Saturday, January 25, 2020


What The Cartoonists Are Doing, September 1915 (Vol.8 No.3)

[Cartoons Magazine, debuting in 1912, was a monthly magazine devoted primarily to reprinting editorial cartoons from U.S. and foreign newspapers. Articles about cartooning and cartoonists often supplemented the discussion of current events.

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 following rather pessimistic view of the present condition of cartoon art is taken from The Editor and Publisher. By his references to the “mud-dripping school,” the writer evidently has in mind such artists as Weed, of the Philadelphia Public Ledger, Boardman Robinson, now in Europe, Minor, of the New York Evening World, and Starrett, of the New York Tribune. The editor of Cartoons Magazine agrees that crayon work, if not done properly, deteriorates into mere “mud dripping,” but believes that the charge does not hold true against these artists, who are among the topnotchers in their profession. A great improvement in the work of the American cartoonists has been noted during the past year or two. Our trouble with Mexico, and later the European war, has brought out the best efforts of these highly trained young men. The pressure of preparing a daily cartoon may at times make their work appear somewhat sketchy, but to compare it with that of men like Nast or Bush, who had an entire week in which to draw a cartoon, is obviously unfair. The writer, also, seems to have overlooked some of the best cartoonists. How would he class Donahey, of the Cleveland Plain Dealer; Darling, of the Des Moines Register and Leader; Orr, of the Nashville Tennessean; Bushnell, of the Central Press Association; Cesare, and Carter, of the New York Sun, not to write a “Who's Who in Cartooning"?

Declares the Editor and Publisher:

“It cannot be truthfully said that cartoon art is on a higher or more artistic plane than it was twenty-five years ago. The trouble seems to be that most of the younger artists are not willing to spend the necessary time in acquiring a knowledge of the fundamental principles of drawing. The result is that much of the work seen in the newspapers is of the crudest kind. In the slap-stick alleged comic stuff that is printed crudity may be tolerated, but in cartoons of a more serious and ambitious character it is out of place and is inexcusable. Few of the artists are good draughtsmen. Some seek to produce impressive effects by resorting to all sorts of tricks to hide their ignorance of art of any kind. Of these the worst offenders are the mud-drippers, whose cartoons are done in charcoal or crayon. The figures in these pictures look as though a bucket of liquid mud had been poured over each one of them. Mud appears to be dripping from their faces, their garments, from the furniture, from the trees or any other object that happens to appear in it. You will find such cartoons in several of the New York newspapers.

“Contrast these mud-dripping cartoons with those of Nast, De Grimm or Bush, who did so much for the art years ago, or those of Rogers, of Ireland, of McCutcheon and of McCay, who are among the best of to-day's newspaper artists, and note the difference.

“Perhaps one reason why cartoon art is not better is because of the sudden and extensive demand for pictures of this kind that developed among the newspapers some fifteen or twenty years ago, and has continued until this day. Anyone with but slight skill found a market for his work. It was not a question of quality so much as it was quantity. Hence the indifferent character of both comics and cartoons with which the pages of the press have been and still are flooded.”

On the occasion of “Bart's" leaving the Minneapolis Tribune to take up his new work on the St. Paul News, the American Review of Reviews, which reproduced a number of his cartoons, said:

“In every one of the 50 volumes of this Review may be found the cartoons of Mr. Charles L. Bartholomew, of Minneapolis. He has been steadily at work since the first number of the Review was issued, in 1891, and the total number of ‘Bart' cartoons reproduced in this department and in other departments of the magazine exceeds the number credited to any other cartoonist.”

His work, the editor went on to say, dealt with big topics in an enlightened, broad gauge way, and every drawing pointed a lesson as well as served to tell a story.

The Bridgewater (Iowa) Times, according to its proprietor, Roy Bunton, is the smallest newspaper in the country publishing exclusive cartoons. It has only about 300 paid circulation. Mr. Bunton, who not only looks after the editorial and business interests of the Times, but also draws the cartoons, writes that “with the help of the local blacksmith I fashioned my own casting box (for the chalk-plate method) and I melt the metal in an old frying pan over an ordinary oil stove.” The cartoonist-proprietor hopes to sell his business in a year or so and devote his entire attention to newspaper art.

Boardman Robinson, formerly cartoonist of the New York Tribune, who went to Europe recently as a war correspondent, has been taken into custody by the Russians, according to newspaper reports. Mr. Robinson is familiar with continental Europe, having spent much of his life “loafing” and studying in Paris and Berlin. It may be that the Russians have mistaken him for a German, but the artist is both an American and a cosmopolitan. After leaving the Tribune he drew cartoons for Harper's Weekly, Life, and other publications, and his new book of war cartoons is one of the best contributions to the constantly growing library on the world conflict.

Carl Garderwine, cartoonist of the Terre Haute Tribune, has been trying to take a vacation at Branch, Mich. “Thus far,” he writes, “I haven’t been very successful, for the natives hereabouts insist upon my drawing pictures for them. I have come to the conclusion that doctors and cartoonists lead about the same kind of a life. Ergo, if you want to enjoy a vacation, don’t make your self known.”

Mr. Garderwine, being good-natured, however, cartooned the local celebrities much to their satisfaction.

All of us have had bad dreams of walking down the street in scanty apparel, but the horror of the situation in real life is thus brought out by “Ding,” J. N. Darling, cartoonist of the Des Moines Register and Leader. A little girl, he says, ran out of a house and approached a good-natured policeman.

“I want you to please find Johnnie,” she said. “He’s my little brother and he's run away.”

“What was he like?” asked the cop.

“He’s three years old, and wears short pants.”

“H'm,” mused the policeman, “I’m afraid he looks like all other little boys if he wears short pants.”

“Oh, no, he doesn’t,” said the little girl. “He didn’t have them on!’’ (Copyright 1915, American Press Humorists.)


A Dallas cartoonist has decorated a Texas hen with the iron cross. She ought to be decorated with a cross of diamonds and pearls, and fed the best food in the world all the days of her life, for of such as she is the prosperity of America.—Florida Metropolis.


Wood Cowan, reporter and cartoonist, who broke into the game on the Chicago Journal and the Chicago Inter Ocean, and later joined the staff of the New Orleans Item, is now connected with the New York Tribune.
Ying Zane, a young Chinese art student of San Francisco, has been breaking into the newspapers out that way, and in Honolulu, as a full-fledged cartoonist. “To the best of my knowledge,” writes his instructor, “Ying is the first of the 400,000,000 of his race to show an aptitude for this particular art, and I consider myself fortunate in discovering such a rare specimen. What the Chinese equivalent of 'Open Sesame' to the Hall of Fame may be, I don't know, but I do know that if industrious application counts for anything, this little son of the Flowery Republic will land there feet first, and grab a niche among the big ones.”

According to Dr. Frank Bohn, formerly of the department of history at Columbia University, Emperor Wilhelm of Germany has been greatly amused by the American war cartoons. Dr. Bohn returned recently from Europe. “I was in one of the kaiser's offices,” he said, “one morning when the mail was brought in. It contained a great many clippings of cartoons from the American papers. Even the kaiser must be amused, and what better amusement could he have than to see himself as the Yankee cartoonists see him?”


Miss Lou Rogers, the suffragette cartoonist, has been on a tour through the state of New York, visiting county fairs and Chautauquas in the interest of “Votes for women.”


A correspondent of the New York Evening Sun, speaking of Robert Carter's representations of Uncle Sam, says, “Mr. Carter rarely descends to caricature. His conception of Uncle Sam is a model for many of our artists, who picture him as a clown bedecked with the American flag, or as a ‘barker' for some advertising game.”


Burt R. Thomas, cartoonist of the Detroit News, delivered a lecture on cartooning before the journalism class of the University of Michigan in connection with the graduating exercises. He is booked for a return engagement at the summer school.


Miss Beatrice Arkell Gillam, a daughter of the late Bernard Gillam, the cartoonist, was married July 28 to John Allan Love, of St. Louis. The wedding took place at Canajoharie, N. Y.

The suggestion of the Editor and Publisher that cartoonists take a course of instruction in how to draw the American flag prompts Harry Osborn of the Richmond Times-Dispatch to announce that he provided such a course more than ten years ago. He admits that his early correspondence school was not so very widely known for the simple fact that he had but one pupil, though a rather distinguished one— no other than Homer Davenport himself.

