My artist and cartoonist grandfather, Al Wiseman, and his counterpart, Hank Ketcham, made a business deal over a handshake one day… and the whole story will go up again soon at AlWiseman.ORG (also hacked), however, here’s a bit in a nutshell for now: by this kind of quick flip of the coin, my grandfather became the “ghost” cartoonist who did the cartooning for many years, drawing from life to create the face of Dennis (see my uncle Jim, below) and other characters (like my mom’s dog, Ruff, etc.). The book to the left is a rare one in which Al Wiseman was given full, proper credit. An amazing keepsake!
This is my uncle Jim walking with Hank Ketcham in Pebble Beach. This was a studio shot snapped with ideas of Jim playing Dennis on the television show that grew up around America’s most successful comic strip. My uncle Jim didn’t want the role so it didn’t happen – but this is still a fun and wonderful shot! There will be many more photos and other stories to share over at the only (rebuilt) “for family, by family” website honoring Al Wiseman’s memory.
This is an “advert” sheet my grandfather used to advertise his services. Because he was a man of his word, when Hank’s wife, Alice, came up with the idea for the comic strip, my grandfather stuck to his word, giving up a million dollar contract offer for illustrating advertisements on behalf of a leading dairy company in California, to begin to create Dennis The Menace and continue to work in his “ghost cartoonist” capacity for many years to come.