Tuesday, February 18, 2020
Obscurity of the Day: Precocious Peter
Paul F. Brown is only known to have produced two newspaper strip series, both for the Boston Globe. His second, Sawdust Sim, was a virtuouso perfermance. His first, Precocious Peter, on the other hand, was as forgettable as the second was memorable. In this series which ran occasionally from May 7 1905 to February 3 1907*, a little boy dreams of some job or activity in which he'd like to engage. In some strips, like the one above, he comes out the hero; in others he gets in some very mild trouble, seldom his fault. In still others, he just plays at it and the strip ends without any real conclusion. I guess since the Globe had Billy the Boy Artist, they needed a little angel to balance out that more mischievous boy.
Note that in the episode above the Globe typesetter has had a little flying finger trouble spelling Precocious.
* Source: Dave Strickler's Boston Globe index.
Monday, February 17, 2020
Obscurity of the Day: The Man From - - -
Running only six times in the period January 24 to March 11 1907, this George McManus obscurity offers smug readers of the New York Evening World a view of how the other half lives ... defined as those poor wretches who do not live in New York City. This series gave McManus an occasional break from producing Newlyweds strips, for which readers had a voracious appetite. Each episode offered a look at a different hometown, starting with Chicago, Boston (January 29), Philadelphia (February 5), Milwaukee (February 9), New Jersey (March 5), and finally Louisville on the end date.
Saturday, February 15, 2020
What The Cartoonists Are Doing, December 1915 (Vol.8 No.6)
In November 1913 the magazine began to offer a monthly round-up of news about cartoonists and cartooning, eventually titled "What The Cartoonist Are Doing." There are lots of interesting historical nuggets in these sections, and this Stripper's Guide feature will reprint one issue's worth each week.]
REPRODUCING BIASED CARTOONS
The Philadelphia Record takes exception to the practice of certain editors of reproducing from the foreign newspapers, especially the German, “offensive cartoons and comment intended to place the United States, as represented by the President and his advisers, in a ridiculous and unfavorable light.”
If this be “hybrid journalism,” as the Record alleges, the editor of Cartoons Magazine must plead guilty. Ours, to quote further, “is the same spirit that, during the civil war, would have taken pleasure in reprinting from Punch its coarse caricatures of Lincoln.”
“When one considers,” adds the writer, “with what consummate skill and tact President Wilson has steered the ship of State through the most serious crisis in half a century it is difficult to understand that form of Americanism that seeks to belittle these achievements by giving wide publicity to the views held by ignorant and violently prejudiced foreign observers.”
The editorial is not directed particularly at Cartoons Magazine. We cannot agree, however, with the writer. Why, just for the sake of sparing our own feelings, should we conceal what others, “ignorant and prejudiced” though they may be, are thinking and saying of us on the other side of the Atlantic? Ought we to reproduce only the “nice” things, and blind ourselves to the unpleasant things? Only an ostrich, we believe, would pursue such a policy. Unjust and biased as many of these cartoons may be, they represent the soul thoughts of the nations they represent. They summarize the opinion of the man on the street. It is only the advocates of peace at any price who would deliberately close their eyes to the attitude of other powers toward us. Possibly we can read a lesson, although an unpleasant one, in some of these cartoons and sentiments, and, reading the lesson, be prepared for anything that may come in the future.
Edgar A. Schilder has left the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette and signed up with the International Syndicate of Baltimore, Maryland.
Harvey G. Parsons, formerly cartoonist of the Kansas State Journal has been drawing a number of sketches for a new Kansas history to be used in the public schools of that state.
Clifford Berryman, cartoonist of the Washington Star, has a sincere admirer in Daisy Fitzhugh Ayres, a correspondent for the Louisville Courier Journal. In one of her recent letters, Miss Ayres points out the fact that Berryman never takes liberties with other person's features. One of the most genial and whole souled of men, she says, Mr. Berryman enjoys a unique distinction in his art. We read:
“He never caricatures a face. However grotesque the pose and situation may be of the human object whom the circumstances of the day suggest to be the butt of his incisive pencil, the victim's facial characteristics, no matter what the expression of the moment depicted, are never in the least degree distorted.
“And this is where, perhaps, the kindliness of heart of the gifted young Kentuckian, is most conspicuously evinced.
“Not one of us enjoys being ridiculed. Our mug is our most sensitive organ. Our facial map lies mighty close to our heart, physiology or no physiology. To have our fair features distorted out of drawing to illustrate even the most poignant political situation, is an injury unbearable. Mr. Berryman, the star of Washington's cartoonists, leaves famous physiognomies to 'requiescat in pace, and not to rest in pieces,’ as O. Henry used to say. He takes outrageous liberties with the rest of famed physical anatomies, but he never monkeys with the features. That's Cliff. His nimble pencil has a heart of gold and not of lead.
“Notice for yourself, Wilson, Bryan, Roosevelt, the Kaiser, all the best selling countenances of the period, which are daily the object of Mr. Berryman's symbolic sketches. In each case the likeness of the celebrity remains intact, through every variant expression.
“And Mr. Berryman has a wonderful talent, too, in portraiture, and the temptation to distort, for a laugh's sake, must oftentimes be strong. But Cliff was raised a good old-fashioned Kentucky Presbyterian, and his conscience never lays down on the job.”
Some of these cartoons showing Uncle Sam handing out coin to foreign borrowers would have more point if it was the government that proposed to lend the money -- Pittsburgh Times.
ODE TO OUR NEIGHBORS
by Fred Myers in the Kidder (Indianapolis)
When I was sick with grip and chills
and half a dozen other ills,
The neighbors called each day to tell,
When they were sick how they got well.
And each one had a remedy
For ailments that afflicted me
They pumped me full of nasty dope
Until I finally gave up hope.
“Good morning—how you feeling?” “Punk.”
“You ought to try some of this junk
It fixed my uncle when he had
The same as you but twice as bad.”
“You can't go wrong,” another said,
“With a Swiss cheese poultice on your head.”
Or “Dr. Perkins Peanut Pills You'll find will cure all human ills.”
The undertaker called each day
To be there when I passed away,
Afraid, the mercenary slob,
Somebody else might get the job.
The parson asked my fav'rite hymn
And while the lights were low and dim
Another hung around for hours
To ask about my choice of flowers.
At last when I was nearly dead
I called my family in and said,
“If I must die then I'll agree,
But please don't let 'em poison me.”
So now as long as I shall live,
To others nasty cures I'll give.
To give, the Good Book says, I b'lieve,
Is far more bless'd than to receive.
Ad. Goodwin has been free-lancing in New York since leaving the Buffalo Express.
PUNCH CARTOONS DE LUXE
Lovers of good prints will welcome the announcement of Punch to the effect that the first of a series of war cartoons published originally in the famous British weekly is now offered in de-luxe form. The set consists of twelve cartoons, printed from the original plates on tinted India paper, and mounted on rough-edged Whatman boards. Among the prints are Bernard Partridge’s “The Triumph of Culture,” “The World Enemy,” and “The King at the Front,” and L. Raven-Hill’s “India for the King.”
“The largest aggregation of cartoonists ever gathered under one tent,” as Helena Smith Dayton expresses it, served as a jury of critics at the dress rehearsal and fashion show of costumes for the suffrage parade recently at Mrs. Dayton's studio in New York. Society leaders, actresses, novelists, and suffragettes mingled with the cartoonists, had their pictures taken, and partook of tea and macaroons. Among the cartoonists who received invitations were Clare Briggs, R. M. Brinkerhoff, Robert Carter, Oscar Cesare, T. A. Dorgan, Norman Green, Bud Fisher, Fontaine Fox, R. L. Goldberg, Rollin Kirby, Fred A. Opper, Hy Mayer, W. A. Rogers, Lawrence Semon, Herb Roth, Cliff Sterrett, C. A. Voight, H. T. Webster, Art Young, Hal Coffman, Winsor McCay, J. H. Cassel, Rehse, and Marcus.
We don't know whether it is much of a boost for suffrage to have it announced that “Secretary Redfield is for it.” In fact, when you think of the cartoons you realize that little men with side whiskers are always for it, anyway.—Chicago Evening Post.
