Business -- General

Stock Market, October 1983


stkmkt1083.JPG

CAPTION: "No, you're not being replaced by a computer, Hoskins . . . you're being replaced by an electric paper shredder."






Boardroom Lists, November 1983


bdrm1183.jpg This was published by Brian Kurtz in his Boardroom Lists newsletter in November 1983. You can see my original posting about Boardroom Lists here. The interesting thing about this particular cartoon is that Brian told me he liked it so much that he wanted to make a poster out of it. I told him it sounded like a great idea. The next thing I knew he published this 17" x 22" poster . . . drawn by the renowned New Yorker cartoonist Charles Barsotti! bdrmbarsottiposter.jpg I was quite taken aback and I never got a good explanation from Brian as to why he chose to ask Barsotti to re-draw my gag, instead of just blowing up my cartoon (which he had already published months before). I guess I can't fault Brian for going with a famous New Yorker cartoonist (Barsotti), instead of an almost no-name cartoonist (me). Anyway, I did eventually get my chance at a poster, too. For the opening of the 1986 baseball season, I drew a special cartoon for Boardroom Lists, and it was published (size 17" x 22", on beige poster stock paper) in May 1986. You can see it directly below.






Boardroom Lists, May 1986


bdrmbaseballposter.jpg This was published as a 17" x 22" poster (see story directly above).






Boardroom Lists, July 1983


bdrm0783.jpg In July 1983 I started an interesting relationship with Boardroom Reports, Inc., and in particular with one of its divisions, Boardroom Lists. At that time, Boardroom Reports, based in New York City, was publishing a line of very popular personal and business newsletters, with titles like "Boardroom Reports", "Bottom Line" and "Tax Hotline". (Update: according to Google, Boardroom is now headquartered in Stamford, Conn., and is still apparently doing quite well in the newsletter publishing business.)

To get back to my story, in 1983 the Boardroom editors were occasionally using cartoons in their various newsletters, so I sent in a batch of my cartoons, on speculation. The batch was rejected, but along with the rejection was a letter from Brian Kurtz, "List Manager" at Boardroom. He said that he saw my cartoons and was interested in buying and printing at least one of them for his "Boardroom Lists" newsletter, which was targeted for users and purchasers of mailing lists for direct mail promotions. The cartoon posted above was the one that he wanted.

Brian also asked to see any other cartoons I might have relating to his particular field, and wanted to know if I'd be interested in doing any special cartoon projects that he had in mind. Of course I was interested. My relationship with Brian lasted about three years, and in all that time I never met him -- all our discussions were by mail or phone. (Another update: again according to Google, Brian Kurtz is now Executive Vice-President of Boardroom, Inc., in Connecticut, and I have to assume he is also doing quite well.)

Getting back to my story again, Brian began using my cartoons in his newsletter and in other promotional material. He also volunteered his expertise in creating some of the gags, and whenever I felt that his contribution was important enough, I signed the cartoon STEIN + KURTZ (the only times I ever shared a by-line with anyone).

In a burst of inspiration, Brian even based an award-winning print advertising campaign around my cartoons. I'll be posting all the cartoons and the ads in the future, under the publication category of "Boardroom Lists" (even though the ads appeared in other trade publications, such as "Direct Marketing", "Zip Target Marketing" and "D.M.News"). I received a royalty payment each time an ad appeared in a publication. What was the award that the ad campaign garnered? It was the coveted ECHO award from the Direct Marketing Association. Brian was nice enough to send me this Certificate of Creative Recognition: bdrmcertificate.jpg And he also sent along this note: bdrmbriannote.jpg For all these years the certificate has been languishing in a folder in one of my file cabinets. But now I plan to frame it and give it its rightful place on my studio wall. Okay, it isn't an OSCAR or even a CLIO, but it's an ECHO!






The Wall Street Journal, June 20, 1997


wsj062097.jpg It's time to write about my cartoon names again. Every once in a while, I feel like I need a generic last name on a sign or in a caption, like "Whitmore" above. My favorite name of choice was, and still is, "Nagle". Richard Nagle is my son-in-law, and I've used his name so often that he rates a separate "Topics" category listing. I've also used the name "Farber" a few times, and as I've explained before, that was my little tribute to radio talk show host Barry Farber. I used to listen to him a lot as I cartooned late into the night. Barry Farber is still around, by the way -- I heard him a few days ago, phoning into a talk show.

As for the name "Whitmore", that goes back to my Army days in the early 1950's. Lieutenant Whitmore was one of the few "good" officers I came in contact with (as opposed to all those other officers who lorded it all over us lowly enlisted men). For instance, you could actually have a conversation with Lt. Whitmore and not have to worry about the consequences afterwards. I distinctly remember telling my cartooning Army buddy, Tom Wesselmann, that I had found my "cartoon name", and that it was going to be "Whitmore". Tom smiled knowingly and acknowledged that it was a good choice.

I've written about my Army days before in these archives, and you'll find all the postings under "Eli's Corner". The last one is right here.

So here's to you, Lieutenant Whitmore -- I'm sorry I don't remember your first name, but "Lieutenant" has always been good enough for me.






National Business Employment Weekly, January 24, 1993


nbew012493.jpg

Yes, I admit it, I think this has got to be one of my top five best cartoons ever. I love everything about it. Simple drawing, cleverly-worded caption and, when you finally get to the door, downright funny. Why The New Yorker ever rejected it is beyond me.

(Just to bring this into historical context -- in 1993, when this was printed, the U.S. was in the midst of a major unemployment crisis. It was before the age of computer job searches, and laid-off workers were sending out tons of resumes. But corporations were not yet in a hiring mode, and the resumes were mostly being ignored.)






The Wall Street Journal, December 18, 1997 and December 22, 1998


wsj121897.jpg

Yes, that's absolutely correct, The Wall Street Journal printed this cartoon on December 18, 1997 and apparently liked it so much that they printed the exact same cartoon again a year later, on December 22, 1998. As one of my sons asked me in '98, "Did you get paid for it again?" I'm almost certain that the answer was no. So it looks like you owe me one, WSJ.

Actually, over the years, this type of thing happened to me on several occasions with other publications (but only this one time with The Wall Street Journal). Whenever it occured, I always chalked it up to either incredibly poor record-keeping or innocent human error. I can't imagine that any publication would deliberately want to repeat a cartoon that it had printed before.

Well, "to err is human, to forgive, divine". So all is forgiven, WSJ.






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.






Advertising Age, September 12, 1983


adage091283.jpg

Explanation: The word "collateral" has a special meaning in the advertising agency world. To quote from a source on Google: "Collateral is the collection of media used to support sales of a product or service. It differs from advertising in that it is used later in the sales cycle. Common examples include: sales brochures and other printed product information, posters and signs, visual aids in sales presentations, web content, sales scripts and demonstration scripts."

So this adman, or as we would call him today, Madman, is looking for a loan and he has brought along his "collateral". Yes, I agree it's an awful pun, but I thought it worked as a gag, and apparently so did the editors at Advertising Age back in 1983.

End of Lesson Number 1 in today's Advertising 101 class.






Selling Power, March 1999







Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Business -- General