“I was working on a Philadelphia newspaper,” says Mr. Osborn, “where the editor had his own ideas about cartoons. To say the least, he was very particular. Davenport was drawing political cartoons that year for a syndicate. We received the service, and because of some difficulty over the mats, we had the original drawings sent to our office, and from them made our own cuts. I am not sure that the editor had any of them amended by our home talent, but I recall that he was sorely tried at times by reason of their broad style and utter contempt of detail. Finally his patience gave way entirely when Davenport came to the front with a Star-Spangled Banner that might have waved with equal purpose over the republic of Uruguay or the Confederacy. He called me in, and had me make a stiff little diagram showing accurately the proportions and design of the American flag as it would appear if pasted on a wall, and sent it to Davenport as a model of what the nation's emblem should be.

“I never heard any more about it, so I'm not sure that my famous pupil didn't throw the lesson in the waste basket.”


General Huerta and his gang are probably quite convinced by this time that Uncle Sam is not the easy mark some of his cartoonist friends have pictured him.—Stockton (Cal.) Independent.

(To the enemy, who has given praise to Heaven for the gift of poison.)

There is a gas your murderers make,
Not such as cleanly chokes the breath,
But dealing, just for cruelty's sake,
A long-drawn agony worse than death;
Nor do you deem it odd
To vaunt its virtues as a gift from God.

And there's a gas, the “laughing” blend
(Although its humour seems remote);
They peg the patient's mouth and send
A soporific down his throat;
And, like a child at dawn,
Waking, he finds a stump or two withdrawn

Such is the gas your masters' art
Gives you to deaden pain and fear;
They take and prize your jaws apart
When gaping wide for Munich beer,
Press-gag your mouth and nose,
And pump and pump till you are comatose.

Long draughts of strange and windy lies
Down your receptive maw you gulp,
Until the opiate seals your eyes
And Reason gets reduced to pulp;
So well the vapours work,
Like hashish on your torpid friend, the Turk.

But, when you breathe pure air again,
Sore with a sense of something missed,
And want to know who drugged your brain,
I envy not the anaesthetist;
You'll raise a hideous rout
On finding all your wisdom-teeth are out.

—Sir Owen Seaman, in Punch.


Penny Ross, creator of “Mamma's Angel Child” for the Chicago Tribune, has put Esther, the heroine of the series, in book form. Rand, McNally & Co. are issuing the book for the fall trade.

A recent cartoon by Nelson Harding, of the Brooklyn Eagle, representing a diminutive Jap grasping the queue of a huge Chinaman, and making him bend, has been used as the basis of a campaign conducted by a party in China desirous of awakening the government there to the needs of preparedness. The cartoon, which is entitled “No Backbone,” was printed in red ink on poster sheets, and spread broadcast throughout the republic.

In Pekin the cartoon was the subject of a lecture delivered to a large gathering of citizens. The original text was supplemented by the following in Chinese:

“See the attitude of Japan and the abject attitude of China! Shall we blame the other side for the indignities heaped upon us? They are men like us—the difference being that they progress and become strong, while we remain blissfully weak. Let past mistakes be a lesson for us! Let us rise and march forward!”


W. Clyde Spencer, who for 14 years was cartoonist of the Denver Republican, died recently at his home in New York. Mr. Spencer was born in Indiana 40 years ago, and had lived there for the last six years, during which time he contributed drawings to the New York World and New York Telegram. He was a member of the Denver Press Club.


C. R. Macaulay, author and cartoonist, is now drawing for the movies.

T. A. Dorgan, the cartoonist, was trying to hire a chauffeur the other day and went about it in his usually breezy style. When the first applicant appeared, “Tad” said: “Of course, I want a man who can speak French, play pinochle, curry a horse and make a Jack Rose cocktail.”

“Well, I can do ’em all and still have a few tricks up my sleeve,” said the chauffeur, with becoming modesty.

“Tad” looked him over and then said, suddenly: “I don't know. When I lamp your face and see your horn painted up that way it strikes me that you are a hard drinker and I don't want any hard drinkers driving a car for me and running me over some picturesque cliff.”

“You are wrong,” said the driver. "I am not a hard drinker, It comes easy to me.”

John Roche, who has taken the place of Malcolm St. Claire as sports cartoonist for the Los Angeles Tribune.—Drawn by Dudley Logan, Los Angeles.


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Friday, January 24, 2020


Wish You Were Here, from Jim Davis

Here's a fun Garfield card from Argus Communications of Allen Texas, circa 1980s.


How small would your face be for this to be used as a mask? Would cutting out the centre of the nose help? Maybe it's intended for use by real cats.
That's the gag -- in person its pretty obvious that the postcard is way too small. Also, the instruction "TAPE TO FACE" is pretty funny.

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Thursday, January 23, 2020


Obscurity of the Day: Lyttle Women

King Features finally noticed by 1990 that they had no women cartoonists in their stable (if we don't count writer Bunny Hoest). Seeking to remedy that situation, they resolved to sign a female-created strip in the hope that they could catch fire with their own phenomen like Lynn Johnston or Cathy Guisewite. They chose Kathryn LeMieux's Lyttle Women, which they began advertising in 1990, but as best I can tell did not actually hit papers until February 4 1991*.

Lyttle Women starred a pair of kids named Irene and Amy Lyttle (hence the title). Irene is a tomboy while Amy is more into girly things like fashion. Both kids, though, are into female empowerment despite their differing personalities. As with many 'comics with a cause', the strip tried to walk a tightrope between humor and proselytizing.Too often the humor suffered for the cause, leaving editors and readers feeling like the strip was cheerleading for feminism more than it was offering laughs.

Perhaps Lyttle Women could have found a happy medium if LeMieux had been given more time to find it, but the plug was pulled after less than a year and a half, with the last strip appearing May 30 1992**. King's next female-created strip would be Between Friends by Sandra Bell-Lundy, which they picked up from self-syndication in 1994, and is still running today in 2020.

LeMieux later became one of the founding Six Chix, keeping her day in the line-up from 2000 to 2009. Today she is painting at her art studio in Tomales California.

 * Source: York Dispatch
** Source: Danville News


One of my favorite artists. I was always amazed by how she used black in her turn at SIX CHIX. LeMieux and Mark Tonra are the two still living cartoonists I most wish still did cartoons.
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Wednesday, January 22, 2020


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Fred M. Berkley

Frederick M. “Fred” Berkley was born on February 8, 1887, in Manhattan, New York, New York, according to his World War I and II draft cards. Nothing is known about his early life and education. An Associated Art Studios advertisement appeared in Cartoons Magazine, April 1916, and said Berkley had been a student. Berkley has not yet been found in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census or the 1905 New York state census.

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said his first of three New York World strips was The Flathouse Agent also known as Flathouse Agent Triggs. It ran from October 15, 1907 to July 14, 1908. His second series was Wot’s the Score? which ran from April 14 to May 7, 1909. His last was Among the Flat-Dwellers which began September 17, 1909 and ended October 21.

Berkley was news in a competing newspaper, the New York Sun, September 12, 1908.

Three Charged with Assault
The Man Beaten Said to Have Given Evidence in a Divorce Suit.
Frederick Berkley, a young man who said he was a cartoonist; his sister, Mrs. Hattie Feinberg, and his mother, Mrs. W.F. Berkley, all of 409 West 145th street, were locked up at Police Headquarters last night charged with assault and highway robbery by Jacob Gelot, a real estate dealer of 61 West 115th street.

Gelot said that the three, had waylaid him at 116th street and Madison avenue, knocked him down and beaten him, and while Mrs. Berkley and her son had held him the daughter had gone through his pockets and robbed him of $65. In the midst of this Detectives Walsh and McCullough ran up and bagged the three. Gelot was badly beaten.

The detectives were able to explain further the motive in the case. From conversation with the four persons they gathered that Mrs. Feinberg had recently been divorced on evidence furnished by Gelot. They had enticed Gelot to the spot by a letter and then proceeded to take their revenge.

Berkley has not yet been found in the 1910 census.

Berkley was a resident of Newark, New Jersey where he operated the Berkley School of Cartooning. Classified advertisements were published in the New York Evening Telegram, December 18, 1911, “A dollar a week will cover cost of learning to become a comic artist or cartoonist taught by practical cartoonist. Berkley School of Cartooning, Newark, N.J.” and the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, April 14, 1912, “Artists. $1 a week will fit you for cartoonist, comic artist, or illustrator; taught by successful newspaper cartoonist. Berkley School of Cartooning, Newark, N. J.”

