Monday, March 17, 2014

My wild Uncle Charlie Bowers Comic, Cartoonist

I have such great memories of him..






Charles R. Bowers (June 7, 1877 or 1887 November 26, 1946) was an American cartoonist and slapstick comedian during the silent films and early "talkie" era. He was forgotten for decades and his name was notably absent from most histories of the Silent Era, although his work was enthusiastically reviewed by André Breton and a number of his contemporaries. As his surviving films have an inventiveness and surrealism which give them a freshness appealing to modern audiences, after his rediscovery his work has sometimes been placed in the "top tier" of silent film accomplishments with those of, for example, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd). In comic style, he probably modelled himself after both Harry Langdon and Buster Keaton and was known to the French as "Bricolo." Charley Bowers is one of the most forgotten of the forgotten silent comedians. Even prior to his starring career, his work was familiar to millions of movie fans, though they never saw his name or face on-screen.





Yep! he used to read the comics to me on Sundays.
He was also the man in Out of the Inkwell,
 the guy in the Top hat. Was Charlie




















As director of hundreds of Mutt and Jeff animated cartoons from 1916-1926, Bowers brought cartoonist Bud Fisher's tall-and-short "everyman" characters to life. But Charley had the itch to perform, and in 1926 he began his lifelong partnership with Harold L. Muller and launched his first series of "Whirlwind Comedies" for release by F.B.O. These were among the most creative, inventive films seen to that time.











They made liberal use of stop-motion animation, pixillation, amazing sets and props as well as Bowers' wild imagination. Like Larry Semon, Bowers cheerfully sacrificed characterization for a great gag, and his plots often stopped dead in their tracks in order to pull off a bravura piece of animation. "Baffling" and "mystifying" are two words that one comes across when reading the original reviews. The only explanation for Bowers' commercial failure in the face of almost universally rave reviews may be the fact that be was simply ahead of his time.









The 1930 census recorded Bowers and Winifred in Norwalk, Connecticut on RFD Weed Avenue. His occupation was inventor of commercial inventions. He misrepresented his age as 40 years old. His wife was 27. The Herald-Tribune obituary said, "…In 1941, when he became seriously ill, he was not able to keep up with the commitments of his contracts, and he could not find an artist or writer to do them for him. He taught his wife, MY AUNT WINNIE Mrs. Winifred Leyden Bowers, to do some of the work—she learned to draw so well that her work is now on exhibit at the Pompton Lakes library—but the contracts lapsed. When he died he had no children. I was the only child her ever had around. They raised my Father.
I believe that the Kodak company has all his films. Wish I could get them, I am a relative.
Think I'll try again.. well, the sun is out and I am going to watch my Daughter ski. Bye Bye!


Ever watch Bill Moyers?
check this out--http://billmoyers.com/2014/03/24/the-bigger-dog-whistle-bogeyman-liberal-government/

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