Saturday, December 14, 2019


What The Cartoonists Are Doing, April 1915 (Vol.7 No.4)

[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 bill has been introduced into the Alabama legislature, which, if it becomes a law, will fix a penalty for the publishing of a cartoon of any prominent person. The bill is supposed to be aimed at the Alabama cartoonists who have been picturing the legislators of that state in a rather uncomplimentary light.

Frank M. Spangler, of the Montgomery Advertiser, in an amusing cartoon, pictures the legislature recoiling from the reflection of its own visage in the mirror of public opinion.

"This proposition is simply ridiculous," says the Birmingham News in support of the cartoonists. "It will make the average newspaper reader smile that a sacred class is to be made of officeholders and office- seekers, for they are the bulk of prominent people whom newspapers cartoon.

"A cartoon is a semi-editorial expression, and a powerful method of reaching public opinion, because ridicule and sarcasm are vividly presented to the eye. Both weapons have always been wonderfully effective on the stump, and there is no reason why the press should be deprived of their use. In fact, such a bill is a distinct effort to muzzle the press, and is an infringement of its constitutional powers. It is not probable that any court would sustain such a measure."


An obsolete cartoon statute may be repealed by the California legislature, now in session, according to the Sacramento Bee. The "native son" lawmakers, many years ago, decided that it was illegal for cartoons to be printed in newspapers, and accordingly drafted a law prohibiting the publishing of caricatures in the daily prints. The law was observed for several years, but its injustice was so apparent that it became a dead statute, and has not been observed for over a decade. An editor in the legislature, however, objects to the law and is making an effort to have it erased from the statute books.

Writing in the Cornhill Booklet, Kate Meldram Buss calls attention to "Hansi's" quaint creation, "Prof. Knatschke," the near-sighted pedagogue, who after a two days' visit to Paris writes his impressions of French "Kultur.' Hansi, or Johann Jacob Waltz, to give him his real name, is unpopular enough with the Germans even without this caricature of German achievement. The cartoonist-author, who is now at the front, and who has been decorated by the French government, first offended with his "Mon Village," the description of an Alsatian village, which heaped all sorts of ridicule upon the Germans. For publishing it he was sentenced to a year's imprisonment, which, needless to say, he has not served.

"Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Siegfried Knatschke-Koenigsberg," we are informed, "writes of men and morals, of custom and tradition, of tendency and consummation, in deliciously naive ignorance of any one of his subjects, and in utter disregard for the varying fillip of white grape and hop. To all appearances it is Professor Knatschke who is writing the book, not Hansi, and he condescends to publish his Germanically-tilted deductions for the enlightenment of his brothers in Alsace who persist in preferring Gallic foible to Teutonic perfection. He wanders about Paris, finding it, in so short a time as it takes to walk from the Madeleine to the Porte Saint-Martin,  depraved, impolite, and inefficient."
Hansi also includes in this volume, which is published by Floury (Paris), the diary of the professor's daughter on a visit to Alsatian relatives.

Cartoonist E. A. Bushnell admits that he never in his life knitted a sock. He made this confession to the Kokomo Tribune recently in a note, written in answer to the complaint of a reader who objected to the way he pictured a woman knitting socks for soldiers. The letter follows:

"One of your readers has come to the conclusion that I am not much of an expert on knitting because in my cartoon entitled 'Mothers Knitting Socks for Soldiers,' the mother appeared to be finishing the sock at the top instead of at the toe. I plead guilty. I never knitted a sock in my life.

"The cartoonist has a hard row to hoe. He must not only know his own business, but he must know everyone else's business as well. I once drew a picture of a man for the Cincinnati Times-Star, and the editor of the paper subsequently received a letter from a dentist who denounced me as a faker because I had not drawn the man's teeth according to his ideas of the way it should be done. We cartoonists do the best we can, and I think we study life and people more thoroughly than anyone else. Try as hard as we will to be absolutely accurate in all things, we of course must make our share of mistakes, being only human."

"Apparently the Swiss censorship does not like pictures," says a dispatch from Berne, printed in the European edition of the New York Herald. "It was on account of a cartoon that it recently ordered the seizure of the Herald," the correspondent continues, "and later it did the same with postcards of Rheims Cathedral as it is since German 'Kultur' took it in hand.

"The censorship also ordered the seizure of a great variety of postcard caricatures of the enemy, which word is here taken to mean Germany.

"The latest move of the censorship has been the seizure of the Matin for having pictorially pilloried the kaiser as the head of a sort of Ali Baba band. The seizure was unproductive, however, the paper having sold well before the authorities got under way."

The Scoop, official publication of the Chicago Press Club, recently published an appreciation of L. D. Bradley, of the Chicago Daily News, in which it pays high tribute to the genius of the man who has attained national renown as a cartoonist since the beginning of the war.