The 1912 Newark city directory had three listings for him: the proprietor of The Berkley School of Cartooning and Berkley-Freeman Company at 223 Market Street; Berkley and Howard Freeman of the advertising firm, Berkley-Freeman Company; and the Berkley School of Cartooning. In the 1913 directory Berkley’s residence was at 20 West Kinney and his school at 92 Park Place.

He copyrighted his school’s pamphlet in 1912.

In Fall 1913, Berkley’s school moved to Manhattan as reported in the New York Sun, September 28, 1913.

Reorganization of Berkley School of Art.
The Berkley School of Art, a duly organized corporation, has taken over the Berkley School, which was founded several years ago by a newspaper artist whose name it bears and who is still the head of it. This school is now located in the heart of New York’s business centre at 11 West Thirty-fourth street, opposite the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. The Berkley School gives students the practical instruction in all branches of art work, teaching cartooning for newspapers and magazines, illustrating for books, fiction articles and title pages, advertising and commercial art work, designing of theatrical posters and the methods by which the artists work, is finally reproduced so that thousands of copies can be run off on the printing presses and reproduced exactly as the artist made the original drawing. For years the schools of art have overlooked the reproduction end of this work, but the Berkley School is one of the first to recognize and many students who have failed in other schools are now holding positions or selling their work, due to this very feature, which these other schools have heretofore overlooked.

The school was noted in Cartoons Magazine, December 1913.
The Berkley School of Art, Newark, N. J., has recently been incorporated with a capital of $50,000 by F. M. Berkley, and M. J. Ready of Newark, and F. J. Dever of New York City, to conduct schools of art, cartooning and caricature.
The 31st Annual Report of the State Board of Assessors of the State of New Jersey for the Year 1914 had a listing for the school.

Obsolete Securities (1923) said the Berkley School of Art closed in 1917.

At some point Berkley returned to Manhattan. The 1915 New York state census said he was married to Jessie. His step-son was “Milton S Loveaire”. The family lived at 155 Audubon Avenue. Berkley was an artist at The New York Times.

On June 5, 1917, Berkley signed his World War I draft card. His Manhattan address was 678 Academy Street. He was an advertising manager at the E.J. Goulston advertising agency at 225 Fifth Avenue, New York City. His description was tall, medium build with blue eyes and dark brown hair. He had the same address in the 1918 city directory.

Berkley was listed as a Yonkers, New York resident in the 1919 city directory. His address was 108 Valentine Lane. 

The same address was in the 1920 census. Berkley was a landscape artist and his step-son’s name was recorded as “Loverie W. Berkley.”

The 1925 New York state census recorded Berkley in Manhattan at 500 Fort Washington Avenue. The cartoonist had a new wife, Virginia. When the 1925 city directory was released his address was 217 West 259th Street and occupation newspaperman.

The 1930 census has a “Frederick M Berkley” in Cleveland, Ohio at 1932 East 97th Street. He was “single” and employed as an newspaper advertising man. His partner was Francis W. Hawes, a widow.

In 1933 Berkley patented a mechanical bowling alley.

Berkley has not yet been found in the 1940 census.

Berkley was in Manhattan at 5000 Broadway when he signed his World War II draft card on April 26, 1942. Berkley was unemployed. His wife, Virginia, was also named on the card. His description was 5 feet 11 3/4 inches, 160 pounds with blue eyes and gray hair.

The 1943 Manhattan directory listed Berkley at 1457 Broadway. He worked in advertising.

The Social Security Applications and Claims Index, at, said Berkley filed a claim on February 15, 1952.

An obituary for Berkley has not been found. The New Jersey Death Index, at, has a “Frederick M. Berkley” who passed away in November 1954.

—Alex Jay


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Tuesday, January 21, 2020


Obscurity of the Day: Flathouse Agent Triggs

We've seen a number of so-called cartoonists in our Obscurities who truly should have been outlawed from wielding a pen, but Fred M. Berkley may hold the distinction for the highest profile attained by one of them. He managed to get three different series published and syndicated by the New York Evening World, one of the highest circulation papers in the country, and did so in a substantial period of at least three years. What the Pulitzer organization saw in him I cannot fathom.

The first and longest-lasting of Berkley's creations was a strip about an apartment building manager named Triggs. Despite setting himself up for a practical infinitude of gags, Berkley could only manage two -- Triggs can't keep up with the maintenance, and tenants fail to pay their rent. Even these two gag subjects fall resolutely flat time after time under the ham-handed direction of Berkley, who simply can't draw or write worth a damn. It has often been said that a newspaper cartoonist can get away with great art and bad writing, or great writing and bad art, but Berkley proves that a third option cannot be ruled out.

The strip was variously known as Flathouse Agent Triggs, The Flathouse Agent, The Flat-Dwellers, Triggs Has His Troubles, and other similar versions, and it ran from October 15 1907 to July 14 1908 as a weekday strip. I wonder if Berkley was himself a 'flathouse agent' as the subject seemed near and dear to his heart -- he would return to the same subject for his third series, Among The Flat-Dwellers.

The World finally wised up and didn't waste any more printer's ink on Berkley. He looked for greener pastures in the field of ... get this ...  art instruction! Berkley started the Berkley School of Art, in which he offered to teach youngsters how to "Make $40 to $100 per week" as newspaper cartoonists. No word on how many future cartooning greats were produced by Berkley's school, but it seems telling that one of the few pieces of documentation I can find about the school is a report of a legal judgment against them. 


Berkley does deserve a prize for creating the most bizarre and phoniest of all the bizarre and phony German accents that filled early 20th century comic strips.
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Monday, January 20, 2020


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: John Rosol

John Rosol was born John Rosolowicz on June 14, 1911, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, according to his birth certificate at His parents were Nicholas and Annie Rosolowicz, both Ukrainian emigrants. On their naturalization papers the family name was spelled Rosolovicz; they arrived in the United States on March 12, 1903.

Philadelphia city directories listed Rosol’s father as a grocer (1914) and meat market owner (1915). The family lived at 4257 Wayne Avenue.

During World War I, Rosol resided at 1950 Bristol Street in Philadelphia. The same address was recorded in the 1920 U.S. Federal Census. Rosol was the youngest of three siblings. Their father owned and operated a saloon.

A 1940 issue of Ukrainian Life said

…[Rosol] attended the Gratz High School, and upon graduation received a four-year scholarship to the School of Industrial Art. In 1930 he took College Humor’s second contest award. After graduation from art school, he worked for the art department of The Evening Public Ledger of Philadelphia.
The Philadelphia Inquirer, July 3, 1995, said Rosol was “a graduate of Germantown High School … [and] received a bachelor of arts degree from the Philadelphia College of Art.” Biographical Sketches of Cartoonists & Illustrators in the Swann Collection of the Library of Congress (2014) said Rosol “trained at the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art.”

The 1930 census said Rosol lived with his parents and sister in Philadelphia at 3944 North Smedley Street.

The Ukrainian Weekly (Jersey City, New Jersey), October 27, 1933, profiled Rosol.

Our Cartoonist
The “U. W.” has gained a staunch friend in the person of John Rosolowicz who wishes to contribute to its columns by sending in cartoons, free of charge, for which kindness we extend our most sincere thanks.

Mr. John Rosolowicz, 22 years of age, is a son of well known Ukrainian family in Philadelphia, Pa. His father M.[sic] Rosolowicz was for a long time one of the comptrolers [sic] of the U. N. A., and one of the founders of its first branch in Philadelphia. John’s sister, Mrs. N. Dubas, is a piano instructor, and well known for her appearances on the Ukrainian concert stage.

John, after completing high school studied in the Academy of Fine Arts, and then turned to cartooning as his specialty. He has contributed cartoons to the “Saturday Evening Post”, “The Country Gentlemen”, “Literary Digest”, and other publications. At. the present time he is connected with the Art Department of the Philadelphia “Public Ledger”.

In the 1930s Rosol contributed cat cartoons to The Saturday Evening Post. Biographical Sketches said Rosol’s The Cat and the Kid strip was created for The Saturday Evening Post. The Ledger Syndicate picked up The Cat and the Kid as a daily strip. American Newspaper Comics (2012) said it ran from March 8, 1939 to February 17, 1940.

