Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Rube Goldberg, whose works gave rise to the expression Rube Goldberg machines, had started as an engineer and designed sewer pipes. He later worked for the San Francisco Chronicle and eventually soared to fame with his cartoons depicting gadgets and the character Professor Lucifer Gorgonzola Butts.
Political caricaturist and cartoonist Thomas Nast was born in Germany and moved to the U.S. at age 6. He began his career as a draftsman at the Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper and then worked for Harper’s Weekly and the New York Illustrated News. His creations include the Republican Party elephant.
Immortalized in the Irish ballad Grace, Irish cartoonist Grace Gifford was a regular contributor to many reputed publications such as The Irish Review. She was part of the Republican movement and married her lover Joseph Plunkett just hours before he was killed by firing squad for his invoolvement in the Easter Rising.
Winsor McCay was an American animator and cartoonist. McCay is best remembered for creating the popular fictional character Little Nemo, who originated in a comic strip titled Dream of the Rarebit Fiend. Winsor McCay is credited with pioneering several animation techniques, such as inbetweening and cycling. An early animation pioneer, Winsor McCay’s work has influenced generations of illustrators and cartoonists.
Honoré Daumier is best remembered for his satirical cartoons on the French society and politics. Born to a glazier father in Marseille, he later began studying art under Alexandre Lenoir and developed a love for sculptures, too. He later made a fortune, working on commissions of lithographs.
Catalan artist Ramon Casas was primarily known for his portraits. Born into an affluent family, he also gained fame for his oil paintings that he sold as postcards and posters, giving rise to the movement known as Modernisme. He also partially funded the Els Quatre Gats bar.
Swiss cartoonist Rodolphe Topffer is remembered as the pioneer of comic strips. The son of a caricaturist, he initially taught at and ran a boarding school, where he first began drawing caricatures to attract his students’ attention. He also taught literature at the University of Geneva.