Cartoons

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.






Milestone: 1,000th Published Cartoon Posted


By my rough calculation, I either have recently posted or very soon will be posting to this archive my 1,000th published cartoon. As the political pollsters like to say, this statistical data has an accuracy rating of plus or minus three percent.

On to the next thousand! And what better way to celebrate than by posting a "World Series" cartoon that The Wall Street Journal just printed a few days ago. And if it should happen to snow in New York City tomorrow, when the sixth game of the Series is scheduled to be played, so much the better.

Go Phillies! (As an old Brooklyn Dodger fan, no way am I pulling for the Yankees).






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.






"We All Have to Start Somewhere" Department. Case in Point No. 13


Case in point number 13 in this ongoing feature is Brooklyn-born cartoonist Jerry Marcus (1924-2005). His magazine gag cartoons could be seen everywhere for about 50 years -- and he even had a few in The New Yorker. He also drew a newspaper panel "Trudy", syndicated by King Features, until his death.

Jerry Marcus lived in Ridgefield, Connecticut for about 40 years, and later in Danbury and Waterbury. He would travel into Manhattan by train on Wednesday "Look Day", often in the company of fellow Connecticut-based cartoonists, such as Orlando Busino, Joseph Farris and Dana Fradon. His path often crossed mine in the waiting rooms of various Cartoon Editors.

But the point of this feature is that "we all have to start somewhere". All of the cartoons posted below are from a paperback anthology "Juvenile Delinquency", published by Dell in 1956. They probably date from that year or 1955. The editor of the anthology? None other than Charles Preston (Editor of The Wall Street Journal's cartoon panel for over 50 years, and still going strong).

The photo of Jerry Marcus is one very rarely seen -- it dates from 1963 and I lifted it from Don Ulsh's newsletter, "New York Cartoon News".

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Jmarcusphoto.jpgJerry Marcus






"Berndt Toast Gang" Art Show and Reception


Yesterday I attended the opening reception of "Laugh Lines", a group show of cartoonists at the Art-trium Gallery in Melville, Long Island, NY. It featured original works of the "Berndt Toast Gang", the LI chapter of the National Cartoonists Society (named after a deceased member, Walter Berndt, who long ago created the comic strip "Smitty").

I had gone to the reception hoping to get a chance to chat with the likes of Mad Magazine cartoonist Mort Drucker, fellow blogger Don Orehek and even fellow blogger Mike Lynch (an ex-Berndt Toaster who now lives in New Hampshire). Unfortunately, I had to leave the reception before it was over, and didn't get a chance to see either Drucker or Orehek (I really didn't think that Mike Lynch was planning to attend from so far away). My loss, if any of them showed up later.

A little mystery developed, however. Looking around the exhibition, I noticed that there were no works by Mort Drucker to be found anywhere (press releases for the show featured his name very prominently). I questioned one of the show's organizers, who said regretfully that Mr. Drucker had pulled his work out of the show the day before. She didn't give me a reason and couldn't offer any further explanation. So, as I said, there's a little mystery . . . perhaps someone reading this is in the know and can supply details?

Anyway, here are a few photos:

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The Berndt Toast Gang . . . at least all of those in attendance before I left.

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Me and Bunny Hoest in front of a couple of her "Lockhorns" panels. Her collaborator, John Reiner, was not in attendance.

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Me checking out an original panel of "They'll Do It Every Time" by John Scaduto.

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Me straightening out an original gag cartoon panel by Don Orehek.






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.






"We All Have to Start Somewhere" Department. Case in Point No. 12


Reamer Keller, case in point number 12 in this ongoing feature, was a gag cartoonist who, frankly, I never really appreciated. His cartooning style absolutely rankled me and his gags usually left me cold. But he was a very popular and successful magazine gag cartoonist, with a huge fan base. Fellow cartoonist Mike Lynch, for instance, has often rhapsodized about Keller on his blog.

I couldn't find much biographical data on Reamer Keller, and what I did find may or may not be accurate. I believe he was born in 1912 and died in 1988. Also he attended the University of Cincinnati and earned a degree from Ohio State University. He cartooned actively from about 1935 to about 1975 and his work appeared in all the major outlets, but, as far as I could tell, never in The New Yorker.

