Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Gag Cartoons ... The Kind Men Like

Above LAUGH RIOT, February 1966.

Mark Anderson shares an original gag cartoon from the above issue of LAUGH RIOT (I think) by the one and only Bill Hoest.

Bill Hoest was one of Hefner's favorite cartoonists. Even so, Hef couldn't buy all of Bill's output. I bet this cartoon was first turned down by Playboy before it made the rounds.

And what output: Bill was not only a major magazine cartoonist, but he also was syndicated in Parade Magazine (Howard Huge), and National Enquirer (Bumper Snickers), as well as helming a number of comic strips (Agatha Crumm, What a Guy!), of which The Lockhorns survives today, syndicated in over 500 papers. On top of this, Bill served as National Cartoonists Society president. He won NCS Division Awards for syndicated panel (twice) and gag cartoons. He passed away in 1988.

Some background on Humorama:

LAUGH RIOT was published by Humorama. Humorama published a variety of "mags men like," all risque back then in the 1950s, 60s and 70s -- tame nowadays. They had titles like JEST, GEE-WHIZ! BREEZY, GAZE, JOKER, STAR, SNAPPY, and others. They had bawdy stories, racy cartoons, and photos of loose women in loose attire -- wink wink nudge nudge.

Mark scans not only the front, but also the back of the original, where we can see there are words written and then crossed out, and there are other little marks ("47%") and stamps with the name and address of Humorama.

Here's my take on those marks:

A lot of the gag cartoons that ran in one magazine, might be republished years later in another one of their mags. Sometimes you can make out a history of where the cartoon was published by reading the back of the original. I'm guessing, but it looks like this Bill Hoest cartoon was bought for the February 1966 issue of LAUGH RIOT magazine, then reran in JOKER magazine (May 1972?). I couldn't tell if "Gags for Stags" was the name of yet another magazine or just the department that it appeared in. All my searches for "Gags for Stags" magazine turned up nothing.

If anyone else out there has copies of these mags or a better working knowledge of the markings on the back, please me or Mark know. I'd love to hear from you.

A great gallery of Humorama magazine covers from the Bipcomics Web site.


Anonymous said...

Very interesting.

Mark Anderson said...

Thanks for all that great info Mikey! And if anyone can decipher all that, that'd be great!