A genuine addition to the humor of the war has been made by Claude H. G. Woodhouse in his collection of “War Plants” published by a London firm. The “products of intensive culture” described by Mr. Woodhouse would challenge even Luther Burbank's art. They belong more to the school of Edward Lear or Oliver Herford. The sample reproduced herewith is christened “Sanguinaria Williamia,” and is described as a “plant at one time placed by British botanists among the Sweet-Williams (Caryophyllaceae),” but which really belongs to the Sanguinariaceae. It is, moreover, a flower “easily recognized by its two curiously upturned petals and by its epaulettelous leaves.” As regards habitat, for full development “a place in the sun” is essential.
DORGAN’S IDEA CONTEST
T. A. Dorgan (“Tad”) has been carrying on through the columns of the Cleveland Leader, a popular contest for amateur artists of the Forest City. Prizes of autographed cartoons were offered, and artists were asked to submit ideas and sketches for an “Indoor Sport” cartoon.
MINOR SAILS FOR EUROPE
Robert Minor, of the New York Call, has sailed for Europe, where he promises to “rip the brass buttons off from the big war.” According to his publishers, he is going to tell the truth, and to sketch things as they are, not glorifying horror for the mere sake of being horrible. His pictures, we are told, “will not be colored by the sheen of gold lace or the glitter of helmets.”
“HANSI’S” INFLUENCE ON THE FRENCH STAGE
Writing in Pester Lloyd (Budapest) on French war sentiment, Max Nordau, the Hungarian critic, and Paris correspondent for Vienna, Budapest, and Berlin newspapers, tells of the influence of “Hansi,” the Alsatian cartoonist, on the stage of France. In a translation of his article, made for the Vital Issue, we read that the characters in the war play “Alsace,” by Gaston Leroux and Lucien Camille—that is, the German characters—were taken from the cartoons of “Hansi,” and especially from his bitingly sarcastic book “Professor Knatschke.”
They are, as Nordau tells us, “officers stiff as ramrods, of enormous self-conceit and little education, grotesque officials without tact or understanding, a long-bearded, bespectacled, portly professor in a coarse woolen coat, wearing the green Tyrolean hat, adorned with the beard of a chamois .... coarse-hearted, despicable, greedy, forward women, who look like milkmaids dressed for a visit to the city .... foolishly arrogant barbarians without a trace of understanding for the feeling of disgust .... which they arouse in the vanquished.” The play was produced at the Theatre Réjane.
“The cartoonists,” says the Kansas City Journal, “always try to make a public man they would condemn look repulsive, but in the case of Dr. Dumba they have only to make him look natural.”
J. H. Donahey, of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, has erected an office building in the Forest City, and has been dreaming of concrete, steel beams, and fire escapes.
John T. McCutcheon, who has returned from his second visit to the war zone, has been contributing to the Chicago Tribune an interesting series of sketches from the front. Mr. McCutcheon's most thrilling experience was his trip over the German lines in a French aeroplane.
Harry Murphy, cartoonist of the Chicago Examiner, has been doing the big fairs on the Pacific coast.
H. T. Webster, cartoonist of the New York Globe, accompanied by Frank Casey, art editor of Collier's Weekly, spent a week last October in the Adirondacks. They made their headquarters at the lodge of F. P. Collins, adjoining the Harry Payne Whitney estate, and hunted both on Mr. Collins’ and Mr. Whitney's preserves. Web writes that he bagged some partridges, which is not surprising, considering that the joint estates included some 96,000 acres.
CARTOONISTS HUMBLE ACTORS
At Bayside, L.I., recently a baseball team captained by T. A. Dorgan (“Tad”) and composed of New York cartoonists and newspaper artists, defeated a team of actors captained by James J. Corbett, former heavyweight champion of the world. Four innings were played, and the score was 18 to 3. “Tad” was in the box for the cartoonists. Among his players were Hal Coffman, Lawrence Semon, Robert Carter, Rube Goldberg, and Walter Hoban. A clambake followed the ball game.
Winsor McCay, who is again on the vaudeville stage, was the guest of honor recently at a banquet in Brooklyn. Following the banquet the guests attended his performance at the Orpheum Theater. William E. Kelly, postmaster of Brooklyn, stepped upon the stage and presented Mr. McCay with a huge basket of American beauties.
CARTOONISTS AND CANDIDATES
Town Topics, of Cleveland, Ohio, makes the following observations on the work of the cartoonists during fall political campaigns. “Personally,” comments Town Topics, “these cartoonists are genial enough men,” and probably do not intend to be so disagreeable. “But,” adds the writer, “editors think that it is necessary, in order to win, to make their political opponents look like pirates, highwaymen, murderers or clowns. So they are giving the orders to the cartoonists to get busy on rough stuff. The cartoonists are making some of the politicians look like born criminals, and others like born fools. Of course, they do not look that way any more than the cartoonists look disagreeable, but the editors and cartoonists, regardless of whatever breeding and education they may have, think it necessary to cater to a low element and to use coarse pictures in political campaigns.”
A reader in Pekin, Ill., sends in “free of charge” the following suggestions:
“(1) Draw roosters representing all nations. A hen house with roosts in it, with the most quiet country sitting on the highest one. At the bottom have Belgium drawn out as a rooster lying dead on the ground, and Germany drawn in a different position battling hard with Russia and England. Also have Austria and Turkey there, with Bulgaria looking in the door ready to assist Germany, and have a nest on the wall with Japan sitting idly in it. Remember have the Eagle sitting above all watching the outcome.
“(2) Draw two steam rollers, one representing Germany, and the other Russia. Have them bucking each other, with Germany getting pushed back, and Russia in a zig-zag fashion, try to draw the cities as their destinations.
“(3) Draw a motorcycle coming down the road a-tearing, with Austria and Turkey following, and Belgium drawn as a man ran over, and Serbia right in front of the tire coming next, and the rest of the allies with all hands joined, stretched across the road, ready to stop him. Represent Japan by having him with his motorcycle fixing his tire in the rear of the allies.”
MISS DAVENPORT KILLED
Miss Cleo Davenport, sister of the late Homer Davenport, was killed September 29 in Los Angeles, when struck by an automobile. Miss Davenport was strolling with her fiancé, Frank Travers, an official of the Panama-Pacific Steamship Co., when the accident occurred. Mr. Travers was seriously injured. The driver of the car escaped without revealing his identity.
If you still have, tucked away under your vest, the heart of a boy; if you still sometimes chuckle over the exploits of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn; if your memory still wanders back along the Road to Yesterday, or lingers in the Golden Age, you will appreciate the little book of “Boyhood Thrills” drawn by H. T. Webster, cartoonist of the New York Globe, and published by the George H. Doran Co.
Many of the thrills already are familiar to readers of Cartoons Magazine. But every one of them will summon back a half-forgotten little comedy or tragedy. Do you remember testing the tomato-can telephone; calling for the first time on your sweetheart with a livery rig; putting things on the track for No. 3 to run over; finding a copper boiler in the junk heap, or tormenting a faithful dog friend by hiding under a pile of autumn leaves?
Mr. Webster received his original boyhood thrills in the small town of Tomahawk, Wis., which nestles among a chain of crystal lakes. He was brought up on Mark Twain, and he had an old-fashioned mother who allowed him to go barefoot.
Five sets of cartoons are included in the book under these heads: “The Thrill That Comes Once in a Lifetime,” “Our Boyhood Ambitions,” “The Most Futile Thing in the World,” “Life's Darkest Moments,” and, “Dogs, Automobiles, and Things.”
The artist has sent in a sketch showing a thrill he himself recently experienced.
CARTOONISTS AS HISTORIANS
“Punch cartoons,” observes a writer in the Boston Advertiser, “must take place among the few sets of contemporary documents that have their origins in the brains of artists with pencil and brush, that actually reflect the views of the British people. Many students of the war are beginning to collect literature that is illustrative of its myriad phases or that mirror the fleeting hates and sympathies of the nations involved. No collection can hope to be complete if it omits the important work of the cartoonists.
“Time alone can reveal what measure of incentive or what fraction of interpretation is furnished by the men who see things not in words, but in the virile shapes of visible figures of men and of events.”
