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Quick Draw artist


My friend Fred Patten owns this original Quick Draw McGraw painting (click on it above, or here, for enlarged image) created for a frame tray puzzle. Both of us are stumped as to who may have painted it. I’m no expert on merchandising art, but it doesn’t look like the usual suspects at Western Publishing to me (Pete Alvarado, Mel Crawford, Hawley Pratt, etc.) – or is it? Anyone have any theories?

  • Wow, what a great painting to own! I’m jealous. I’m no expert on the subject, but to me it does look like an Al White or Norman McGary painting. It looks like the same artist behind the Quick Draw coloring book cover from John K’s latest post too.

  • Steven Rowe

    Al White or maybe Norm McGary was who I was thinking of too…

  • Mike Russo

    Ugh, and you linked to that John K thread why? With every post on that blog the man irks me more and more. He either needs to grow up or shut up.

    Anyway, cool artwork.

  • Mr. P

    Usually the art work at Western Publishing was drawn by one artist (Harvey Eisenberg, Frank McSavage, Pete Alavarado etc.) and painted or inked by another artist (Sam Armstrong, Al White, etc.). Western seemed to have been a home away from home for many animation luminaries of the 1940’s, 50’s & 60’s.

    I suspect that the artists did most of this art as freelance work to make ends meet because the studios of the time often paid most of their employees meager wages. Western itself, probably, didn’t pay much for the artwork, but provided a steady stream of employment.

    There is a treasure trove of animation related art and history to be found in almost all of Western’s output. A history of this material is sorely lacking and sadly most of the people involved with it have passed.

  • When you’ve gone to the trouble to create a web resource as useful to aspiring cartoonists as John K’s, we’ll start linking to the Mike Russo blog too. Until then, take your own advice.

  • It could have also been Frank McSavage. He did artwork for many coloring books/storybooks/etc around this period, including artwork for many Walter Lantz coloring books.

  • By the way, the layout does look like Norm McCabe… See McCabe’s Bozo. The painter is a tougher to pin down, but my guess would be either Al White or perhaps Bill Lorenz (See Beany)

  • parkyakarkus

    I have here a 1961 Quick Draw McGraw “Big Little Book” written by Carl Memling that has a credit of “pictures by Al White and Hawley Pratt”. Like many other commenters, I’m not an expert, but the brush technique and color pallette is similar to your painting, although the treatment of minor details differs.

  • No expert either, but I too have quite a few Hawley Pratt/Al White Golden Books and this doesn’t look like their brush work. The Quick Draw here looks too “plastic” less organic as in the Golden books by Pratt/White, as seen on this awesome blog: http://goldengems.blogspot.com/search/label/Hawley%20Pratt%20and%20Al%20White

  • Manimator

    I’d also have to say a mix of Al White and Hawley Pratt. I have a couple of the coloring books and the art is extremely similar with those credits.

    Stephen Worth stinks for sticking up for John K in every circumstance he is put down on ANY blog. Let John speak for himself dude. His blog is self-centered and you just can’t deny that.

    Mike Russo – your blog rocks. Don’t let Stephen make you think otherwise.

  • James Fletcher, Norm McGary…… they both worked with Al White and Hawley Pratt, I don’t think it’s those two though, after examining a bunch of books I have with their art. Their stuff does not tend to be this smooth. I do have a similar HB puzzle with Yogi and Booboo in that sleek style with the shadows following the contour of the bodies, but alas I don’t know who painted it either, perhaps it’s the same painter.

  • I’d say it’s the work of Frank McSavage (pencils) and Alvin White (painted rendering). McSavage not only did a nice job drawing many the early H-B characters, he was also THE guy that drew most of Western’s publications licenced from Walter Lanz, including that classic how-do-draw Woody Woodpecker and friends coloring book from the late 1950s (I owned a copy and I’ll bet most pros my age did too! Sam Cornell kindly gifted me with a hardback copy of this influential tome.) As far as print goes, he seemed to specialize in coloring books and jigsaw puzzle art rather than comic books.

    Kay Wright once told me that McSavage looked like a typical cartoon Scotsman (minus the tam and the kilt) with a rich Scottish burr to his voice.

  • It is not my dad’s (Pete Alvarado). My guess is McSavage/White noted above.

  • Mitch Kennedy

    Beautiful. What’s the size of it?

  • Let’s start a riot

    John K!


  • Peter, I greatly admire your father and was lucky enough to work with him, both in animation (H-B’s layout department) and comic books (Marvel’s line of H-B titles and even this week’s Oddball Comic, BURGER KING KIDS CLUB COMICS). Please email me at [email protected]

  • haha still laughing at Stephen Worth’s comeback to the unfriendly fellow.