Grant Vernon

Los Angeles, United States

26.04.1902 – 1990

Cartoonist

Grant Vernon, american cartoonist born in Coleridge, Nebraska, on 26 April, 1902. Vernon Grant moved with his family to a South Dakota homestead when he was five and to California ten years later. He attended the University of Southern California for two years and received art training at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. Between 1923 and 1928 he also took classes in portraiture at the Chicago Art Institute. It began to dawn on Grant that portraiture was not his calling when teachers and classmates became more excited about the fantasy drawings of gnomes and other creatures that he doodled on the borders of his paintings. He moved back to Los Angeles to do advertising work, with Wrigley, Southern Pacific and Packard autos as accounts. He also taught and had many future Disney staffers in his classes.

In 1932 Grant moved to New York to expand his activi­ties. He immediately became fudge magazine’s premier cover artist, painted for Ladies’ Home Journal, Liberty and the American Legion magazine, and did ad work for Everready, Ceneral Motors, Westinghou.se, General Elec­tric, Arrow shirts and junket rennet, among others. In 1933 his first cartoons apeared in Kellogg’s Rice Krispies ads. and his characters—Snap, Crackle and Pop—kept Grant busy for 15 years. They are still used today (by other artists) and are among the most famous images in American advertising. King Features Syndicate was tho biggest customer of Grant’s career: fur many years he did one cartoon cover a month for the Hearst Sunday sup­plement magazine. He wrote and illustrated two books, Tinker Tim the Toymaker and Mixey Dough the Baker, both for Whitman. Recently Grant has been active in his South Carolina hometown, has executed paintings and cartoons on commission, and has seen the York County Museum dedicate a gallery to him.

Vernon Grant has one of the most unique and agree­able styles in American cartooning. He doos very little line work, painting in his broad, flat areas with swatches of color. Her characters are cute, big-headed fantasy be­ings who live in the artist’s world of sparse backgrounds and handsome compositions. His special creations rank with the Brownies and the Kewpies in the tradition of fantasy cartoon characters.

Reference:  The World Encyclopedia of Cartoons, 1981

 


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