Joe Musial

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Joseph Musial
Biographical information
Born: 1905
Died: June 6, 1977
Nationality: Mini usa.gif American
Occupation: Artist
Website: N/A

Joseph Musial (1905 – June 6, 1977), better known as Joe Musial, was an American comics artist and illustrator.

He was born in Yonkers, New York in 1905, from a Polish immigrant family. After graduating from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, he studied for a year at the "Sorbonne University" in Paris, France, before becoming - in 1929 - assistant on Billy DeBeck's "Barney Google and Snuffy Smith".

After joining the staff of "King Features Syndicate" in 1932, he drew as a "ghost" artist for comic strips, such as "Blondie", "Secret Agent X9", "Bringin Up Father", "Tillie the Toiler" and often took anonymously the place of official artists when they weren't at work. Joe Musial also drew comic strips as "Jan and Aloysius", "Teddy and Sitting Bull","Dollar A Dither" and wrote several Flash Gordon story books. Following the death of Charles H. Winner in 1956, he took over the comic strip "The Katzenjammer Kids" (the world's oldest continuing comic strip) until 1976. He was also the author of some books like "'The Career Guide for Cartoonists', " Matey visits New York" (1941), "Learn How Dagwood Splits the Atom" (1949 / see below) and "Popeye, How to Draw Cartoons", "Career Guide for Young Cartoonists" and "Comics as a Form of Communication".

In 1946, he was one of the first members of the then new founded “National Cartoonists Society (NCS)”, an organization of professional cartoonists still active in present days... and, as a representative member of this Society, he was bringing to testify - with Walt Kelly and Milton Caniff - at the hearings of the US Senate hearings which led to the establishment of the famous "Comics Code Authority" in 1954.

For the "David McKay Company", he drew a great part of the covers of the "Magic Comics", "King Comics (magazine)" and "Ace Comics" issues, all "David McKay Publications". He died on the 6th June 1977 at his home in Long Island, New York.

Magic Comics covers (Mandrake only)

King Comics covers (Mandrake only)

"Learn How Dagwood Splits the Atom" (Book)

"Learn How Dagwood Splits the Atom" (Comic Book) " Following the beginnings of the Atomic era, several educational brochures or articles from magazines were destined to inform general public about nuclear power. With such a purpose, they were often written in a point-of-view strictly sponsored by nuclear industry societies. In that way, the magazine "Popular Science" published in 1948 a comics-format explanation of nuclear fission entitled "Dagwood Splits the Atom" which was expanded into a complete comic-book - released by King Features Syndicate on January 1, 1949 - under the title "Learn How Dagwood Splits the Atom". This book, illustrated by Joe Musial, features the Chic Young's classical character "Blondie"'s boyfriend "Dagwood Bumstead" as Atomic neophyte and "Mandrake the Magician" as Atomic professor. Two versions of the book exist, one in 12,7 x 17,7 cm and another in 17,7 x 25,4 cm with identical content and cover. It was afterwards also released with a "Harvey Comics Group" label when ordered by mail.

"Learn How Dagwood Splits the Atom" (Book extracts)