Monday, October 5, 2015

Lettering: C.P. Zaner, Master Penman

February 15, 1864, Forks, Pennsylvania – December 1, 1918, Mifflin, Ohio

1880 United States Federal Census
Fishing Creek, Pennsylvania
Name / Age
John Zaner 60
Hannah Zaner 54
Hattie Zaner 18
Charles Zaner 16
Loyd Zaner 14

The Columbian
(Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania)
October 26, 1883
Class XIII—Fine Arts Penmanship and Designs
Lion Penmanship, C P Zahner [sic] 1 00
Horse Penmanship, C.P. Zaner 1 00

Zaner’s Gems of Flourishing
C. P. Zaner

The Journal of the Senate of the State of Ohio
February 12, 1890
…C. P. Zaner, engrossing memorial for Thos. Q. Ashburn, $15.00

The Columbian
(Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania)
September 18, 1891
We have received a fine Art Catalogue form Zaner, Kelchner, and Blaser [sic], proprietors of the Zanerian Art College. They founded their school of Penmanship at Columbus in 1888. During the three years of their progress they have had students from seventeen different states besides the District of Columbia and Canada. Messrs. Zaner and Kelchner are from this county, where they have hosts of friends who are glad to learn of their success. They began life empty handed and their success is due only to deserved merit as accomplished by their untiring energies.

Penman’s Art Journal and Penman’s Gazette
November 1891

Three Skillful Penmen.
C. P. Zaner, L. M. Kelchner and E. W. Bloser, of Columbus, Ohio.

We present herewith the portraits of three young men whose brilliant work has won them a most enviable distinction among all who appreciated the penman’s art. They are C. P. Zaner, L. M. Kelchner and E. W. Bloser, known under the corporate name of the Zanerian Authors and Artists, and directors of the Zanerian Art College, Columbus, O.

All three of these gentlemen are Pennsylvanians by birth, and all were raised on a farm, their school training being only what the facilities of the public schools of their respective localities could afford. Mr. Zaner’s home was near Forks, Pa. He was born there on Feb. 15, 1864, and was nineteen when he left to strike out in the world for himself. He taught penmanship a little in 1884, but gave it up until 1886, when he settled down steadily and has been at it continuously since. In 1888 he published his popular “Gems of Flourishing,” and in the same year founded the Zanerian College. Almost from the start his work won recognition from the old heads of the profession. It is distinguished by boldness and sureness of stroke, without sacrifice of delicacy. Mr. Zaner wields an uncommonly versatile pen and shows equal fertility of resource in the lines of script, flourishing and ornamental work. Many of his bright productions have appeared in The Journal and we have made arrangements by which he is to become a regular monthly contributor. The first of a series of illustrated papers by him begins in this number.

Mr. Zaner has been a constant reader of the penman’s papers, and attributes his skill largely to their influence. He found the Spencerian Compendium of much assistance in getting the “finishing touches.”

L. M. Kelchner will be thirty years old on the eighth of next month. His life was spent on a farm at Light Street, Pa., until he was eighteen years old. The next eight years he spent running a flour mill. It was not until 1888 that he began to teach penmanship professionally, though he had dabbled in it a little some time before. He became a joint proprietor of the Zanerian College in 1890.

Mr. Kelchner also thanks the penmanship press chiefly for his ability in that line. Another fruitful source of inspiration he found to be specimens from noted penman purchased by him. While he is a good writer and general penman, Mr. Kelchner excels as a flourisher, and has made many handsome designs of this kind. By far the most striking design we have ever seen from his pen is a large piece we now have in hand and expect to produce next month. It will be the first by “The Journal’s Galaxy of Flourishers,” which includes about twenty of the best known penmen in this line in the world.

E. W. Bloser was born at Plainfield, Pa., on Nov. 6, 1865. In 1883 he moved to Ohio, became interested in penmanship, and has been following it professionally ever since. He became a third owner in the Zanerian College only a few months since.

