Friday, June 23, 2017
Wish You Were Here, from Gene Carr
Here's a Gene Carr postcard from the Rotograph Co., issued in 1906. The gag goes over my head -- can anyone parse the century-old stereotypes here well enough to explain it? I'm guessing it's a St.Patrick's Day card, but why the fat Dutchman leading the parade???
As long as explanations are being called for, what in the heck is that faceless refugee from a genetics experiment gone wrong in the lower left? Yipes!
Labels: Wish You Were Here
Maybe the very idea of the Dutch / Germans leading the Irish in any context was meant to be comical, like a stereotypical Scotsman buying the drinks.
The critter lower left was likely meant to be a dog with his head turned to watch the Dutchman, as the boy is. The concealed face, combined with the unfortunate color choice and unnatural proportions (comparable to the other big-headed dog, with the same deformed back legs), add up to a creepy visual.
Also: Why is the little boy staring at the Dutchman's crotch?
Guessing 111 years after the fact, I'd say Carr did his four main figures and a bit carelessly tossed in the boy and dogs to indicate a parade, or at least a public spectacle.
The gag here is that to think that the dutch would lead the Irish in a parade, with the Irishers wearing Orange instead of Green sashes, is a fantastic expression of impossibility, like "The day pigs fly!". I realize the prominent color in this card is actually Yellow, an oversight by Rotograph, I'm sure, but the point of the gag would be understood in 1906.