The Hubenthal Galleries

Hubenthal Biography

Hubenthal: An Analysis

Hubenthal: In His Own Words

The textual contents of this site remain © 2013 by Bob Staake. The art is © 2013 by Karl and Elsie Hubenthal - All Rights Reserved. No portion of this web site may be used without the consent of the copyright owners.

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A Tribute to One of the All-Time Great Cartoonists and Illustrators



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Illustration Art

    Circa 1957 sports cartoon for The Sporting News. Hubenthal's use of dramatic composition immediately directs the reader's eye to the most important conceptual elements of the cartoon, then afterwards to causually feast on the details. (Collection of Bob Staake)





Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Hubenthal's stunningly beautiful color sports cartoons and illustrations would adorn many a cover of various Los Angeles Dodger publications.

As evidenced by this 1970 illustration, Hubenthal exhibits not only his immediately apparent cartooning talents, but his strong abilities as a designer by creating a powerful graphic.


 November 22, 1974 - Hubenthal would take particular pleasure when drawing sports cartoons on the topic of USC and UCLA football, and energetically played into the long tradition of rivalry between the two Los Angeles-based universities. Typically, a Hubenthal sports cartoon incorporated both "cartoonish" graphics such as the large USC Tojan figure and the pesky UCLA bee, but also representative, more realistic illustration, here an inset image of USC running back Anthony Davis.    




Hubenthal's sense for the dramatic was always complimented through his use of exaggerated anatomy -- the long, lanky Bill Walton character (left) running 22" inches from top to bottom on the front page of the January 29, 1973 Los Angeles Herald-Examiner sports section, the oversized Trojan character (above) toying with the puny, wishbone-like UCLA Bruin. With confident brushstrokes and energetic rubs of grease pencil, Hubenthal's bold, eye-catching sports cartoons were hard to resist with spied in print.


Working from reference photos of "scrap", Hubenthal would integrate portraiture (above) in his sports cartoons, such as this 1972 drawing of Los Angeles Dodgers Manager, Walter Alston


While other cartoonists would barely pay attention to lettering, Hubenthal (above) delighted in it. Whether writing out his own headlines, creating balloon dialogue or rendering text, Hubenthal's hand-lettered type was breathtakingly flawless, as witnesed by this June 1, 1973 Herald-Examiner sports cartoon depicting Los Angeles Dodgers execs, Al Campanis and Peter O'Malley.



When the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner switched to a color tabloid format in the late 1970s, Hubenthal was afforded the opportunity to create occassional sports cartoons in color. However, in this example (above) from October 4, 1977, it can be assumed that Hubenthal merely specified what colors to be used, and in all likelihood the production department cut the "rubylith" films necessary to allow for colors. Regardless, Hubenthal's knowledge of printing techniques was solid, and explained why his work almost always appeared crisp -- even on inferior newsprint.

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