Monday, February 11, 2008

More "Tetsu" Cartoons

Here are some more cartoons by "Tetsu." There has been some interest in this late French painter turned cartoonist after I posted about his passing last week. That post is here: Roger "Tetsu" Testu 1913-2008.

My thanks to James Sturm for his interest and contribution of these first two terrific cartoons.

Above: some things change, but some things don't. A striking comment and applicable in this day of global commercialization.

I found some more Tetsu gag cartoons in a couple of old paperbacks. Here they are:

I never thought about the time it must take a knight to disrobe and get into bed. Even if I did think of it, I never would've thought there was a gag in it!

Tetsu is able to capture character. Just these 3, "posing" for the cartoon with, really, no big gag, made me smile. Some of these characters reappear in his cartoons.

Above: one of my personal favorites, but it''s hard to see in this lousy reproduction. The pet store owner looks on as fish jump all over, from the 300F tank to the 450F tank, etc.

And here is the woman from the cartoon above (she was wearing the hat with the feathers). Again, it's her smile that nails the gag. Both naughty and charming at the same time.

Above: I'd like to attend the party they are going to ....

Above: several more artist gags. Tetsu tried to be an artist, both before and after the War, but he was not successful.

Body hair gags were his forte. I like this fellow's "don't even think about messing with me" look on his face; simple, and most aptly drawn.

Above: What does the monkey have in mind? Hmm. Again, it's the debonair smiles that struck me as wonderfully out of place and, therefore, funny.

These cartoons were scanned from FRENCH CARTOONS and MORE FRENCH CARTOONS, both edited by William Cole and Douglas McKee. They are copyrighted 1954 and 1955 by Mssrs. Cole and McKee. Originally published by Dell.

From the Cole and McKee-written introduction to FRENCH CARTOONS:

" ... In no other country does such a magnificent shower of cartoons offer itself every week. Those in this book were culled from about ten thousand that appeared in French newspapers and magazines between July 1952 and July 1953. To look at these two hundred cartoons is, we certainly hope, a pleasure. To look at ten thousand could not have been called anything but work.

"French cartoonists are classed as journalists professionally. Most of their work appears in such weekly newspaper as Ici-Paris, France-Dimanche, Samedi-Soir and Carrefour. In France, there are no magazines, like The New Yorker, The Saturday Evening Post and Collier's, that specialize in quality cartoons, but French newspapers publish them with a vengeance. Ici-Paris has a weekly four page spread of fifty or sixty cartoons, and five other weeklies carry two pages each with about twenty-five cartoons. The magazine Paris-Match, which corresponds to Life over here, devotes one page of every issue to the work of a cartoonist, and during the past year two daily newspapers have each carried a half-page of cartoons.

" ... Also remarkable is their constant wit and humor in the face of meager monetary returns. The highest price paid to the best-known cartoonists for the beat space in a newspaper is about $30. The majority of cartoonists get a maximum of $15 per drawing, and beginners only $7."
Some more on the FRENCH CARTOONS books here.

The ECC Cartoonbooks Club has a post about Roger Jean Lucien "Tetsu" Testu. There are several illustrations at the above link, as well as an excerpt from Who's Who in Satire and Humour by Hans Peter Muster.

1 comment:

Trade Loeffler said...

Thanks for searching out more of Tetsu's work, Mike. I love the first one of the man 'appreciating' the fire extinguisher at the museum. I feel that way a lot when looking at art and not sure what I'm looking at.