Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Cartoons from Mr Punch Among The Doctors


Here are a few cartoons from Mr Punch Among The Doctors, a 1933 hardcover collection of cartoons from the British comic magazine Punch (1841 - 2002). It was named after the "Punch" puppet character from the "Punch and Judy" puppet shows. That's himself, Mr. Punch, in the center of the cover. 


The book was first published on September 21st, 1933, and sales exceeded its print tun. A second edition came out before the end of the year.  The volume includes cartoons up to 1932.

These early 19the century cartoons (Fun fact: Punch magazine is credited with inventing the name "cartoon.") are highly illustrative, as was the style of the time, and read more like an exchange from a stage play than today's magazine cartoons. The topics are still timely. Artist credits are not existent.  I mean, you can see the signature, but there's no typeset acknowledgment or an index by artist's name.


1846: Not being able to understand medical-speak. 

Having to work while sick. 

 1869 - High medical bills.

 1858 - The need for physical education. And here's a rare appearance of word balloons!

 1859 - Time management. I like the below explanation of the breakaway view.

 1874 - Maintaining a steady income stream.

 1849 - The availability of harmful drugs OTC!

 1861 - OK, this one made me laugh.

 1863 - Mental or physical malady?

 1874 - Dialect humor so thick that I cannot make out the gag.

 1873 - Evolutionary theory debunked.

1865 - Here's a good example of what I was talking about. There are four lines of dialogue and a description in the text as to who these fellows are. The gag eludes me. 

 1865 - Female doctors.

 1879 - Again, dialect humor, and again; picking on the lower classes. The snob vs. slob humor was a staple at Punch.

 1869 - A lovely woman sways the doctor's medical prescription.

1869 - Dealing with depression.

 1880 - The abuse of the privilege of voting.

 1873 - Vaccination and the class system.

1870 - Female doctors -- and -- HA HA HA HA -- male nurses. 



From the Dick Buchanan Files: Puck Magazine Cartoons 1879 - 1890

Rodolphe Töpffer: “The True Story of Monsieur Crépin" 1837

Monday, December 06, 2021

Luchow's Restaurant Cookbook Illustrations by Ludwig Bemelmans

I scored this terrific little cookbook from the famous Luchow's German restaurant at a secondhand shop this past weekend. LUCHOW'S GERMAN COOKBOOK was written by Jan Mitchell and published by Doubleday and Company in 1952.

Luchow's was a NYC German restaurant. When it was first opened, in 1882, it was "Lüchow's;" named after the Bavarian waiter who saved his money and bought it in the 19th century. But the restaurant, for whatever reason, decided to omit the umlaut between 1917 and 1950. ("The absence of the umlaut had led many new customers to believe that the place was a Chinese restaurant,"-- New York Times.)

The famous eating establishment was originally located on 14th Street, encompassing the entire block to 13th Street. It was a good location. Business was good. It was close to the opera house, the Academy of Music, Steinway Hall, as well as Tammany Hall.

In 1982, due to the decline in the neighborhood, it was relocated to the theater district. The restaurant failed there, closing within two years. The original building on 14th Street was torn down after a fire ravaged the site in 1995.

Ludwig Bemelmans, a writer, artist and traveler, enjoyed the good life. His illustrations were the reason I bought the book. Best known for his "Madeline" series of kids books, Bemelmans had a steady stream of his own adult books and travel articles. I adore his work and am slowly amassing his non-Madeline output.

Made some good goulash from the book that night!

EDIT: This is an edited version of a November 29, 2016 blog entry. The Luchow's goulash has become a winter dinner staple, which I make with pork and slow cook on the stove. I think of Mr. Bemelmans and Mr. Lüchow when I do. It's a great cold weather dish.

