The New York Sun
June 7, 1941
The New York Sun
June 12, 1942
The most prolific correspondents of the Duluth school children seem to be the fifth graders of Hilo. In addition to dozens of cards from Chu Fook Hing, Chu Fook Tang and Dora Conradt, there are many letters careful and conventional in both English and punctuation, and containing such quaint bits of information as “Hilo is a rainy place and is called in sport the ‘Rainy City.’” “The chief industries of Hawaii are sugar-cane and coffee” and “Each gulch has ever-running streams.”Hing’s brother, Tang, was a year older. Hing continued making art in junior high and high school. He was 21 years old when he filled out his military registration card on July 31, 1918. Apparently he did not serve in the military. World War I ended three-and-a half months later. The coming year would be one of new opportunities for some of the Chu children.
Q. What is your name? A. Chu Fook Hing.
Q. Give me the date of your birth. A. January 17, 1896. [His World War I draft card said 1897.]
Q. You were born where? A. Kaapa, Hawaii.
Q. Your father's name? A. Chu Kin.
Q. What does he do? A. Tailor
Q. Is he Chinese born or Hawaiian? A. Chinese.
Q. Your mother's name? A. Chong Shee.
Q. Where was she born? A. China.
Q. Are you a full blooded Chinese? A. Yes.
Q. Ever been in China? A. No, I have never been there.
Q. What is your father’s financial standing? A. I don’t know.
Q. You have how many brothers and sisters? A. 14.
Q. Has your father had more than one wife? A. Only one.
Q. How many of your brothers and sisters are in the United States? A. One.
Q. What is his name? A. Chu Fook Ng You [sic].
Q. How old is he? A. Between 17 and 18.
Q. When did he come to the mainland? A. Reached Chicago September 8th this year.
Q. How does it come you didn’t come together? A. Couldn’t get a boat; traffic all tied up at San Francisco; he went by way of the Panama Canal and worked his way up through Philadelphia.
Q. What is your brother doing here? A. He is studying automobile business.
Q. And you are going to do what? A. Study art; I am going to study at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts.
Q. Who will support you? A. My father (presents Certificate of Identity 2012 issued at Honolulu January 12, 1909 to Chu Fook Hing, aged 13, height 4' 4"; scar on first finger of left hand).
Q. It will be necessary for you to bring to this office a photograph for identification purpose. A. Yes.Hing signed the transcript of his testimony and his entry was approved. A black-and-white photograph of him was in his file. Additional information about him was found on the S.S. Princess Victoria passenger list: he had two hundred dollars and was going to meet his younger brother, Ngu, at “1519 Wabash Avenue” in Chicago; “Chicago Academy of Fine Arts” was written after the address; Hing’s height was recorded as “5 feet, 6 inches” and he had a “scar on first finger of left hand”. Hing probably traveled by train to Chicago.
…“One of the mistakes Stan [Lee] made is whenever a penciler finished a job, he’d have him hand it to an inker.” Rice said. “Whichever inker was free. No partnerships developed, and no continuity.” He lived in fear of two inkers on the staff: Hing Chu and Fred Eng. “I used to dread the thought of something falling into Fred’s hands, but we had no choice in the matter.”Hing was part of a small group of Asian Americans working on comic books. Ben Oda was lettering for Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. Early in his career Bob Fujitani worked at Eisner & Iger, Hillman, and MLJ. Min Matsuda, Irving Watanabe and John Yakata were on the staff at the Biro-Wood shop. Helen Chou, Fred Eng, Morrie Kuramoto, Tsung Li, and Kaem Wong were contributors at various publishers. Syndicated comic strip artist Paul Fung produced art for National Comics’ All Funny Comics among others.
Dear Mrs. Paepcke,
Please listen to my prayer. I am Helga Chu. I would ask you because I know how generous and sympathetic you are. Hing is going blind. The doctors here, Dr. Fouljner and other, have given him 3 more months and the last light will be going out forever.In her letter Helga laments that the local art academy was not interested in exhibiting Hing’s art. She also revealed the tension between them and Hing's family.
We are both very depressed. Hing's family does not care if we live or die. To them I have never been more than a Polack [sic] as his sisters call me or an old hag.Helga still had hope of returning to Chicago and she shared her idea with Mrs. Paepcke.
Hing and I were 69 years of age on January 17. We are receiving Social Security of 180 dollars a month and from July doctors and hospitals are free. We have a life insurance of 2 tousand [sic] dollars...We can borrow 1000 dollars and come to Chicago...I am sure I can find a nice little studio in Chicago and we will live there.How Mrs. Paepcke responded is not known. Helga and Hing remained in Honolulu. Fourteen months later Hing passed away August 1967. Fourteen years later Helga passed away July 1981.