Wednesday, July 27, 2022
Early Eddie Eks Cartoon
Eddie Eksergian's cartooning career prior to 1901 is pretty much a blank for me; it was that year that he published his first series with both the McClure Syndicate, based in New York, and World Color Printing, based in St. Louis. But those are series cartoons, and those were the exception rather than the rule in those days. Above is a one-shot cartoon I recently found in the Sunday section of the New York Herald for November 14 1897, over three years before he'd pen his first series cartoon,when Eddie was just 24 years old.
Eddie was living in Brooklyn at this time, so it's not surprising that he was shopping cartoons around at the New York papers. His trademark zaniness is not in evidence; this cartoon is a pointed little political barb about women's suffrage, made theoretically funny because the giver and receivers are both little kids.
The circumstances shown in the cartoon are a mystery -- it is supposed to occur the day after elections, but November 1897 was an off-year. The only important election in New York that year was for a judgeship, and my research doesn't seem to indicate that suffrage was an issue in it. It doesn't even seem to refer back to the 1896 presidential election, as McKinley was famously silent on the suffrage issue, and his wife was very much for it. So what election this cartoon refers to I cannot say.