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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, March 13, 1960, Image 168

Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045462/1960-03-13/ed-1/seq-168/

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Stan Drake and the blonde "Evie" of his "Juliet Jones" comic strip —in reality his auburn-haired wife Betty Lou —review a batch of his drawings.
COVER STORY
"See You In the Funny Paper'
440 EE YOU in the funny paper” can
O be more than just a jocular way
of saying goodbye for Stan Drake. It can
mean that he’s going to draw you into his
daily and Sunday comic strip, The
Heart of Juliet Jones, which appears in
The Star and more than 500 other news
papers in the United States and 28 for
eign countries.
It has meant just that to his wife
Betty Lou, to their sons Bruce, 13, and
Gary, 11, and to many of their friends
and neighbors. In fact, there can’t be
too many people left in the little town
of Westport, Conn., where Mr. Drake
does his drawing, who haven't been
represented in his strip at one time or
another.
The artist's favorite model is his
auburn-haired wife. Not only is she the
original of "Evie,” the pretty, high
spirited younger sister of “Juliet,” but
many of the other attractive feminine
characters in the strip have her tall,
graceful figure.
When a handsome, athletic-type man
is needed and none is handy, Mr. Drake
strikes a pose before a mirror and
sketches himself. "That,” he says, “is
when the ham in me comes in handy.”
As a matter of fact, Mr. Drake might
have been a movie actor instead of an
artist, but for a quirk of fate. And he
would only have been following in the
16
footsteps of his father Allen Drake,
who was on the stage for 18 years.
Stan Drake was born November 9,
1921, in Brooklyn and grew up in River
Edge, N. J. He failed to finish high
school because, as he puts it, “I never
could pass any kind of math.”
At 16, Stan became a movie usher in
Hackensack, N. J., and on the advice of
his disgusted mathematics teacher,
began studying at the famous Art Stu
dents' League in New York. Before long,
he was illustrating stories for pulp
magazines.
When Stan was 20, a girl he was
dating sent a photo of the two of them
to a dairy company conducting a con
test for potential movie stars. The girl
lost, but Stan won. He was sent to Holly
wood for screen tests by Paramount.
The tests turned out so well that
Director Mark Sandrich wanted him to
stay in Hollywood and attend drama
school. Before his acting career could
get started, however. Uncle Sam
stepped in.
By the time Stan was mustered out
of the Army as a sergeant in 1946, Mr.
Sandrich had died, and Hollywood
somehow had lost its allure.
One reason, perhaps, was that in
BUNDAY. THE STAR MAGAZINE. WASHINGTON. D C.. MARCH 13. 1860
By PHILIP H. LOVE
Slar Staff Writer
January, 1945, Stan had married Miss
Betty Lou Smith of Columbia, S. C.
“I met her on a blind date," he says,
“and it was love at first sight." Right
after the wedding, he was ordered to
duty in the Marianas.
After the war, the Drakes lived in
hotels and apartments in New York
while Stan tried to establish himself
as an artist. He worked for a while
with an advertising agency and then
set up a commercial art studio of his
own. Soon, he was employing 10 per
sons and working as many as 20 hours a
day.
“Keeping awake became a prob
lem,” he recalls. “At the suggestion
of a friend, I started keeping a pail of
ice water on the floor beside my draw
ing board. I’d sit there with one shoe
and sock off, and whenever I felt drowsy,
I'd dip my foot in the pail. One thing
about this treatment-it isn't habit
forming!"
It also isn't conducive to good health,
and before long Stan was ill from over
work. During the several months of
enforced idleness that followed, he
reached an important decision.
“I decided,” he relates, “to do some
thing easier-something that would
• o
be more fun and would give me a little
time to enjoy living.”
That “something” was comic strip
art, and in the winter of 1952-3, Juliet
Jones was born. •
As soon as the success of the strip
was assured, the Drakes moved to
Westport to be out in the country and
yet have the company of other artists.
They live in a modest ranch house with
a swimming pool in the back yard, and
Stan shares a studio with Dik Brown,
whose Hi and Lois comic also is a popu
lar feature of The Star.
Stan likes to swim and play golf,
pool and chess, all of which he does well.
“About the only thing he isn’t good
at," says his wife, “is shopping. Once I
sent him out to buy a coffee table and he
came back with a huge stuffed lion. And
what do you suppose he said? ‘Well,
it was the same price, anyway!"'
Stan also likes to drive around in
his sports roadster, looking for likely
characters for his strip. One of his more
obnoxious characters was “Vic Wells,”
a high-priced, high-pressure publicity
agent-in reality the genial, well-liked
proprietor of a Westport diner. So many
people asked him, as he dished up their
hamburgers, if they hadn't seen him
somewhere before that he adopted a
stock answer:
“Yes-in the funny paper.”

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