Labels: What The Cartoonists Are Doing
Friday, February 14, 2020
Wish You Were Here, from Dave Breger
Here's another card from Dave Breger's series for Nyack Art Pictures. For those interested, the code on the back is 605 / 89368, whatever that means. Still only finding unused copies of these, so I'm still just guessing that the series was published in the 1950s.
I worked my way through college pumping gas. One of the last full service stations in our area. I didn't cut hair, but I did check fluids, wash the windshield and see if the tires were properly inflated. Not only did I get a tip maybe once or twice per hundred fill-ups, but people sometimes actually got angry when I'd find that their oil or other fluids were low. They seemed to be dead certain I was lying about them needing a top-off or that I was making a kickback by selling oil and tranny fluid ... which I wasn't.
Labels: Wish You Were Here
Even if you hold off on the clippers, you might still be out to give em' a trim.
Thursday, February 13, 2020
Magazine Cover Comics: Let's All Elope
Raeburn Van Buren was just about to embark on a long stint working on Hearst's daily romantic cartoon series when he was tapped to provide a very short series for their Sunday magazine covers. Let's All Elope was only three episodes long, and foolishly tried to tackle a story of two star-crossed couples in a comedy of errors that needed way more space to make any sense to readers. The final episode, above, reads more like the Cliff's Notes to the story than the story itself.
Let's All Elope ran from February 12 to 26 1933, and comes just months before the end of the King Features magazine cover series. With cover series like this, no wonder it was cancelled.
Labels: Magazine Cover Comics
Wednesday, February 12, 2020
Obscurity of the Day: The Funny Side of Life in Montana
Courtesy of Cole Johnsons's archives, today we have the entire run of a series about J. Campbell Cory's trip to Montana. This series ran in the New York World for four installments from November 27 to December 18 1898.
From the perspective of humor, the series is no classic, but Cory's delightful art and the superb coloring job on the first and last installments make this series worth remembering. His depiction of frontier life may or may not reflect the state of the wild west as he encountered it, but it certainly plays into all the familiar stereotypical accounts brought back by Eastern dudes in search of what Teddy Roosevelt would soon call the 'strenuous life.'
You may wonder at my choice of The Funny Side of Life in Montana as the headline title. After all, it was only used on the third installment, and that installment was a minor one, running in two colors on an interior page of the World. But Ken Barker chose this as the series title for his New York World index and I agree with his choice. This is the only installment which recognizes that this is a series, by use of "Series III" in the headline, and so we both think that Cory considered this his true title, despite it not being used elsewhere.
The first strip here; "Training in Montana for Governor of New York" obviously alludes to Theodore Roosevelt's ascension to that office in the election of just a few weeks past.
Earlier in that year, T.R. had won an important battle in Cuba during the Spanish-American war, and was well known to have spent many years in the far West hunting, cattle raising, cowboying, and generally living a life of outdoor adventures.
Tuesday, February 11, 2020
Obscurity of the Day: Karl and Fritz
The Chicago Tribune went for German cartoonists in a big way in 1906-07, and my impression is that some of them were brought over to Chicago while others submitted material from their homeland. My guess is that Victor Schramm is one of the latter type, especially since he consistently adds 'Munich' after his signature.
Schramm created only one series for the Tribune, but what a memorable one it was. Karl and Fritz is about yet another pair of rotten kids who play pranks --- okay, so that part is a real yawn -- but wow are these some memorably stomach-turning pranks.
I've only seen a handful of strips, but each one outdoes the last for pushing the envelope of good taste. I'll not say more than that, but leave it to you to discover the depravities of Schramm's weird mind. After you've checked these out, head on over to Barnacle Press for more.
As usual with these Germans in the Tribune, determining the full runs of their strips is made harder because in most Tribune microfilm the Feininger pages are missing, and the other Germans are often inhabiting the other side. With the help of Cole Johnson, who had a pretty good collection of miraculously unpilfered sections, it seems as if Karl and Fritz ran June 3 to December 2 1906. Cole also supplied the sample scans.
Cole had indeed, a rare run of untouched Chi' Trib, you'll note that they came from a bound run (which I disembounded myself) from the Minnesota Historical Society, which you'll also note is rubber stamped on the cover of the first example. They really loved stamping that on the cover of every last section of every edition, daily and Sunday.
I don't know as the Germans came over to do the Trib stuff, I was of the belief that Schram, Horina,Fieninger, et al. were churning them out back in Der Faderland at the same time they were all working at one of the German cartoon mags. I think it was either Simplicissimus or Kladderadich. Can't recall. Cole would've- he had a pile of them right into the end of the end of WWII, when they weren't so funny any more. Teutonic humor then or back in 1906, is an acquired taste.
Sure, you could buy a side of Beef then; you can finish off one at a single sitting, if you're hungry enough- and provided you're eighteen feet tall.
Why those little bastards! Sewing a drunken man up in a side of beef is one thing, but sewing a poor Cat up in a rabbit skin, ach! Enough iss too much!
Monday, February 10, 2020
Toppers: Barney Google's Knee-Hi-Knoodles
One of these days we'll discuss the classic and much in need of reprinting Barney Google topper Bunky, but today we're going to settle for a forgotten secondary topper, Knee-Hi-Knoodles.
In the mid-1930s King Features started strongarming cartoonists to supply not just one but two toppers for each Sunday strip, all the better to shore up the front page headline that "The Sunday Gawker has 99,999 Comics!" Billy DeBeck responded with an oft-changing set of panel cartoon series. Knee-Hi-Knoodles offered up wacky wisdom from the mouths of children when it began on September 9 1934. Eventually, though, DeBeck found the restriction to kids more than he wanted to deal with, and on March 24 1935 the title was changed to DeBeck's Knoodles, so that the gag lines could be an all-ages sport.
The feature was dropped after the installment of June 23 1935, and DeBeck produced only a single topper, Bunky, for the next few months, flouting King Features' directive.
Labels: Topper Features
My impression was that though they might be technically counted as another feature,they impressed few editors or readers. Some cartoonists really enjoyed doing them, like Jimmy Murphy, who had earlier devised the "comic Stamp" and "Play Money" features that many of the other KFS strips had for a little while. His cutout dolls were apparently very popular, and other cartoonists with girl leads in their strips followed suit, even over in other syndicates.
But you will notice that the extra panel idea was dropped by most of the KFS series by the begining of WWII. The most important of the panels was Chic Young's, which was a nondescript thing called "Sideshow", which he replaced with "Colonel Potterby & the Duchess" in early 1935, which expanded to become the top comic after only a few weeks, when "The Family Foursome" was retired. The Colonel and the Duchess went on to become the last of the top comics, lasting until the Autumn of 1963.
Saturday, February 08, 2020
What The Cartoonists Are Doing, November 1915 (Vol.8 No.5)
In November 1913 the magazine began to offer a monthly round-up of news about cartoonists and cartooning, eventually titled "What The Cartoonist Are Doing." There are lots of interesting historical nuggets in these sections, and this Stripper's Guide feature will reprint one issue's worth each week.]
THE MODERN CARTOON
From the Portland Oregonian
When it is declared that there are nowadays no great cartoonists or illustrators, it ought to be recalled that the conditions controlling the art of newspaper caricature and pictorial lampooning are not what they were fifty, or twenty, or even ten years ago. Let us go back no farther than Thomas Nast, who was the most famous, and usually regarded as the greatest, of all American cartoonists. Mr. Nast's first and only notable work was with Harper's Weekly. During the Civil War, a tremendous episode in our history, he began his work. No one who has examined the usual political and personal caricatures of that day can fail to note their wretched and brutal character—miserable as art productions and savage in spirit and expression. Mr. Nast did much to make the profession of the caricaturist respectable. His talents as an artist were considerable, but his insight into affairs, his understanding of the motives of men, and his ability to give them pictorial form are the real secrets of his power.
There was no rival for Nast. He was alone in a field practically untilled. He rarely drew more than a single cartoon a week, and it is easy to see that he had ample time for the study of events and for the full play of his genius. To a great extent the weekly drawing of Nast was inspirational, for undoubtedly he was a man of temperament as well as a student of current history. He was not called upon for a daily offering, and he was therefore not oppressed by the exacting and remorseless grind of daily journalism.
