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Rotarian, May 1959







King Features "Laff-A-Day, September 27, 1979







King Features "Laff-A-Day", July 22, 1981


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This one was reprinted in Reader's Digest.






The Wall Street Journal, December 18, 1957







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


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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


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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.






Food & Drug Packaging, September 1983


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The publication of this cartoon in the trade magazine FOOD & DRUG PACKAGING in September 1983 prompted a Letter to the Editor that was printed a few issues later. The letter was written by a packaging company executive, and I'm quoting it in its entirety, because it also helps non-packaging-oriented people to understand what the gag is all about:

"The cartoon by Stein in the September 1983 issue of FOOD & DRUG PACKAGING was well done. It points out the new packages available to the supermarket shopper; however, one package is not commercially available and is still under market test, in selected parts of the country, after five years. The retort pouch is not yet considered to be a widely used package in the United States and this is true even after 20 years of development. Giving the retort pouch "equal billing" with ovenable paperboard and seamless aluminum cans is an injustice to total market conditions. Perhaps, in the distant future, the retort pouch will become a viable supermarket commodity. But, it sure isn't now!"

And now, after all these years, I get to comment on this letter. Yes, I knew all along that retort pouches were still in a testing stage. But I used the term because I found "retort pouches" to be a very funny-sounding name for a package (even funnier than "ovenable paperboard containers" or "seamless aluminum cans"). To this day, I can't help smiling when I think "retort pouch" -- try saying it and see if you don't have the same reaction.

And, after all, humor is what it's all about.






National Lampoon, July 1984


natlamp0784.JPG I was certainly surprised when National Lampoon bought this one. I shouldn't have been, since it was right up their irreverent alley, so to speak.

Nevertheless, when I drew it, I was concerned about the controversial subject matter and decided to sign it only with ST. instead of my full name. Call me paranoiac, but I felt that if I used my obviously Jewish full name, it would bring out every religious crank and crackpot in the world. I had good reason to think this -- heck, I even got hate mail as a result of a harmless Santa cartoon that appeared in the Wall Street Journal! What I didn't realize at the time was that the famous New Yorker cartoonist and artist Saul Steinberg, who died a few years ago, also sometimes shortened his signature to ST., and it looked exactly like mine. So technically (but not practically, since our styles were so different) it was possible for someone to mistakenly think that it was a Steinberg. I hope I didn't cause him any hate mail problems.

And now I'd like to put in a little sidebar to all those "haters": Lighten up! This is strictly about humor! We have no hidden agendas! And yes, I have drawn cartoons making fun of Moses! In some small way, I think I understand what those Danish cartoonists are currently going through.






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