September 2011

The National Law Journal, August 2, 1999


Explanation: In 1999, if you were a big-billing, money-generating partner in a law firm, you would have been called a "rainmaker". I haven't heard the term lately, so I guess it's out of fashion.

Florida Bar News, August 1, 1999


Explanation: In 1999, everybody was concerned that all computer systems would break down on January 1st, 2000. So being "year 2000 compliant" was the buzzword phrase of the moment for all new technologies -- and I figured it could apply to job applicants as well.

Winner of Eli's Cartoon Caption Contest No. 27


"Wow, we got a really tough line judge." (by Sharon)

My original caption: "Look, we all have our problems. For instance, if I could only find a way to improve my backhand . . . "

I laughed in appreciation as soon as I saw Sharon's caption, and knew immediately that it had to be a winner, or at least had to be the one to beat. So congrats, Sharon -- this is your second victory, and you can definitely be considered one of the funniest people around.

Other entries that came close, but didn't quite make it:

"Okay, I guess I misled you about where exactly I got my court experience from." (by Gary)

"I'm sorry . . . your parole board hearing will have to be postponed for at least two weeks!" (by Dom Mancino)

"At least you'll have plenty of time to work on your backhand." (by Cary Antebi)

So that's game, set and match for this one, folks. Keep up the good work -- a new contest will be coming up before you know it!

Eli's Cartoon Caption Contest No. 27

Cartoon Caption Contest No. 27 starts right now.

Briefly, here are the details: I'll supply a drawing of one of my old cartoons that has never been published, leaving off my caption. You are invited to supply your funniest captions. Simply (1) click on 'COMMENTS' underneath the current drawing. Then (2) scroll down past all the other comments and type in your name and your caption in the spaces provided. Then (3) enter the anti-spam security word that assures me that you're a human being and not a machine, and (4) click 'Submit'. There is no limit on the number of captions you can submit for each drawing.

Entries will be accepted and posted for one week, after which a winner will be announced and the winning caption will be printed. Below that I will also print my original caption. The cut-off time and date for you to submit your captions for this contest is midnight Tuesday, September 20, 2011.

I will be the sole judge. The winning caption will be the one I judge to be the funniest one submitted (not necessarily the one that matches or comes closest to my original caption).

Additional rules and regulations, for those of you who need such things, can be found here.

Of course I had to find a "tennis" cartoon for this particular contest -- and here it is.


"We All Have To Start Somewhere" Department. Case in Point No. 15

Case in point No. 15 in this ongoing feature is Elmer Simms Campbell, who signed his cartoons E. Simms Campbell.

Campbell was born in St. Louis, MO in 1906 and died in White Plains, NY in 1971. He was the first openly known African-American cartoonist to draw for big-name national publications in the U.S. -- and he accomplished this from the early 1930's to the late 1960's, when segregation, both subtle and flagrant, was a fact of American life.

Here's what Esquire Magazine had to say about Campbell in 1957: "E. Simms Campbell has been Esquire's most prolific creator of cartoons, and has never missed an issue [since Esquire's debut in 1933]. He attended the University of Chicago and Chicago Art Institute, holds honorary degrees from two other universities, is a charter member of the National Cartoonists Society, has illustrated a dozen books and written numerous articles on jazz." (Quoted from the Esquire Cartoon Album -- 25th Anniversary Volume, published in 1957 by Esquire, Inc. and distributed by Doubleday & Co., NY).

In addition to appearing in all those issues of Esquire, Campbell's cartoons could be seen in Playboy, Cosmopolitan, The Saturday Evening Post and Redbook, just to name a few other publications. He even did a New Yorker cover, dated February 3, 1936 -- however, I can't find any evidence that any of his cartoons ever appeared within The New Yorker.

Other Campbell accomplishments: he created Esky, the mustachioed, bulging-eyed mascot of Esquire Magazine; he drew a newspaper gag panel, "Cuties", distributed to hundreds of papers by King Features; and last, but not least, his cartoons appeared in many national advertising campaigns.

But the point of this feature is that "we all have to start somewhere". All of Campbell's early cartoons posted below are taken from a source book I've mentioned before, "The Good Humor Book", published in 1944 by Harvest House, NY. It's a hard-cover compilation of cartoons and jokes, but my instincts tell me that the publishers were offering very little compensation and that most cartoonists were just "dumping" their old, unsellable rejections there.

The final cartoon is from the Esquire Cartoon Album I mentioned. The photo of E. Simms Campbell is also from the same book. campbell6.jpgcampbell2.jpgcampbell1.jpgcampbell4.jpgcampbell3.jpgcampbell8.jpgcampbell7.jpgcampbell5.jpgcampbellesquire.jpgcampbellphoto.jpg E. Simms Campbell