When Nast left Harper's Weekly, after years of remarkable service to his employment and to the cause of truth and decency in public affairs, he made no impression through his contributions to the newspapers. His vogue was gone. He died a heartbroken man. It is an open question whether he might not have sustained his great reputation if he had remained with Harper's. In his latter days other caricaturists had come to the fore and Nast and Harper's no longer enjoyed a monopoly in that line.
Who looks nowadays to an American weekly for a cartoon? Originally the newspaper had no pictures or illustrations and did not have them for many years after they were a feature of the weeklies and monthlies. But with the discovery of a practicable process of newspaper illustration, and with its development through the adaptation of engraving and other methods to newspaper needs, the place of the weekly and the magazine was almost wholly taken by the newspapers, so far as illustration of current events is concerned. Yet it is true that in Great Britain the cartoon remains the peculiar possession of the weekly, and it is the same in Germany. There is a wide difference, however, in the German and British methods, for the Briton seeks to make of his cartoon an elaborate work of art, and the German confines himself to simple lines and memory impressions. The Englishman often uses models and excels as a draughtsman. The German burlesques his subject, and strives for humorous and grotesque effects. So does the American, though there is in this country a wide variety of style and treatment. There is no real American school, as there is a British and a German school. But there are thousands of American cartoonists giving the public their daily output, and making their appeal on every possible subject of human interest.
There is now no Thomas Nast of American journalism. Under our conditions it is doubtful if there could be. But there are a great many fine artists drawing good cartoons and excellent cartoonists making pictures that could by no stretch of the imagination be called sound art. No one, for example, would describe John T. Mc Cutcheon as a true artist, but who has not enjoyed his remarkable contributions to the pictorial literature of American life in all its prominent phases?
It would be easy to name others who are doing good work. On the whole, the average is very high, and certainly an irreparable loss would be suffered by journalism if the services of the cartoonist were to be dropped. The cartoon has come to be an effort to editorialize in a picture the current daily feature of the news or of public thought. The old cartoon—the Nast picture —was a complex affair, always with a central theme, but with many figures and contributing or incidental suggestions. Now it is different. The modern cartoon is a simple thing, with one idea. It requires no study to understand its meaning or to comprehend its scope. It can be absorbed at a glance. It may not be art, but it is something even better. It is the symbol of a truth.
A Rev. M.R. Todd, of Elvaston, Ill., writes to the Chicago Tribune complaining about Frank King's “insipid, unpatriotic, unmanly cartoons.” Mr. King, specimens of whose work are reproduced elsewhere in this magazine, has created a “new” Uncle Sam, flabby and corpulent and rich. Says the Tribune in reply to Mr. Todd:
“The cartoons of Mr. King are correct representations of Uncle Sam as he really is. They might possibly indicate a little more amiability and moral quality, both of which the spirit of this nation possesses. They could not possibly exaggerate the fact that our idealized Uncle Sam requires more tape to measure his waist than his chest.
“It is in a way immoral for this nation to continue to regard itself as typified by a gaunt, muscular, forgiving, but powerful figure, slow to wrath but dreadful in it; able, when aroused in just cause, to admonish and punish the lesser and brawling nations of the earth.
“That is the favorite Uncle Sam of the American imagination, and he is in truth a dreadful figure—but dreadful to the persons who believe and trust in him.
“The lovers of a defiant Uncle Sam are the persons who never think of themselves as sustaining a bullet wound in the abdomen. That bullet is to rip open some other abdomen, and they are to live in the gratification of a pleased dignity.
“The Rev. Mr. Todd's subscription does not expire for nearly a year. If he will continue that long we promise him that the cartoons of Uncle Sam will record any improvement made in the shape and disposition of Uncle Sam. We hope, knowing what new spirit is filling the American people, that by August, 1916, Uncle Sam will be not a bit less just and peaceable, but a terrific lot more able to make his righteous indignation effective.”
To which the Milwaukee Sentinel adds:
“Cartoonist King has invented an 'Uncle Sam,' new style; a figure of Falstaffian girth and obese unfitness for anything in the way of a physical encounter, to take the place of the lean, powerful and sinewy 'Sam' and ‘Jonathan' of the stock cartoon, slow to anger, but terrible as Achilles and fit to whip his weight in wildcats, when roused.
“Mr. Todd considers it 'unmanly and unpatriotic' to portray Uncle Sam as fat and helpless.
“But what about the fact, Mr. Todd? Would 'twere otherwise. The thing to do is to make it otherwise; and to impress it on this nation that it must be made otherwise, and that is the end and purpose of the offending cartoons. Mr. King is telling some hard truths in a galling and rather ribald but effective way.”
THE CASE OF THE CARTOONIST
From the Chicago Tribune
Cartoons in newspapers are reasonably faithful indices of the political thought of the nation. They are theoretically directed in their appeal toward the entire circulations of newspapers, and they are designed to influence thought quickly.
But newspaper cartoons point out more than favorite policies; they indicate more than the specific opinions of the groups which make up the nation; they offer a clew to more than passing squabbles over immigration and neutrality, over national defense and extra-national trade. By their manner, their technique, they go to the bedrock of our democracy.
The cartoonist touches subjects which everyone talks of. But he assumes nothing as to the intelligence of the person he addresses. Out of the far west comes a graphic treatment of the desolate situation of national defense. Mr. Wilson, labeled, is standing in a gymnasium. In his hands is a medicine ball, labeled “preparedness.” He is about to throw it to Uncle Sam, labeled, who is extending his two arms, labeled “army” and “navy,” respectively. In the gallery is Bryan, labeled. On the wall in the form of the rules of the gymnasium is the phrase, “An ounce of prevention,” etc. On the floor is a book which by its label concerns self-defense.
One difficulty may be that this nation has few types. The cowboy is fast departing; the ward boss, and the Boston child, etc. The cartoonist is handicapped by his medium. There are few explicit symbols.
The labeling of the obvious may be justified by experience. If it is we must accept a disconcerting theory of American intelligence. It would be pleasanter to think that the lack was in the cartoonist. The obvious may appear mysterious to his timidity. Otherwise this is yet a nation of parishes in which even Mr. Wilson, Mr. Roosevelt, or Mr. Bryan cannot expect recognition unless they be labeled or announced.
J. E. Murphy, for four years cartoonist of the Oregon Journal, of Portland, has left that position to become cartoonist of the The San Francisco Call and Post. The change was made October 1. Prior to his connection with the Oregonian Mr. Murphy was employed on Omaha and Spokane newspapers. He has recently issued a cartoon booklet entitled “Mr. Tourist in Portland and Oregon,” dedicated to the “See Portland First” idea, and devoted to the business and scenic advantages of the Rose City.
FRANK BOWERS RETIRES
Frank Bowers, one of the veterans of cartoondom, has given up his position on the Indianapolis Star, and gone back to his old home in Oregon to become a rancher. Mr. Bowers is a cousin of the late Homer Davenport.
Puck has added to its numerous attractions a weekly cartoon by W. Heath Robinson, the London artist, whose quaint and amusing drawings for the London Sketch have given him a world-wide reputation.
Robert Minor, cartoonist of the New York Call, was one of the speakers at the recent mass meeting in Elizabeth, N. J., for the organization of the Call Boosters’ Club. Mr. Minor illustrated his talk with a series of cartoons designed to promote the interests of socialism.
James E. Maher has joined the staff of the Milford, (Conn.) Times as cartoonist.
Another lamentable change is noticed, still speaking of the Colonel. The cartoonists have taken to drawing him with those famous teeth concealed by a mustache.— Rome (N. Y.) Sentinel.
NAST'S GRANDDAUGHTER WED
Miss Muriel Nast Crawford, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. R. Crawford, of New Rochelle, New York, and granddaughter of the late Thomas Nast, was married September 16 to Donald E. Battey. The wedding took place in the new Crawford residence on Overlook Circle, Beechmont, New Rochelle. Miss Sallie Nast was one of the bride's attendants. Thomas Nast Crawford and Thomas Nast Hill were among the ushers. Mr. and Mrs. Battey will live in a colonial house in Beechmont recently built by the bridegroom for the bride.
