Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Obscurity of the Day: The Plunk Family
Hy Mayer was a very highly regarded cartoonist of the late 19th and early 20th century. His work was frequently seen in the humor magazines Puck and Life, and when he did newspaper cartooning it was always treated like a bit of a special event -- the presence of a Mayer cartoon in a newspaper was usually a highlight of advance advertising. He rarely drew any sequential strips, much preferring large single panel cartoons and collections of vignettes, both forms represented above. His very modern style had an air of sophistication yet was never high-brow.
Mayer did quite a bit of work for newspapers in the first decade of the 20th century, and his very first identifiable titled series was The Plunk Family, created for the Pulitzer organization in 1900 on the occasion of that year's Paris Exposition. The series ran from May 6 to July 1 1900, but I don't know if all the installments related to the World's Fair or not.
In the 1910s Mayer shifted his focus to animation and produced film cartoons well into the 1920s.
Tip of the hat to Cole Johnson who supplied the scans from this series. Thanks Cole!
You haven't, by any chance , ever heard from Peter Arno's granddaughter have you. Thirty years ago she was a Syracuse University student- a bright ,vivacious wonderful gal.