Got a note recently from Steve Saaf, son of 50's comic book artist, Art Saaf. Steve has created a tribute website to his dad. In the biography section, he talks about how Art moved from comics into advertising during the mid-50's:
In 1954-55, Artie left the comic world and went to work for the Kudner Agency as Assistant TV Art director, creating the "storyboards" for "The Jackie Gleason Show." In 1956, he did work for the Dancer, Fitzgerald, and Sample Agency as a TV art director.
In 1958-59, Artie left the agencies to work on his own as a freelancer because, he said, "the pace was too fast, and I wanted time to think about what I was doing." From 1959 through the late 60’s he worked for such agencies as Donahue and Coe; D’Arcy; Benton and Bowles; McConnell-Eastman-Canada; Dancer Fitzgerald and Sample; and Thompson-Koch. His TV visual and storyboard work were primarily ads and included: Post Cereals; Crest; Zest; Liquid Prell; Personna; Parliament cigarettes; Yuban; Maxwell House; Life Savers; Cue toothpaste; Texaco; Minute Rice (Canada); Royal Crown Cola.
Steve sent along this great old drawing (above) and writes, "I don't think, because it is a dedication to my dad, that he did the art work. I do think it is circa 1960 because of the title and the signatures from various agencies, so this would have been the first freelancer period of 1959-63." Some of the comments from those well-wishers who signed the drawing are hilarious: “It’ll be easier when you learn to draw”, writes Vernon and Irv Sloan writes, “Got a few Biz revises for you- due by 5”. Good stuff.
Unfortunately, Steve tells me none of Art's storyboard artwork has survived. A real shame - I know we would all have loved to see some vintage examples! For those interested, Steve has compiled an exhaustive list of the commercials Art storyboarded. There's also a great selection of Art Saaf's comic book work on the site - well worth a good long look. (Scroll all the way to the bottom of the site's front page for the links to the image galleries)
Let's keep our fingers crossed that some Art Saaf storyboard drawings eventually surface - and many thanks, Steve, for sharing your dad's story and artwork with us!