Rosol had an entry in Who’s Who in American Art, Volume 1 (1935).

Rosol, John, 1437 West Cayuga St., Philadelphia, Pa.
Cart.—Born Philadelphia, Pa., June 14, 1911. Pupil of Pa. Mus. Sch. Indus. Art. Cartoons, Saturday Evening Post; Country Gentleman; Country Home; New York American, etc.
The Ukrainian Weekly, March 11, 1939 said “John Rosol, Comic Artist, Engaged by Philly Ledger”.
John Rosol (Rosolowicz), the young Ukrainian who drew саґtoons for the Ukrainian Weekly several years ago, and whose clev­er sketches have appeared in the Saturday Evening/Post and other American and English magazines, has now been engaged Philadelphia “Evening Ledger.”

Last Wednesday’s issue of the newspaper bore a streamer head­ line across the top of the first page, reading: “A new feature to­ day: The Cat and the Kid, by a new clever comic artist.” On a different page a similar announcement is made, but occupying much more space, in which it is stated that John Rosol is the “man who has made millions laugh with his clever cartoon sketches appearing in The Saturday Evening Post.”

Biographical Sketches said Rosol’s work appeared in Country Gentleman, Country Home, The New York American, New York Journal, and Judge.

On October 16, 1940, Rosol signed his World War I draft card. His address was 1437 West Cayuga Street in Philadelphia. He named his mother, who was at the same address, as next of kin. Rosol’s description was five feet nine inches, 134 pounds with brown eyes and hair.

Rosol was mentioned in The Ukrainian Immigrants in the United States (1939) and One America: The History, Contributions, and Present Problems of Our Racial and National Minorities (1945).

A 1940 issue of Ukrainian Life, announced Rosol had joined its staff. 

For King Features Syndicate, Rosol produced Here and There which ran in 1941.

Rosol’s Cat O’ Five Tails was published by the David McKay Company in 1944.

A 1946 issue of Advertising & Selling said “John Rosol, whose cats have found a home in the Post for years, has paid students for the use of their cartoon ideas.”

The 1950 Philadelphia city directory listed Rosol at 1511 East Pastorius.

The Inquirer said Rosol also drew the Bazooka Joe bubble gum comics for a period of time.

Rosol passed away June 29, 1995, in Philadelphia, as reported in the Inquirer, July 3, 1995. Rosol was laid to rest at Oakland Cemetery.


Further Viewing
Cat O’ Five Tails
Cartoons for Victory


—Alex Jay


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Saturday, January 18, 2020


What The Cartoonists Are Doing, August 1915 (Vol.8 No.2)

[Cartoons Magazine, debuting in 1912, was a monthly magazine devoted primarily to reprinting editorial cartoons from U.S. and foreign newspapers. Articles about cartooning and cartoonists often supplemented the discussion of current events.

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.]

A prophet is supposed to be without honor in his own country. Persons have often wondered why “Billy” Ireland, cartoonist of the Columbus Dispatch, elects to remain in the wilds of Ohio when other and presumably more attractive fields are open to him. Mr. Ireland doubtless has his own reasons. That his own newspaper appreciates him is evident from the following editorial published recently in the Dispatch:

“War cartoons that have appeared in The Dispatch in recent months, from the pen of William A. Ireland, have been copied around the world. Instances that have come to the notice of this paper recently have shown that they met with favor from some of the most conservative reviews and from other magazines and newspapers of prominence in France, England and various of the larger cities of America.

“One of the largest reading publics attained for any of these graphic messages was that of the readers of the Hearst Sunday newspapers, which recently carried in their 2,000,000 copies a full page editorial entitled “Do You Pity This Helpless Chinese Colossus?" which had for its theme a recent cartoon of Mr. Ireland's that formed the center of the page. A huge Chinaman is shown with Jap handcuffs that have just been placed on him by a little Japanese soldier, who is shown on his way back to his boat. The editorial draws a moral for America from helpless China because of this country's unpreparedness for war. ‘Our compliments to the editor and the artist of The Columbus Evening Dispatch for their idea and their picture, reproduced here,' runs the bold legend underneath the cartoon. 'We are glad to give them credit. We render a public service in republishing in two million copies of the Hearst Sunday newspapers this excellent and much-needed cartoon.’

“A pictorial idea that caught the fancy of La Vie Parisienne, the breezy and fearless Paris publication, recently, was a cartoon of Mr. Ireland's in which the German, standing in the Kiel canal, was describing by means of a compass tipped with submarines a circle of embargo about the British Isles. Several of the artist's cartoons have recently appeared in the London Sketch and not a few in the Literary Digest, of New York, while Cartoons Magazine hardly ever gets out an issue without including several products from his forceful and virile pen.

“Collier's Weekly, of June 19, is sufficiently impressed by one of Mr. Ireland's expressions regarding the Lusitania that it reproduces the drawing in the middle of one of its editorial pages. It is that one which was inspired by the group picture of the American mother, Mrs. Paul Crompton, and her six children, all of whom were lost in that maritime disaster. Von Tirpitz, sea lord of Germany, is shown holding the picture, which he has taken from an envelope addressed to him. Beads of perspiration stand out on his brow, but he falls back on the reiterated explanation, ‘Well, I gave them warning.'”

The French idea of an occasional instead of a daily cartoon is recommended to the New York Evening Sun by a New Jersey correspondent, who believes that the cartoonist can do better work if not constantly under pressure.

“The French plan of having the cartoonist at work every little while rather than daily,” he says, “would probably help the inspirational contents and form. The New York public will soon be ready for a great improvement in the caricature all around, and the exaction of a strictly naturalistic idiom may be less insisted upon as the modernists get more forward in their attack upon conventional models. We are in the case of the early printers and engravers in our desire to make an ephemeral thing not exactly beautiful but as beautiful as the conditions allow. I think the time is near at hand when American caricaturists of the daily press will have their fighting chance to win recognition as artists—with the memory of their great protagonists, Callot, Hogarth, Daumier, et al., nay, even Leonardo and Rembrandt, for ideals.”


Ray T. Handy, cartoonist of the Duluth News-Tribune, was in Chicago recently to attend the engravers' convention. Mr. Handy owns his own engraving plant, and, unlike most cartoonists, has no fault to find with the engraver. The News-Tribune is one of his best customers.


Cartoonist Winterhalder, who was identified with the New Orleans Picayune before the consolidation of that newspaper with the Times-Democrat, is now on the staff of the New Orleans American, published by the union printers who left the employment of the Times-Democrat, Daily States, and Item.

After a service of 25 years as cartoonist of the Minneapolis Journal, Charles L. Bartholomew, known affectionately as “Bart,” has left that newspaper to devote his attention to a syndicate. “Bart” was more than an individual. He was an institution, and a national institution, at that. He began his career in the days when the newspaper cartoon seldom appeared, and when perhaps less than a score of names made up the register of active American cartoonists. He has portrayed many important episodes in the nation's history, his album of Spanish American war drawings being representative. For a quarter of a century presidential campaigns have been chronicled by his pen. He devoted much of his attention to the field of national politics. His style was rather that of an older school, as he delighted in exaggerations and the portrayal of the grotesque. While his cartoons had the “punch” and showed a close insight into public affairs, they never offended. It is doubtful whether “Bart” has ever made an enemy. As an expression of the unique regard in which he was held in Minneapolis, a public dinner was given in his honor on June 8 at the Hotel Radison. “Bart's" most recent achievement is a cartoon in oil on goatskins, which he presented to Louis W. Hill, president of the Great Northern Railway. It will adorn the new hotel in Glacier Park.

A. G. Racey, cartoonist of the Montreal Star, is dividing his time these days between his professional and his military duties. He is a member of Montreal's crack rifle corps, the Victoria Rifles Reserve. This organization already has sent several thousand members to the front, where they have given a good account of themselves. In its ranks are to be found lawyers, doctors, artists, authors, members of parliament, and many Bisley men, all experts with the rifle. It is commanded by Chief Justice Sir Charles Davidson. A series of shooting prizes presented by Mr. Racey brought the best shots to the fore during the winter, and many of these are doing good work in the trenches in Flanders.

