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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