Tuesday, August 23, 2016

100 Year Old Hockey Cartoons; Lou Skuce

Dec 2, 1916

I recently found these terrific old cartoons on google news archives. They're from the Toronto World Newspaper, by a cartoonist named Lou Skuce. Born in Ottawa in 1886, Skuce began cartooning professionally in the early 1910s eventually becoming the Art Editor and Editorial Cartoonist for the World.
The first three cartoons illustrate the start of the National Hockey Association season in both 1915 and 1916. The "Livvy" in the third one refers to Eddie Livingstone the owner/manager of the local Toronto Blueshirts.

Dec 11, 1916
Dec 19, 1915 
The next is a great depiction of one of the toughest players of the day, George McNamara who would suit up in 1916/17 with the 228th Battalion squad of Toronto. At 6'1" and 220 lbs, he was one of the biggest players of the era and would be elected to the Hall of Fame in 1958. In 1915/16 with the Blueshirts McNamara racked up 74 Pims in 23 games while playing a bruising defence.
Dec 6, 1916
Lou Skuce went on to illustrate many program cover for the Toronto Maple Leafs including the one below from my collection for a game at Mutual Street Arena in 1930.

Skuce also illustrated the cover for the very first game at Maple Leaf Gardens in 1931 as well as the beauty below it.
Another of Skuce's hockey related projects was the Maple Leaf coasters for the O'Keefe Beverage Company in 1932. Below is his Andy Blair coaster (sadly, not in my collection).
O'Keefe Beverage Coaster, 1932
In addition to his newspaper and illustrative work, Skuce would entertain audiences of the day with live drawings as part of a stage production "with the aid of slides, lantern, screen and his facile pencil". I can't even imagine this as a form of entertainment, but this WAS 1916. He would continue producing advertisements, stage shows and murals right up to his death in 1951.


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