UNGER James Fredrick

UNGER James Fredrick

C:\Users\Robert\Documents\CANADIAN CARTOONING ILLUSTRATION and ANIMATION\IMAGE OF CARTOONIST OR ILLUSTRATOR\CARTOONIST &, or ILLUSTRATOR U\UNGER Jim,circ 1975, Apart from .....jpg

James Unger circa 1975, Apart from a little ….

“To me, it’s supremely important that the faces fit the situation exactly. It’s not  just enough to have everyone smiling. The caption is not the joke. The situation is the joke and the drawing should be setup like a movie director sets up a scene.”

“What I draw aren’t really jokes, you know, just exaggerations of real things. The art is to illustrate some facet of every day existence that people never come to grips with.”                                                                                                                James Unger (Maclean’s)

James Frederick Unger, cartoonist (b London, Eng 21 Jan 1937). Creator of the off-beat comic character “Herman,” Jim Unger dropped out of grammar school in England when he was 16 years old and sold insurance policies before serving for two years in the British Army. He was a police officer, repo man and an advertising layout artist before he immigrated to Toronto in 1968.

Jim Unger was the art director for The Mississauga Times when he came up with the idea for a cheerful oaf, a sort of bumbling blue-collar Everyman which he initially called “Attila The Bum.” He was named “Cartoonist of the Year” by the Ontario Weekly Newspaper Association for three successive years.

Encouraged by friends he began to submit his work to syndicates. First, Unger tried to syndicate his cartoon character through The Toronto Star. It was rejected. In 1974 He submitted it to the Universal Press Syndicate in Kansas City, Missouri, who offered him a 10 year contract. They changed the strip’s name to “Herman.” Although Unger insisted there was not one but a variety of characters.

Its success was overwhelming. “Herman” began in 20 newpapers by April 1979 it was in more than 250 in Canada, the U.S.A. and seven other countries. In 1982 Unger was named the “Best Syndicated Cartoonist” by the National Cartoonists Society. Later “Herman” had an estimated 40 million readers in 25 countries, and a collection of 4000 cartoons is available on CD-ROM. “Herman” was the first cartoon syndicated in a Communist country in 1990 when it was sold to a newspaper in East Germany.

Jim Unger left Canada for the Bahamas in 1984 and retired from cartooning in 1992. “For some reason I get more fan mail than ever,” he said after his retirement. He occasionally updates old cartoons and is said to be creating new material but draws now only when he feels like it. “I doubt I will ever work as a cartoonist full-time again.” he said in 1998. He teamed up with 6 other syndicated cartoonists, including Farcus creator David Waisglass, plus Universal Press Syndicate to create INTRACA in 2001. INTRACA was an intranet feature that used humorous cartoons and motivational quotes to inform and boost employee morale with positive daily messages.

He moved to Saanich British Columbia about 200. He died May 29, 2012 after a lengthy illness in his residence at Saanich British Columbia. He was survived by two daughters, Karen Gooda and Jenny Hopkins and four grandchildren.

Toronto cartoonist creator of “Pavlov” thought: “Jim Unger is among the top half dozen cartoonists in the English language. …It is a new type of humour. It’s very sarcastic, very black.” (MacGregor)

WORK:

CARTOONIST:

BOOK GRAPHIC COLLECTION:

Panel:

The 1st Treasury of Herman. Andrews & McMeel Inc./Universal Syndicate Co., 1979.

Herman: The Fourth Treasury. Andrews & McMeel Inc./Universal Syndicate Co., 1984.

Herman: The Third Treasury. Andrews & McMeel Inc./Universal Syndicate Co., 1982.

The Second Herman Treasury. Andrews & McMeel Inc./Universal Syndicate Co., I980.

Panel, (book, 20 cm X 13.7 cm) :

“And you wonder Herman, why I never want to go to Italian restaurants.”: Sheed, Andrews & McMeel Inc./Universal Syndicate Co., 1977.

“Apart from a little dampness, Herman, how’s everything.” Sheed & Ward Ltd./Universal Syndicate Co., 1975.

“Where’s the kids, Herman.” Sheed & Ward Ltd./Universal Syndicate Co., 1978.

Panel, (book, 14 cm X 21 cm).

“Herman, you were a much stronger man on our first honeymoon.” Andrews & McMeel Inc./Universal Syndicate Co., 1983.

The Latest Herman. Andrews & McMeel Inc./Universal Syndicate Co., 1981.

Panel, (book 128 cm X 128cm):

Herman And The Extraterrestrials. Andrews & McMeel Inc./Universal Syndicate Co., 1983.

Herman For Lovers. Andrews & McMeel Inc./Universal Syndicate Co., 1982.

Herman For Pet Fanciers. Andrews & McMeel Inc./Universal Syndicate Co., 1982.

Herman For The Hospitalized. Andrews & McMeel Inc./Universal Syndicate Co., 1982.

Herman MD. Andrews & McMeel Inc./Universal Syndicate Co., 1983..

Herman Out To Lunch. Andrews & McMeel Inc./Universal Syndicate Co., 1983.

Strip:

A Collection of Herman Colour Comics. Andrews & McMeel Inc.: A Universal Syndicate Co., 1983. Herman Sundays. Andrews & McMeel Inc./Universal Syndicate Co., 1982.

People Are Starting To Complain. Andrews & McMeel Inc./Universal Syndicate Co.,1984.

MERCHANDISE:

Book:

Herman’s Important (and not so important) Stuff To Do Book. Andrews & McMeel Inc./ Universal Syndicate Co., 1981.

Herman’s “People I’m not trying to forget immediately” Address Book. Andrews &McMeel Inc./Universal Syndicate Co., 1981.

SOURCE:

Book graphic dust jacket:

“Apart from a little dampness, Herman, how’s everything.” Sheed & Ward Ltd., 1975.  Back cover photo.

Herman: The Fourth Treasury. Andrews & McMeel Inc./Universal Syndicate Co., 1984..

Magazine text:

“Jim Unger: the mind behind Herman.” Writ., R. MacGregor. Maclean’s, 16 Apr. 1979:8-10.

Web:

Hustak, Alan. The Canadian Encyclopedia,