R. ROBERT POLLAK
Born in the Bronx, raised in Ellenville, New York. Robert enjoys both upstate and Brooklyn these days! He was inspired to draw by the Sunday comic sections and meeting Milton Caniff at a young age! College years at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. Having decided to stay in the city he designed Fifth Avenue windows right after college while doing free-lance illustration work. Later Robert became an art director for the J. C. Penney Corporation, when they were headquartered in NYC. Mr. Pollak taught for many years in the public school system and brought classic comic strips into the classroom as an educational tool.
Drawing since the 1970’s. Robert Pollak’s illustrations appeared in various magazines and newspapers over the years, including the SoHo Weekly News, Saks Fifth Avenue and Christopher Street Magazine. Recent illustrations appear in publications for The Ellenville Public Library and Museum and historic Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. He also contributed art to Red Stylo Media’s Shakespeare Shaken, Unfashioned Creatures (Frankenstein) and Killer Queen anthologies. With some fellow cartoonists Robert created a limited edition homage comic book for Bill Woggon’s 1945 Katy Keene called The Pin-Up Parade, and later a comic book titled Mermaids, Vixens, and Wenches.
In 2012 Robert started his own newspaper comic strip, Ellen’s Adventures at the Shadowland, for the Shawangunk Journal (a weekly upstate New York newspaper). It incorporates Ellenville’s Shadowland Theatre and landmarks in the Ulster County area. Pollak’s comic strips have been published in three books and a coloring book. A collection of all the strips are available in one graphic novel.
Having been friends with Dale Messick, it was a pleasure for Robert to be co-curator for a Brenda Starr exhibit at the Society of Illustrators. A Cavalcade of American Newspaper Comic Strip Art is an event Robert curated for the Ellenville Public Library and Museum. It is an exhibit of original comic strips from his own collection! It was inspired by the first cartoon art show he saw at Lever House in 1971! R. Robert Pollak always enjoys doing anything that has to do with comic strips!