Saturday, May 30, 2020


What The Cartoonists Are Doing, July 1916 (Vol.10 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.]

“Caricature and moral criticism” was the subject of a lecture delivered recently in Philadelphia by Prof. Louis W. Flaccus of the University of Pennsylvania.

After praising cartoonists for their display of moral strength on occasions, and condemning them for their display of shiftiness at times, Dr . Flaccus spoke of the characteristics of cartoonists in different countries.

"Why is it,” he asked, “that French caricaturists make marriage a thing of ridicule, American caricaturists do their best to discredit the presidency, and papers of the type of Simplicissimus and the Pasquino carry irreverence to great lengths? Moral radicalism will always have a place in caricature, and there is a moral individualism which would rather praise the devil in secret than God en masse. But the general drift of caricature is socially protective in spirit. The license is that of the artist, not the moralist. What seems a foul, satiric underthrust at morality or religion is often merely a bold imaginative stroke aimed at strong artistic contrasts."

Mr. Flaccus mentioned feminism and war as favorites with the cartoonists. “One might imagine in regard to feminism, where the issues are so grave, that caricature would become earnest and significant,” he said. “But the great bulk of such caricature plays with the idea, leaving moral matters untouched. The tide of this fun runs against feminism, because the world of caricature is a man's world. War is a favorite, for the caricaturist likes sharp contrasts, and as a moralist he thinks in black and white.

“Which way does caricature, morally speaking, lean? I find in it much defensive criticism, much that is strong, and little that is subtle. It chastises simple vices, as drunkenness, and presents simple standardized ideals such as honesty. It strikes hard at the moral laggard; it sees to it that there is no wide breach between average conduct and average ideals.

"Yet caricature often attacks, without judgment, what rises above as well as what falls below the common social level. It shows little insight into, and less sympathy with, reform movements. As a matter of history, caricature rarely has seized the real meaning of a new movement. Abolition, prohibition, the peace movement, socialism, feminism, have received from it unintelligent abuse. Do the Civil War cartoons express at all the seriousness of the issue or the greatness of Lincoln? What, one might ask Tenniel, had the man's lankiness to do with the measure of his greatness? And there is not much to choose between a cartoon which sets a cultured woman over against a lot of drunkards and asks: 'If these vote, why not we?' and a cartoon that draws a woman voting, her children hungry, and household ruined. Both are unjust distortions, melodrama, and alike intolerant."

In conclusion he mentioned the strong appeal of the cartoon to the man in the street and to the newspaper reader. “Let us be cautious, however," he warned, "against accepting without very close inspection the caricaturist as a reliable moral guide. In 1884, Gillam attacked Blaine in caricature in one humorous paper and attacked Cleveland equally unjustly in another. But often the caricaturist has shown courage and great moral strength.”

In connection with the recent capture of Sir Roger Casement, W. A. Rogers, cartoonist of the New York Herald, recalls the fact that in 1887 he drew a cartoon for Life in which he depicted the first Irish parliament under home rule. In the cartoon Mr. Rogers had Prince Bismarck in charge of the department of foreign affairs for Ireland, while the head of Michael Davitt was displayed on a pike inside the house of parliament. About ten years later Davitt actually was stoned by an Irish mob.

Mr. Rogers was asked if the cartoon made any prediction as to the end of the present war, but his answer was :

“A prophet must not be overworked."


James Henderson, of Charlotte, N. C., a brother of Russell Henderson, designed a souvenir postcard recently commemorating President Wilson's visit to his city. Mr. Henderson added a verse which read:

Me and Woody is on our way,
To Charlotte for the twentieth of May;
 Come and join us if you can;
 We'll have a big time hand in hand.

Thousands of the cards were printed and distributed throughout the Carolinas.

from Paterson (N. J.) Call
Future historians are going to use the cartoons as found recorded in the daily newspapers more than they have ever been used in the writing of history. And it is well that they should do so.

The newspapers of this country have never had working for them such able cartoonists as are now devoting their talent to the making of pictures. There have been a few great cartoonists in the past -- some as good, perhaps, as any who are making cartoons at this time. But never have there been so many good ones as are with us at this time. And certainly they have never so completely sensed the meaning of the events of the war.

One does not have to read the words of the correspondents nor of the diplomats to understand the spirit of the struggle, its portents and its intents. All he needs to do is to study the cartoons. They are clean and wholesome. They are refined - and full of meaning. They show that the cartoonist possesses something else than the ability to make pictures. For within the most of them there is that which shows that the cartoonist is a man of deep reasoning and of splendid mental equipment, as well as being endowed with the genius of art.