“HANSI’S” CRUSADE RECALLED
The death on the firing line recently of Lieut. Baron von Forstner, who gained notoriety as the result of the Zabern incident, recalls “Hansi's" cartoon fight against Germany. It was the stabbing by von Forstner of a crippled shoemaker at Zabern, Alsace, that inspired the Alsatian cartoonist in his anti-German crusade. “Hansi,” it will be remembered, was sentenced by a German court to serve a year's imprisonment, but managed to escape into France, where he is now serving as a lieutenant in the army. The Zabern affair, which occurred in 1913, created much excitement throughout Germany.
Hy Mayer, of Puck, has been visiting the Pacific coast fairs. He has cartooned his experiences for the movies.
“BRINK” JOINS NEW YORK MAIL
Robert M. Brinkerhoff, magazine illustrator and cartoonist, has joined the staff of the New York Evening Mail, and has been drawing the editorial-page cartoons.
“Brink” went from the Cincinnati Post to New York to try his hand at free-lancing, and won recognition by his drawings for Collier's, St. Nicholas, and other magazines. Before coming to Cincinnati he had been on the art staff of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
“Am trying hard,” he writes, “to get a human note in serious stuff.” Samples of his work reproduced in this issue of Cartoons Magazine will show to what extent he has succeeded.
|Brangwyn Poster Stamps|
BRANGWYN’S WAR POSTERS
The Avenue Press of London has issued a series of poster stamps designed by Frank Brangwyn, the British artist, whose work for the Panama-Pacific Exposition has increased his popularity in America. The stamps will be sold for the benefit of certain war charities.
ORR RENEWS CONTRACT
Carey C. Orr, cartoonist of the Nashville Tennessean, has signed a contract agreeing to remain with the Tennessean two years more. Several rival publishers, it is said, were negotiating for his services at the time, including the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Mr. Orr was born in Ada, Ohio, 25 years ago. For the first 13 years of his life he lived on a farm, then went to Spokane, Wash., where he received his high-school education. After finishing school he took a position in his father's lumber plant. By playing professional baseball on a Canadian team he earned enough money for a course at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. He joined the art staff of the Chicago Examiner in 1911, and from there went to the Tennessean. His first cartoon for that newspaper had President Wilson as its subject. He was married recently to Miss Cherry Maude Kindel. Mr. and Mrs. Orr live in a pretty bungalow in Belmont Heights. Mr. Orr's cartoons, especially on political subjects, are deservedly popular at Washington, where he is almost as well-known as in Nashville. He is a Mason, and a member of the Rotary Club.
BERRYMAN AS GOLFER
Clifford K. Berryman, cartoonist of the Washington Star, is learning to play golf. A few days ago, according to a writer on the Star, after he thought he was capable of swinging at a ball without breaking his own neck, he stepped out on the green of the Columbia Country Club, all dressed up, with eighteen new clubs and a dozen and a half of brand-new balls.
He swung his driver at a dandelion and nipped its head; then he neatly drove a cigarette butt about thirty feet in the air and seemed to have every chance of making a 200-yard drive from the tee.
He built a fine little sand pile, placed one of those fine new balls upon it and then grabbed his club for business. He had the correct back swing and his eye was on the ball, but when he swooped downward the club head was scarcely within eighteen inches of the ball.
Then he drew back again and made another attempt. He did considerably better, as the distance between club head and ball was reduced to a mere matter of six inches.
However, that did not satisfy him. He next delivered a terrific swipe at the ball, which toppled from its tee and rolled about a foot.
Cliff looked up in dismay. As his face became visible to the occupant of a bench near at hand a voice was heard to say:
“Why, Berryman, is that you? I thought it must be Dr. Grayson.”
The audience was President Wilson. He had gone quietly to the bench to sit down and await his turn to drive.
THE ABUSED POLITICIAN
Cartoonists are too apt to use the rubber stamp. Thus the average politician, as portrayed in the cartoons, is supposed to dress loudly (usually in checks), wear a gold watch chain, smoke black cigars, and be interested in the material things of life.
Now comes David H. Lane, republican city chairman of Philadelphia, who says: “In all my experience [Mr. Lane is 76 years old] I have never seen the politician that the newspaper cartoonist's picture. Take any thousand politicians, and you will find them an honester, straighter body of men than a thousand in any other profession.”
Unfortunately for the politician, his past associations with gang rule and bossism have identified him with those institutions. Cartoonists must make their figures recognizable without labels. The laboring man must have the biceps of a blacksmith, and must wear a box cap. Similarly the politician must smoke strong cigars and wear check suits. Otherwise, how would the public know him?
PREFER SENTIMENT TO HATRED
Picture postcards of the war, which probably reflect popular feeling fairly well, are not quite so merry as in the early days. A year ago caricatures of the kaiser were in great demand, but now the cards that sell best are of a sentimental or domestic type. The kaiser still appears in various characters—as a dachshund on crutches, a guy, a Zeppelin gasbag, a burglar, and, in company with the crown prince, as a bad pear— but such cards are no longer in conspicuous positions in shop windows. The kaiser, it seems, can no longer be relied on as the chief stock-in-trade of the picture postcard artist. The British public—always eager for change—is apparently losing interest in him.
The sentimental cards are growing in number daily. Pictures of the soldier saying good-bye, and of his return home, are in every window, and there is a great number of cards based on what may be called cinema emotion. A young soldier stands on guard outside a tent, and in the sky, among the clouds, apparently no more than 200 feet up, is the face of a girl. The soldier is charged with saying: “I wonder if you miss me sometimes.”
There are several pathetic series, chiefly concerned with good-byes. Probably they are not very true to life, but they sell very well—not among soldiers, but among elderly non-combatants. “Good-bye, mother darling,” says the soldier to his weeping mother. But do such farewells happen except on picture post cards?—London News and Leader.
|Albert Bloch, "Still Life" (1914)|
THE BIZARRERIES OF ALBERT BLOCH
Albert Bloch, once cartoonist and caricaturist of Reedy's Mirror, of St. Louis, now of Munich, has 25 of his most recent paintings on exhibition at the City Art Museum of St. Louis. Among them is a portrait of Robert Minor, the cartoonist of the New York Call. Speaking of the paintings, Reedy's Mirror says: “They are to the Greeks foolishness. They are not after-impressionist, but before-impressionist and beyond. The exhibit is an escape from the conventional into a realm of almost, if not quite, pure art—wherein painting enters as does music.”
H. M. Waddell, a New York cartoonist, accompanied by his wife and children, has been making a trip from New York to San Francisco in a “house car.” An automobile equipped with all the comforts of home was used, and Mr. Waddell and his family traveled prairie-schooner style, camping by night wherever the setting sun found them.
BUSHNELL, DOC & CO.
E. A. Bushnell, recently cartoonist of the Central Press Association, of Cleveland, announces from New York that he has gone into business for himself. And, what is more, he has taken “Doc,” that melancholy hound of his, back into the firm. “Doc,” it will be remembered, was banished recently after having appeared in more than 3,000 cartoons.
O. O. McIntyre, who is a silent partner in the enterprise, and who was at one time associated with Bushnell in the west, writes the following appreciation of the cartoonist:
“Bushnell has a more serious mien now but beneath his shy, reserved exterior one feels instinctively that he is a confirmed optimist. He can laugh while going over the bumps better than any man I ever saw.
“One day our freckled-faced office boy was missing. We called him Rags and that described him. He drifted into our midst on the crest of an Ohio blizzard to keep warm and he became an office fixture as well as an office joy. No one teased Rags more than Bushnell. He would send him after wallpaper stretchers and once had the lad perspiring profusely when he sent him after a bucket of editorials and an unfeeling linotype operator filled his bucket with slabs of lead.
“No one knew where Rags had gone. Later we learned from others—not from Bushnell—that the lad had, from an accident on the street, become crippled. He was a Horatio Alger type in real life, for three were dependent upon him—a mother, father and sister. Bushnell after the first week went out on a still hunt for Rags. He found him in the most squalid shack on the river front.
“The next day Rags and his family were transported to a modest little farm house near the city and during the day a wagon backed up with loads of provisions. Rags today is a college graduate. They say he too admires Bushnell's cartoons.”
