I was born in 1947 to hard-working, middle-class parents, George and Hazel, from Woodlyn, Pennsylvania. As a middle child, I grew up with my older sister, Beverly, and younger brother, Harold. I'm told I was drawing from the time I could hold a crayon. Mom claims she could always keep me quiet with a pencil and a piece of paper.
My forth grade teacher, Mrs. McLauglin, was an amatuer artist who noticed my inclination and recommended private art lessons from a local painter, which my parents, provided until I hit my teens.
Cars were always a major interest for my brother and me and we drew our "dream machines" all the time. We also built model cars while growing up. I could come up with wild customizing ideas and used plastic wood to mold parts from one kit to another. My brother had the patience and body-working talent to turn them into prize-winning creations. Car magzines like R&C constantly fed us fresh concepts and current styles, and we ate 'em up. We began winning almost every hobby-shop model contest around- and were eventually banned from a few.
Before long we had our drivers licenses and real cars to fool around with. My first car was a '47 Plymoth sedan that leaked a quart of oil a day and smoked two more out the tailpipe. That was followed by a '55 Ford Tudor with a 312ci T-Bird engine and trans.,and a severe rake. I lettered "Village Vandal" on the trunk lid, much to my mom's grief. I graduated from high school in 1965 and was accepted to the Hussian School of Commercial Art in Philadelphia. I commuted in my recently acquired '39 Ford Deluxe Tudor sedan and spent the next four years learning about commercial art by day, and the workings of a prewar Ford by night.
After art school, I landed jobs in various art studios in Philadelphia but found much of the work unrewarding and repetitious. in 1973, I jumped out on my own to give full-time freelance cartooning a try.