"Some 'Frightful' War Pictures" is the title of a new cartoon book by W. Heath Robinson, the London artist. The pictures are not really so frightful as the name suggests, as Mr. Robinson is one of the best-known British humorists. The book is published by E. P. Dutton and Co., New York.

from Western Christian Advocate
Our eye has fallen upon a suggestive cartoon in one of the humorous satirical papers, namely, Judge . It is a picture called “Dollars and Sense.” On the left hand there is shown a rather vacant-faced and dapper young dude who stands for dollars, and because he has the ducats, a half dozen eager and adoring young women are hanging over him with pleading gaze, trying to hypnotize him into some response to their sincere and inspired admiration for his greatness. We will not raise the question of the real image within their minds. On the right there is a picture of the young student who represents sense (cents), who is sitting all alone, looking studious, a book man, earnest, pondering over a volume in his hands; but there is not a single female in his vicinity.


Under the auspices of Mrs. P. N. Cook of the Salt Lake City Board of Health, the school children of that city submitted original cartoons recently in a contest designed to further the interests of "clean up week.” The first prize was won by Miss Maxime Maxom, a senior in the high school. The cartoons have been placed on exhibition.


 "Billy" Ireland, of the Columbus Dispatch, on arriving at Chicago for the republican convention, immediately sought out Clare Briggs, of the New York Tribune, and challenged him to a game of golf. "Cliff" Berryman, of the Washington Star, who had offered to serve as caddy for Ireland, excused himself.


A Chantey of the Kiel Canal

W. A. Rogers, cartoonist of the New York Herald, frequently adorns his work with verse. The following appeared over his signature shortly after the German government had denied torpedoing the "Sussex."

She loomed up on our stabbud bow,
And she looked like a man o' war,
Nor peaceful hornless mooley cow
Was liker to a savage boar.

And straightway, for a fighting ship,
Her decks with women folks were crowded:
Her bows were fitted for a ferry slip;
Her guns were carefully enshrouded.

With cunning truly diabolic
This fighting ship defied us;
For on her decks in romp and frolic
Even the babes seemed to deride us.

No wonder then we launched a huge torpedo
Her impudence to quell.
It struck — a glorious deed, O,
Listen now what next befell.

Out of the smoke that spread across the sea
A second ship from Davy Jones's rose,
And like our damaged quarry, she
Had also lost her nose.

Then , then it was our brave commander
Bade us to fire no more;
"Another shot may raise about us
Warships by the score."

Maybe, sir, we saw things double,
Seeing like a stereoscope;
Very likely that's the trouble,
Peering through a periscope.

Jean Knott, comic artist of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, has been graduated into the big-league newspaper class through signing a contract with William Randolph Hearst to work for the Hearst newspaper syndicate.

His salary will be $12,000 a year, or considerably more than double his present salary. He began on the Post-Dispatch as a counter clerk at $10 a week. His work recently attracted the attention of Hearst, who signed him to a two-year contract.

Under the caption "Offensive Ignorance," the Rochester Herald prints the following anent a recent McCutcheon cartoon:

"If the famous Chicago cartoonist is lacking in a sense of decency it is rather strange that his newspaper employer should encourage it, to say nothing of betraying his ignorance, by giving publicity to the McCutcheon cartoon the other day entitled 'The Double Standard.' In this Janus-like figure the president is represented as saying to the Americans in Mexico: 'You are warned to leave Mexico at once.' To the traveler boarding an outward-bound vessel he is made to say: 'You will be protected.' Further is the legend: “Where Americans are Warned to Abandon Their Rights , and 'Where Americans are Told Their Rights must be Respected.'

"It is a striking illustration of the influence of vicious partisanship that we find in this cartoon. Its crass ignorance appears to have had no restraining influence on the editor who passed on it.”

Louis Raemaekers, the famous Dutch cartoonist, has drawn for the National Committee for Relief in Belgium one of the most remarkable and certainly the most heartrending of all the war posters.

The misery of the millions now in Belgium has inspired this notable artist to his finest effort. A Belgian woman, with a ragged red cloak over her shoulders, is holding tightly to her breast an infant in a shawl. Around the child is clasped the mother's hand - a hand which spells starvation . In the woman's face there is the infinite sorrow of motherhood, driven to despair by the inhumanity of it all, and the pitiful, helpless yearning to relieve the child's suffering. Any reader of this magazine can secure a copy of the poster free by sending a postcard to the Secretary, National Committee for Relief in Belgium, Trafalgar Buildings, Trafalgar Square, London.

