Who was the Magnificant Mumaw? A good question. He certainly had some important friends, as a few years ago a collection of letters to him were auctioned off, and the writers included famous, nay, immortal cartoonists such as Milton Caniff, Bill Mauldin, Walt Kelly, Hank Ketchum and Mort Walker. If you know cartoons, you know these names. If you don't know cartoons, just think back to your color Sunday comic section. The letters date from 1948 to 1981. Never mind most of the correspondence seems in response to a request from a fan.
The original drawing above, which I was fortunate enough to find in an antique mall, may be a somewhat politically incorrect portrayal of midget suitors seeking midget dancers, but then burlesque always was a bit off-color, so let's cut Mumaw some slack. Plus, it is a wonderful example of comic art. Undated, but old. There is no indication it was published, but it should have been.
Eugene Mumaw is certainly not a common name, yet there are few hints on the web. The equally magnificent and comprehensive Lambiek comiclopedia lets me down. Jeez…how many Mumaws from Muncie could there be? I do see Mumaw was mentioned, or quoted, or for some reason indexed in the Saturday Review in 1962, but I don't seem to have the app to download whatever it was. That is, presuming there was only one Eugene Mumaw in Muncie in 1962.
In 2004, a Mumaw is reported as attending an exhibition of his theater posters created for the Muncie Civic Theater, something he did for some 30 years, and sure enough a considerable number of them are exhibited at the flickr site HERE. At the time, he was healthy enough to sign prints, and was called "lanky" in the press. Local historians also used the opportunity to interview the artist, and it was not only broadcast on Indiana radio stations at the time, it has been preserved at the Ball State University Digital Media Repository HERE.
Is the theater poster Mumaw the same artist as the Madam Merton and her Midgets artist who did the work above? A son of Mumaw? Anyone with more information on the artist is invited to write in.
Original comic art drawing by Eugene Mumaw, Muncie (No Date) Collection Jim Linderman
Browse and Order Jim Linderman Books and Ebooks for Ipad HERE
Some Mumaw cuties attached. I know Mumaw mainly as a cartoon fan- he wrote and requested originals from just about every working cartoonist. I owned an original by my favorite cartoonist, Roy Nelson, inscribed to Mumaw.