Kenneth Landau
Welcome to the
Kenneth Landau Project!

“Back To The Drawing Board”

Kenneth Landau was a comic book artist and cartoonist for over 40 years. His career began in 1941 and continued through the late 80’s, finishing with the Smurfs until he retired in late 1988.

At age 15, he dropped out of high school to begin work at Disney Studios doing the raindrops in the April showers scene on Bambi. His father Otto Landau worked in the orchestra as a concert violinist with Disney at the time, and was able to get Ken his first job as an inbetweener as they were called. He knew Ken had a special talent and watched him create multiple comic ideas and comic strips of his own from the time he was very young. Ken stayed on with Disney for a couple years and worked on many cartoons usually doing Goofy and Pluto from 1941 - 1943.

In 1944 Ken was drafted into the Army, but once he was there he did what he knew best. He drew a comic strip called Lucky for the Sheppard Field Army newspaper. It was very popular and was written up in the news paper. They felt he was somewhat famous because he had worked for Disney Studios. He also had much of his artwork in the gym for all to enjoy. He was only 19 years old when he met his future wife, Arra, at a USO gathering while he played Boogie Woogie on the piano. He returned when the war was over with his new wife and began creating multiple comic strips of his own for what he felt would be his future career working on a comic strip.

After trying to find work in Los Angeles he finally decided to go to New York at age 23, for one month to find work where the majority of the big comic book publishing companies were located at the time. Ken was hoping to sell one of his long worked on comic strips called Rock Beaumount, but working on comic books would be his lead in. Ken was picked up by a big publishing company in New York and began working on Forbidden Worlds and Adventures into the Unknown, among many other comic books. He was the first artist to work on their 3-D comic book.

The book I have written about Kens life story, his struggles with work and family tragedies, that should be out late 2018. It tells the story of what Ken went through, the ups and downs of the business and how he had to work 2-3 jobs while hoping to get his big break. Even delving into some X-rated comic books of his own under a pseudonym, while continuing to create many comic strips of his own.

I have many samples of those listed here on the website. Thanks for visiting my website about my father. I am so excited to share his work with the world. please sign up on my mailing list and keep checking back for the clothing line with original prints of his work as well as other items for sale with his one of a kind artwork.


He Was a Chameleon in Style.

He wasn’t the average cartoonist. He was not the easy going nerd as most were but a loud, rough yet funny jokester that drank, smoked heavily and gambled often on the horses as well as having many lady friends on the side. He was a loud, obnoxious, yet loveable guy. Although he wasn't perfect his co workers and other artists in the studios loved Ken. He brought humor and change into the studios when boredom set in. He was liked by many but disliked by some as well. He often told people exactly how he felt and got into trouble doing so at times. His story needs to be told mainly because it’s a story unlike any other

Kenneth Landau was a comic book artist, as well as a animation layout artist. He worked for every big animation studio there was, such as Hanna-Barbera, Depatie Freleng, and Disney, for over 30 years. He began his work on comic books in the 50’s and then went on to work on cartoons, but he never stopped creating multiple comic strips. Ken was well known for his artistic perfection and he could draw anything and copy anyone's work. He was a Chameleon, in style.

His top comic books like Forbidden Worlds, are still talked about on many blogs to this day. He was one of those artists that never made it big, but was better than most. He struggled during the time of war, when many were financially strapped, but his outlook was always promising. If something didn’t work out, he never sat for long but was instantly onto the next project.

Ken was the life of the party and often at whatever studio he was working for at the time, he would blow off steam by drawing the funny innocent cartoons he was working on into funny sexual scenarios just to get a laugh from the other artists that were working with him. Ken indeed was very different, but he also had a dark side, one that not many knew about. In this book I will talk delve into that dark side and the secret surname he used later on in his life

Ken's father was a concert violinist who worked for the best in the business and toured on the east coast and played with some of the top orchestras in the thirties and forties. He then came to California with his wife and began working for MGM, Disney, RKO and Universal. He was able to get Ken his first job at age 16 to work for Disney. He dropped out of High School and began what he felt was the career of a lifetime. His passion….

When Ken passed away in 2012, I came across a treasure-trove of all of his work and found out he drew many comic strips that never sold. Copies of some of this work will also be in this book, and books to come.

My Plans are to share as much of his amazing artwork as possible on reprints, a clothing line and three books with most of his artwork included in them.

Thank you for visiting my website about my father.

Maranee Landau