We show a specimen of Mr. Bloser’s work in this number. It is of the kind on which his reputation rests, his forte being script work in general and body writing in particular. His pen is capable of turning a remarkably smooth and graceful line, as our readers may see.

The work of the institution of which these three young gentlemen are the owners and directors can only be properly described as brilliant. Though established but a few years it already number among its graduates many young men and women who are making their influence felt as teachers and artists. It is The Journal’s business to keep abreast of such matters, and it is The Journal’s pleasure to give credit to those who win success by deserving it. That this success did not come without hard work, but was born of the faith and pluck which beat down all barriers, may be gleaned from Mr. Zaner’s own account of the beginnings of the now highly successful enterprise with which he is identified:

“We started with one student and enough money to buy bread for one. We worked from seven o’clock in the morning until nine at night. We contrived means of letting people know of our school (if such it could by called) and of the work we were capable of doing. We were willing to sow and trust for the harvest. We rested not by the way, but toiled on. Slowly the fruit of our labors began to ripen. Students began to come in now and then. Friends were friends indeed, for through them we received support we could not buy. Prospects began to brightened, hopes materialized and bills vanish. A little surplus cash and credit aided in mailing another circular in which our work appeared to better advantage and our purpose in terms unmistakable. Thus it was that our work began. Our rooms were getting too small for the number of students seeking instruction. We decided to accommodate all first-class comers. We secured larger, brighter, cleaner rooms. We then began to realize that two hands and one brain were inadequate for the work at hand.”

The Columbian
(Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania)
July 22, 1892
Prof. C. P. Zaner, proprietor of the Zanerian Art School at Columbus, Ohio, arrived here Friday of last week, and remained with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Zaner of Forks, over Sunday. “Charles,” by which name he is more familiarly known, is first in the art profession of penmanship. He left via New York on his return home Monday.

Art Education
October 1, 1894
Lessons in Business Penmanship, Number One

Art Education
October 1, 1894

Art Education
December 1, 1894
Lessons in Business Penmanship, Number Two

Art Education
February 1, 1895
Lessons in Business Penmanship, Number Three

Art Education
April 1, 1895
Lessons in Business Penmanship, Number Four

Art Education
April 1, 1895

Art Education
December 1, 1895
Practical Lettering

Art Education
February-March 1896

Art Education
April-May 1896

Penman’s Art Journal
November 1897
Zanerian Art College
Sketches from Nature

The Philadelphia Inquirer
December 13, 1897
Lessons in Writing, Part 1

The Philadelphia Inquirer
December 20, 1897
Lessons in Writing, Part 2

The Philadelphia Inquirer
December 27, 1897
Lessons in Writing, Part 3

The Philadelphia Inquirer
January 3, 1898
Lessons in Writing, Part 4

The Philadelphia Inquirer
January 10, 1898
Lessons in Writing, Part 5

The Philadelphia Inquirer
January 17, 1898
Lessons in Writing, Part 6

The Road to Sketching from Nature
An Aid to the Beginner, a Stimulus to the Amateur; for Home Students, Class Use, and Reference
C. P. Zaner
Zanerian Art College, 1898

1900 United States Federal Census
Columbus, Ohio
Name / Age
Chas Zaner 36
Eliza A Zaner 42
Mary Irvin 20
Katherine Ritman 41

The New Zanerian Alphabets
Zaner & Bloser, 1900

Journal of Education
January 17, 1901
Penmanship Teachers.
The National Penmanship Teachers’ Association listened to several interesting papers during the day. Following President C. A. Faust’s address, in which he took occasion to roast the schools that cut rates, and offer to secure positions for pupils, Miss L. Viola Waller of Charles City, Pa, read a paper on how to interest high school and grammar school pupils in penmanship. Miss Clara R. Emens of Lockport N. H., and Harry Houstin of New Haven, Ct.. led the discussion. “Model Business Writing and Actual Business Writing—Their Differences” was C. P. Zaner’s subject. Mr. Zaner is from Columbus, O. A. H. Hinman, who did some beautiful illustrating on the blackboards in the various rooms of the Gutchess College, where the conventions are being held, had a paper upon “Blackboard Penmanship.”