THE WOODWORTH EXHIBITION
An exhibition of war cartoons from the collection of Mr. Newell B. Woodworth, of Syracuse, N. Y., was held at the Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts from September 15 to October 15. Hundreds of cartoons were shown, representing the United States, England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, the Latin American countries, and the British colonies. A fine exhibit of Raemaekers' work, many originals by American cartoonists, and the latest war posters from England were the principal attractions.
CARTOONIST HANNY MARRIED
William Hanny, cartoonist of the St. Joseph (Mo.) News-Press, was married September 23 to Miss Alida Wycoff, daughter of Mrs. C. F. Wycoff, of Chillicothe. The wedding took place at the bride's home. Mr. and Mrs. Hanny will reside in St. Joseph.
Uncle Sam in a monocle is one of the queerest of spectacles. A French cartoonist so represents him. Of the three parts of gall, the Parisian artists have two at least and an interest in what remains.—Brooklyn Eagle.
Labels: What The Cartoonists Are Doing
Friday, February 07, 2020
Wish You Were Here, from Hans Horina
Here's another postcard in the Hans Horina series published by J.I. Austen Company of Chicago. This one is A-263.
Labels: Wish You Were Here
I know I've seen "bones a week" in old fiction, but I don't think I've ever seen "bones" used for dollars in any other context.
Thursday, February 06, 2020
Obscurity of the Day: Ain't It Just Like a Woman?
C.L. Sherman, one of the mainstays of the Boston Traveler's cartooning bullpen, wasn't the strongest delineator of the human form, so his comic strips tended to star animals. In Ain't It Just Like a Woman?, ducks are the animal of choice though they don't really figure much into the gags.
The foibles of women are a favorite subject of cartoonists, and Sherman found no shortage of gags to mine with this series, which ran in the Traveler and in syndication as one of his weekday strips from January 1 1909 to February 24 1910, a respectable run for those days.
In October 1909 Sherman had an attack of good grammar and changed the title to Isn't It Just Like a Woman? for the remainder of the series.
PS -- the byline on the second example to E.H. Weaver is a mistake; he was another cartoonist in the Traveler's bullpen, but he did not work on this series.
PPS -- can anyone explain the gag book title in the bottom example to me? I just can't make anything sensible out of "Lean Jawra Jibby".
The "Lean Jawra Jibby" on the book is ham handed parody on the name of Laura Jean Libbey, (1862-1924)authoress of mushy but popular women's novels such as "A Dangerous Flirtation" and "A Forbidden Marriage", and later, an advice to the lovelorn column in the NY Mail called "Cupid's Red Cross."
I notice several of these examples have the credit line "State Pub Co." which indicate they are from the St.Louis Star, which for some reason, assumed the copyright on the Traveler material they ran, though, ironically, the miscredited Weaver one does have the original "B.T." identia.
Although the ST Louis Star may have also used that name, State Publishing Co. was indeed the sometimes used name for the Traveler's syndication arm. I've seen that copyright appearing in the Traveler itself.
The Star's corporate name was "State Publishing Company" for years before the Traveller stuff, The earliest Daily Stars I've seen were after the Eksergian, et.al. material and the early WCP section. That would be in about September 1905, when they dropped a Sunday ish and took the weekday NEA syndicate for three years. Then they had the Traveller features for a year and the took Hearst dailies and a new sunday edition with a Hearst comic section. I go on about it here to establish there wasn't any chance of a Traveller newspaper chain. If you recall the traveller in those days, it was a very "respectable" paper, (i.e. BORING)
If the Traveller used it's "State Publishing" name, why would some series have the "B.T." designation?
This is an interesting question, but I'm not finding much anything to shed any further light.
I did some web searches and could find no citations of a State Publishing Company associated with either the St Louis Star or the Traveler, so that's a research dead end for now.
Is it your belief that the Boston paper was syndicating its material through the St. Louis Star, or are you working on some other hypothesis?
I've found strange anomalies in the handling of copyrights like that. Some papers inferred that their strips were of their own doing... Gasoline Alley was "Drawn for the Spokesman-Review by King" (though the C.T.'s imprint would remain), or a strange subjective one,like the Janesville (Wisc.) Gazette had across the title border of Bringing Up Father for about ten years in bold letters where a subtitle might go, a 1920 copyright. And a real pain in the neck, papers like The Philadelphia Inquirer, years after their syndicate ended, and Hearst's evening Milwaukee paper, The Wisconsin News, ERASED all copyrights. why would that be done? That always nabbed my nanny.
Wednesday, February 05, 2020
Obscurity of the Day: Say, Genevieve
In addition to possibly creating the wonderful Militant Mary, Elizabeth Kirkman Fitzhugh did a little work at the New York Tribune in the mid 1910s. Most of that work was done for the Sunday children's page, and included two series. The first, Say, Genevieve, concerns a pair of little girls who dream big before having second thoughts. This delightful strip, with poetry that actually bounces along quite stylishly (a rarity among newspaper strips in verse), ran on the page from April 26 1914 to April 4 1915. It didn't run every week, though; Fitzhugh's regular spot at the top of the page offered non-series strips about half the time.
Early strips were signed with her maiden name, Elizabeth Kirkman. Alex Jay has determined that she married Valentine Fitzhugh in January 1914, so either she was producing these strips well in advance, or took awhile to decide if she was going to sign with her married name.
Say, Genevieve was dropped in favor of a new series concocted by Fitzhugh, The Antic Family's Alphabet, but that series was cut off in mid-alphabet when she left the Tribune.
Tuesday, February 04, 2020
Obscurity of the Day: All the Comforts of Home
Through most of the 1900s and 'teens Gene Carr was with the Pulitzer organization, dividing his time between higher profile Sunday strips like Lady Bountiful, Phyllis and Step-Brothers, and his occasional weekday strips that ran in the Evening World, like All the Comforts of Home.
All the Comforts of Home offered readers the opposing viewpoints of bachelors and married men. In Carr's strip the bachelors are having a great time but pining for home, wife and babies, while the married man, though playing up his contentment to the boys, actually deals with ill-behaved children, absent wives and constant home maintenance projects.
The weekday strip had two runs in the Evening World, first from January 25 to October 5 1905, then the strip was revived from July 5 1907 to July 11 1908. The second series shortened the title to Home Sweet Home until June 1 1908, but it ran so rarely that the count of strips in the last month and a half of the run is actually greater than the whole prior year.
The 1907-08 series strips were resold to the Chicago Tribune, which added color and ran them in the Sunday section.
Monday, February 03, 2020
Obscurity of the Day: A Hazardous Business
A.W. "Scar" Scarborough, who did stints at many of the major New York City evening papers -- the Evening World, the Evening Telegram and the Evening Globe at least,was a perfectly fine cartoonist but couldn't seem to make anything stick for more than a few months or so at any of those papers. He also did sports cartoons on occasion, and I'm assuming that the rest of the time he settled for other work in the art departments of those papers.
Today's obscurity, A Hazardous Business, is one of the three series he placed with the Evening World in his stint there, which seems to have been at least 1908 to 1910. It's rather unusual in that the feature gives every impression of having been intended as a panel cartoon, but the World instead ran the panels in groups of six. That wasn't a bad decision because the cartoons don't have much punch, but grouped together the reader at least feels like they're getting quite a lot of gags for their trouble.
A Hazardous Business appeared in the Evening World from December 5 1908 to January 11 1909.
Saturday, February 01, 2020
What The Cartoonists Are Doing, October 1915 (Vol.8 No.4)
In November 1913 the magazine began to offer a monthly round-up of news about cartoonists and cartooning, eventually titled "What The Cartoonist Are Doing." There are lots of interesting historical nuggets in these sections, and this Stripper's Guide feature will reprint one issue's worth each week.]
LABELS AND CARTOONS
(by B. L. T., in Chicago Tribune)
The American cartoonist, an editorial colleague points out, labels everything—Bryan, Wilson, the Kaiser, every one, everything. “The real power of the cartoon is that its symbolism does not require exposition.” True enough, and the answer is that while there are many talented young men drawing pictures for the newspapers, there are almost no cartoonists.
In the first place, a cartoon ought to be savagely satirical, not good-natured. The dictionary defines it as something intended to affect public opinion. The public's opinion is not affected by good-natured pictorial comment, and the public person represented in the picture is not damaged in the least. A cartoonist like the elder Keppler could drive any of our political charlatans out of public life.
