October 2009

Case & Comment, 1988


case1988.jpg

Case & Comment was a well-respected, old-line publication for lawyers. Its first issue was in 1894 and its last was in 1990 -- almost 100 years! And best of all, in my opinion, it used cartoons to accompany and lighten up all that legal material.

This cartoon was purchased by the editors for a specific purpose. It was featured in a June 1988 promotional letter sent to their extensive mailing list of lawyers. I was paid a $100 bonus for that use.

Unfortunately, they must have sent it to the law firm that represented the "Toys R Us" merchandising group. As the editors later informed me, it resulted in a "cease and desist" letter and Case & Comment was forced to discontinue the promotion.

Aside: Four years later, The National Law Journal (another one of my markets, by the way) published essentially the same cartoon, but drawn by another cartoonist. The other cartoonist had the chutzpah to use the reverse "R" (Torts "R" Us), which I had been too chicken to use. I figured it was trademarked and would just be asking for trouble. I often wondered whether The National Law Journal received a similar "cease and desist" letter from the Toys "R" Us lawyers.






"We All Have to Start Somewhere" Department. Case in Point No. 13


Case in point number 13 in this ongoing feature is Brooklyn-born cartoonist Jerry Marcus (1924-2005). His magazine gag cartoons could be seen everywhere for about 50 years -- and he even had a few in The New Yorker. He also drew a newspaper panel "Trudy", syndicated by King Features, until his death.

Jerry Marcus lived in Ridgefield, Connecticut for about 40 years, and later in Danbury and Waterbury. He would travel into Manhattan by train on Wednesday "Look Day", often in the company of fellow Connecticut-based cartoonists, such as Orlando Busino, Joseph Farris and Dana Fradon. His path often crossed mine in the waiting rooms of various Cartoon Editors.

But the point of this feature is that "we all have to start somewhere". All of the cartoons posted below are from a paperback anthology "Juvenile Delinquency", published by Dell in 1956. They probably date from that year or 1955. The editor of the anthology? None other than Charles Preston (Editor of The Wall Street Journal's cartoon panel for over 50 years, and still going strong).

The photo of Jerry Marcus is one very rarely seen -- it dates from 1963 and I lifted it from Don Ulsh's newsletter, "New York Cartoon News".

jmarcus5.jpg

jmarcus4.jpg

jmarcus1.jpg

jmarcus6.jpg

jmarcus2.jpg

jmarcus3.jpg

Jmarcusphoto.jpgJerry Marcus






National Business Employment Weekly, December 11, 1983


nbew121183.jpg

Hmmm. Another cartoon of mine published without my signature. But it's easy to see how this one happened. NBEW just chopped off the bottom third of my drawing, signature and all.






The Wall Street Journal, March 19, 1999


wsj031999.jpg

Here's another gag, published ten years ago, that would be timely and appropriate today. For two more election-oriented gags of mine, both published in 1982 and both with almost identical drawings, check out here and here.






Insurance Sales, April 1985


ins0485.jpg

This is one of several versions of this gag that I've sold to different publications. My take on selling the same gag over and over again is that I will never offer it with the same drawing. So when I re-draw the gag, sometimes rewording the caption also, it becomes a personal challenge to see if and how much I can improve the drawing from my original one.