Good old Doc Yak, with his red automobile, “348,” and his Belgian war orphan, has gone into broader fields. Sydney Smith, his creator, has staged Doc's adventures for the movies, where they are being presented under the auspices of the Chicago Tribune, in the pages of which newspaper they originally appeared. Readers of the Tribune are being offered $50 prizes for the best ideas for a Doc Yak scenario. Doc already has made a trip to the moon, and has explored the bottom of the sea. It is probable that he will make a few excursions into the war zone. Doc Yak has been described as “the funniest funny character ever cartooned.” He has long been a family friend in Chicago from baby to grand father.

Apropos of a decision made by the St. Louis board of aldermen to attend a formal dinner in business dress, the St. Louis Globe-Democrat remarks that it is not to be supposed that the street costume of a city father in any way resembles that which the cartoonists have made famous. “They do not seek such deafening effects,” this newspaper continues. “They do not wear massive gold chains or dazzling diamonds. They are exceedingly modest—at least in matters sartorial.”

Maurice Ketten, the New York Evening World cartoonist, is said to be looking for a place to spend his vacation. Usually he goes abroad, but such a trip is out of the question this year. He wants something exciting, however, and has rejected the idea of a camping trip in Maine because of its tameness. Having appealed to his friends, the most exciting suggestion he has received thus far is that he hire a Staten Island ferryboat and try to force the Dardanelles.


“If I were a cartoonist,” suggests a reader of the New York World, “I would make a cartoon of Dr. Dernburg with one hand bidding William Randolph Hearst good by, and passing with the other hand the belt to William Jennings Bryan, with the line underneath: “No use of my staying here, gentlemen. You have beaten me to a frazzle.’”

C. M. Payne (“S'Matter Pop”), accompanied by his wife and two little daughters, has been visiting Los Angeles and southern California, and will remain on the coast for several months. An automobile trip to the Panama-Pacific Exposition and to San Diego is planned during his stay. The kids, true to their comic supplement prototypes, asked myriads of questions, and were delighted and amazed with all they saw.

Mr. Payne created “S'Matter Pop” three years ago while traveling over the Nevada Desert, and has been making the American public laugh ever since. The accompanying cartoon, drawn for the Los Angeles Tribune, shows “Pop” and his talented family marching down Broadway of the California city.

“The enclosed sketch will show why I unloaded it,” writes Fred Myers, the Indianapolis cartoonist who did for Terre Haute on a small scale what Nast did for New York in the days of the Tweed ring. The "it" in question refers to an “ancient two cylinder machine” which Mr. Myers picked up for fishing trips. Envious friends, however, made him feel as if he were trying to get about on a couple of spools and an old tin can, and the owner, being sensitive to criticism, reluctantly parted with it.

Mr. Myers, who has been doing chalk talks at local theaters and Y. M. C. A.'s, received a unique compliment not long ago. At the close of an entertainment given in a Posey County metropolis, his “impresario” remarked: “Wall, Myers, derned ef ye' ain't th' fust o' them cartoonists I ever seen who didn't draw th’ Rock of Ages in red chalk somewhere in his program.”


Albert Dressler, the California artist and cartoonist, has been visiting in Butte, Mont., gathering impressions for a series of sketches. Butte will occupy three pages in a volume by Mr. Dressler, entitled “Seeing San Francisco in 1915,” which is to be published by an eastern firm.


Joseph Keppler, the cartoonist who helped make Puck famous, has retired in favor of his son. The St. George Staten Islander, therefore, felt quite honored when Mr. Keppler consented to draw the cover design for the quarter-century anniversary edition of that paper. The cartoon portrayed an Indian, symbolizing the earliest recorder or historian of Staten Island.

When J. H. Donahey, the cartoonist, made his sketching trip through Egypt for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, he discovered the deadly peril of the pith helmet. He passes this warning along to all who are intending to do Egypt. Let them heed lest they wear a pith helmet.

With the Donahey party was one of your wealthy young fellows who thinks it necessary to dress for everything. Accordingly he got himself up to look exactly like the tourist of fable and fiction, in puttees, Norfolk jacket and pith helmet. Donahey started out one day with this chap when the latter needed a new pair of puttees. Donahey didn't need anything. He had on an old suit of clothes and no pith helmet.

Together they went into several Cairo shops. At the first one the dusky shop keeper asked $7 for a pair of puttees. It was a wild guess, and they went to another place. Here the price was $9.50. Good night! Another shop was more reasonable —$6.85. They even found a shop where the price hovered around $4.30.

“See here,” said Donahey to his friend, “there's something queering us. You stay outside and let me go in and buy your puttees for you.” This was done. Donahey went in without a pith helmet and came out bearing a fine pair of the desired puttees. “How much d’they soak you for 'em?" asked the pith helmet boy. “A dollar ninety,” answered our hero calmly. (Copyright 1915, American Press Humorists)

Admirers of E. A. Bushnell's cartoons have been burying the artist lately with inquiries as to what has become of the sad-eyed, mournfu1 looking “Doc” with which canine Mr. Bushnell has for many years embellished his work. As the artist has found it impossible to answer all these communications, he has explained “Doc's" disappearance to the editor of Cartoons Magazine.

Mr. Bushnell, who draws his cartoons for a syndicate, is unable, he says, to please everybody, and as several unappreciative clients objected to the funereal character of “Doc,” it was decided to put him out of the way as humanely as possible. Most of Mr. Bushnell's followers will regret this wanton sacrifice, but the artist himself is reconciled, and states that “Doc” has probably appeared for the last time.

On the initiative of a committee, of which the presidents of the French Academy and of the Academy of Fine Arts were the heads, a number of artists and literary men have contributed, the former, original drawings, and the latter, their autographs, which have been bound into an album dedicated to the people of the United States as an expression of France's gratitude for the liberal gifts of money, food, and medicine, which have come to her and her allies through the generosity of our people.

This album, ornamented with the arms of the United States and of the French Re public, was presented to Ambassador Sharp at Paris, and will be forwarded to the United States to be deposited in the Library of Congress.

Among the contributing artists were Rodin, the sculptor, Leon Bonnat and Carolus Duran, of the French Institute, both celebrated painters of the older school; Desiré Lucas and Lucien Simon, representatives of a younger generation, Hermann Paul, one of the greatest of the French satirists, and Renouard. Recent war paintings by Lucas and Simon promise to become historic.

Miss Pauline Taylor, a Salt Lake City girl, has been attracting considerable attention lately by her cartoons of the national sport. She may be seen almost daily with her pad and pencil at the local ball park, where she amuses herself by making drawings of her favorite players. “About the productions of her untaught skill,” says the Salt Lake City Tribune, “there is ever something that speaks of a large native talent.”

As a gentleman jockey, cross-country rider, Olympian athlete, and globe-trotter, C. Wiedemann, the new cartoonist of Colman's Weekly, of Manila, P.I., is a person much to be envied. A familiar figure on the Lunetta, or on the Bund of Shanghai, he is known and liked wherever Europeans gather east of Suez. As a horse owner and rider he has shone with special brilliance at Shanghai and Tsingtau. At a recent race meet at Tsingtau he brought in one of his own mounts as winner in every event. Mr. Wiedemann was entered in the Olympic games in London in 1908, and at the Manila carnival this year he won the pentathlon in the athletic meet. His knowledge of China and the Chinese is particularly thorough. He numbers among his friends many a viceroy, taotai, and provincial potentate in the interior of that country. He was a war correspondent for European papers during the Chinese revolution, and marched with the allied forces into Peking. We present one of his cartoons here. For the most part they have to do with oriental subjects.


Kaiser Wilhelm will have one less cause to worry when he discovers that since the first of June Sam Hunter's cartoons have not appeared in the Toronto World. The kaiser, however, can be no more glad than Mr. Hunter. This is the time of the year when, following his custom of a quarter of a century, the veteran cartoonist drops all work, closes his town house, and listens to the call of the wild. He is spending the summer at his camp, “Pepacton,” in the Kawartha Lakes region of northern Canada. Here he remains, finding cartoons in stones and running brooks, until September.


“Violent and abusive,” according to the Detroit Journal, are the cartoons that Harper's Weekly has been aiming at the German leaders. “This newspaper,” the Journal adds, “employed Nast to cartoon Jefferson Davis during the civil war as a hyena despoiling the graves of the dead. Similarly the southern press cartooned Lincoln as a naked African. We Americans are more or less ashamed of the rabid horrors of that period, and discover in both north and south some very human elements.
There are some Americans who are going to be quite as much ashamed of their present ignorance and blind prejudices.