As for the practice of labeling everything, it is interesting because the spelling is so ingenious. The old school, which included such masters as Tenniel, Keppler, and Nast, were ingenious in idea and execution. The picture makers of today expend their ingenuity on their labels, few of which agree with the dictionary.
E. A. Bushnell, who for several years has been doing the cartoon work for the Central Press Association of Cleveland, Ohio, has accepted an offer from the New York Mail, and has joined the staff of the eastern newspaper. The offer came while Mr. Bushnell was away on his vacation in Michigan. “Bush’s” work is familiar to all readers of Cartoons Magazine. Syndicated from Cleveland, it appeared in about 100 American newspapers, and was copied frequently by foreign journals. About a year ago he began substituting crayon for pen and ink. Perhaps his best series is one entitled “When Father Was a Boy;” which has appeared intermittently for several months. Bushnell is a self-taught cartoonist, but by painstaking methods and an indomitable perseverance has won his way to the front. His first cartoon appeared in the Cleveland Press, and represented Mark Hanna as “the power behind the throne.” This was some 20 years ago. Since that time the artist has been connected with the Cincinnati Post, the Cincinnati Times-Star (where he did some of his best work in the local mayoralty campaigns) and the Memphis Scimitar.
A SOUTH AFRICAN TENNIEL
“Pictorial Politics” is the title of a cartoon portfolio by Herbert W. MacKinney, of Cape Town, South Africa. The book is published by the Cape Times, with which newspaper Mr. MacKinney is connected. Sir Maitland W. Parker, editor of the Times, says in the foreword:
“The essence of humor lies in incongruity and contrast. Perhaps that is why ‘Mac,' who is a droll fellow, asks me to write this at a time when the tumult and the shouting of the Union Parliament and of Union politics, the oddities and absurdities of which constitute the cartoonist's stock-in-trade, seem almost to have vanished from memory. But as the British cavalrymen yelled, as they knocked the improvised tackle with which they were fishing off the points of their bayonets, in order to get into the saddle, and ride 'hell for leather' at the German lines, 'Are we downhearted?' We shall not be better able to practice the precept 'business as usual' if we forget that a compassionate Providence has kindly placed the springs of laughter close by the well of tears.
“So go your way, friend 'Mac,' on your cheery mission. Your pencil drips no venom, and if it finds the weak spots of political adversaries, it is only to tickle them into laughter at their own faults and foibles.”
While the subject matter is unfamiliar to American readers, the style and treatment of the drawings recommend the book to any cartoonist who is building up a library.
WANTS “OLD FAVORITES”
From Portland, Ore., comes the request from a reader that Cartoons Magazine publish more “old favorites.” “In my judgment,” says the correspondent, “the best cartoon I ever saw was one published at the time of General Miles' retirement, and called “His First Surrender." The old Indian fighter was represented on horseback, and having reached the 64th milepost, was handing his sword over to Father Time. I have forgotten who was the artist, and in what paper it appeared, but would like to add it to my collection.”
G. H. Chapin, the father of A. B. Chapin, cartoonist of the St. Louis Republic, died recently in Memphis, Tenn. His home for the last 20 years had been in Kansas City, Kansas.
AN INTERVIEW WITH UNCLE SAM
by Morris Miller, in Central Press Association Bulletin
“Is Uncle Sam in?”
“Ah! This way.”
We entered the inner sanctum of our favorite uncle. It was furnished in a tasteful and befitting manner. Stars and stripes, of course, were a chief part in the simple but handsome ornamentation. A rather slender, rather elderly man sat at a desk.
Possibly that sounds like a foolish question. Anyone should know the old man at a glance. He had the well-known whiskers at his chin. He was fingering them nervously as we entered. His trousers were striped and arranged at his boots just as you've always seen them in the pictures. Anyone should have known it was Uncle Sam.
It was his manner that deceived us. There was something so weary and dejected in every line and angle of his figure as he draped himself over his desk that we could scarcely believe that this was the celebrated old man of cartoons. We had always thought him to be agile and vigorous.
“You would like to talk to me a while?” the old man asked. His voice, better than the pose of his figure and the deepening lines of his face, showed his weariness.
“A little more than a little --” he began.
We whipped out pencil and pad to get every word. “Yes?” we asked.
“—is much too much. I had never realized until lately that satiety was much more than just another word in the dictionary."
“You have had enough of something, it would seem?” with the rising inflection.
“This plaguey cartoon business.”
“It must be trying.”
“Trying? Hah!” The “hah” contained so much nervous irritability that we became at once more warmly sympathetic.
“Appearing daily in so many cartoons must be hard work,” we said. “To be up bright and early to pose for the cartoonists, and to be kept at it steadily through the day till late at night—why, how can one man do it? And in each one you must pose in a determined and convincing way, too. And take every side of things. And different people probably writing in at times to say that your behavior in this and that picture is wrong. When you had no word to say in the matter of a pose at all.”
“Yessir, there have been lots of times when I’ve just about concluded to throw it all up. Lately, especially since that darn war in Europe, they've been going altogether too far. I ain't afraid of work. I guess I wouldn't be where I am now if I was. But now that the cartoonists have me working overtime in the acts of presenting a firm front, and laying down the law, and protesting in the name of humanity, and waiting for the news from Germany, and rejoicing over the crops, I don't get a minute's rest." He leaned forward a bit and lowered his voice. “Do you know, several times I've thought seriously of resigning my job as artists' model.”
“That would be disastrous,” we reminded him. “The cartoonists say that you are absolutely necessary in depicting the national spirit. They must have some single figure or character, you know, to represent the thought and feeling of the nation. How could they get along without you? Just answer that.”
“Maybe so, maybe so,” answered the old man reflectively. “Some thoughtless people roast the cartoonists for using me so much —they say I'm a chestnut. But how else could the pen and ink boys represent the whole nation in one figure?” He paused to let the idea sink in.
“Of course, there's Miss Columbia,” he added. “But she can't appear in the heavy cartoons where there is stern work to be done. She is good on the sympathetic stuff and in peace and prosperity cartoons.”
Uncle Sam reached for a copy of one of the monthly reviews which was lying on his desk, and thumbed several of its pages.
“Now, here's what gets me,” he said in an irritated tone. “It's bad enough to be worked to a frazzle by the friendly cartoonists here at home, who make me look strong and snappy. But the thing that makes me boil is to have these supercilious foreign cartoonists make me look like a senile old tightwad. Blankety blank blank!”
Here the interesting old man was interrupted by the sharp bark of a puppy that romped playfully into the room. He approached us with ingratiating wiggles and we reached to pat him. “Cute little fellow,” we said. “Yours? What's its name?”
“Yes, it's mine, but do you think it's so little? He's been working with me in the cartoons quite a bit lately. Name's Army. Navy, his playmate, about his size, has been resting up lately. He was on exhibition, you know, and—”
“Oh! Ha, ha! The dogs of war!” We strangled the incipient snicker. Too hearty mirth at this point might have given offense.
“Yes, they've been working with me quite a bit lately. A lot of cartoonists make 'em littler and skinnier than they really are. I’ve taken quite a notion to the little fellows. Just at that cute age, you know.” “Yes, they're cute, for the matter of that,” we said, eyeing Army a bit critically. “Looks like the sort of dog that'll grow, don't you think?”
“Oh, yes, I think they'll grow. Yes, from the way they both been acting lately I think they're due to grow quite a bit.”
We rose to leave.
“Well, let us all sincerely hope so, Uncle Sam. If they do, it seems certain that your position will have a greater dignity, don't you know. People won't be so critical as they have been lately. And you won't be obliged to make so many daily appearances. That would suit you better, wouldn't it?”
“That's just what I would like. Come and see me again sometime, young fellow.”
THE “MUD DRIPPERS” AGAIN
Anent the charges of the “Editor and Publisher” that cartoon art in America is on the decline, and that masterpieces in “mud dripping” are about all that the artists achieve nowadays, Ryan Walker, cartoonist of socialism, adds that it is not only the cartoons that drip with mud, but the ideas, also.
“The cartoon of today,” says Mr. Walker, “is more or less a bit of deadly, meaningless stupidity.”
