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Willard Mullin's Golden Age Of Baseball Drawings 1934-1972 Hardcover – August 17, 2013

4.9 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“"A beautiful compilation of the finest work of a uniquely talented artist."” (Bob Costas)

About the Author

Willard Mullin (1902–1978) was an American sports cartoonist most famous for his creation of the “Brooklyn Bum,” the personification of the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team. He was widely published: he cartooned daily for Scripps-Howard’s New York World-Telegram and Sun for decades and was often published in Scripps-Howard’s papers, as well as in The Sporting News.

Michael Powers was born in Long Beach, California and grew up on the beaches of Southern California and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. He is an attorney and a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of the Pacific. Over the last 30 years he has written about Baseball, Jazz, Boxing, Art History, Sports Law and Politics, among other subjects.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics; 1 edition (August 17, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606996398
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606996393
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 0.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #655,859 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I first became acquainted with the cartoons of Willard Mullin when they often appeared on the front page of The Sporting News, the weekly baseball paper published in St. Louis. Even though I still have a few issues of this newspaper from the 1950s and several complete issues from the 1960s which include cartoons of this masterful cartoonist I appreciate having so many of these gems now included in this new book. My personal favorite is the one appearing on page 52 of Lou Gehrig crossing home plate with the title HOME which never appeared in a paper. Mullin presented it to Lou's wife Eleanor shortly after Lou passed away in June of 1941.

The book includes some preliminary articles one of which is written by Mullin's daughter and another by the late fellow cartoonist Bill Gallo who wrote his article some time ago. The book covers the years 1934 through 1972 with the book divided into chapters from the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s and early 1970s in one chapter. A brief history of each decade is included and appropriate cartoons involving the Yankees, Giants, Dodgers, and Mets. Mullin's logo of the Brooklyn bum came from a cab driver who once asked, "How did our bums do today?"

There is a special section of color cartoons near the end of the book in addition to the special talent it takes to tell a sports story in a cartoon. I was fortunate to become familiar with Willard Mullin and other sports cartoonists such as Leo O'Melia, Karl Hubenthal, Gene Mack, and Bill Gallo through The Sporting News, but those of you living in the New York area were blessed to have these cartoonists in your local papers. If you are a baseball fan and remember the cartoons of Willard Mullin this is book should definitely grace your bookshelf.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a kid born and raised in Bensonhurst, I knew the Brooklyn Bum long before I saw the Brooklyn Dodgers play in Ebbets Field, a subway ride from home. I fell in love with all three - the tramp, the team and the ballpark - and mourned the loss of all three as a teenager when the Dodgers fled to California. Now Willard Mullin's Golden Age of Baseball, his cartoons covering 1934-72, has brought them back to life, along with Brooklyn's natural rivals, the Giants and Yankees, and countless other players, managers, owners, mascots and many more of the Greatest Generation of characters who inhabited our national pastime.

Hal Bock's thoroughly researched text, including some obscure but telling anecdotes, puts much of Mullin's work in historical perspective. Many of Mullin's drawings, so detailed as to warrant lengthy examination, bring out the character of his subjects. But more to the point, much of Willard Mullin's work is pretty damned funny.
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Format: Hardcover
What a wonderful book this is! For those who opened those pages of the New York World Telegram and Sun each day craving the latest from Willard Mullin - these were the days we fell in love with baseball, and fell in love with the cartoonists who made it so much fun. Mullin was the best, and the Telegram gave him his due. Huge space. Good that this book is oversized so the art can be fully appreciated. Recalling that Mullin did covers for the Baseball Writers Dinners, for Sporting News, for Mets yearbooks - even Time Magazine - was a treat, and the editors have done a wonderful job showing their love and appreciation for what he brought to the game. How do we get Mullin into the Hall of Fame, folks?
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved Mullin's cartoons as a kid. This book brings is like a trip back in time. I will be buying more copies as Christmas gifts.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having had the pleasure as a college student of being invited to Willard Mullin's home in Plandome, L.I., the book is a great testament to a great man, a superb cartoon illustrator and the DEAN of Sports Cartoonist in the past and present. He should not be forgotten for his great talent, skill and humility and used as the standard for today's sports cartoonist, many who unfortunately lack the vast capabilities of Willard Mulllin.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you want to see the proof of why sportswriting legend Red Smith once said he'd be ashamed to admit how often he swiped a column from one of Willard Mullin's cartoons, it's bound up in this remarkable volume. Having grown up with Mullin's cartoons in the final third of his career, I could nitpick and suggest a few missing jewels---such as his Newsday front-page illustration after the 1969 Mets finished the miracle, or some of his hilarious takes on the early inept Mets---but why nitpick when you have this rich a collection?

Mullin wasn't just a cartoonist, though his gift for caricature and character were non-pareil. He was a storyteller. Practically an editorialist in his own right. (What a surprise that Peanuts mastermind Charles M. Schulz admired Mullin and referenced him in a strip or two.) There was just too much more to him than just his legendary creation of the Brooklyn Bum character, based squarely on the legendary circus clown Emmett Kelly. (Mullin, for those who still don't know, inadvertently invented the Bums nickname for the Dodgers when, hopping a cab to Ebbets Field, his driver asked him how "those bums" were doing lately---triggering Mullin's aesthetic sensibilities almost on the spot. And some of his other team-representative characters---the big lunk of a New York Giant; the slick riverboat gambler St. Louis Swifty for the Cardinals; the po' St. Louis Brown; the Boston Brave who swapped a tomahawk for a beer stein and a Prussian accent upon moving to Milwaukee, to name a few---were just as clever, if not quite so legendary.

Maybe there'll be a followup anthology to gather up the rest of the Mullin oeuvre. If not, don't complain. This is a gift enough.
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