IRA SCHNAPP: His Life, Work and Family, Part 3

ShowcardArtistVA1926Unknown show card artist in his studio, Virginia, 1926

By the early 1930s, Ira Schnapp was making a living as a freelance letterer and designer, doing show card lettering, as seen above, for movie theaters and probably other clients. There was actually lots of work then for a person skilled in lettering. “Show card” lettering, or large display lettering done on card stock, was used in many businesses from the front windows (“show” windows) to shelves and displays inside. Clothing retailers, grocery stores, every kind of shop used such signs. Much of the advertising seen in magazines and on posters and billboards also used show card lettering. Continue reading

IRA SCHNAPP: His Life, Work and Family, Part 2

IraSchnappbyAdlerIra Schnapp by Jack Adler, 1960s

1915 census BlogWe left the family of Max Schnapp, Ira Schnapp’s father, in 1910 in Part 1 of this series, which you can find HERE. New York State did their next census in 1915, and some things have changed by then. The family now lived at 483 West 170th Street in the Bronx, much closer to Moses’ school. (There is a 1960s housing development, The Morris Houses, at that address today.) Jacob is now Jack, Samuel is Sam, Joseph is Joe, and Moses is Murry, so in at least some cases more informal names were recorded. Minnie makes the family roll call this time. Israel (Ira) is still listed under that name, and his age is given as 21. He has an occupation listed: Salesman. Max’s job is Grocery, Sadie’s is Housework, Jack is Grocery, Sam is Salesman. Joe is listed as at school, perhaps college or some further training at age 23. Murry and the girls are all at school. The family has a different servant again, Carrie Kessy (I think), age 20 from Bohemia. A note about that: Max’s family was far from wealthy, but in those days, without the modern appliances we take for granted, housework for a family was a huge task, and immigrant women were willing to take housework jobs in homes in exchange for room and board and modest wages. Continue reading

IRA SCHNAPP: His Life, Work and Family, Part 1

IraSchnappHeadShotIra Schnapp, probably late 1950s, photo courtesy of Martin Schnapp

For the past few years I’ve been writing about the life and work of Ira Schnapp on my blog. Ira was first employed by the company now known as DC Comics in 1940, when he redesigned the Superman logo of Joe Shuster, and did it so well that it remained on all the company’s Superman comics and stories until the 1980s. Ira began lettering story pages and newspaper strips for DC, as well as designing more logos, and by the late 1940s, Ira had taken a staff position at the company as the in-house logo, cover lettering and house ad designer, while continuing to letter stories as well. Continue reading

And Then I Read: GREEN LANTERN 44

GL44Image © DC Comics

Hal Jordan as a wandering space cop is well done in this issue. Landing at a space port on the planet Gallun with a reluctant sidekick in the criminal he’s taken into custody, Trapper, Hal finds everyone hiding from him. The reason soon becomes clear, the spaceport has been taken over by a criminal gang with powers who are preying on any ships who land there. Ships check in, but they don’t check out, as the saying goes. Robert Venditti’s script and art by Billy Tan and Martin Coccolo and others make this an entertaining action thriller that has little to do with Green Lantern power, but lots to do with clever, quick thinking and actions. The villains are creative and entertaining, too.