Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Dropcloth the Cat RIP

My "studio cat" Dropcloth (or DC for short) passed away last night. He had had surgery to remove some teeth earlier in the day, and after I picked him up he seemed to be recovering. But a few hours later, he was acting oddly. I called my sister, who had worked as a vet tech. Thanks, Penny, for all your help. We took him to the emergency vet's.

He died last night just before 11pm. The cause was cardiac arrest.

Nine years ago, he just appeared in the woods of our house. He followed me everywhere. He had "chosen" me and I was honored. I called him Dropcloth because he had white blotches here and there on his tiger-stripe back.

I am glad he was given a loving home. I am devastated at this loss.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

The Junior Fire Marshal Magazine Fall 1962

Here's another great piece of mid century advertising cartooning by an anonymous cartoonist for The Hartford. The Junior Fire Marshal Magazine was a freebie magazine issued to kids (probably thru schools; see "Monday" panel on the above cover) that focused on fire safety.

The mascot is "Johnny Hartford." There are also articles, like a check off home fire safety list, and articles like "Every Day Safety in Hazardtown." There is always a comic story about Johnny Hartford, who gets to have adventures, tell people what to do and be on stage. He's always in the spotlight and loving it. Here is the Fall 1962 two-page comic book story. Again, no art credit but it sure looks familiar.


The Junior Fire Marshal Magazine Christmas 1957

Monday, December 09, 2019

The Junior Fire Marshal Magazine Christmas 1957

Here is the Junior Fire Marshal Magazine from 1957. Sponsored by The Hartford, there are some great midcentury modern examples of cartoon illustration in the primers for kids about fire safety. It's formatted like the old Weekly Reader. All of the art is uncredited. I have a couple more of these Junior Fire Marshal Magazines, so I will continue to share them since they have been most likely not seen for many decades. Any guesses as to authorship would be welcome!

Friday, December 06, 2019

From the Dick Buchanan Files: Bill Mauldin's World War Three Cartoons

I'm handing things over to Dick Buchanan who reminds us about this fascinating "What If" story about a possible World War Three from a 1951 issue of Collier's Magazine. We were in the beginning of the cold war, and there was always the threat that the cold war would go HOT. This is that imagined scenario, just six years after the end of the War. Thank you and take it away, Dick:


        (Collier’s  October 27, 1951)

  By October, 1951 World War Two was in the rearview mirror, the Korean Conflict was underway and the idea that World War Three was on the horizon was a commonly held fear.  With that in mind, the editors of Collier’s put together a special issue "Preview of the War We Do Not Want – an Imaginary Account of Russia’s Defeat and Occupation, 1952-1960."  The project, codenamed "Operation Eggnog," was put together by Associate Editor Cornelius Ryan under considerable secrecy over a period of nine months. The 131-page issue appeared October 27, 1951.

  Here’s the story in a nutshell. In May, 1952, after the Russian invasion of Yugoslavia, the principal United Nations countries and the United States declare war.  The United States uses atomic bombs against Russian industrial complexes.  Soviet forces invade West Germany, the Middle East and Alaska.  US forces, in disarray, have retreated on all fronts.  Korea and Japan are evacuated. London is hit by nuclear weapons, followed by Detroit, New York and Hanford. It should be noted their assessment of the harm caused by nuclear weapons was seriously deficient. Yes, things were grim, but never fear, all is not lost.

  The following year more American cities are struck by nuclear weapons, but now better prepared, there are fewer casualties. Slowly but surely, UN forces manage to contain invading Soviet forces in several theaters. On May 22nd B-36s drop nuclear weapons on Moscow, in retaliating on Russia’s nuclear attack on Washington, DC.  UN forces are victorious in conflicts highlighted by a suicide task force of 10,000 US paratroopers dropped into the Ural Mountains to destroy the last remaining hidden Soviet nuclear stockpiles. The War ends in 1955 with the occupation of UN forces in Soviet Union.  In true storybook fashion Good prevails.  A Christian Science Monitor editor reports the rebirth of religion, unions, a free press and democracy in Russia.

