A story on the recent death of Bob McCausland, 90, (pictured) the lovable P-I artist and creator of the Hairbreadth Husky cartoons, noted not only his great talent but those he worked with—Ray Collins and Stu Moldrem, among others. But missing was information about what some of them, as pre-computer newspaper artists, were required to "paint."
I was once a P-I copy boy who carried art orders from editors to the art department, where McCausland and the others touched them up, usually by applying white-out brush marks. The orders often included photographs that needed features tastefully erased. Among the requests I saw, or heard about, were orders to paint the balls off a German shepherd, the fat off a matronly lady's ankles, and the udders off a cow. "No teats in a family newspaper," an editor said.
I also recall a talented artist in his stall surrounded by stacks of new footballs. To each, he was busily signing the autograph of University of Washington football coach Jim Owens. As part of a newspaper promo, the P-I was giving away autographed footballs to readers. Owens signed one, and the artist copied the signature onto the others. After all, the P-I had promised only footballs "with Jim Owens' autograph," not footballs autographed by Jim Owens. So there.