Saturday, September 07, 2019


What The Cartoonists are Doing: March 1914, Vol. 5 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.

Illustrations used here did not necessarily appear with the original articles.]

The purchase by Nathan Straus, Jr., of Puck, the oldest humorous periodical in America, and the reorganization of this weekly on modern lines, is an event of special interest to cartoonists and students of cartoons. From this point of view the most important announcement Mr. Straus has made is that Hy. Mayer, who has been for years drawing exclusively for the New York Times, has been engaged to take full charge of the cartoons and comic illustrations of Puck. Mr. Mayer is a cartoonist of international reputation, whose work in many respects more nearly resembles that of the best European cartoonists than does that of most American artists. He has sailed for Europe for the purpose of enlisting in the service of Puck some of the best of the younger cartoonists of Paris, Berlin, Munich and London.

It is apparent from this announcement that the new proprietor of Puck intends to give American readers for the first time a publication that will compare in the quality of its cartoons with the illustrated weekly journals of Europe. During the first 20 years of its existence, Puck was quite definitely the leading exponent in the United States of the art of modern cartooning. Founded in the '70s by the late Joseph Keppler and Charles Schwartzmann, it was published for several years in German, but the popularity of its illustrations led to the establishment of an English edition, which has for 30 years been its principal edition. The elder Keppler, himself a cartoonist of remarkable ability, was a contemporary of Thomas Nast, and for a long time his chief rival in the affections of a cartoon-loving public. He associated with him the best cartoonists of 30 and more years ago, and under their tutelage Puck became the great American training school for cartoonists, many artists whose names are now nationally known having began their careers by drawing for Puck.

 Bernard Gillam was one of Puck's most famous cartoonists and his double-page cartoon in colors depicting James G. Blaine as the “Tattooed Man” was largely responsible for that statesman's defeat in the presidential election of 1884. Frederick Opper, one of the most versatile and brilliant of present-day cartoonists, worked for Puck for years. The late F. M. Howarth was one of its regular contributors when the journal was in its prime. The list of cartoonists who got their first encouragement from Puck might be extended indefinitely.

It is, therefore, hardly an innovation but rather a return to the ancient traditions of Puck that Mr. Straus has inaugurated in engaging an art director of the standing of Mr. Mayer and commissioning him to again bring the old journal into the front rank of American illustrated weeklies.

Charles R. Macauley has left the World.

This is not an obituary of Mr. Macauley, although the news is almost as unexpected as though he had dropped dead. For nine years Macauley's cartoons in the New York World have not only made him world famous as one of the really great American cartoonists, but have linked his identity so closely to that of the paper which he served that it is almost impossible to imagine them as separate entities. But on January 17 Macauley drew his last cartoon for the World. The rupture came about as the result of a misunderstanding between the cartoonist and the editor of the World over Macauley's very active participation personally in the campaign for the election of John Purroy Mitchel as mayor of New York. The World supported Mitchel and Macauley's personal share in the campaign is said to have been entirely with the consent of the management of the paper. But the publication in a rival journal of an article, intimating that there was ground for criticism of Macauley because of delay in the filing of his campaign statement as treasurer of the Mitchel League, led to friction which resulted in the cartoonist's dismissal. Mr. Macauley has brought suit against the World for $12,500, his salary for the year 1914, for which time he claims the Press Publishing Company had contracted for his services, and he holds them liable for breach of contract.

For a time after Mr. Macauley's work for the World ended, the editorial-page cartoon was drawn by George W. Rehse. Mr. Rehse began to draw cartoons in Minneapolis for the Penny Press nearly twenty years ago. Then he worked on the St. Paul Pioneer Press, later in St. Louis and then went to Paris where he studied art. For a time after his return to America he was the cartoonist of the New Yorker Staats Zeitung, the leading German daily of the metropolis.

As this number of Cartoons Magazine goes to press, it is reported that Rollin Kirby, who has been drawing “feature” and Sunday cartoons for The World, is to become Macauley's successor.


