'Mister Oswald '(January 1991).

Larry Day is an American illustrator and cartoonist. He is specialized in illustrating picture books and books about historical subjects, and succeeded veteran cartoonist Russ Johnson on his long-running 'Mister Oswald' strip in the trade monthly Hardware Retailing from 1989 until 2008.

Early life and career
Larry B. Day was was born and raised in Gibson City, a small rural town in central Illinois. His mother was an avid bowler who would bring home bowling score sheets, the backsides of which young Larry would use as drawing papers. Most of the pictures he drew were of people riding in Ferris wheels and rollercoasters, and later of war battles. He studied commercial art at Southern Illinois University until 1976. Afterwards he began working as a technical illustrator, drawing manuals for farm machinery, and then as an illustrator for the pinball and video arcade industry. He also studied oil painting with Gerald Merfeld in New Lenox, Illinois.

Mister Oswald
From the early 1980s he also served as an assistant for Russ Johnson on the 'Mister Oswald' comic strip, which had run in the monthly trade journal Hardware Retailing ever since 1927. Johnson and Day (both born in the same town) worked together for eight years, as Johnson's eyesight was gradually failing. By 1989, well into his nineties, Johnson retired and officially handed the strip to Day. Since Day had no background in retailing, and Johnson had devoted 62 years of his life to his strip, Johnson kept a close watch over the procedures until his death at age 101. Day continued Johnson's life work until 2008, trying to maintain the strip's recognizability among retailers. With an uninterrupted run of 82 years, 'Mister Oswald' serves as one of the longest-running ongoing comic strips in the world. It is however often overlooked by historians, since it ran solely in a niche magazine.


'Mister Oswald' (July 1989).

Illustrator of historical books
Day eventually moved into the advertising business where he drew storyboards for Hallmark and The Walt Disney Company. It was during this time that he illustrated his first picture book, 'Taking Flight: The Story of the Wright Brothers' (2000) by Stephen Krensky. Since then, various projects followed, leading up to Ginger Howard 's 'William's House' (2001), a book about a New England family building their first house. The illustrator eventually focused his art on subjects about US history. He illustrated two books by Dennis Brindell Fradin: 'Let It Begin Here! Lexington and Concord: First Battles of the American Revolution' (2005) and 'Duel! Hamilton and Burr's Deadly War Of Words' (2008). He also illustrated funny books about American presidents by Suzzane Tripp Jurmain, such as 'George Did It!' (2006) about George Washington, 'Worst of Friends: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and the True Story of an American Feud' (2011) and 'Nice Work, Franklin!' (2016), about Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He provided the artwork for Kay Winter's 'Colonial Voices, Hear Them Speak' (2008), about the Boston Tea Party, 'Voices From The Oregon Trail' (2014) and 'Voices of the Underground Railroad' (2017). Day also adapted the lifestory of Walt Disney in comic strip form in Monte Beauchamp's book 'Masterful Marks: Cartoonists Who Changed The World' (Simon & Schuster, 2014). 


From: 'George Did It!'

Children's books
Besides historical books, Larry Day also works as a picture book illustrator for publishers like Walker Childrens, Balzer + Bray and Simon & Schuster Books. The Society Of Childrens Book Writers and Illustrators awarded Larry Day the prestigious Golden Kite award for his work on Susanna Pitzer's 'Not Afraid of Dogs' (2006), a book about a little boy who not only overcomes his fear of dogs but becomes best buddies with a cute little mutt named Bandit. Another humorous children's book with illustrations by Day was 'Bye-Bye, Baby' (2009) by Richard Morris, about a little boy and his stuffed donkey Poncho. He has worked with Miriam Busch on the picture books 'Lion, Lion' (2014) and 'Raisin, The Littlest Cow' (2017). Other picture books with illustrations by Day are 'Nanook and Pryce' by Ned Crowly (2009), 'Found.' by Jeff Newman (2018), 'Beware!' by Bob Raczka (2019), 'My Fourth of July' (2019) by Jerry Spinelli and 'Bim, Bam, Bop... and Oona' (2019) by Jacqueline Briggs Martin.

Larry Day is the father of storyboard artist and picture book illustrator Andrew Day, and of musician and songwriter Peter Day.


'Not Afraid of Dogs'.

larrydayillustration.com

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