Now the point of this feature is that we all have to start somewhere. The old Keller cartoons that I've posted below are all from "The Good Humor Book", an anthology published in 1944 by Harvest House. The book, which I've mentioned before, appears to be a low-paying catch-all collection. My thought is that the editor probably asked for and accepted stuff that had been rejected everywhere else. So there's no telling when Keller actually drew these cartoons, except that it was before 1944.

His style at that time, in my opinion, runs a complete gamut and there's very little resemblance to the Reamer Keller style of his prime years.

The last cartoon posted, in his familiar drawing style, is from The Wall Street Journal and dates from the 1960's.

And finally, I'm posting a photo of Reamer Keller lifted from the September 30, 1955 issue of Collier's magazine. It accompanied a brief article written by Jerome Beatty, Jr., Collier's famed cartoon editor.

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(The Wall Street Journal, 1960's)

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President Eisenhower, Honorary NCS Member


In June 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower was made an honorary member of the National Cartoonists Society. The occasion was celebrated at a formal breakfast in Washington, attended by Ike and many NCS members.

Ike invited the attending newspaper and magazine cartoonists to make free use of him as a subject for a portrait, caricature, gag cartoon or illustration. This being an NCS event, there was plenty of drawing paper, pencils and pens on hand. At the conclusion of the breakfast, Ike asked to see the drawings. He smiled broadly as one after another was held up, laughed outright at some of the gags, and then expressed the desire to keep them. In fulfillment of that request,, the NCS collected the originals of 95 drawings made on that morning, put them in a specially-designed leather binding and sent it to the White House.

This is a picture of that presentation volume.

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Two years later, a hardcover book was published by Frederick Fell, Inc., which reproduced the 95 drawings. The book was approved by President Eisenhower, since its stated purpose was to help promote the sale of U.S. Savings Bonds.

This is the cover of that book.

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The book includes drawings by icons of the cartooning and comic strip business, including (just to name a few) Rube Goldberg, Walt Kelly, Chic Young, Milton Caniff, Bud Fisher, Bill Mauldin, Bob Kane, Ham Fisher, Bill Holman and George McManus.

But this is a site that's devoted to gag cartooning, so I'm going to be selective and only show you some of the famous gag cartoonists that participated in the project.

And here they are.

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Bill Yates.

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Dick Cavalli.

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Otto Soglow.

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Al Ross (one of the four cartooning Roth brothers). For more info, click here.

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Salo (another of the Roth brothers).

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Irving Roir (another of the Roth brothers).

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Bo Brown.

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Henry Boltinoff. For a little more info, click here.

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Gregory d'Alessio.

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Kate Osann.

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Jeff Keate.

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George Wolfe. For a little more info, click here.

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Larry Reynolds.

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Dick Ericson.






Selling Power, March 1999







The New Yorker finally made me laugh...


It was just three lines in the May 4, 2009 issue of The New Yorker:

 

"CORRECTION: The cartoon on page 43

of the April 27th issue was incorrectly

credited; the artist was Karen Sneider."

 

Oh. That cleared things up for me in a big way, and actually made me laugh.

Last week, when I first glanced at the cartoon in question, I thought, okay, there's another Jack Ziegler cartoon. Then I noticed the signature and thought, hmmm, a new cartoonist, let me check this out in the masthead. And the listing of cartoonists in the masthead indicated very clearly that the cartoon was drawn by Edward Koren.

Edward Koren!! At that point I was completely at a loss and all kinds of thoughts rushed through my mind: What's going on? Was Koren going through a late-life crisis? Did he have a crippling accident that I hadn't heard about? Did cartoon editor Bob Mankoff finally read him the riot act: no more of your frenzied scratchings -- if you want to see another cartoon of yours in The New Yorker, you had better shape up and draw more Saturday Evening Post-ish? And, finally, I wondered why in the world Koren would sign the cartoon in that peculiar way, where the "o" plainly looks like an "a".

As I said, it's all very clear to me now. And very funny. And the person I feel sorriest for is Karen Sneider. This was only her second cartoon in The New Yorker -- what a way to treat a newcomer!

This is the "Karen" (from the April 27th issue): karennyorker.jpg This is a typical "Koren": korennyorker.jpg And for those of you who are still with me, this is a recent New Yorker cartoon by Jack Ziegler: zieglernyorker.jpg






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