The Times
(Richmond, Virginia)
May 4, 1902
Cupid Talks in Phonograph

The Gregg Writer
September 1904

The Gregg Writer
January 1905
Convention of the National Commercial Teachers Federation
C. P. Zaner, President, N. C. T. F.

Character and How to Read It
C. P. Zaner
Zaner & Bloser, c1906

The Blue Book
L. E. Stacy
It is not likely that this sketch will be read by anyone who is not more or less familiar with the life and work of C. P. Zaner. He is one of three or four men who are leaving their imprint on this generation, and raising the standard of good writing through correct teaching and the ability to to execute high grade work. Hundreds of young men and women have come under his instruction, and the Zanerian Art College is the Mecca of the present day penman.

Mr. Zaner was born February 15, 1864. He received a good common school education, supplemented by academic work at the Orangeville Academy. His career in life has been a progressive one. He has worked his way to the front ranks of an all round penman by idomitable [sic] and incessant industry. To-day, he fills a position among the leaders of his profession. He is continually on the alert, studying mechanical, physiological and psychological principles, and utilizing them on each and every opportunity.

Mr. Zaner is one of the progressive educators of the day, and is constantly trying new methods and experimenting in order that he may present his work in the best possible manner. He is prominent in the Federation, having been honored by the presidency of that body.

He is generous, always trying to help the deserving person, and his many friends have found that they can rely upon him in time of need. He is the author of more than a dozen books on penmanship, engrossing, pen drawing, etc., and is constantly preparing resolutions and all kinds of pen work.

Columbus City Directory 1909

1910 United States Federal Census
Columbus, Ohio
Name / Age
Charles P Zaner 47
Eliza A Zaner 55

Character and Caricature
C. P. Zaner
no publishing date; advertised in The Business Educator, June 1910

Zanerian Penmanship Anatomy, Physiology, Psychology, Analysis, and History
C. P. Zaner
Zaner & Bloser, 1910

The Omaha Sunday Bee
May 15, 1910
Modern Mill of Commerce Where Skill Is the Grist
photograph of Zaner in second row

School Board Journal
August 1910
A Successful Penman
There has been a distinct evolution in the teaching of writing in the United States during the past two decades. This evolution has been effected by the new thought and the new theories on the subject. Today there is a more general appreciation of the meaning of good writing than ever before, while the subject is taught with as much pedagogical and psychological thoroughness as any other in the curriculum.

This progress which has been made is of course due to the men of brains, who have guided the thought on the subject. The Spencerian idea was practical and produced many good writers. The faddists, as they were called, who inspired the vertical, found an appeal in the physical argument. The latest generation is years in advance of its predecessors, however, and with the continued progress notes improvements not only in the theory but in the practical working out of distinct systems of writing.

Among the men who lead in the scientific study and teaching of writing is C. P. Zaner of Columbus, Ohio. For years, it has been his endeavor to give the entire study a more scientific basis. His own theories and ideas have been adapted to the pedagogy of the subject. Interest he has taken as the psychological basis. Position, form and movement are emphasized as the fundamental principles through which the development of the system is accomplished. In this manner, Mr. Zaner has given a scientific basis to his subject—a basis which has merited the attention of penmanship teachers throughout the country.

Personally, Mr. Zaner is one of those quiet, reserved gentlemen who impresses you with his thoughtfulness and thoroughness. There is not the flimsy showiness about him so often noticed among the commercial educators of the country. He is dignified, reserved, a man of refined habits, an incessant worker, and above all, a character who leaves his impress upon all who meet him. By birth he is a Pennsylvanian and belongs to that sturdy German stock which has given the west so many excellent citizens.

