Sleepin' Lena by Erich Schenk
'Sleepin' Lena' (Merry-Go-Round Comics, 1944)

Erich F.T. Schenk was a German-American painter, children's book illustrator and comic artist. In the latter profession he is best known for his realistically rendered funny animal comic series 'Sleepin' Lena', 'Silas Skinflint' and 'Blowaway' (all from 1943-1944), which he drew for ACG's Ha-Ha Comics and Merry-Go-Round Comics series.

Early life and career
Erich Frederich Theodore Schenk was born around 1901 in Germany. He was an artist at the Florida-based Fleischer Studios in the 1930s and 1940s and created many backgrounds for animated shorts such as 'Betty Boop', 'Popeye' (based on E.C. Segar's creation) and the feature film 'Gulliver's Travels' (1939). He was active as a comic book artist through the Sangor Studio in 1943-44, working on features like 'Billy Buttinsky' for Better Publications.

Silas Skinflint by Erich Schenk
'Silas Skinflint' (Ha Ha Comics #3)

Funny animal comics
Between 1943 and 1944 Schenk was also the author of obscure funny animal features like 'Sleepin' Lena', 'Silas Skinflint' and 'Blowaway' for the ACG comic books Ha-Ha Comics and Merry-Go-Round Comics. His work is highly remarkable for the unusual realistic rendering of his anthropomorphic animals, which gives his stories a peculiar, near surreal look. 'Sleepin' Lena' features a female cat who tries out a different job in every story, only to get fired, because she fell asleep during working hours. Her dreams give leeway to highly imaginative and sometimes nightmarish fantasy sequences, obviously inspired by Winsor McCay's work. 'Silas Skinflint' stars a grouchy mouse and 'Blowaway' a white horse who brags about himself and his ancestors. 

Other endeavours
Schenk was also the illustrator of a 1944 children's book called 'The Adventures of Salty Sam' by H. Virgil Wylie, and active as a watercolor and flower painter. Erich F.T. Schenk passed away in 1955 in the Miami area.

Blowaway by Erich Schenk
'Blowaway', Merry-Go-Round, 1945. 

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