Glackens Louis

New York, United States


1866 — 1933

American cartoonist and animator born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1866. Louis Glackens was the brother of Ashcan school painter and illustrator Williams Glackens. Around 1890 his work began appearing in Puck magazine, occasionally in the back pages; the special World’s Fair Puck editions produced in Chicago in 1893 stretched the staff a little thin, and Glackens. still a freelancer, appear more often. By the late 1890s he was a staffer, producing much of the interior art in the weekly. After the turn of the century, Glackens became Puck’s most versatile (and therefore arguably its most important) artist. He drew political cartoons in color as well as all manner of black-and-white art, from decorative pieces to straight gags to continuing strips. Thematically, he ranged from ethnic subjects to depictions of old New York in the Now Amsterdam days – a favorite genre of his. Among his continuing features was Hans and His Chums, a strip about a little German boy and his dachshunds.

Glackens remained with Puck almost until it was sold to the Strauss dry-goods concern in 1914: at that time he left to become a pioneer animator, Evidently his many chores on Puck taught him speed as well аs competence an animator’s natural ally, especially in those early days. Among the studios he worked for was the Barre-Kowers Studio, owned by Bud Fisher, where other magazine alumni turning out Muff and Jeff cartoons each week included Ted Sears and Dick Huemer (Judge), Frank Nankivell and Leighton Budd (Puck), and Foster M. Koliett (Life). Glackens also illustrated occasional articles for Cartoons magazine during this time. He died in New York in 1933.

Glackens had one of the most agreeable styles in cartooning – understated, not exaggerated, uncluttered, handsomely composed. He used negative space well and in color work let broad patches of pastel shades ease the eye Into the cartoon. To add variation, he sometimes gave his work a mannered poster look or used a pseudo-woodcut style, but mostly his figures were drawn half-realistically, half-comically, bigger-than-normal heads being his only concession to comic conventions.

the World Encyclopedia of Cartoons 1981

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