RACEY'S CARTOONS IN LONDON
An exhibit of cartoons by A. G. Racey, the Montreal Star cartoonist, at the London offices of the Canadian Pacific Railway, has proved quite a drawing card, according to a London correspondent. These cartoons, he says, “lay bare the soul of a valiant daughter, and interpret the real spirit of the Dominion to the British public.” One cartoon showing the murdered children of Scarborough was particularly admired.
“The Fotygraft Album,” from which the pictures on this page are taken, is by Frank Wing, who for many years was head of the art department of the Minneapolis Journal. The “Album” is supposed to be shown to a new neighbor by Rebecca Sparks Peters, aged seven. Persons who have thus been given an insight into family history by a small daughter will appreciate this little book of Mr. Wing's. It is published by the Reilly and Britton Co. of Chicago.
THE GRAVES AT THE DARDANELLES
D. H. Souter, cartoonist for the Sydney (Australia) Stock and Station Journal, has written a number of inspiring verses on various war themes. The following appeared recently in the “Scottish Australasian.”
Why do you grieve for us who lie
At our lordly ease by The Dardanelles?
We have no need for tears or sighs;
We, who passed in the heat of fight
Into this soft Elysian night;
Proud of our part in the great emprise.
We are content; we had our day,
Brief but splendid, crowned with power,
And brimmed with action, every hour
Shone with a glory none gainsay.
Why will you grieve for us who passed
In our prideful strength at The Dardanelles?
Echoing still in our earth-stopped ears
Are victor's plaudit, or blood-choked cry
Of foe who falls at our feet to die:
We have no need for sighs or tears.
Once having made a sport of Death,
How could we turn to peaceful ways
Or tamely wait uneventful days -
For him at leisure to stop our breath?
How can you grieve? We are not lone;
There are other graves by The Dardanelles.
Men whom immortal Homer sang
Come to our ghostly camp fire's glow,
Greet us as brothers and tell us
“Lo, So to our deeds old Troy rang,”
Thus will the ages 'yond our ken
Turn to our story, and having read,
Will say, with proudly uncovered head
And reverent breath, “By God, they were Men.”
“WEB” ON A FISHING TRIP
H. T. Webster, cartoonist of the New York Globe, accompanied by G. H. Mitchell, who designs covers for Scribner's Magazine, has been spending several weeks in Maine on a combined auto and fishing tour. They had particular designs on six-pound trout. Mr. Webster is rather a renowned fisherman, having been born and raised in Tomahawk, Wis., in the center of the lake region. He announces incidentally that the George H. Doran Co. will offer for the fall trade his new cartoon book.
CARTOONS AS HAND GRENADES
A letter from a British soldier “somewhere in France” received by the New York Tribune, tells of the sensation created when the writer threw a bunch of Tribune cartoons into the German trenches.
“I wish you could have heard the Boches groan and shout and swear,” the letter continues; “they were nothing short of raving mad. One cartoon in particular—the one representing von Bernstorff addressing his country's sympathies to the American public over the 'Lusitania' victims—must have struck them harder than any shell ever did.”
Reproduced from a drawing presented by Mr. Virgil', of Melbourne, to Mme. Melba, as a souvenir, of her Polish concert held recently at the Town Hall, Sydney.
ON HIS MERRY WAY
“Like a beautiful dream,” writes Albert Dressler from New York, “my merry trip across the continent, which started from San Francisco in April, has now ended. New York City has so greatly impressed me that I shall remain here for several days before starting homeward full of merry ideas and love for every village and town I have passed through.”
Mr. Dressler, who likes to combine cartooning with tramping, completed his transcontinental tour late in August, having spent four months “on his merry way.” His ability to cartoon local celebrities gave him an open sesame to the many towns at which he stopped en route, and in every town, he says, he met a pretty girl. He gathered material, incidentally, for a book about his sentimental journey.\
C. R. Macauley of New York has been drawing a series of weekly cartoons for the League to Enforce Peace, of which ex-President Taft is the head. The cartoons, however, are not of the “peace-at-any-price” variety.
CARICATURES BY LOW
A special edition of cartoons by Low, the cartoonist of the Sydney (Australia), Bulletin, has been published by Tyrrell's, of Sydney. This is Mr. Low's first collection, and includes 400 caricatures of famous persons. Several of the plates are in colors. The edition is limited to 250 copies, and sells at One guinea.
A recent cartoon by A. V. Buel, of the Sacramento Bee, representing Hudson Maxim addressing a procession of cripples from a Maxim gun factory, pocketing war profits, and telling them that “war does good,” has called forth a protest from the inventor.
“Please allow me to tell your readers,” says Mr. Maxim, “that I am not an advocate of war, but am a peace advocate, only I happen to be a more practical peace advocate than the advocates of disarmament. I believe in preparing against war, not for war. I believe that this country should get ready to defend itself and the liberties of its people just as our cities are defended by our police against burglaries, sneak thieves and highwaymen, and we need guns for the purpose, just as the police need guns.
“I am not interested in any manner in any concern manufacturing guns or war mater ials. I am not the inventor of the Maxim gun, and have not a cent's worth of financial interest in any gun factory.
“The present war has not brought profits to me, but, on the contrary, it has so interfered with my regular affairs, which have nothing to do with war supplies, that I have been a substantial loser from the war.”
CARTOONIST KING'S NEW UNCLE SAM
A brand-new type of Uncle Sam has been created by cartoonist King, who has taken McCutcheon's place on the Chicago Tribune during the absence of the latter in Europe.
The cartoon, while it is not flattering, is, in the opinion of the Tribune itself, a much truer portrait than any yet evolved. Says the Tribune editorially:
“In Mr. King's cartoons we have a real photograph of Uncle Sam. He has heretofore been sitting for his portrait before an imaginative artist who wished, rather than tell the truth, to please the gentleman who ordered the picture. Thus sitting and thus painted, he has appeared as an amiable, tolerant person whose tolerance and good nature had foundation upon his known ability to resent any affront which crossed the line of tolerance.
“The American nation has been fed upon such cartoons. The Uncle Sam of this fiction has filled the minds of the American people. He is kind, grim, gracious, indulgent, strong, terrible—whatever the occasion asked or permitted.
“Mr. King shows him for what he is—rich, fat, indolent, unready, unable to run a hundred yards, put up his fists, load a revolver, or accomplish successfully any act of self defense. If that suggestion of Uncle Sam should make any advance into American intelligence the American nation might go into training to become what it thinks it is.”
James Walsh, cartoonist of the Scranton Times, has returned from a long canoe trip in the Adirondacks.
PUNCH CARTOONS IN BOOK FORM
Punch cartoons of the war, collected in book form, have been published by the George H. Doran Co. As a pictorial history of the war from the British point of view, these cartoons are unexcelled. “The New Rake's Progress,” a series with the kaiser as the central figure, and “The Unspeakable Turk,” the history of modern Turkey in cartoon, form important chapters. Students of world politics will find this volume almost indispensable to a full understanding of the War.
LEDERER VISITS WEST
Charles Lederer, the veteran Chicago cartoonist, accompanied by Mrs. Lederer, has been visiting the Pacific coast. He attended the meetings of the National Educational Association in Los Angeles, and looked in at the Panama-Pacific Exposition. Since his retirement from the active newspaper field, which he entered in the days of chalk plates, Mr. Lederer has been writing and illustrating a series of art books for school use.
George McManus, creator of “The Newlyweds,” was one of the star performers at the “Booster” entertainment, held recently at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Mr. McManus pictorialized some of his famous characters, and auctioned them off to the highest bidders. He was a guest of the Los Angeles Press Club.
P. J. Kinder of Chicago, cartoonist for the Santa Fe Magazine, has been making a tour of the Pacific coast cities, and visiting the expositions.
Luther C. Phifer has returned to Worcester, Mass., and resumed the making of “Phifebirds” and cartoons for the Telegraph of that city, after a summer's sojourn on his cattle ranch at Larkspur, Colo. Mr. Phifer, though an easterner, is no tenderfoot, but can rope and brand a steer as neatly as a professional cowboy. He was accompanied on his visit by Mrs. Phifer.
Labels: What The Cartoonists Are Doing