Boardman Robinson, who left the New York Tribune some months ago to become a free lance, has published, through the house of E. P. Dutton and Co., a volume entitled “Cartoons of the War.” It is a beautifully printed quarto, and contains 33 drawings in Mr. Robinson's best style. These cartoons, the artist explains, “represent the emotions evoked by the news from day to day, and make no pretense to a philosophic viewpoint.”


A limited edition of Will Dyson's “Kultur Cartoons” has been imported from England for American distribution by the Page Company of Boston. The most striking of these, together with H. G. Wells' introduction, were reproduced recently in this magazine.


“Perhaps diplomacy,” suggests the Long Beach (Cal.) Telegram, “is able to frame an answer to the executive note. To answer the New York World's cartoon, showing a score of babies with hands extended toward the kaiser, and asking: “But why did you kill US?' simply is beyond the power of the most astute of diplomats.” It was this cartoon that was used as a cover decoration for the July number of this magazine.


Harry Parsons, a Topeka cartoonist, has been appointed chief of police of that city.


“Bib Ballads” is the title of the book from which these verses and decorations are taken; are written by Ring W. Lardner, and the illustrations are by Fontaine Fox. The poems, which immortalize Mr. Lardner's little son and heir, will appeal to everybody who loves children, especially to fathers with young sons. The book is published by P.F. Volland and Co. of Chicago.

This is a Eugene Field story from the repertoire of A. J. Taylor, cartoonist on the Los Angeles Times.
It seems that Field was wont in times of stress to resort freely to credit at a certain place of refreshment, so that it grew as hard for him to discharge as the national debt. Good-natured as was the creditor, he at last had to dun, and he “done” so in vain. Finally he decided the thing was hopeless.

“Field,” he said one day, in exasperation, “you now owe me $60. Just as a proof of the fat chance I’ve got of ever getting that money, I'd sell the debt for ten cents!”

Reproachfully, Field eyed him. Then with a sigh, reached down in his pocket and found a thin dime. This he laid on the counter.

The cafe man snorted, but was game. He took the dime and tore up the tab. But Field lingered.
“Well, what are you hanging around for," angrily inquired the victim of this deal.

“Why,” answered Field with elaborate surprise, “don’t you always set 'em up when a patron pays his bills?” Upon which the setting up exercises followed, a large and jubilant throng taking part.  (Copyright 1915, American Press Humorists)

The recent discovery by a Harvard professor of adrenin, a substance which makes sleep unnecessary, has been heralded by H. T. Webster, cartoonist of the New York Globe, as a heaven-sent fulfillment of a long-felt want. Most important, Mr. Webster believes, will be the discovery in its bearing on those who enjoy an occasional game of “draw.” In a recent cartoon he pictures a scene in his own 137th Street apartments. Sitting in are Mr. Webster himself, Ray Rohn, who does pictures for Judge, and “Bob” Brinkerhoff, illustrator and manufacturer of the national Welsh sweetmeat known as “woggles.”

Fortified with several barrels of adrenin, the group intends to play straight through until Sept. 1. The only dissenting voice appears to come from Mr. Brinkerhoff. The “date two weeks from tonight” that he refers to, evidently is with some society queen, or Lillian Russell, as the artist is much sought after in the best Knickerbocker circles.


T. A. Dorgan (“Tad”), cartoonist of the New York Journal, was one of the star witnesses recently in an inquiry to determine whether public gambling was being carried on at Belmont Park.


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Friday, January 17, 2020


Wish You Were Here, from an Anonymous Puck Artist

A Puck cartoon that sought to make fun of Milwaukee finds an unexpectedly appreciative audience with the Milwaukee-based postcard company, F.G. Kropp Publishing. The signature was left off from this excellent cartoon -- anyone care to hazard a guess as to the cartoonist?


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Thursday, January 16, 2020


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Emidio Angelo

Emidio “Mike” Angelo was born on December 4, 1903, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, according to the Social Security Death Index and several volumes of Who’s Who in American Art.

Angelo and his family has not yet been found in the 1910 U.S. Federal Census.

The 1920 census recorded Angelo as the oldest of six children born to Stanley, a baker, and Laura (Alessandroni). The family resided in Philadelphia at 1325 Garnet Street. Angelo was an assistant at a newspaper office.

Who’s Who (1989) said Angelo studied at the Philadelphia Museum and School of Industrial Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA). The Philadelphia Inquirer, November 15, 1953, said he started at PAFA in 1924. The 1936–1937 Who’s Who said he was a pupil of George Harding and Henry McCarter. Angelo was awarded PAFA’s European Traveling Scholarship in 1927 and 1928.

A passenger list, at, said Angelo arrived in New York city on September 20, 1927. He had departed Cherbourg, France on September 14. His address at the time was 1255 South 21st Street, Philadelphia.

According to the 1930 census, Angelo’s mother was a widow who had seven children. The family lived at 1628 South 22nd Street in Philadelphia. Angelo’s occupation was commercial artist.

The same address was in the 1936-1937 Who’s Who that said Angelo was a member of the Da Vinci Alliance and Fellowship of PAFA. His pen portraits from life included Mussolini, ex-Presidents Coolidge and Taft, William Jennings Bryan, Premier Dino Grandi, Rudolph Valentino and others. His cartoons were published in Saturday Evening Post, Collier’s, Life, Judge, Ballyhoo, College Humor, Sales Management, Bell Telephone News and the Public Ledger. He lectured on “Cartoons and Caricatures.”

Who’s Who (1989) said Angelo was the editorial cartoonist for the Main Line Times (Ardmore, Pennsylvania) from 1937 to 1954 and 1981.

The Inquirer, December 12, 1943, said Angelo joined the Inquirer staff and married Yolanda Marinelli in 1938. At the time they had a four-year-old daughter named Jova. Anthony A. Chiurco wrote about his uncle in Up from South Philly (2014) and said Angelo joined the Inquirer staff in 1937. The book has a photograph of Angelo.

Angelo has not yet been found in the 1940 census.

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Angelo produced Funny Angles from January 1, 1945 to 1958. The panel was known later as Emily and Mabel. Vincent Schiller contributed to the writing.

The Inquirer, February 23, 1952, reported Angelo’s Freedom Foundation “third-place award for an editorial cartoon published last July 11 and entitled, ‘No Let-Up On Vigilance.’ He pictured Uncle Sam scanning storm clouds over Korea.”

The Inquirer, November 15, 1953, reported the annual PAFA exhibition and said

This is the first year that humor, in the form of a gallery of original cartoons, has been included in these annual exhibitions. Angelo will speak particularly about this phase of the show.
In 1957 a collection of Angelo’s cartoons, The Time of Your Life, was published by the John C. Winston Company.

Who’s Who (1976) said Angelo received the Da Vinci Award silver medals in 1958, 1960 and 1968, and a bronze medal in 1961. He was awarded a gold medal from the Philadelphia Sketch Club in 1969. His memberships included the National Cartoonists Society and the American Editorial Cartoonists. He was the producer of the 1967 short color film, Alighier’s, The Inferno.

The 1989 Who’s Who said Angelo was an advance art class instructor at Samuel S Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia. He received the Freedom Foundation Award in 1983. His mailing address was 419 Redleaf Road, Wynnewood Pennsylvania 19096.

Angelo passed away September 2, 1990.


Further Reading
Editor & Publisher, February 18, 1950
Editor & Publisher, May 31, 9152

—Alex Jay


Emily and Mabel remind me of the Whoops! sisters by Peter Arno, in the early 30s.
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Wednesday, January 15, 2020


Obscurity of the Day: Funny Angles / Emily and Mabel

Emidio "Mike" Angelo was working for the Philadelphia Inquirer when he sold them on the idea of running his gag cartoons under the title Funny Angles. The panel cartoon debuted as a three-times-per-week feature in the Inquirer on July 25 1944, then soon graduated to a daily on October 23 of that year. Evidently Angelo was also shopping the feature around, because on January 1 1945*, Funny Angles started its syndicated run distributed by the Chicago Sun Syndicate. Evidently Angelo was not much of a gagman, because lots of his panels credit gag writers by their initials; a popular collaborator was Vincent Schiller, whose "+ V.S." is often seen.

