Little Man on Campus, seventh in the series. Published in 1949.
I am not certain just where I got this copy. Probably somewhere in California. Bibler had issue number nine published by Stanford University Press, possibly when he was a student there in the early 1950’s See note further on in this blog.. My brother went to Stanford in the 1950s, so possibly he picked up a copy in the campus bookstore. As an aside, my brother graduated with a degree in Philosophy. Ever wonder what a Philosophy major does with his new degree? Well in the case of my brother, he took his education over to the other side of town, and got on with the VA Hospital as a Nurse’s Aide. One unexpected benefit of that was that he had a certain nurse pointed out to him as “that Nurse from the book…” And, no, I won’t explain further.
Askart.com has a very brief bio of Bibler.
Richard C. Bibler was born on September 14, 1922. Bibler was educated at the University of Kansas. During the 1980s he was active with the Carmel Art Ass’n while living on the Monterey Peninsula. He died in Findlay, Ohio
Edan Hughes, “Artists in California, 1786-1940”
HOWEVER, SEE COMMENT FROM HIS SON, MARK, WHO STATES THAT HIS DAD IS STILL ALIVE AT 90. THANK YOU MARK FOR THE UPDATE. (10/23/2012)
Well, that brief bio was just a bit too brief. So, I started looking around for further information on his time at Kansas University as that seems to be where he started drawing the strip. From the University of Kansas – Jayhawker Yearbook (Lawrence, KS)
– Class of 1949 courtesy of e-yearbook.com, we have the following excerpt.
RICHARD BIBLER The Little Man on the Campus owes his success to one of the truly ” big men on the campus ” creator Dick Bibler. Dick, in addition to his popular cartooning for the University Daily Kansan, has found other and even more personal ways of contributing to campus life and activities. He defies the usual concept of an artist, as a person who hides behind his easel and refuses to come out, by taking a leading role in several organizations on Mount Oread. He was president of the Owl Society, junior men ‘ s honorary group, last year, and he is now an avid participant in Sachem, the senior men ‘ s honorary society. Undaunted by his cartooning duties and work in other activities, Dick this spring threw his hat into the political ring and emerged victorious as the senior class president for next year. Dick is already far along towards his life ‘ s work, having made the L.M.O.C. an enjoyable feature on several other campuses around the country by means of syndication. With both his work and his personality to back him up, he is a cinch to climb much higher than the old Mound Oread hill.
Well, we see that he was quite the active academic while he was drawing the cartoons.
The comment about Oread, deserves some additional comment. Oread was a two story wooden barracks bought from the U S Army for a dollar, and moved to the campus to serve as a residence hall for the tide of WW II veterans washing into the school. Evidently the Army did a study and found that if a fire had started it would be two minutes until the roof fell in. However, the rent was cheap.
From “Independents’ Hall, KU History, we have a fascinating description of the hall. Click on the above link for several pages of information, but here is a brief clip from that site.
And then there was Richard “Dick” Bibler, whom Richard E. Freiburg remembered as “easily the best known Oread Hall resident” of the late 1940s. Not for any hard-court or gridiron glories, mind you, but rather for his popular “Little Man on Campus” cartoon that appeared in the University Daily Kansan and was syndicated “to college newspapers across the country.”
As Bibler himself recalled some 50 years hence, he was actually originally determined to join – and live at – the Kappa Sigma fraternity at KU, not Oread Hall. Yet as it turned out, “it was so damned noisy in the ‘house’ that I couldn’t get by – study, do my cartoon each night, etc., so I left after pledge training and moved to Oread Hall. I loved it! I stayed there for the remainder of my schooling. As far as I’m concerned,” Bibler added, “it was the best room on the KU campus. I can’t think of a single thing I would have changed. There were so many wonderful things that happened there.”
Kansas University is quite proud of Bibler, as this news release by Mary Jane Dunlap, dated 13 April 2000, will attest.
KU class of 1950 to mark 50th anniversary
LAWRENCE–The University of Kansas class of 1950 started a tradition that continues today in commencement ceremonies. They walked through the still-under-construction campanile to begin their processional march into Memorial Stadium for the ceremony.
About 300 alumni of the class of 1950 and their guests will be visiting the campus on Friday and Saturday, April 14 and 15, for their 50-year class reunion.
Former Kansas Gov. Robert F. Bennett of Overland Park and Richard N. “Dick” Bibler, a cartoonist for the University Daily Kansan in 1950 and now of Monterey, Calif., will be among those attending the events during the annual alumni reunion weekend at KU.
