Monday, July 14, 2008

Seminal Cartoons at Eli Stein Cartoons

Cartoonist/blogger/friend & colleague Eli Stein has a terrific blog that not only showcases his own published gag cartoons, but also talks about the history of gag cartooning.

For instance, every Wednesday used to be "Look Day" at the major NYC mags. You may all ready know about "Look Day." Gaggles of pro cartoonists would walk up and down Midtown Manhattan sidewalks, going from one market to the next, with their roughs. the rule of thumb: start with the best paying markets early, ending up at the $5-15 per cartoon mags by the end of the day.

If you were a regular, you'd get a quick sit-down with a cartoon editor who would shuffle through your cartoons. Yeah, you, the cartoonist, would sit there, waiting and watching the face a of an editor as he looked at your cartoons right there in front of your face! Daunting, but true!

The editor might pull a couple (hopefully) and hand you the rest -- with the understanding that you would be back next week with more, fresh roughs and the magazine would either return the holds or (hopefully) buy them.

One of the cartoon editors, Gurney Williams, put together a regular publication. Eli Stein has been sharing some scans from these memos, including some great cartoons about being a cartoonist, below:

Memos From Gurney Williams
More “How Not to Get an Okay”
Even more “How Not to Get an Okay”
Three Fines, two Tippits and a VIP
More “How Not to Get an Okay” cartoons by Stan Fine

One of my favorite features is his “We All Have To Start Somewhere” Department, wherein we see Jurassic-era cartoons from many pros. Here are the 10 names so far:

Mischa Richter
Chon Day
Ted Key
Charles Schulz
Charles Saxon
Tom Wesselmann
Leo Garel
Bud Handelsman
Don Tobin
Johnny Hart

It's funny to see Johnny Hart sign his gag cartoons with a little heart shape!

My thanks to Eli for posting (and continuing to post) so many items of cartoony interest!


Eli Stein said...

Thanks for all those links, Mike. As I told you in our email exchange today, I really appreciate your words.
-- Eli

Mark Anderson said...

What a treasure trove!

And LOVED that early Schulz bedpost gag!