Mr. Zaner, while a teacher and theorist on the subject of writing, is author of a series of books known as the Zaner Method of Arm Movement Writing. This is composed of Practice Books, Compendiums, Teachers and Students' Manuals, which have attracted much attention. He is president of the Zanerian College of Penmanship, which was organized in 1888, and which, with the assistance of E. W. Bloser, has been very successful. Mr. Zaner is the editor of the Business Educator, a semimonthly, for which it is claimed contributions cost more in one issue than any other similar paper pays in a year. In 1904 Mr. C. P. Zaner was elected president of the National Commercial Teachers’ Association, the highest honor that the commercial and penmanship teaching profession can bestow.

The American School Board Journal wishes him continued success.

Bookkeeping and Accountancy
Harry Marc Rowe
Script by C. P. Zaner
H. M. Rowe Company, 1911

The Business Educator
June 1912

The Arm Movement Method of Rapid Writing
C. P. Zaner
Zaner & Bloser Company, 1915

The Western Journal of Education
March 1916
C. P. Zaner on the Pacific Coast
C. P. Zaner, author of the new California Writing Books, recently adopted by the State Board, has been spending some time on the Pacific Coast in the interests of education in general, and penmanship in particular. He was one of the speakers at the recent teachers’ convention in Fresno.

Mr. Zaner is a man of national reputation, whenever it comes to the subject of penmanship. In 1888 he established the Zanerian College of Penmanship in Columbus, Ohio, in which have been trained many teachers of writing, and where many Californians have been students. The excellence of his system of writing was demonstrated in his college as well as elsewhere and having stood the test of time, the Zaner system ranks today among the foremost. 

An artist by nature and congenial in his manner, Mr. Zaner has made many friends on the Pacific Coast. His lectures have been appreciated, and listened to with profit by his hearers. He believes that poor penmanship is the result of indifferent or poor teaching of the subject, and he has pointed out (perhaps justly), that our normal schools have not given the subject as much attention as other subjects.

Mr. Zaner is the editor of “Business Educator,” a journal devoted to penmanship and commercial education.

School and Society
April 1, 1916
Societies and Meetings
The New England Penmanship Association: Certain Observations
…Among those who appeared on the program were C. P. Zaner, of Columbus, Ohio; Harry Houston, of New Haven, Conn., and A. N. Palmer, of New York….

Public School Methods
Volume II
The Methods Company, 1918
Chapter Six: Penmanship

Columbus City Directory 1918

The Ohio Teacher
December 1918
Prof. C. P. Zaner, the originator of the Zanerian system of penmanship, and the author of a number of books, was killed Sunday, December 1, his auto being struck by a train in Linden. This terrible accident also took the life of Mrs. Zaner’s sister, Mrs. Mary Irwin, aged 70, and both were killed instantly. Mrs. Zaner was also badly injured.

Find a Grave
Charles Paxton Zaner

The Ohio Teacher
March 1919
Prof. C. P. Zaner—An Appreciation
By Supt. S. H. Layton, Altoona, Pa.

My friend is gone. The cruel hand of “Death,” as Massinger says, “hath a thousand doors to let out life.”

It is nature’s way to warn us of the approach of the last enemy. The eye of day so gently shuts to close out the night. The wave along the shore of “old ocean’s gray and melancholy waste” so gradually dies away. The summer cloud that flecks the dawn so quietly fades in air. The crescent moon must surely wane. Most of nature's ways are gentle ways.

But not so did she deal with my friend. Without a moment’s notice the tragedy came. In the full enjoyment of a dynamic life, with home life sweeter than ever, with plans and purposes of service to the world, with promise of years of usefulness he was ruthlessly cut off.

Charles Paxton Zaner was born on February 15, 1864, near Bloomsburg, Columbia County, Pa. He received a good education in the public schools of that locality, then through his ambition he supplemented this by attending the Academy at Orangeville, Pa. So early did his fondness for penmanship manifest itself that he sought proficiency in that art in Oberlin, Ohio, in 1882. From here he went to assist a brother in Audoben, Iowa, in business. But he was not to relinquish his love for penmanship. Back he came to be student and teacher in the business school in Ohio Wesleyan University. In 1888, he went to Columbus to teach in a business school, but this being closed later, he founded the Zanerian College of Penmanship. Shortly after founding the school he admitted into partnership with him, in 1891, Professor E. W. Bloser, a boyhood friend and for twenty-seven years the most delightful association has existed in this firm.