  These imaginary events of the Third World War were the covered by 20 leading writers of the day. Author Robert E. Sherwood provided the chilling narrative, Edward R. Murrow, as an embedded journalist, described the nuclear bombing of Moscow and Philip Wylie helped wind things up with a love story about a US Major who falls in love with a Russian girl who has been rendered infertile by radiation.  Other distinguished contributors included Senator Margaret Chase Smith, labor leader Walter Reuther, sports columnist Red Smith and world traveler and author Lowell Thomas. Leaving no stone unturned, Collier’s commissioned famed cartoonist Bill Mauldin to provide all of the cartoons in the issue.

  Bill Mauldin was the preeminent cartoonist of World War Two. As an 18-year-old training with the 45th Infantry he cartooned part-time for the camp newspaper, The 45th Division News in 1940.  These cartoons depicted the viewpoint of the war from the infantryman’s perspective, as experienced by bedraggled soldiers, Willie and Joe, the unshaven, listless, dull-eyed, cynical dogfaces who spent the war fighting the Germans, trying to keep dry and warm and flirting with insubordination. In 1943 his cartoons began appearing in Stars and Stripes and were syndicated by United Features in 1944.

 Although Mauldin’s cartoons were wildly popular with enlisted men and with American audiences as well, they were not well received by some officers, notably General George Patton.  Patton summoned Mauldin to a meeting in 1945 and complained about the scruffiness of the characters and blamed Mauldin for disrespecting the army and "trying to incite a mutiny." Subsequently, General Eisenhower put an quick end to the campaign to ban Mauldin’s work by when he wrote an official letter to Deputy Theater Commander Lt. Gen. Ben Lear that said, in part, “A great deal of pressure has been brought on me in the past to abolish such things as Mauldin’s cartoons. . . . You will make sure that the responsible officer knows he is not to interfere in matters of this kind. If he believes that any specific violation of good sense or good judgment has occurred, he may bring it to my personal attention.”
  Here are all the cartoons Bill Mauldin created for Collier’s incredible project.

1.  BILL MAULDIN.  Collier’s  October 27, 1951.  Page 48.

2.  BILL MAULDIN.  Collier’s  October 27, 1951.  Page 59.

3.  BILL MAULDIN.  Collier’s  October 27, 1951.  Page 69.

4.  BILL MAULDIN.  Collier’s  October 27, 1951.  Page 74.

5.  BILL MAULDIN.  Collier’s  October 27, 1951.  Page 96.


6.  BILL MAULDIN.  Collier’s  October 27, 1951.  Page 106.

7.  BILL MAULDIN.  Collier’s  October 27, 1951.  Page 112.

8.  BILL MAULDIN.  Collier’s  October 27, 1951.  Page 125.

9.  BILL MAULDIN.  Collier’s  October 27, 1951.  Page 128.

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Swann: Charles Addams Original Cartoon Up for Auction

The original art for this Charles Addams cartoon, which first appeared in The New Yorker in 1973, is up for auction at Swann. It's estimated to go for $12,000 - $18,000. The piece, like most of Addams' originals, is rather large, at 20 x 13 1/2 inches

Sheila Gibson Stoodley, author of The Hot Bid, talks with Swann Illustration Art Director, Christine von der Linn in this excerpt from their blog page:

How did this Addams Poe cartoon come about? I understand the joke was not Charles Addams’s idea—someone else came up with it, and he was asked to illustrate it?

Nevermore was, in fact, the first idea that cartoonist Jack Ziegler sold to The New Yorker. At that time, The New Yorker had mostly phased out the editorial practice of having staff cartoonists illustrate caption and concept submissions by other contributors, but it still occurred sometimes. Cartoon editor James Geraghty brilliantly tasked Addams with this one. It was only later that year, when Lee Lorenz joined The New Yorker and invited Ziegler to contribute his own work, that he became a regular cartoonist.

The Swann illustration art auction closes on December 10. 

A big thanks for D.D. Degg for the heads up!

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Vintage Pen and Pencil Vending Machines

Here are some photos of vintage pen and pencil vending machines I've pulled from the web. I do not own these!