Category: 1960’s

Mad, October 1968

Gagwriting is one-quarter of the thrill of being a gag cartoonist. The other three quarters are drawing the gag, selling it and finally, seeing it in print. In 1968 I came up with an idea that I couldn't seem to develop into a cartoon, but it occured to me that it could possibly become a pretty good spread in Mad magazine. I roughed out a layout, wrote a lot of copy, and sent it out.

I soon heard from Mad Editor Nick Meglin, who said he was interested in the concept and the writing, but he wanted to farm it out to one of his regular artists to draw. (See my posting about Tom Wesselmann — the same proposal was made to him by The New Yorker.) I pondered for a while about what leverage I had if I were to insist on doing the artwork myself (absolutely none, I decided), so I said OK to Mr. Meglin's offer.

The two-page spread appeared in the October 1968 issue, illustrated by Joe Orlando. The images below were taken from the reprint of the article in the paperback book Steaming Mad, which appeared years later.

So I got paid the writer's fee instead of the artist's fee, and that's how I became one of Mad's "usual gang of idiots" and a hero to my little kids. mada1068.JPG madb1068.JPG madc1068.JPG madd1068.JPG made1068.JPG madf1068.JPG madg1068.JPG madh1068.JPG

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National Observer, February 26, 1968

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I believe The National Observer was a Dow-Jones publication that didn't last too long. And I'm also pretty sure that Charles Preston, the editor of The Wall Street Journal's “Pepper . . . and Salt” cartoons for over fifty years (and still going), also handled the cartoons for this publication.

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King Features “Laff-A-Day” August 17, 1967

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CAPTION: “Are they any good? They found ME a job, didn't they?”

Laff-A Day, the daily panel syndicated by King Features, was another market that for a long time had a popular cartoonist as Cartoon Editor — in this case, Bob Schroeter. I don't know if he bought this one, in 1967, but I was always doubly pleased when another cartoonist who I respected OK'd my work.

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True, January 1962

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CAPTION: “Is a GY475 tube very expensive?”

Another one sold to Bill McIntyre at TRUE magazine. TRUE was one of the regular in-person stops on Wednesday in Manhattan — “Look Day” for the local cartoonists. “Look Day” at The New Yorker right now is Tuesday — go figure.

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Foreword

Welcome to the Eli Stein Cartoon archive. To begin, read my introduction and personal notes, and then please look at the cartoons, which are categorized by either decade, publication name or topic. I’ve included some personal comments, memories and photos below many of the cartoons. I’ll be adding cartoons, memories and photos ad infinitum. Remember, your comments are appreciated (just click on the “comment” link at the bottom of each post).
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