Santa Barbara, California - "Jolly Roger" Bradfield rang out the old year by sailing off into the sunset, leaving a cast of colorful characters in his wake. From lavender lions to giants of different sizes. Goofy princes and sharp-witted princesses. With
just one stroke of his paintbrush Roger had the power to transport us, inviting us into his vivid world of imagination where anything was possible.
Born in White Bear Minnesota in 1924, Rog joked that his father took one look at him and disappeared. Smiling with his signature twinkle, he recounted that he was left with a small fortune: his father's prized pool cue and old holey bathrobe. Raised by
his mom and grandma in a "skinny" railroad home, he and his grandma spent countless afternoons playing ball in the street. Saturday afternoons were reserved for cowboy movies, where – for just a nickel – he and his ragtag friends would "yell as loud
as we could when the hero was chasing the bad guy."
When WW2 arrived, Rog was drafted into the army. A lifelong trumpet player, he was known for waking his Camp Robert's comrades with Reveille and ending their day with Taps. Following the war, he attended Minneapolis School of Art, where God graciously
intervened, putting the saintly "Joanie" in his path. As the story goes, Roger took one look at the blue-eyed beauty on the art school steps, turned to his buddy, and declared, "See that blonde over there? I'm gonna marry her!"
His prophesy would materialize just months later. The two were wed on the fourth of July in 1948. How fitting that they would ring in a sixty-seven-year marriage with fireworks. A once-in a lifetime kind of love, the twosome had a magic all their own.
Crossing the Atlantic on the Queen Mary, they set out for France, where Roger attended the Academie Julian. Once he discovered that no attendance record was kept, he spent the entire year wandering the streets of Paris, "drawing, drawing, drawing," and
sipping café au laits at corner cafes. He shared, "Looking back, this probably had more influence on my eventual style (or lack of style!) than anything else." Living abroad, Roger and "his angel" Joanie picnicked on the banks of the Seine in Paris,
rode bicycles through tulip fields in Holland, and eventually welcomed their first child, Steve (aka 'Reno') while Rog was attending the Heatherly School of Art in London. Kari arrived shortly after their return to Minnesota, followed by Cindy (aka '
Venetia'), Sue, and Heidi.
Roger and Uncle Pete hand-built the young family a home in Golden Valley, where the happy clan built snow forts, and skated on Strawberry Pond. In 1967 they traded Minnesota's blustery winters for Santa Barbara's ceaselessly sunny skies. Landing on
Arbolado Road, where Rog once famously trimmed the poolside topiary into a giant, thirsty camel, he spent his days in his art studio, dreaming up a world of colorful characters and reemerging at dinnertime covered in paint.
Renowned for an illustrious career that would span an early stint with BBDO and General Mills – sketching a medley of characters including the famous Keebler elves, Trix rabbit, and Mr. Bubble – Roger parlayed his talents into the nationally
syndicated comic strip, Dooley's World, a host of beloved children's books under the pen name, "Jolly Roger Bradfield," and later, an ever-expanding watercolor collection dreamt up from his travels through Greece, Portugal, Mexico and Norway with his "
From Lenona@21:1/5 to All on Wed Feb 2 06:23:19 2022
Here's one description of "Giants Come in Different Sizes":
"Dingleburg is a small island in the sea. The days are filled with
sunshine and the people happily eat hamburgers that they grow on
hamburger bushes (yes, hamburger bushes, it wasn't a typo:) All this
changes, however, when the GLOOmy Wizard Wartz curses the island with
a persistant GLOOmy raincloud when King Burger won't let him marry
the princess. Enter Seville, a travelling barber who is in love with
the princess. King Burger promises him the princess's hand (she loves
him too) if he can rid them of the cloud. Seville invites 3 giant
friends, Mor, Muche and Moste, to try to move the island out from under
the cloud. I won't spoil the ending, but let me just say it all ends
Here's Bradfield's description:
"As far as I've been able to determine, giants come in roughly three
sizes: 'Very' big, 'Way, WAY' big, and 'Good grief, would you look at
THAT!' big. It is possible there there may be even larger ones, but
I've never personally seen any.
"A few folks, mostly adults, contend that there are no such things
as giants. I will not waste your time nor mine disputing such radical
theories. They probably don't believe in the Easter Bunny or Tooth
Fairy either. Blasphemy.
"In addition (and you may not believe this) there are folks who dispute
the fact that hamburgers grow on bushes. Good grief...doesn't anyone
major in agriculture anymore? Well, there are pictures of several
hamburgers bushes in this very book. Scientific proof I'd say."
" 'Jolly' Roger Bradfield is perhaps best known for his work as a
children's book author and illustrator. He began his writing career when
he was teaching himself how to type. Bored with the tutorials of his
text book, Bradfield chose to practice his typing by writing something
fun. Thus, his first book There's an Elephant in the Bathtub was
created. Bradfield went on to write and illustrate several other
titles including Pickle-Chiffon Pie, Benjamin Dilley's Thirsty Camel,
Giants Come in Different Sizes, The Flying Hockey Stick, and Benjamin
Dilley's Lavender Lion. The "Jolly" Roger books are known mostly for
their colorful illustrations and wildly imaginative stories.
"Bradfield illustrated some of the earliest Sesame Street storybooks,
including The Together Book, the first Sesame Street book in the popular
Little Golden Books line. He also illustrated Bert's Hall of Great
Inventions, Big Bird's Birthday Party, and Sherlock Hemlock and the
Great Twiddlebug Mystery..."
"...From 1972 to 1978 Bradfield worked as a newspaper syndicate
cartoonist creating the daily and Sunday comic strip Dooley's World.
The strip featured stories centering around a boy and his collection of
living toys. These comics featured many unique visual gags and puns.
The strip was distributed by King Features Syndicate.
"In addition to the little boy, Dooley, recurring characters were
the Professor, a know-it-all wind-up toy figure, Norman, a sophisticated
and reflective wind-up knight, Thelma, an unhappy and bullying rag doll,
and Max, an introverted mouse..."