May 2017

"We All Have To Start Somewhere Department". Case in Point No. 19

Case in point Number 19 in this very irregular feature is . . . me.

In 1946, at the age of 14, I sent a letter to cartoonist Stan MacGovern at the New York Post. The Post in the 1940's was New York City's politically-liberal newspaper, owned and published by Dorothy Schiff, and it had a huge circulation all over town. That's just the opposite of what the Post is today, under the ownership of Australian Rupert Murdoch.

Anyway, one of the Post's exclusive comics at that time was Stan MacGovern's daily and weekend strip "Silly Milly", which ran the humor gamut from the ridiculous to the sublime. MacGovern had many "Departments", and in my note to him I suggested an idea for one of his running gags. In my exhuberance, I even sent him a drawing of the gag so he could see how it could work. 

The next thing I knew, the letter, the drawing and my gag appeared in a Silly Milly weekend strip and MacGovern built the rest of that day's strip around it. Here it is, and I guess I should mention at this point that Eli is my middle name and Isidore is my first name!  

Of course, I was delighted to see the strip and, as they say, the rest is history. So thank you, Stan MacGovern, wherever you are.

I usually finish my "We All Have To Start Somewhere Department" with a photo of the cartoonist, so here's one of me at age 14, give or take a year or two.

Medical Economics, November 27, 1995

In the mid-1990's, the monthly publication Medical Economics started running a feature called "Funny Bones", in which the editors showcased the work of some of the cartoonists who had been gracing their pages. As one of their featured contributors, I was invited to be a part of the running series. It would involve them purchasing a bunch of new cartoons from me, and would also include a photo and a short bio. Of course I was glad to accept and my wife took many photos of me at my drawing board (the photo they used is the one that I still show at the top of this archive/blog).

Here is the two-page spread that appeared. Note that the publication removed my signatures from the individual panels. 

Hopefully, you'll be able to zoom in on the pages for easier reading.

Winner of Eli's Cartoon Caption Contest No. 118

           "I find this gets me more attention than my calling cards ever did."

                                             (by Ken Wilkinson)


My original caption: "You've screwed up our accounts for the last time, Nagle!"


Congrats to you, first-time winner Ken Wilkinson! You have now officially joined the ranks of "one of the funniest people around".

There weren't too many entries this time around, but I found the general quality of the captions submitted to be excellent. These are the others that I was seriously considering:

"I want my job back!" (by Anne Noonan)

"I hate being the one to tell you, Smithers, but it was me who bought your life insurance policy." (by Brendan Gannon)

"I'm a white collar man in a blue collar world." (by Rich Wolf)

"Yup, that's right. This is a hair hold up. I'll take it all in unmarked clumps." (by Ronn Roxx)

"I warned you about eating other people's lunch." (by Sagie Tvizer)

"Hand over your key to the executive bathroom." (by Cary Antebi)

"What, you never heard of a hostile takeover?" (also by Cary Antebi)

"I represent the stockholders." (also by Cary Antebi)

Nice work, everyone. Look for the next contest in just a couple of weeks.


Eli's Cartoon Caption Contest No. 118

Contest No. 118 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 "Add New Comment". Then (2) scroll down past any other submitted captions and type in your name and your caption in the spaces provided. Then (3) click "Save".

Your caption (or captions) will be posted after I review your submission. Also, no captions at all will be posted for the first few days of each contest.  This is to give everybody a chance to submit their spontaneous, gut-instinct caption without fear of discovering that it was ripped off by somebody else's similar spontaneous caption. This is an equal opportunity contest!

There is no limit on the number of captions you can enter 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 send in your captions is midnight Tuesday, May 23, 2017.

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.

Below is the drawing that needs your funny captions.

Winner of Eli's Cartoon Caption Contest No. 117

     "The only upside I can see is, they won't let me come back till you sign it!"

                                                (by Tim Collins)


My original caption: "It's a basic law of genetics -- a certain percentage of high achievers are bound to have some offspring who are low achievers."


Congratulations, Tim Collins, this is a strong second win for you! Once again you can bask in the spotlight of knowing that you are one of the funniest people around.

Here are the other entries that I was seriously considering:

"What do you expect, the apple does not fall far from the tree." (by Diane)

"Overall, I gave the school a C, plus two gold stars." (by Jonathan Stein)

"What do you mean, you're distancing yourself from me?" (by Richard Wolf)

"It's not like the old days . . . I can still be president one day." (by Cary Antebi)

"Make up your mind, whose son am I today?" (also by Cary Antebi)

"My teacher would like to know what you people are doing wrong." (by Mel Tannenbaum)

"I'm sorry if I'm disappointing you, mom. I'm just trying to be like dad." (by c)

And of course Tim Collins gets a special "honorable mention" for his "Not to worry Ma, if this school thing don't work out, I'm thinking of becoming a cartoon caption writer!" (it's not a commercially-viable caption, but it got a smile out of me anyway).

Thanks for all the captions -- a new contest will be up in just a couple of weeks.