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Jon Whitcomb

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Title: Jon Whitcomb  
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Subject: Coby Whitmore, Famous Artists School, John Berkey, Kerr Eby, J. Allen St. John
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Jon Whitcomb

"I'm Proud of You Folks Too!", US Navy poster, 1944

Jon Whitcomb (1906–1988) was an American illustrator. He was well known for his pictures of glamorous young women. He was born in Weatherford, Oklahoma and grew up in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. He attended Ohio Wesleyan University and graduated from Ohio State University with a major in English.

Whitcomb started drawing illustrations for student publications while a student at Ohio State, and worked summers painting posters for a theater in Cleveland, Ohio. After he graduated, Jon found work making travel and theater posters and advertising illustrations. In 1934 he moved to New York City and joined with Al Cooper to found the Cooper Studio. Whitcomb was a pioneer in the switch from oil to gouache for illustrations. The different qualities of gouache compared to oil led to changes in the design of Whitcomb's illustrations. He zoomed in on people, usually pretty, young city women, and reduced the background to simple design elements. His new style of illustrations soon appeared in Collier's Weekly, Good Housekeeping and other magazines.

During World War II Whitcomb was commissioned a Lieutenant, Junior Grade in the United States Navy. After a variety of duties, he was assigned as a combat artist for the invasions of Tinian, Saipan, and Peleliu.

After the war Whitcomb produced a series of articles and sketches about Hollywood stars for Cosmopolitan, called "On Location with Jon Whitcomb". He continued to produce story illustrations and covers for magazines, including McCall's and Playboy. He wrote some short stories, two children's books, Coco, and Pom Pom's Christmas, and a book on glamour, All About Girls. He was one of the founding faculty of the Famous Artists School.


  • Jon Whitcomb biography - retrieved August 3, 2006
  • American Art Archives - Jon Whitcomb - retrieved August 3, 2006
  • The Rules of Attraction - Something Cool—The Cooper Studio-Al Parker Era at the Wayback Machine (archived March 19, 2009) - retrieved via Wayback Machine 28 October 2011
  • Jon Whitcomb posters, hosted by the University of North Texas Libraries Digital Collections

External links

  • The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum: Jon Whitcomb Collection guide

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