September 8, 1917
Famous Chinese Cartoonist Depicts a Tragedy
Here you have Paul Fung’s idea of a “Little Tragedy of a Newspaper Office.”
Paul Fung, cartoonist for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, is believed to be the only Chinese cartoonist who is member of an American newspaper staff. He has a national reputation as a cartoonist, illustrator and painter. He is a regular contributor to many of the big weekly and monthly magazines of the country and his work in the Post-Intelligencer is widely reprinted.
Paul Fung was born in Seattle twenty years ago. At the age of five years his father, a minister, took him to China to make a preacher out of him. He attended a Chinese school for six years. at the age of eleven he became ambitious to become an artist. As a boy he would paint cherry blossoms and flowers on Chinese fans. He would walk about Canton for hours at a time, making sketches of different things he saw. At first his work was very crude, but he was ambitious and determined, and he continued on. Finally he succeeded in selling some of his work in China. That encouraged him.
His father was persistent in his efforts to make a minister out of him. But the pulpit held no charms for Paul. Father soon learned that and brought his son back to the United States. That was when Paul was twelve years of ago. In this country he went to grade school first and them to high school. While in high school he applied to the Post-Intelligencer for a job.
It is less than two years ago that an abbreviated Chinese boy, who looked as though he had just shed his knickerbockers and annexed a complete young man’s outfit, slowly and quietly made his way through the door leading to the editorial rooms of the Post-Intelligencer. Under his left arm was a portfolio, and the edges of white cardboard protruded from both sides.
Paul happened to drop into the office when every one was terribly busy. He soon learned that and learned also that no one had time to see him. But Paul was not discouraged. He wasn’t going anywhere. He had plenty of tim. so, he sat down and waited and waited. Several hours later, Tom Dillon, managing editor, walked out of his office and noted that there was some one waiting to see him.
“What’s troubling you son?” asked Mr. Dillon, smiling all the time. “Come in.”
Paul was encouraged at this display of cordiality after having been neglected so long. He had his recitation all framed in advance. He had rehearsed it many times, and he delivered it well. He exhibited his sketches and cartoons.
Mr. Dillon was impressed with the determination and ambition of Paul and, besides, he need an illustrator, so he told Mr. Fung he would give him a chance. He instructed him to report for work the following day. Paul was there, long before there was anything to do. When he was given his first task he threw all of his talents and energy into the work. The result was highly satisfactory. That was the beginning of Paul’s career as a cartoonist.
Paul Fung is very human. He is a good newspaper man. He has many friends and all of them value his friendship. He possesses the American point of view and has a real sense of humor. His cartoons are excellent.
(Next post on Friday: Paul Fung in Motion Picture World)