Early in the run Angelo or one of his gag writers came up with the characters Emily and Mabel, identical twin spinsters who are always on the make to snag some men. In 1950 the ladies took over the panel entirely, and the title was changed to Emily and Mabel. In this era it is claimed that the feature had upwards of 150 clients, a very healthy number.

Perhaps the newspaper-reading public got tired of what was now a one-note gag panel, and the Chicago Sun syndicate (now under the name Field Enterprises) dropped the panel sometime in 1958. Angelo signed on with a company called Metcalf Features, of which I know nothing, and they distributed the panel for a very short period, until January 10 1959**. An impish spacesuit-wearing boy was added to the cast to save the feature, but evidently it did not.

In the late 1970s Angelo brought the old gals back for the Philadelphia neighborhood weekly paper, the Chestnut Hill Local, as evidenced by the below short item in an AAEC Bulletin. I don't know how long that lasted.

* Source: Jeffrey Lindenblatt based on Long Island Star-Journal.
** Source: Camden Courier-Post.


I get a very faint whiff of Arno's Whoops Sisters.
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Tuesday, January 14, 2020


Selling It: Boots and her Buddies Arrives in Dubuque

Back from the days when syndicates and newspapers actually marketed their features, here is a special strip created by Edgar Martin in 1925 to announce that Boots and her Buddies was soon going to begin appearing in the Dubuque Times-Journal. The Times-Journal would go belly up in 1927, despite the presence of this cute as a button NEA starlet.

Martin could have easily used this same art to advertise the strip in other new client papers, but this is the only instance I've seen where this promo was used. Scan from the collection of Cole Johnson.


I have seen other papers use this promo, I guess like most big syndicates, NEA would update them every few years; the first "Boots" promo was re-using the first episode.
At King Features, we'd put out our own , but unless it was a top title, we'd just keep sending out the same one until the artwork didn't look the same.
The problem with promos, is that you can offer a plethora of various styles, sizes, and characters, but most new clients just didn't use them, making them rare collector's items.

The Dubuque Times-Journal's last issue was Friday,1 April 1927. There was no Saturday issue anyway, but on Sunday 2 April, the rival Telegraph-Herald had incorporated their name (in small type) into their masthead, and announced the two had merged. It seemed like not much of an equal partnership, more like a buyout. On 6 May 1935 the Times-Journal's name vanished forever from the masthead.
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Monday, January 13, 2020


Obscurity of the Day: The Cat and the Kid

Cartoonist John Rosol lucked out when the Saturday Evening Post took a shine to his comic strips that featured a small boy and litter of white-faced black cats. The cartoons began appearing there around 1934, and were to become a regular fixture.

Eager to parley his good fortune, Rosol signed a contract with Philadelphia's Ledger Syndicate to produce a daily comic strip on the same subject, though the cat population was cut back to one. The Cat and the Kid debuted on March 8 1939* in a very small list of client papers.

Considering that Rosol wasn't making much off of this major investment of effort it is perhaps not altogether surprising that he started making his life easier by adding word balloons to what had been a pantomime strip. He also started penning typical kid gags in which the cat only figures as a background object. It wasn't long before Rosol threw in the towel, ending the feature on February 17 1940*, apparently not even finishing off a one-year contract.

The Ledger Syndicate, as with many of their features, had the strips numbered rather than dated. That made it all the easier to resell the strip on the reprint market. Western Newspaper Union took the bait, and resold the series at least 1941-46. Oddly, they did not include the strip with their own regular weekly line-up that I know of; and they never removed the Ledger copyrights in favor of their own.

If you'd like to see a much more intriguing series penned by Rosol, I commend you to the archives of King Features' Ask The Archivist to check out a real oddball item, Here and There.

* Source: Philadelphia Evening Ledger


The Cat and the Kid is a very hard strip to find. The only client paper that I ever found it in was in the Winnepeg Free Press, which isolated it from contaminating the other funnies by burying it in amongst dense want ad pages.
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Saturday, January 11, 2020


What The Cartoonists Are Doing, July 1915 (Vol.8 No.1)

[Cartoons Magazine, debuting in 1912, was a monthly magazine devoted primarily to reprinting editorial cartoons from U.S. and foreign newspapers. Articles about cartooning and cartoonists often supplemented the discussion of current events.

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.]

A.G. Racey, the Montreal Star cartoonist, admits that he has been guilty, since the beginning of the war, of giving the American eagle's tail feathers an occasional pull.

"We on this side of the line," he says, "have been so accustomed in the past to seeing our old mother Lion's tail twisted by your Uncle Sam that it is hard to resist a return of the compliment when the occasion offers. Last summer while on a visit to Lake Champlain I was requested to assist at an entertainment for the benefit of an American charity. As about half the audience were Canadians, an American senator insisted that the British Union Jack be hung from the platform on which I was to speak. All other flags were Old Glories. When my time came to appear, I found, much to my surprise, a streamer of crepe hung from the lonely British flag, and a card attached which read 'To h*** with this dirty rag.'

How I got square with the perpetrator of the insult is another story — but experiences like that make us draw our own conclusions. However, 'Cartoons' can do a grand work decrying this foolish and idiotic 'Lion tail twisting' and 'Eagle tail-feather pulling.' If there is any way in which I can assist in fostering more cordial feeling, I would be only too glad to do my little bit."

It is noticeable that cartoonists picture the suffragist nowadays as a beautiful, stylishly dressed young woman, and the anti-suffragist as an old, vinegar-faced person in the clothes of other days. It hasn't been very long since the ugly old woman with a face like the hatchet she carried in her hand was the ballot seeker and the anti was a sweet, womanly woman. Nothing more surely indicates the growth of equal suffrage sentiment than the cartoonists' flop. — Savannah News.

A feature of the London Hippodrome show is a series of Punch cartoons in life. The above cartoon appeared October 21, 1914. The dialogue between the kaiser and King Albert of Belgium reads: "So, you see, you've lost everything." "Not my SOUL."

Clifford Berryman, the Washington Star cartoonist, while in New York not long ago, told this story on himself:

"Many years ago, when I had been in Washington only a short time, and had a kid's propensity for asking questions, I said to the late Senator Quay of Pennsylvania:

" 'Senator, how is it that you have kept your seat in the Senate so long, when there are so many other able and brilliant men from your State who must covet it?'

" 'Young man,' said Quay, 'I do not know that myself. But I do know one factor in the problem, and it is something which it may be useful for you to remember. I have never kicked a friend to please an enemy.' "


An exhibition of the work of the student cartoonists of the Brooklyn Evening High School has brought the first term of the cartoon classes to a close. This is the first school in America to undertake instruction in cartooning. Some of the work, it is said, showed a good deal of promise.

All cartoonists are supposed, in a way, to be prophets. E. A. Bushnell, of the Central Press Association, Cleveland, showed an almost uncanny gift for reading the future when he sent out to the newspapers served by that syndicate his cartoon entitled "Making War Frightful."

This drawing, which was reproduced in the supplement to the June Cartoons Magazine, showed the ill-fated liner in the grasp of a shrouded angel of death rising from the waters. Evidently Bushnell took seriously the German warning, for the cartoon was made on the day the "Lusitania" sailed from New York. What he predicted came true, and newspapers as far west as Texas, using the service, were enabled to print the cartoon on the day following the disaster. Usually this country-wide service is a handicap to Bushnell, but if one can forecast events instead of recording them, there is still a chance to do effective work.


Harold S. Cary of Flint, Mich., has joined the staff of the Flint Daily Journal as cartoonist.


A. Zetterburg (Zett), sports cartoonist of the Los Angeles Times, has Joined the Navy, his place having been filled by Cecil Hatton. Sketch [above] by Dudley Logan, Los Angeles

Often He Sigheth for the Day When He Had a Chance to Become a Plumber -- W. H. Hanny, cartoonist of the St. Joseph News-Press

His days are long and full of trouble. He cometh to the office in the early morn, where he sitteth and thinketh and thinketh and consumeth many pipesful of Old Hillside. He readeth the morning papers. Sad are the sights that greeteth him therein; murders, suicides and scandals without number. He sigheth a sigh that reacheth to the innermost recesses of his soul, for he realizeth that he must be funny if he still continueth to connect with the payroll.