Friday, December 03, 2021

From the Dick Buchanan Files: Winter Gag Cartoons 1943 - 1964

It's getting colder and it's dark by 4:30 up here in Northern New England. I have the Christmas Is Here song in my head every day now, thanks to over fifty years of watching A Charlie Brown Christmas. Flannel and hats are standard garb, along with my trusty mask. To help spread holiday cheer, I'm happy to share some of the latest golden age magazine cartoons from the vast collection of Dick Buchanan. Think of that last visual of Citizen Kane, with all those boxes of stuff -- except in this case it's gag cartoons. This is my mental picture of Dick's world renowned vintage single panel cartoon collection. Thanks and take it away, Dick!


(1943 – 1964)

It’s time once again for those long winter nights and bone chilling winter days, punctuated only by frenzied holiday shopping. If one drops by the Cartoon Clip File, located somewhere in New York City’s Greenwich Village, one may revisit winters past as illustrated by the 20th century’s leading cartoonists. If you can’t drop by Clip File headquarters, then take a look at this sampling . . .

1. BRAD ANDERSON. American Legion Magazine February, 1954.

2. HARRY MACE. This Week Magazine February 2, 1958.

3. VAHAN SHIRVANIAN. The Saturday Evening Post December 18, 1959.

4. DAVE GERARD. Collier’s March 1, 1952.

5. HEBERT GOLDBERG. Argosy December, 1959.

6. ADOLPH SCHUS. Liberty July, 1946.

7. BOB SCHROETER. American Magazine December, 1955.

8. BARNEY TOBEY. The Saturday Evening Post December 5, 1953.

9. HARRY LYONS. Argosy December, 1959.

10. LEO GAREL. The Saturday Evening Post December 5, 1953.

11. BRAD ANDERSON. Look Magazine March 10, 1964.

12. BEN ROTH. Collier’s December 25, 1943.

13. NED HILTON. American Magazine January, 1955.

14. BILL YATES. The Saturday Evening Post December 21, 1957.

15. TED KEY. The Saturday Evening Post December 5, 1953.

16. TOM HENDERSON. Collier’s November 30, 1946.

17. CHARLES SHARMAN. American Magazine February, 1950.

18. PHIL INTERLANDI. Look Magazine December 25, 1964.

19. HARRY MACE. The Saturday Evening Post December 25, 1954.

20. JERRY MARCUS. American Legion Magazine February, 1961.

Thursday, December 02, 2021

Happy Birthday, Jack Davis


Happy birthday to one of the original "usual group of idiots" at Mad Magazine: Jack Davis, born this day in 1924.


Perhaps best known for his work at EC Comics and Mad, Davis was an in-demand illustrator for magazine covers, albums and movie posters. 

Ten years ago, Davis talked to The Wall Street Journal about his early career and his breakthrough with EC:

"I was about ready to give up, go home to Georgia and be either a forest ranger or a farmer. But I went down to Canal Street and Lafayette, up in an old rickety elevator and through a glass door to Entertaining Comics where Al Feldstein and Bill Gaines were putting out horror [comic] books. They looked at my work and it was horrible and they gave me a job right away! Every time you went in to see Bill Gaines, he would write you a check when you brought in a story. You didn't have to put in a bill or anything. I was very, very hungry and I was thinking about getting married. So I kept the road pretty hot between home and Canal Street. I would go in for that almighty check, go home and do the work, bring it in and get another check and pick up another story. [Edit: the actual cross street to Lafayette was Spring Street, not Canal.]" -- Wikipedia


Above: "Davis first worked with TV Guide in 1965, which hired him to illustrate an expansive eight-page advertising supplement for NBC's TV lineup, which featured icons such as Johnny Carson, Dean Martin and fictional characters such as Dr. Kildare, Napoleon Solo and Maxwell Smart." -- Wikipedia


I met Jack at an NCS Reubens weekend and he was just the nicest fellow. Very tall guy, too. And the room I met him in had low ceilings so he seemed even taller. His wife, Dena, was with him and she was telling me "cartoonist's spouse" stories. A number of these revolved around deadlines and dealing with time management -- or lack thereof. My favorite one was about her driving their sedan into Manhattan, with Jack in the back seat, furiously erasing his pencils from pages of inked originals. 

A few years ago, I was awarded the Jack Davis Cartoonist of the Year by the National Cartoonists Society. I am so honored by my colleagues!