Tuesday, July 3, 2018

July 4th Barbecue Kroger Ad Illustration – June 30, 1958

There’s no beer visible in this charming illustration, which ran in a Kroger ad with a July 4th theme back on June 30, 1958 in the Lorain Journal. But a beer would go mighty well indeed with the steaks being grilled on the backyard barbecue shown in the idealized 1950s rendering.

Down in the lower right corner of the drawing is a signature: NOWAK.
I kind of suspect that the artist was Leo Nowak. Nowak is known for his work on the original Superman comic book series. Michael Sangiacomo of the Plain Dealer interviewed him about those days back in 1996. (Here is the link to the interview on Cleveland.com.)

According to this article, Nowak left comics and went into advertising after World War II.  He enjoyed a 25-year career as the chief illustrator for Stamps Conheim Newspaper Advertising Service in Los Angeles. Perhaps that’s how his work ended up in a Kroger ad, if it is his work.

Nowak developed a wonderful style of illustration. Google his name and you’ll find an impressive body of work.

But if you look at the Kroger ad with the well-drawn people, you can see his comic book roots.

Could that be the Man of Steel doing a ‘super’ job of grilling those steaks?


DH said...

I learn something new, every day.

Thanks, Dan!

-Alan D Hopewell said...

Looks more like Bruce Wayne. HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!

Anonymous said...

Hey Dan - Wonder if he he had a hand in designing your favorite clip art "Big Head" while at Stamps-Conheim? Todd

Dan Brady said...

That's a funny thought, Todd!