Friday, January 04, 2019
Wish You Were Here, from Charles Dana Gibson
Here's the last Gibson card I have from Detroit Publishing. This one is number 14192, which could indicate that this was a huge series since it started with #14001. This one is undivided back, just like the rest of the series, so likely to have been published in 1906.
This Gibson drawing, though cute, is what I'd have to call a bad composition -- usually not a problem for Gibson. Not to mention the cheering fellow looks like an eight year old dressed up in his dad's coat. This one didn't run in Life, but in Collier's Weekly. Apparently they'd take his lesser efforts?
Labels: Wish You Were Here
Gibson did some other drawings on the theme of impediments, momentary or substantial, to romance. A familiar one has a man and woman sitting in separate rooms, each glumly leaning a chair against the same wall. Not sure if that was meant to represent a marital spat or lonely singles in neighboring apartments.
As for the card, I don't know if this was all one continuously numbered series, certainly CDG could supply huge piles of past artwork. This one appeared in Collier's, and to include their copyright might indicate they owned the CDG cartoons they ran, so Detroit made a seperate deal to use them, and incorporate them into their overall CDG series.
Mama's got a brand new bag
Papa's going to rip it up tonight.
This is from a 1903 series of drawings titled "The Weaker Sex: The Story of a Susceptible Bachelor". I found it in "The Best of Charles Dana Gibson", 1969 Bounty Books.
The setup is a young man ordered by his doctor to avoid all excitement; the presence of a shy housemaid causes palpitations. So he goes on a trip to escape such stimulation but constantly encounters -- or at least makes eye contact with -- a succession of coolly provocative Gibson Girls: an acquaintance on a train, a friend's bevy of daughters, a bridge partner, fair strangers ... That's the joke. Sometimes he's alarmed, other times he's just the usual serious Gibson man. This one is titled HE SUDDENLY LOSES ALL INTEREST IN FOOTBALL. The last drawing has him resolved to Settle Down. He's trying to write a letter, but can't decide to whom because he's haunted by multiple smiling ghosts.
The first drawing in the series is an elegant nightmare: Four "fair entomologists" calmly study a tiny man on a tabletop. One of the ladies wields a magnifying glass and a long pin.