It was about this time that my friendship with him began when I was a teacher at Dublin and Worthington and officially connected with the Franklin County Teachers’ Institute. He very frequently gave talks on penmanship to the teachers in the Institute and at monthly meetings of the County Association. His zeal then manifest in his chosen field never waned, but increased from more to more. This was the secret of his proficiency. It was this that took him far and wide to lend a helping hand, to increase the interest and efficiency of teachers and systems of schools over the entire nation, for his name and his fame as a penman have extended from the Atlantic to the Pacific and to the islands of the sea.

In 1904 he was president of the National Commercial Teachers’ Federation at their meeting in Chicago. For many years he has been one of the leading promoters of this organization. At state meetings of teachers, at the Department of Superintendent and at the annual meeting of the N. E. A. he was usually present and promoting his favorite line.

To say that he was an artist in penmanship would not tell the whole truth, for his interests were much wider and deeper than that. He was a student of the whole field of penmanship. He studied it in its physiological, its psychological, its pedagogic, its economic aspects. And he was in constant search for ideas in any of these fields as they applied to his profession.

His penmanship manuals and practice books embody the latest and best of his devotions.

The extensive use and popularity of these is attested by many states and cities of America as well as by the Government adoption of the books for use in the schools on the island of Porto Rico.

As founder and editor of The Business Educator he kept in  close touch with his former students in the Zanerian School. It was not merely an interchange of ideas; it was an interchange of ideals and life and a stimulus to mutual friendships. Professor Zaner and his students and friends lived together in this medium of communication.

To speak of friendship when I think of this man is to hallow the thing itself. He was the embodiment of all the elements of true friendship. Companionship with him meant to open the portals to the best he had—the best of loyalty, the best of advice, the best of ideals, the best of comradeship, yea even the measure of sacrifice for his friends. In my somewhat intimate relationship with him in recent years in his travels and in his correspondence, I know how truly the arms, the hearts, the homes of his friends were open to him over the entire land. And his to them! There seemed almost a sacred friendship between him and his students of former days in the Zanerian School.

My friend also was a great lover of nature. The landscape was irresistible to him. He would drive miles for a new or unusual scene. He seemed to love to get up on the ridges to get the largest outlook. And however intense the conversation in the automobile as we drove along he never failed to call attention to beautiful views. He drank from nature the inspiration of God and he never failed to revere the Creator of the marvelous handiwork.

This made him by nature an artist. For the lasting work of his hand in art adorns the walls of the homes of many friends over the country. On our own home wall hangs a beautiful river scene just out of Columbus painted by his hand and soul as the inspiration came to him on an automobile trip. Thus also does he live in the homes of his friends. As I think to say a word about his home and family life I pause as Moses paused when commanded: “Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place wherein thou standest is holy ground.” Married in 1893 to Miss Eliza A. Ritson of Columbus, they went to the World’s Columbian Exposition on a wedding trip. When asked on his return by his partner whether he had seen Princess Eulalia of Spain, he replied, “I had her with me all the time.” And indeed he felt to the day of his departure that he had a Princess with him all the way. At the time of the tragedy Mrs. Zaner had been home only a little over a month, after a year of enforced absence in California on account of ill health. All this absence he endured with fortitude and hope. believing that she would return in good health to enjoy the years together. He drove to Chicago in their much appreciated Paige car to meet her on her return, so joyous, so happy. But alas! their days of happiness together were all too few. For on December 1, 1918, on Sunday evening at six-thirty o'clock as they returned from the home of long loved friends in Westerville, neighbors of former days, a train crashed into them without warning and in a twinkling he was called home. In the automobile at the fatal moment with Prof. Zaner were Mrs. Zaner and her sister, Mrs. Mary Irwin. Mrs. Zaner was the only one of the three to be spared.

