Wednesday, June 19, 2024


Selling It: National Health Agencies PSAs for 1964


The National Health Agencies was an umbrella organization for medical charities. It was created in the mid-1950s along with several other umbrella organizations to raise money from government employees. It was created to simplify fundraising from these employees, who had before been bombarded with many campaigns for many different organizations. In practice, of course, it just created a new layer of bureaucracy in which money intended for charitable purposes was swallowed by middlemen. Unlike the more familiar United Way, which was eventually disgraced by financial scandals, as far as I know the NHA was never outed for hinky finances. The NHA was eventually renamed Community Health Charities, and then all these organizations were further conglomerated as Combined Federal Campaigns.

Cartoonists and their syndicates were sometimes tapped to do PSA art for charitable organizations, and in the 1964 NHA fund drive many contributed panel cartoons. Above are some of the panels produced for that drive.

Here's an easy quiz for you -- just name all the characters above. I can't imagine Stripper's Guide readers not acing this quiz, but in case you're stumped just hover your cursor over the image that has you beat, and read the file name, where all will be revealed.


It's rare for PSAs to ever be original artwork, The ones King Features produced years go were also existing material, usually random panels from already published strips from somewhere in the last few years before. Sometimes they seemed rather poorly chosen and the new word balloons had to really contort to make sense in the context of the charity's message.
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