Word was received recently of the death at Los Angeles of Mrs. Clara Woolson Darling, mother of Jay N. Darling, cartoonist of The Des Moines Register. She is survived by one other son, Frank W. Darling of New York. She was the widow of the Rev. Dr. Marc W. Darling, who was one of the most widely known ministers in Iowa.


Reub Goldberg, the New York Evening Mail's cartoonist, was one of the star attractions in the Friars' Frolic on its recent tour.

Dudley Logan of Los Angeles is now drawing cartoons for The Western Comrade, a monthly labor publication.


Clare Briggs, of the New York Tribune, was the guest of Percy Cowen of New Bedford, Mass., recently. He was much interested in a visit to a whaler, and is still recovering from the effects of a clambake.


“Bill" Steinke, formerly cartoonist for the Scranton (Pa.) Republican, and who is now in vaudeville, was given something of a reception recently when he appeared in Allentown, where he has a multiude of friends. He was escorted into the city by the mayor and the board of aldermen, and was met at the station by the town band.


The Western Union Life Insurance Co., of Spokane, Wash., offers a prize of $1,000 for the best original trade-mark submitted before Oct. 15. Sketches may be submitted in pencil, crayon, oil, or water color.


The Rev. Bouck White, of the Church of Social Revolution, of New York, after a recent term on Blackwell's Island, is again in trouble for desecrating the American flag. According to the charges against him, he was distributing a cartoon showing the figure of a monster labeled “Militarism" grasping a money bag, sprawled across the national emblem. Red blots labeled "War" also defaced the flag, while a bolt of lightning, marked "Internationalism" was pictured as striking the monster.


A Briggs cartoon in the famous "When a Feller Needs a Friend" series, and representing the small boy appealing to his father for a vote for mother, has been distributed by the thousands throughout the state of Iowa in the interests of the equal suffrage campaign.

"Cousin Jim, or The Mystery of the Stolen Fraternity Pin" is the title of a film comedy which John T. McCutcheon of the Chicago Tribune has written for the Casino Club of that city.


John L . De Mar , cartoonist of the Philadelphia Record, began life as a railroad brakeman .


On the occasion recently of John T. McCutcheon's forty-sixth birthday, a writer in the Cedar Rapids Gazette paid the following tribute to the Chicago cartoonist:

“Of all the cartoonists who ply their gentle art on this side of the well known Atlantic ocean, perhaps the most widely and favorably known is John T. McCutcheon of the Chicago Tribune. Like so many other middle western geniuses, Mr. McCutcheon was born in Indiana. It was forty-six years ago today, May 6, 1870, that he started life in Tippecanoe county, spending his youth on a Hoosier farm. Agriculture did not appeal to him, however, and while still in short trousers he began studying art. He advanced so rapidly that at the age of nineteen he landed a job on the art staff of the Chicago Record. Later he went over to the Record-Herald and afterward to the Tribune. For nearly a score of years he has held a place among the foremost newspaper cartoonists of the world. Mr. McCutcheon is a chronic globe-trotter and has had many unusual and thrilling experiences. He was a member of the party of American war correspondents who invaded Belgium soon after the outbreak of hostilities, and, with Irvin S. Cobb and several others, served time in a German jail, but finally escaped to Holland. In 1898 Mr. McCutcheon made a tour around the world in the dispatch boat McCulloch, and he was an eye witness of the battle of Manila Bay. The Chicago cartoonist was in Africa during Col. Roosevelt's hunting trip, and recorded his impressions of that distinguished nimrod in a volume, ' T. R. in Cartoons.' He made a balloon ascension at Nairobi, and from a safe height gazed down upon the wild beasts of the jungle. Besides having a ringside seat at Dewey's victory over the haughty Don, Mr. McCutcheon has had experience in warfare in the Philippines, the Transvaal, and, latterly in Europe. In many of his globe-trotting expeditions the cartoonist has traveled with that other celebrated Hoosier, George Ade, and as a result of his association has illustrated many of Mr. Ade's books. As an artist McCutcheon has a style that is strictly his own. A McCutcheon cartoon may be recognized at a considerable distance, and may be approached with the certainty that it contains the 'makings' of a laugh."

Rube Goldberg, sporting editor and cartoonist of the New York Evening Mail, drove his automobile on the wrong side of the roadway at Washington bridge the other afternoon, and as a consequence found himself before Magistrate Levy in the Morrisania court.

Goldberg told the magistrate that he was not familiar with the rules of the road in this case, and was not aware of the fact that he was violating any ordinance.

It is alleged that when he was asked by the magistrate why he did not study the traffic regulations, Goldberg replied with the sentence he has put into the mouths of the characters in so many of his cartoons, “I never thought of that."

The magistrate found him guilty but suspended sentence.


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