At the moment a buggy was in front of them, another automobile beside them. The moment was crucial. No_doubt in saving others he lost his own life. His life was full of such ever-present thoughtfulness of others’ welfare. He died a martyr to his own chivalry. His every act deserved a kindlier fate.

Prof. Zaner, the gentle and loyal comrade, the counsellor of students, the author of books, the expert penman, the wise leader of teachers, the friend of children, the devoted husband, has gone.

How we shall miss thee. dear friend! We pause to shed a tear. We are better for having known thee. We bless thy name and revere thy memory. Rest, sweetly rest in “the island-valley of Avilion.” Farewell.

Lessons in Ornamental Penmanship
C. P. Zaner
Zaner & Bloser Company, 1920

Zehner Hoppes Family History
Ellen Priscilla Zehner Carpenter
Mirror Press, 1939
Charles Paxton Zehner (Zaner), was born on a farm in Columbia Co., near Bloomsburg, Pa., on Feb. 15, 1864. He received a good common school education, which was supplemented by a course in the Orangeville, Pa., Academy. He early showed a fondness for penmanship and in 1882 went to Oberlin, O., to take a course in this branch. From there he went to Audubon, Iowa, to assist a brother who engaged in business. His love for penmanship, however, was too great to allow him to remain in other work, and from Audubon he went to Delaware, O., to become both teacher and student of penmanship. In 1888 he left Delaware and went to Columbus, O., as an  instructor of penmanship in a business college. Later the school was closed and in the same year he founded the Zanerian College of Penmanship, Columbus, O., in which institution he remained at the head until the time of his death.

No one ever possessed a greater love for the art of penmanship, and being a systematic student and indefatigable worker, he made rapid progress, both as a teacher and as a penman. The books he has prepared are being used very widely in the schools of this country. The work he did as editor of the Business Educator will long be remembered. In conducting the journal his guiding motive was helpfulness, which thought in reality dominated his whole life. He was a man of rare skill, ability, versatility, and originality, but his nobleness of character easily stood first. At the time of his death he was 54 years of age and was in the zenith of mental and physical power.

His life went out on Sunday evening, Dec. 1, 1918, seven miles north of Columbus, where his automobile was struck by a train which gave no warning of its approach in the darkness. Mr. Zaner married Eliza Ritson. There were no children. Published in monthly publication, The Zaner Bloser Company, Columbus, Ohio.

The Zanerian

The Zaner-Bloser Penmanship Collection at the University of Scranton
Alphabets and Lettering

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(Next post on Monday: Church of the Transfiguration)

Monday, September 28, 2015

Street Scene: China International Comics Festival Expo

•  G U A N G Z H O U ,  C H I N A  •

Nonglin Down Road near Wangfujing Mall

October 1–5, 2015
Guangzhou Pazhou Poly World Trade Expo
CICF Expo is organized by Comicfans Culture
(Banner wraps around construction barrier.)

(Next post on Monday: C.P. Zaner, Master Penman)

Monday, September 21, 2015

Anatomy of a Logo: New Gods

In April 1995 Curtis King faxed the previous four New Gods logos for reference.

The first version of New Gods appeared on issues one through eleven from 1971 to 1972.

The series was cancelled then revived in 1977 with a new logo, The Return of the New Gods. The numbering resumed with issue twelve and ended on nineteen.

In 1984 Kirby’s New Gods was reprinted in six issues. The new logo was by Todd Klein who also designed The Death of the New Gods logo.

New Gods was revived in 1989. The new logo appeared on numbers one through seventeen. The 1984 logo was brought back for the final three issues.

My logo sketches from April 1995.


Back to the drawing board, May 1995.

Design number 3 without the bottom diamond.

Final Art.

My New Gods logo, without the diamonds, appeared on issues one (October 1995) through twelve (November 1996). The original logo was brought back for numbers 13, 14 and 15.

My New Gods logo with the diamonds was used on the Kirby collection published in 1998.