And a little further along,
* Richard N. Bibler of Monterey, Calif., a fine arts graduate, is retired from teaching art at Monterey Peninsula Community College. Bibler’s “Little Man on Campus” cartoon was syndicated in several campus newspapers during the 1950s.
Allan Holtz, in his blog “Stripper’s Guide,” has additional information and some cartoons, shown below. From this excerpt from that blog, Holtz obviously did not think much of Bibler’s artistic talents.
” Bibler wasn’t much of an artist, but his girls were usually drawn well enough to keep the college boys happy. His sexy girls were drawn in a myriad of styles because most of them were swiped from the more adept work of other cartoonists.”
Well, personally, I like the style. However, to each his own. Oh, and I also came across an article from The Daily Collegian, State College, PA. The article dates from 13 February, 1952. This article states that Bibler is well known as a cartoonist on the campus, even though he (at that time) was at Stanford. Here is an excerpt.
It looses something in the translation. follow this link for the whole article, as it talks about his getting his teaching certificate at Colorado State College of Education. He went to Stanford to work on a MA so that he could teach in College. The article also mentions that he is a painter.
Sometime after Biebler finished at Stanford he seems to have found his way south to Monterery CA
He belonged to the Carmel Art Association, from which I offer,
|QUICK FACTS AND KEYWORDS for Richard Bibler|
In January 2011, that association had a showcasing of member works, in which Bibler was listed.
Not bad for a guy who “…wasn’t much of an artist…”
A final note, before we look at some more cartoons.
The following quote is by Miles Shuper, on how an old photograph was re-done with Pastels and Charcoal pencils by Ellen Milinch. The “new” photo graces his column (blog?) in the Valley Voice Newspaper, Visalia CA.
“Although (his wife) didn’t “realize the gift I had” until later in life, Ellen comes from a artistic family background. Her father, Richard Bibler, is a retired art instructor at Monterey Pennisula College and also the creator of the “Little Man on Campus” comic strip,
. Raised in the Monterey, Pacific Grove and Carmel area Ellen was surrounded by art and the picturesque costal setting.”
Ellen (Bibler) Milinich has kindly sent a photo of her and her father. She says the photo of Dad & I was taken in San Diego, in 2011. Her brother, Mark Bibler took the photo. They went for hamburgers.
I would like to enclose an excerpt from a note she sent me.
“… as children he would always encourage us to get a job with a steady income first. Jokingly he would say “if I see one of you kids picking up a pencil im gunna brake your hand”. Go to college get an education. He would encourage us to be Art Teachers. Thats what he did at the Jr. College. Then he did alot of his cartooning in the Summer months when he had vacation. I remember as a little girl i would go into his studio to say hi. He would be sitting on that ugly green coach with a movie on tv for back ground noise. After he drew with pen and ink the cartoons, he would always let me erase all the pencil sketch underneath.”
Ellen recently sent two additional photos.
Ellen writes, “I wanted to share a neat old picture of Richard Bibler and my mom Carolyn Mohr in 1959…This is in Monterey Calif. where Dad was an Art Professor at Monterey Peninsula College where he retired from years later… Mom met Dad when he went to college at Colorado State University in Greeley Colorado. Dad had quite a reputation then for his Little Man on Campus Cartoons. I think my Dad thought Mom was real pretty. My mom actually was very close to getting her degree in art but let it go when she married Dad. She was a stay at home faculty wife and raised the three children as Dad pursued his cartoons and teaching…I wanted to say that because I wanted to give my mom some credit for being there helping dad with his successful career and raising his children.”
And another photo.
Ellen identifies this photo. San Diego, CA, June 2012, Richard Bibler’s 90th birthday. L-R Ellen Milinich, Mark Bibler, MD, and Susan Gardner, Mark Bibler’s other daughter.
“My sister Susan Gardner…got her masters degree in graphic Arts in New York. The map on the wall Dad did of Monterey Penisnula probably over 40 years ago. It is all done in cartoonish style of Dad mixed with beautiful illustrations. After Dad retired he did beautiful watercolor paintings mostly landscapes, seasvcapes. He was funny. He would make these beautiful paintings and frame them with duct tape and rusty wire.”
Sounds like the children are a talented bunch. A Graphic Artist, a Doctor and Ellen, an Artist. See Ellen’s web site for more information on her.
Before I close with some cartoons from this book, here is the inside front cover.
Bibler says that Professor Snarf is not based on a real person…
Until next time.