Unlike my neighbour (Clone Subject #905), I was born biologically, and had a father. His name was Charles, and I’ve mentioned him a few times on this blog; Chuck was a well-known Canadian celebrity, with a varied and interesting life.
But before Dad was a Talk Show host, and before he was a best-selling novelist, or a famous inventor, or a network news director, or a Hollywood screen writer, or a politician, or an evangelical minister, he was a cartoonist.
The bulk of his work was published in the mid-thirties, when my father was barely in his twenties, doing sports cartoons for the Toronto Globe (not the Toronto paper the Daily Planet is based on, by the way…that was the Toronto Daily Star, a newspaper my father was eventually the City Editor of).
The original art to the Globe’s sports cartoon on the day Canada won a silver medal at the 1936 Olympics. Sports cartoons were as common as political cartoons in the newspapers of that era, and most major dailies had an exclusive sports cartoonist or two as well as a couple of political guys.
These originals are much smaller than you’d expect. Most of them are about seven inches tall and about five inches wide. You could fit two across a regular sheet of printer paper. The one at the top of this Bun Toon is larger because it was for a weekend paper.
When I was a kid, in the 1960s, my father would give me drawing lessons. He started teaching me proportion, and how to draw the human head from different angles, or the shape of a horse’s leg, or how to hold a pencil when doing “professional” lettering. This started when I was five or six years old, DECADES after my father had long stopped drawing professionally. The box that contained his old cartoons was tucked away in the basement, forgotten examples of a skill he’d long abandoned using.
I inherited that box full of cartoon originals when my father passed away a few years ago. I framed a couple and put some on my wall, and put the rest back in the box and left them in the crawlspace of my house. At first I didn’t think anyone would care about them but my family – But it’s come to dawn on me that they’re probably some of the last newspaper cartoon originals from that era in Canada, and they should be scanned and shown off, just for the historical interest in this lost corner of Canada’s Cartooning Past.
Thanks for letting me present a sampling of my father’s cartoons, on Cartoon Father’s Day.
Ty the Guy OUT!
Here now, your BONUS Chuck Templeton cartooning moments:
Dad did political and editorial cartooning as well, though far less of that survives. It’s hard to imagine there was a time that Hitler was the subject of political cartoons.
For my American readers: the campaign referenced here was the campaign to re-elect our Prime Minister at the time: William Lyon MacKenzie King, seated in the reviewing stand behind the wounded “soldier”.
Speaking of political cartoons, when my father was a politician (he ran for Premier of Ontario and lost. A Premier is the Canadian equivalent of an American Governor), he amassed a sizeable collection of original political cartoons featuring himself as the subject, drawn in the 1960s by a who’s who of Canadian political cartoonists of that time, including art by Macpherson, Ben Wicks, and others. I think I’ll save those for a future Bun Toons entry. Who knew I had half the history of Canadian Cartooning sitting in my basement?
I’d heard that Charles Templeton was a cartoonist but I had no idea that he drew that well. I once spent a pleasant afternoon with Duncan Macpherson up at his home in Beaverton (and ended up commissioning him to do a series of watercolour portraits of Canadian Supreme Court judges — this for the publisher who was paying my salary at the time, and who, sad to say, lost $ on the project). Anyway, thanks for running these very impressive cartoons! Maybe you can run the ones of your Dad by Macpherson et al, some time?
Thank you for sharing these! What a nice piece of both personal history and cartooning history. Keep scanning! (And maybe someday check some library or newspaper archives to see if you can find images of other cartoons for which you lack the originals.)
These are freakin’ gorgeous! 🙂
The box includes quite a number of newspaper clippings of the published versions (if I recall correctly). There’s quite a few of these beyond the fraction I posted.
One of the most interesting things I remember from your basement walls. And that’s saying something…
These are most important pieces to get preserved in some way. Do take care of them at let me know if you would like a “display venue” for them (the latter I would verily like).
That’s an awesome post. It made me laugh and think about my dad…who’s still around, the old bugger. And I think your dad’s art is just gorgeous!
Eric – from Montreal
A lot of Americans don’t realize that you are only a shadow of a far more famous father. A “Ronnie Reagan, Jr.”, if you will.
You might want to contact the National Archives about donating those originals. They’ll be safe in a climate controlled vault with the “Captain Canuck” original art. Also you’ll get a tax credit for their value.
Ronald Reagan Jr? Seriously? Can’t I be John Kennedy Jr. or even Hank Williams Jr? Of all the juniors to make me, Ronnald Reagan Jr? Okay, he was a good dancer, but he’s a skinny, weird looking dude. At least he was a democrat!
Wow, those look absolutely GORGEOUS!
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These were a lot of fun. Thanks for digging them up and sharing them.