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Posted on Monday, October 08, 2007 - 9:25 am:   

Stan Drake - Juliet Jones

Best known as the artist and co-creator of The Heart of Juliet Jones , Stan Drake in recent years has added Blondie to his credits as one of the most versatile cartoonists in the business. His work on Juliet Jones, the realistic romance strip, contrasts vividly with the slapstick adventures of the Bumstead family-providing Drake with the demanding task of going from one style to another in the daily rush to get out two totally different stories.

Born in Brooklyn on November 9th, 1921, he worked for $1 a day on the back of a Dugan's Donut truck for spare cash when going to high school. Drake began his art career at 17, working for pulp magazines, including Popular Detective and Popular Sports. He also worked in comic books as artist, letterer, and writer, and became friends with fellow cartoonist Bob Lubbers, a friendship that led to Drake's part in the creation of Juliet Jones. Drake also studied 'Life Art' two years at the Art Students League in New York. This intensive study of the human form was to serve him well as his talents were applied to 'realistic illustration and comic art'. He served in the Pacific during World War II and afterwards went into the advertising field, where eventually he ran a studio of 12 illustrators.

By the way, this photo was taken just after World War II when Stan was still doing PR work for the US Army newspaper, Stars And Stripes.

In 1953, looking for a new outlet for his creative talent, Drake followed the advice of Lubbers to try newspaper comics. He joined forces with Elliot Caplin and King Features Syndicate to create Juliet Jones, a successful soap opera strip, following his success in the funnies, he created a new strip for Universal Press Syndicate, Pop Idols. It failed to catch on and died after a few months. But in 1984, after seriously contemplating a career change, Drake got a call from writer Dean Young who was trying to add artistic punch to his late father's enormously popular Blondie, asking if he'd draw it while still handling Juliet Jones. Drake took on the challenge and has been a double-duty cartoonist ever since. Another Drake effort was the Kelly Green series for the french firm, Dargaud International Publishing. More Drake collectables include The Pitt from Marvel Comics, and select issues of the super-heroes Ms. Mystic and Toy Boy.

(from: Encyclopedia Of American Comics) S.L.H.

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