Yea, verily, 'tis a solemn business to be funny.

The morning passeth. The cartoonist thinketh and thinketh and beateth his breast and pulleth his hair like one bereft of reason. And so it cometh to pass that he draggeth forth from his massive intellect three or four ideas sufficient to the day thereof, one of which may be acceptable to him that sitteth in state, namely, the Managing Editor. The terrified cartoonist taketh these ideas and shoveth them under the nose of the august presence, who readjusteth his specs and proceedeth to give them the "once over." This is indeed a solemn moment, my friends. But the ordeal passeth and the terrified cartoonist escapeth and returneth to his desk, where he spendeth the next three hours in the higher forms of artistic expression, while the noble figure of Art hovereth about in great mental anguish.

And so it cometh to pass that he finisheth his masterpiece. He signeth his name in the most prominent part thereof and taketh it to the telegraph editor, who hath no soul for art. He taketh it in his hand and tosseth it disrespectfully on the desk between the phone and the electric light stand.

The evening of the day arriveth and the sun goeth into Kansas. And doth the cartoonist now wend his way to the Hotel Robidoux and sit among the elect and partake of much high-class food? Nay, verily, he goeth to a cheap, but respectable, beanery, where he speaketh thusly in his usual chaste and classical English: "Gimme some roast beef an' a cup o' coffee." And after he waiteth many moons, the haughty waitress, who painteth her checks, shoveth his provender before him, and he partaketh thereof.

And as he wendeth his way to his humble domicile, he envieth the printer with a paid-up union card, who, when his work is done, slammeth down his tools, and goeth away from there. The cartoonist who wisheth to remain a cartoonist doeth this not, for the small voice of the jinx that percheth on his shoulder speaketh this wise: "What are you going to have tomorrow? What are you going to have tomorrow?" And as he tosseth on his couch, and as he sinketh into slumber, he heareth the voice.


A rather interesting afternoon was spent by the visiting newspaper men at Syracuse during the Barnes-Roosevelt hearing when they were invited to the residence of Mr. Newell B. Woodworth to inspect his collection of cartoons. Mr. Woodworth probably has the most complete collection of its kind in the world. It is being augmented daily by cartoons from all parts of the globe. A series of British posters by Frank Brangwyn is the latest addition.

It was Judas Iscariot who denied his Master, but it remained for Frank Hammond, now cartoonist of the Wichita Eagle, to deny the pride of his heart. This was in the shape of a little high-school annual published in his home town, Clinton. Mr. Hammond had illustrated it, and the more he looked upon his work the better he liked it. It would be, he thought, the open sesame to a position as cartoonist on a metropolitan daily.

Accordingly he took the book, together with a portfolio of sketches, and presently stood before "Doc" Norberg, grand mogul of the Kansas City Journal's art department. "My heart sank," says Hammond, "when he began to turn the pages of the annual. His expression was so utterly disapproving that I denied the authorship of each picture in turn. Finally we came to the last page, and in desperation I was forced to claim for my own the very worst of all the bad drawings in the book.

"Norberg laughed, and told me that he could see from my anxiety that I was endeavoring to cover up my crime. The pictures, he said, were not so bad as they might have been, and he gave me a chance on the strength of them."

Mrs. Thomas Nast, widow of the artist, has presented to the War Department two pictures by her husband.

One of them, "Saving the Flag," illustrates the song "We're Coming, Father Abraham, Three Hundred Thousand Strong."

The other, "Peace Again," is illustrative of General Grant's remark in permitting Confederates to have their horses, after Appomattox.

"Let them take their horses with them," said General Grant. "They will need them for spring plowing."

The pictures have been hung in the reception room of the secretary of war.


Z. A. Hendrick, remembered for his circus cartoons, has joined the celluloid brigade. His first animated cartoon is called "A Clown's Dream," and depicts the adventures of Flippo, a clown, and Bolivar, an elephant.

St. Louis recently was quite upset over a cartoon by Fitzpatrick in the Post-Dispatch, representing Uncle Sam in the act of spanking Ambassador von Bernstorff with a paddle labeled "Bryan's reply." An editorial entitled "The Von Bernstorff Spanking" supplemented the work of the cartoonist. A representative of the German-American Alliance wrote to the newspaper as follows:

"Evidently the cartoonist and the editor forget the distinction between an Ambassador and any other person; we have long since become accustomed to newspaper libels and lampoons of our President and other public men, so much so that nothing appears sacred in their eyes, the many libel verdicts against newspapers testifying most eloquently to the truth of my assertion.

"You failed to state that the German Government has ratified the von Bernstorff interview, so that the German Government, and not the Ambassador is responsible for it. The duly qualified persons in this country who are to pass judgment on his conduct, are the President and the Secretary of State, and it does not devolve upon a newspaper to usurp that prerogative."

In reply to the foregoing, and other letters of a similar character, is this one:

"For the love of Kaiser William what's all this rumpus about the 'Spanking' cartoon? And why take up valuable space listing complaints of members of the German-American Alliance? If we're to have a censor of the daily press in the United States — and more particularly in St. Louis — the Post-Dispatch might as well sell its presses for old iron and scrap and close up shop.

"I, myself, am a sympathizer of the Germans, but that doesn't blind me to the merits of just, adverse criticism of them and their cause. The cartoon was O. K., only, if you'll pardon my suggestion, you should have used an automatic 42c., double-action spanker, instead of the slow, unreliable, old-style paddle. To remedy this you might get one of the new spankers — and use it on the German-American Alliance if they won't behave."

The cartoonist makes fun of the home gardener, translating into merriment the enthusiasm of the gardener over the first onion. But he doesn't know, the cartoonist, the joy that comes of planting and watching the seeds bursting through the warm soil and thrusting their tiny lances upwards to meet the sunlight. If he sees it all as a joke let him make the most of it.

We have our own opinion of the man who sees a joke in the first onion of the home gardener. There is something wrong with the fellow. Of all men he is least to be trusted. He would poke fun at the first baby chick in the backyard coop, even hold his nose against the springy smell of a neighbor's burning grass. — Niagara Falls Journal.

 "Save this cartoon," says Mr. Knecht, "and when the Russians win, turn it upside down." Readers of the Evansville Courier, from which it is taken, are heeding this advice.


De Mar's cartoon, depicting a turkey about to decapitate itself, and used as a cover design for the January Cartoons Magazine, elicits a request for more from an Armenian reader in Canada.

"I am not a cartoonist," he writes, "but if I suggest a design, will you ask some artist to draw it? A fierce dog and a lifeless woman in a sack. It may be a net to show the figures inside. John Bull, France, and Nicholas beating this dog for all they are worth, and the dog tearing the woman. France says to John Bull:

" 'John, I am afraid by the time we kill this dog, we'll kill the poor woman.'

"John: 'I don't care about the woman. I want the hide of the dog.'

"Nicholas: 'Please, John, leave the head to me.'

"The woman shall represent Armenia, and the dog the Turk. As the allies beat him he is massacring the Armenians.

"I am sure this picture by a clever hand will bring you millions of admirers, as it will strike the very keynote of the situation. You do not need to credit me with the idea. So long as one of your staff artists or someone who knows does this job, he will be crowned by the poor Armenians. As for myself, I would give (if I could) $100,000 for the best cartoon on this subject." B. C. M.

A knowledge of Scripture is sometimes useful in helping one to realize the full significance of a Punch cartoon, and many readers possibly missed the subtle reference of Mr. Raven-Hill's striking drawing "A Naval Triumph" through not being able to recall the eighteenth verse of the thirteenth chapter of the Book of Revelation. It will be remembered that Mr. Raven-Hill represented a very sinister looking German commander standing on a submarine lettered and numbered "U 666," sneering at his victims, who vainly with uplifted hands seem to implore assistance. When one turns to the passage of Scripture above mentioned one finds the following words: "Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred three score and six." — Manchester Guardian.


John Elliot Jenkins has opened an art class in Wichita, Kansas, and the local cartoonists are taking advantage of the opportunity offered to improve their work. Mr. Jenkins has studied for some years in Paris.


Ryan Walker, official cartoonist of the Friars, presented his "Adventures of Henry Dubb" recently before 1,800 inmates of the Sing Sing penitentiary. The lightning crayon sketches of the much-imposed-on hero were highly appreciated by the convicts.


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