A. B. Chapin, for twelve years a cartoonist on the Kansas City Star and Times, has joined the staff of the St. Louis Republic. Mr. Chapin's specialty on the Star was sport cartoons, of which his series, “Breaking into the Big League,” was best known. In his new position he will appear on the first page of the Republic with a daily car toon—“without a sting,” and in the best of humor. His work will also be syndicated. The staff of the Star showed its regret by presenting “Chape” with a loving cup.
The Republic at present is the only St. Louis paper using front page cartoons.


Clare Briggs, whose cartoons on the Chicago Tribune's sporting pages have become immensely popular throughout the Middle West and have proved a great circulation builder for the paper, has resigned to join the staff of the New York Tribune. This move is a part of the new policy of the New York Tribune, the staff of which has recently undergone a complete reorganization, the best men in many special fields of journalism having been engaged in the effort to restore Horace Greeley's old paper to something like its former prestige.

A collection of Briggs' cartoons published under the title of “The Days of Real Sport” has had a wide sale in book form. His specialty is the depiction of the small boy as he really is, and his work published under the captions “When a Fellow Needs a Friend” and “O Skin-nay!” has won him thousands of friends among those who are still able to remember their own boyhood days.

No public announcement has been made of Briggs' salary in his new job, but it is currently reported among his Chicago friends to run into five figures annually. Mr. Briggs was born in the little village of Reedsburg, Wisconsin, and his first work as a cartoonist was on the St. Louis Globe-Democrat. Later he went to New York and formed a connection with the Hearst papers, and when the Hearst Chicago papers were started he went to that city for special cartoon work, going from the Examiner to the Chicago Tribune.

Donald C. Bartholomew, whose cartoons have appeared in various New York newspapers, died on Dec. 22 at his home at White Plains, N. Y. He was thirty-three years old and a graduate of Harvard college. Mr. Bartholomew had hardly entered Harvard when his ability as an artist attracted the attention of his fellow students, and he was elected president of the Harvard Lampoon. During his student days he drew for papers and after he was graduated from the university in 1906 he joined the regular staff of the Boston Herald. Mr. Bartholomew was also a writer of fiction and several of his short stories appeared in magazines. At the time of his death he was employed on the New York Globe as a cartoonist. In 1907 Mr. Bartholomew married Miss Florence Judd, and is survived by her and two young children.

Mr. Bartholomew's cartoons were signed “Bart,” and he was sometimes confused with “Bart” of the Minneapolis Journal, whose work is widely known, but who is still alive.

The Hot Springs (Ark.) New Era recently announced editorially that Ad Goodwin, its cartoonist, was ill and unable to continue his work, although it expressed the hope that his illness would prove to be temporary. “Mr. Goodwin,” said the New Era, “is one of the best cartoonists in the country.”


Luther C. Phifor, cartoonist on the Worcester (Mass.) Telegram, was married on Dec. 28 last to Miss Effie L. West of Worcester. Mr. and Mrs. Phifor met through the cartoonist's interest in charitable work, in which the bride has been active.

Elmer Donnell, cartoonist of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, has entered the lecture field as a side line. He recently gave a “chalk talk” before the Y. M. C. A. of Farina, Ill., on the topic “The Daily Grind of a Newspaper Cartoonist.” The talk made a hit with his large audience.


Cartoonist Karl K. Knecht of the Evansville (Ind.) Courier—known locally as “Ki’ —entertained thirty girls of the Evansville High School drawing classes with a demonstration in the Courier art rooms of the method of making chalk-plate cartoons. He showed them how a careless scratch or two made a face and another scratch made a Woodrow Wilson smile and another the beard that Old Man Winter always wears.

“I want to see you draw Mr. Common Citizen,” chirruped a sophomore girl. “I just love him. He looks just like my father, especially the way his collar fits.” So Mr. Knecht dug the gentleman's features into a chalk plate, explaining as he went along how the chalk was prepared. “Why, that's easy,” exclaimed one of the girls. “I’m going to make a plate with talcum powder when I go home. Can you make a cartoon with a hairpin?”

