Monday, July 25, 2016

Renaldo C. Epworth, comic book agent

Renaldo C. Epworth
13 April 1897 to 17 June 1989

"Art Representative: If You Can't Find The Right Art, Call Us!"

Renaldo Epworth is known in the comic book culture for one thing:  As the man who helped place Wally Wood into comics.  His exact "title" while doing this is unclear, he's been called both an agent and a broker,
An agent would get a percent of the price once it was sold, but a broker often would buy the artwork outright and then sell it for as much as he could later on.  It's possible he did both.
  As best that can be established, he did this from 1949 to 1954.  In 1950, he stated that he was producing 1000s  of illustrations per month.  If we go with a six to nine panel grid, that would still be an impressive number.
Artists that he  agented include Wally Wood, Harry Harrison, Martin Rose,and Mike Esposito
and publishers include  ACG (American Comics Group), Fawcett, and Fox.  In 1954, his office was in the same building as ACG's office.

He had been a commercial artist from  at least 1921 and  prior the Great Depression, he had some major clients for his own art,  including drawing covers for Better Homes and Gardens.  He operated a studio by himself and with Grace Uebel (Epworth and Uebel).

In the late 1950s, he patented a method for placing labels on fabrics.

books include:
Fundamentals of Layout for Advertising 1945, 1948 revision
Gifts Children Can Draw And Make

paperback covers 1941 to 1946

written 2011, published 2016

1 comment:

  1. This snapshot of Renaldo Epworth’s life was captured by the 1940 U.S. Census: Renaldo Epworth was born in New York about 1898. On April 1, 1940, he was 42 years old and lived at 285 Parker Avenue, Hackensack, Bergen County, New Jersey with his wife, Elizabeth, 40 years old; daughter Dorothy, 12 years old; and son Roger, 12 years old.

    In 1949 Wally Wood connected with an art agent named Renaldo Epworth, who supplied art to Fox Publications. Epworth would pay cash money for completed pages, but only at about half the rate Fox paid him. Apparently Epworth, as an agent, had a better chance of getting money out of Victor Fox than did the artists themselves. Since Fox’s rate was only $5 a page, Wood
    pocketed only $2.50 a page when he sold art to Epworth. Out of that he had to pay anyone who had assisted him. This seems pretty minimal until you realize that, at the time, Wood shared an apartment with another artist for $3 a week. By this stage Wood had already worked with several other artists and assistants, including Marty Rosenthal, Moe Marcus, Ernie Bache, Jerry Kolden,
    and Harry Harrison. ~Roger Hill, Alter Ego #8, Spring 2001

    Renaldo Epworth was a letterer who became an agent. He was a WASP, by the way, in spite of the name. He was a very good letterer who was a half-@$$ed agent. ~Lou Cameron, Alter Ego #79, July 2008

    Per SSDI, EPWORTH, RENALDO was born 13 April 1897; received Social Security number 100-xx-1536, which corresponds to New York; and died 17 June 1989.

    Jake Oster


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