, v3 #10 [25], January 1948; Lee O’Lion

Frisky Fables, v3 #11 [26], February 1948; Lee O’Lion

Frisky Fables, #43, October 1950; The Mad Artist

Other work by Baker has not been found. He may have gone into animation or commercial art.

The Social Security Death Index said Baker passed away November 7, 1987, in Miami, Florida. He was laid to rest at Fred Hunter's Hollywood Memorial Gardens East.

Further Reading
Profile of Al Stahl

(Next post on Monday: Ed Winiarski, Artist)