When I was in elementary school, I used to draw comics. I would draw them on whatever was at hand, notebook paper, the lunch room menu, the back of my homework. I would show them to my teachers, classmates, people on the bus and my family. The most vocal and enthusiastic supporter of these cartoons was my grandfather, Dick Burg. Every time we would visit or talk on the phone he would ask about my cartoons, even long after I had given them up. He never stopped encouraging me to make my comics.
Dick Burg was an artist. He worked primarily with paint and canvas and many of my memories are of him in his studio painting from photographs taken while visiting us in Colorado, or from areas near his home in Southern California. Recently my uncle, Peter Burg started collecting as much of my grandfathers work as he could and posting it on line, 16 years after his passing.
While I had seen several of his painting (I grew up with many adorning the walls of my house) I never knew that as a young man he had another passion - cartoons. Sifting through the archive material from his estate, Peter discovered a wealth of cartoons and characters drawn on materials at hand such as construction paper, school rule, and typing paper. There were several done on my great-grandfathers stationary, with the letter head that read, Oscar W. Burg & Co., Manufacturer’s Agent, Leather Trades Building, 1602 Locust Street, St. Louis. Phone: MAIN 825.
Seeing these drawings for the first time brought back all the passionate conversations and encouragement he gave me over the years and gave them new meaning. Dick Burg was an artist, and he was a cartoonist. Today he would have marked his 99th birthday.
Check out some more of his work at: The Artist Dick Burg
Thanks Peter, for your efforts in bringing his work to more people. And thank you Papa, for continuing to encourage me even now.