“I never tried, but I've used a hatpin when I was hard pressed,” said Knecht.

The full process of a cartoon was shown the young people from the initial sketch to the picture that greets you on the first page of The Courier.

One of the youngest in the class evidently hadn't been listening closely when the class was introduced to Mr. Knecht. She kept calling Ki “Mr. McCutcheon.”


R. W. Satterfield, whose daily cartoons are published in newspapers all over the United States, has published a book. Perhaps “published” is not exactly the right word, for the title-page of the volume entitled “Fifty Cartoons by Satterfield,” bears also this pointed discourager of near friends:

“This volume is printed for gift distribution only and all the copies have been distributed.”
It is always interesting to discover what part of his own work any artist likes best. In this volume Satterfield's personal choice from among his work of the year 1913 is given, and the selections do credit to his personal taste. There is not a cartoon in the book that does not represent thought and feeling as well as skill with the pen.

The editor of Cartoons hopes that it is merely a coincidence that the particular one of the 150 copies which was sent to this magazine is number 23.


Howard L. Rann, who writes the “Sidewalk Sketches” in the Minneapolis Journal, relieved himself of a few remarks on cartoonists recently. While intended primarily to be humorous, there is much truth and more than a grain of wisdom in what Mr. Rann wrote. He said:

“The cartoonist is a moulder of public opinion who sticks on the front page whence all but he have fled. The only thing that can drive a cartoonist away from top of column next to reading matter is a war scare or an attack of writer's cramp. In order to become a successful cartoonist one needs a daily thought and the muscular development of the village blacksmith. In some cases the thought is furnished by the managing editor, who usually can't tell a zinc etching from a crayon portrait of Brother Henry in a new hair cut, and this accounts for some very depressing displays of the pictorial art.

“All of our leading cartoonists carry a card in the Sign Painters' union, and a few of them are slowly backing into it.

“There is a great demand for durable cartoonists who can make a United States Senator look like a bibulous barkeep without subjecting the paper to a suit for libel, but these are harder to find than the humorous page of the Popular Science Monthly.

“Whenever a cartoonist runs out of thought, he falls back on the Wall street interests and the beef trust, which are generally portrayed in a silk tie and a full dress suit, busily engaged in assaulting the ultimate consumer. Some cartoonists earn a large salary and avoid the surface cars, while others have to double in the press room and read proof.

“The supply of cartoonists who are not obliged to furnish a libretto containing both words and music with their cartoons, is not equal to the demand, and there are several promising vacancies for young artists who have a sense of humor which is visible to the naked eye.”

A series of cartoons circulated throughout Alabama in the senatorial contest between Congressmen Underwood and Hobson has set the whole state by the ears. The cartoons were direct attacks on Hobson. Some of them showed him receiving money from John D. Rockefeller, a charge that had never been made against him either in print or on the stump. Others showed him marching in Washington at the head of a suffrage parade which was represented, in order to bring race prejudice into action, as being composed of both white and colored women.

As soon as the cartoons were circulated the Underwood managers in the senatorial contest promptly disavowed their authorship or inspiration in emphatic terms, since the inevitable effect of such attacks was understood to be to turn voters toward Hobson instead of against him, as the perpetrators of the pictures apparently intended.

The most plausible explanation of the origin of these cartoons is that they were paid for and circulated by the liquor interests, whose opposition to Hobson because of his championship of the prohibition cause is intense and bitter. Whatever the explanation, their use is another illustration of the fact that the cartoon is recognized as the most potent weapon in politics.

Among Christmas gifts distributed by Andrew Carnegie were two prints of a cartoon, nicely framed, which he sent to Secretaries Garrison and Daniels. “It's a very handsome frame,” said the latter. The former said he was glad Mr. Carnegie was good enough to remember him. The cartoon shows a soldier departing for war, while his little child asks him if he is going off to kill some other child's papa.


Leo Edward O'Mealia, who has been doing cartooning for the New York Journal, has joined the staff of the New York Globe. Mr. O'Mealia was formerly a newspaper artist in Rochester.


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