A Self Portrait. Goblin, 1-1, Feb. 1921: 6
“Three of them are rising geniuses: Lou Skuce – an ideal name for a man of skits:… the youthful prophet Skuce is on the Toronto World ‘The High Cost of Living’ and Baseball Burlesques’ are his best pointers….” John E. Staley
A sports cartoonist, athlete, playwright and actor. “His symbol a goose with a hat perched on its head at a rakish angle was as well known as its originator.” Evening Citizen.
Born 1886 in Britannia Heights Ottawa to James Skuce and Margaret Boulger.
He was educated in Ottawa schools.
He was married twice, first to Dorothy Edis who died in the 1930’s. With her he had a son John Lewis and a daughter Mrs. Patricia Hurd. He then married Kipling Fraser and with her had two daughters, Nancy and Sandra.
As an athlete he won world and Canadian honours for paddling while a member of the Britannia Boating Club in Ottawa. He later paddled for the Parkdale Canoe Club, winning numerous cups. He also played rugby and hockey.
During World War 1 he was with the Psychological Warfare Branch of the National Defense Department.
He spent time in New York and while there he entered theatre, both acting and writing. One of his best known plays was Bill of 13. From his associations there he became involved with the American Guild of Variety Artists. After returning to Canada he continued to perform giving public talks with a machine of his own invention called a Cartoonograph. With it, he flashed on a screen at high speed cartoons that he had previously drawn on small glass sheets.. He performed various times at London England’s Adelphi Theatre, in the U.S. at New York City’s Roxy Theatre and in many Canadian movie houses. Including a May 1944 political meeting in Regina which was addressed by the then Agricultural Minister J. G. Gardiner. Only a few months before he died, he performed his act at the Casino Theatre in downtown Toronto.
He began his cartooning career with the Journal [Ottawa] then moved to Toronto and worked for the World, Star, and the Mail and Empire. He was Art Editor of Sunday World for 14 years after which he freelanced.
He was a contributor to the wildly popular (the first edition sold out an hour and a half after it reached the newsstands) University of Toronto undergraduate magazine Goblin launched in 1921.
In the 1920’s he illustrated the columns of J.K. Munro, a popular Ottawa columnist which appeared in Maclean’s.
During World War 2, he produced government posters and helped promote the sale of Victory Bonds through onstage performances using his cartoonagraph. A number of his cartoons appeared in the cartoon magazines of Bell Features and Publishing Company Ltd. Some were likely published in other periodicals and reprinted in Bell magazines. Others appear to have been original to Bell.
He drew the murals for the lounge of the Toronto Men’s Press Club. They illustrated club scenes and humorously traced the evolution of the printed word from the stone age to today’s giant printing presses. These were all completed in his living room of his home. According to Ben Vicarri Manager of the Toronto Press Club in 1996, Skuce, until the time of his death, drew a coloured portrait of each president when they stepped down.
In his later years he painted landscapes and portraits.
He died November 20,1951at his at his Chestnut Park Road home in Toronto while at his drawing board working on a cartoon for Bell Syndicate of New York, U.S.A. He was buried in Ottawa.. At the time of his death, he was chairman of the Toronto chapter of the American Guild of Variety Artists.
PERIODICAL GRAPHIC ANTHOLOGY:
|Active Comics,… no date: “Smith Brothers cough drops.” inside back cover. Black & whihe|
Active Comics, 1, Feb. 1942: “Every Dog Has His Day!”: 47. (black &white). “He won’t hurt you mister.” inside front cover. (colour). “Start of Youthful Romance”: 17. (black &white). “This hurts me more than it does you”: 15. (black &white). “T’was Ever Thus”: inside back cover. (colour).
Active Comics, 2, Mar. 1942: “The Throw of the Dice.” inside front cover. (Is this a Skuce cartoon?)
Active Comics, 11, no date: “Mr. Fan”: 12 & 14. (A sports cartoon black &white).)
Triumph Comics, no issue no date: “Things to worry about” . Reprinted in Now and Then Times,1-1, Summer 1972: inside front cover, black &white)..
Goblin, 1-1, Feb. 1921: Hugh C. MacLean Publications: 2.
Goblin, IV-9, March 1924: Chevrolet: 29 (full page).
Goblin, 1-1, Feb. 1921: “Sorry I Can’t Oblige”: 6.
The Hecklers. Writ. & Ed.., Peter Desbarates & Terry Mosher. McClelland and Stewart Ltd., 1979: 250.
A Treasury of Canadian Humour. Writ., R.T. Allen. Canadian Illustrated Library/McClelland & Stewart Ltd. 1967. 56, 89.
Maclean’s, March 1914: “The Cartoonmen of Canada.” Writ., John Edgecumbe Staley.
Taddle Creek, 37, Summer 2016: “Canada’s Greatest Cartoonist.” Writ., Conan Tobias: 14-31.
Globe & Mail 14 May 2016: “The Greatest Cartoonist You’ve Never Heard Of.” Writ., Conan Tobias. R1, R8. Complete account in Taddle Creek, 37, Summer 2016: 14-30.
Evening Citizen [Ottawa], 21 Nov. 1951. A Canadian Press release.
Globe and Mail, 21 Nov. 1951. Based on C.P. release.
Leader Post [Regina], 21 Nov. 1951. Based on C.P. release
Telephone with Ben Viccari, Manager of the Toronto Press Club. 18 Oct. 1996.
Active Comics, 1, Feb. 1942: Inside front cover.
Now and Then Times,1-1, Summer 1972: Inside front cover.
Maclean’s, Sept. 1918: 16.
Maclean’s, Sept. 1918:17.
Maclean’s, Sept. 1918: 18.
Lou’s goose and Tingley’s worm meet: a tribute to Tingley by Lou Skuce, 1951 (The year Skuce died.) Found by Ivan Kocmarek at the National Library and Archives, Ottawa.