"Luther D. Bradley has been doing newspaper cartoon work continuously for near upon twenty-five years, and doing it well," says the Scoop. "But while he was recognized as a man of ideas and a master draughtsman in his own way, his public was local until Europe exploded in war. That stupendous outbreak gave him a new key, and he sprang into national prominence at a single stroke. He was moved not so much to indignation as to sorrow, to profound sympathy for whole peoples desolated and left helpless; and to a sense of failure in a civilization so laboriously built up, so suddenly disrupted.

"He was able to see the core of things, and show it to others. The war was not a month old when his first great cartoon, 'Education for the Heathen,' startled the country to attention. The certainty that sweeping sacrifice of virile men will leave to future generations a fatherhood of weaklings, brought out another one showing Europe sending out her strong men to kill each other, and assuring them that those left behind would take their places in continuing the race. It was a thing of sharp significance — its contrast of perfect manhood on the way to death, with the shriveled old and shrimpish young who were to stay at home.

"Bradley is a man, long experienced but newly famed, a genius who responded when occasion called, and who has come into his own. He is an agreeable personality, mature in thought and feeling, full of human kindness. It was this last that roused him when the guns began to roar.

"Bradley has had a curious career. After a few years of business in Chicago he found himself in Melbourne, Australia, in the course of a trip around the world, in the early eighties. He intended to stay a few days there waiting for the steamer to San Francisco, but he stayed eleven years. Let him tell the rest in his own words:

" 'The delay,' he says, 'was caused by an impulse to send a cartoon to a little local paper. I never had drawn a cartoon or thought of doing so. The editor wrote me that the paper had just died from other causes — so my skirts were clear. But he said he was going to start another, and would use my efforts. Thus I became entangled with Life, a weekly publication. Later I edited the paper, and after a few years went to Melbourne Punch, where during five years I worked at cartooning and editing.

Returning to Chicago in 1893 I drew cartoons for the Journal and afterward for the Inter-Ocean, and then, beginning in 1899, for The Daily News; and am still at it.'

"At a moderate estimate, he has in his time drawn at least six thousand cartoons. The fact is its own comment upon his fecund originality and his gift of industry."

W. A. Rogers, of the New York Herald, tells a story which expresses one of the most sincere and homely tributes which could be paid to Abraham Lincoln. Mr. Rogers was traveling in the South twenty years ago and met a niece of Robert Toombs, powerful leader in the South. Miss Toombs was then just out of school.

"Do you know what we used to do to all the pictures of Yankee generals that we found in the history books?" she asked Mr. Rogers.

Mr. Rogers did not know and admitted it.

"We took a pencil and scratched up their faces," said Miss Toombs, with pretty ferocity.
Mr. Rogers shuddered.

"But there is one picture that I never could bring myself to mar," said the girl. "It is the picture of Abraham Lincoln. I never could make up my mind to touch that."

Dreams don't come true every day, and fairy godmothers remain pretty well in the background. But the unusual has happened to E. A. Bushnell, cartoonist of the Central Press Association, of Cleveland. Bushnell awoke one morning last month to find himself the beneficiary under the will of an unknown admirer. A letter from the editor of the Rockville (Ill.) Star informed him that a Mrs. Ann Hibbard of that city had remembered him handsomely in her will.

"She was very much interested in your cartoons," wrote the editor, "and often spoke of them when she was in the office, and she was seldom downtown but that she paid us a visit."

Bushnell will devote the money to the completion of his studies. He has been studying at the Cleveland Art Academy and at the Kokoon Art Club. "I feel very proud of this," he writes, "not from the financial standpoint, but from the sentiment that prompted the legacy. I never met or heard of Mrs. Hibbard, and you can imagine my surprise on learning of her generosity. She couldn't have left her money to a more ambitious person."

Bushnell's success has been due entirely to his own efforts. He began life as a cowboy, and with only a natural aptitude for drawing, entered the cartoon field some twenty years ago. His first cartoon appeared in a Cleveland newspaper, and showed Mark Hanna as "the power behind the throne" standing behind McKinley's chair.

Under the above title, the St. Joseph News-Press has printed a selection of the best cartoons of the year by W. Hanny, of its staff. In the introduction to the book the editors of the News-Press say:

"In 'The Passing Show' the News-Press cartoonist, Mr. W. Hanny, is really giving a pictorial review of the year. The cartoonist's pencil records the political and historical events, not losing sight, however, of the homely every-day problems that are part of the life of nearly every family.

"Mr. Hanny has found favor with the magazines and newspapers. Over one-third of the cartoons used in 'The Passing Show' have been reproduced in the Literary Digest, Cartoons Magazine, Review of Reviews, Los Angeles Times, Harper's Weekly, London Sketch, and others."


