I've been sorting through my big pile of vintage 1930's-60's Mickey Rooney press photos for a couple of weeks now, already having listed several for sale on eBay with many dozens more to come. Tonight I listed my favorite photo from the whole batch:
Since I also deal in old magazine back issues James Montgomery Flagg is someone I've run into several times over the years. Most often I'll see his work illustrating fiction inside 1930's issues of Liberty Magazine and much more gloriously on the colorful oversized covers of Leslie's Weekly from the 1910's. But you don't have to be a magazine dealer to be familiar with Flagg's most famous work, his famed "I Want You" Uncle Sam recruitment poster created in 1917:
While Flagg's "I Want You Poster" helped inspire a nation his 1941 illustration of Mickey Rooney was far lighter fare, right down to the press tag affixed on back of this photographic rendering intended for publication:
Associated Press Photo From New York
(This drawing is for release to evening papers of Friday, October 17, with James Montgomery Flagg's special news service story.)
FLAGG DIDN'T LIKE HIM --
James Montgomery Flagg said he didn't like Mickey Rooney --Had avoided his movies-- until he met him and began to draw this picture. When he finished, he showed Mickey the sketch saying: "There's the brat!" Rooney grinned. "Yessir -- One hundred per cent brat!" Flagg said he was a Rooney fan when he signed the picture and put the charcoal away.
(Watch release date)
Associated Press Photo
JEW 10/9/31 2:50P Flag
You can see by the date stamp, Oct. 17, 1941, that whichever paper ran this photo (and most photos in this lot that have a publisher identified were from the Philadelphia Inquirer) correctly waited until the requested date to do so, even though the image was released as early as October 9.
You'll find this specific photo of Mickey Rooney illustrated by James Montgomery Flagg on eBay through next Wednesday, March 23. Opening bid, just $9.99 ... have at it!