Business -- General

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


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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


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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.






Advertising Age, September 12, 1983


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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







The Chronicle of Higher Education, August 11, 1992







Report to Legal Management, March 1993


report0393.jpg Okay, so here's my beef with some (certainly not all) publications: they change my captions, without asking permission! My caption for this cartoon was "I'm a management guru -- the regular guru is two mountains over." I wish I knew which editor decided to change "a management" to "the quality" -- I would have loved to tell him or her that the change ruined a perfectly acceptable gag.

I'm happy to report that most publications wouldn't dream of changing the wording of a caption without asking permission. I've even been contacted by phone by editors who wanted to make a change, but wouldn't do it without asking first.






The Wall Street Journal, February 8, 1982


wsj020882.JPG As I mentioned before, there was a short period of time when The Wall Street Journal was reproducing cartoons very poorly and a lot of drawing detail was being lost. This is one of those cartoons. That's a Universal Product Code (UPC) emblem on the gentleman's party tag.

(Update, posted October 22, 2016) I just discovered the original of this cartoon -- this is the way it should have looked in print:






Dartnell, October 11, 1994


dartn101194.JPG Dartnell Corp. publishes newsletters for business and industry on subjects like Salesmanship, Teamwork, Office Management, Supervision and Customer Service. For many years, a cartoon was regularly included in about a dozen of the titles. In 1999, Dartnell was bought up by another company and the parent company discontinued the cartoon use. I recently checked on the internet and found that Dartnell is still active in newsletter publishing, and still cartoonless.

From 1986 to 1999 I sold about 125 cartoons to Dartnell -- the subjects were right up my alley and I had many rejected cartoons from other publications to offer them. Unfortunately, the Dartnell editors were loathe to send tearsheets or clips of my published cartoons to me, no matter how often I asked for them. So I only have a small percentage of my Dartnell cartoons -- the few that I managed to scrounge from them or from various other sources.

As I've said before, I love to see my cartoons in print, and the sad fact is that, overall, I've never seen about 20% of my published cartoons. These are the ones that appeared in publications not readily available to the general public, or that could not be found on magazine racks. Most editors routinely send complimentary copies, or tearsheets, to their contributors, but there are always the few others who can't or won't be bothered. Very inconsiderate, in my opinion.






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