Will Owen, the London cartoonist, has been giving humorous lectures illustrated with some of his cartoons on lantern slides on behalf of the Belgian Relief Fund.

Mr. Harding, cartoonist of the Brooklyn Eagle, proves to be as good a poet as he is an artist, and in a recent issue of the Eagle, woos the muse to the following effect:

When chatting with a native of any warring state
 Be careful to say nothing that possibly would grate
Upon his tender feelings, or give his nerves a wrench:
For instance, do not say "Bon jour," or try to air your French
When greeting any person who is obviously German;
Try not to sing "God save the King" to Heinrich, Hans or Herman.
Oh! read not the Staats Zeitung to any British chap,
Nor dine a Herr Professor if your butler be a Jap.
Detain Teutonic callers a moment at the door
While you make sure there are no scraps of paper on the floor.
Beg not the Russian cellist to play "Die Wacht am Rhein,"
And stop to think before you drink to Joffre in a stein!
Don't offer English sparrows the lengthy Wienerwurst,
Or try with English Breakfast tea to slake the dachshund's thirst.
A little tact when visiting may oft prevent a fuss —
Don't say, "I'm fond of pretzels," if your host should be a Russ,
Nor pelt the "little German band" with Belgian paving blocks,
And by no chance hail sons of France with three resounding "Hochs!"


This is the day of hurry up. Headlines of stories only are read by busy men. The cartoon feature tells a story, impresses it upon the reader's mind more vividly and with a more lasting effect than a half column of the written newspaper story. — Governor George H. Hodges of Kansas.

Citizens of Virginia, Minn., are afraid they have lost H. Hume, a cartoonist who dwelt in their peaceful village until recently. Says the Virginia Enterprise:

"Grave fears that they have been stung assail erstwhile patrons of H. Hume, cartoonist, who recently made arrangements to make cartoons of a number of 'prominent Virginians' at $10 a cartoon and no change back.

"Hume was an artist of real merit and he had no trouble in persuading two of the most reputable newspapers on the range that he had a proposition of merit and getting agreements with them to print the art stuff. One of them is located at Hibbing. It printed a want ad apropos of the matter in hand which began 'Lost — one perfectly good cartoonist.' It wants Hume's address.

"Hume had little trouble in interesting a number of local businessmen who are always willing to cheerfully contribute their share of local newspaper enterprises in his cartoons. He showed them the cartoons after they had been finished, everybody pleased, some few delighted and several paid their bills on the spot.

"Hume left Virginia recently. Hard on the heels of his departure came a deputy sheriff from Crookston, Minn. He was equipped with a warrant to take Hume back to Crookston to settle a board bill of $248, but he missed his quarry. Mr. Hume left no forwarding address at the local hotel where he was a guest so the deputy sheriff was compelled to 'sadly turn away.' "


The Decorah (Iowa) Republican pays this tribute to J. N. Darling (Ding), of the Des Moines Register and Leader:

"According to Webster's dictionary the word 'ding' means: 'To throw violently; dash; fling; drive; to excel; to get the better of; to beat.' That describes 'Ding,' the cartoonist of the Register and Leader. 'Ding' has all the attributes stated when it comes to driving home ideas with his pen."

B. P. Bakrock, formerly editor of a Servian paper at Anaconda, Montana, is to be deported as soon as conditions in Europe quiet down, according to the Standard of that city. Mr. Bakrock is alleged to have libeled a countryman in a cartoon he drew for the National Idea last summer, and the Federal authorities decided that he is an undesirable citizen.

While in jail at Anaconda, Mr. Bakrock drew a number of cartoons for his fellow prisoners, and when released on bonds, presented the sheriff with an original drawing. The cartoon shows Servia battling the giant Austria, while the world applauds the pluck of the small nation which has been mixed up in three wars within two years' time.

Old Doc Yak Cartoon Promo from The Voice of ODD

"Old Doc Yak," Sidney Smith's comic character in the Chicago Tribune, is to make his debut in the movies. It is a real flesh-and-blood "Doc" who appears as the curtain is drawn, cleverly made up in whiskers and papier-mache horns. The thespian presently fades out of the picture to be replaced by the real "Doc" of pen and ink. "Doc," by the way, was a performer in the recent minstrel show given by the Chicago Automobile Club.


Christy Walsh, of Los Angeles, believes that there is more money to be made in drawing up briefs and wills than drawing cartoons. He has abandoned the brush and pencil for the calfskin. Mr. Walsh recently passed the California state bar examination and plans to hang out his shingle soon. His ability with the pen may help while away the hours while waiting for clients.


Mr. and Mrs. Russell Henderson are entertaining a "young cartoonist" who arrived at their home recently.


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