Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Buck Brown, cartoonist

Robert "Buck" Brown (1936 - 2007) was a cartoonist best known for his work in Playboy magazine.  While I was always aware of these cartoons, his "Granny" character never much appealed to me, so I didn't pay too much attention to his art.  That changed completely when I began seeing the other side of his career: his illustrations and cartoons for children!

(Brown in his late 50s, working for Playboy, and Brown at Ebony Jr. in the early 1970s)

Brown was born in Tennessee and went to college in Chicago.  As a young man he served in the Air force and worked as a bus driver.  He sold his first cartoon to Playboy in 1962, marking his debut as a professional.  He ended up selling over 600 cartoons to the famous men's magazine.

Concurrently, Brown was a frequent contributor to Ebony, Esquire and Jet magazine.   He also was a cartoonist for nearly every issue of Ebony Jr., an African-American focused kids magazine that ran from 1973 through 1985.  His comic strip Sunny and Honey was a staple of the magazine. He also illustrated several children's books for educational publishers around this time.

Below are some examples from this great cartoonist's oeuvre:

(painted cover for Ebony Jr. Magazine)


(a fine example of the Sunny and Honey comic strip from Ebony Jr.)

(pages from the children's book Catch that Frog illustrated by Brown, 1976)

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