Anna Collins recently emailed me with some new information about the above image: that ubiquitous "You Want It When?" poster that's been around on office walls for decades.
She writes that she's the one who did it.
BACKGROUND: Where did that "You Want It When?" poster come from? Who drew it?
Like I wrote on the old MySpace April 14, 2006 edition of the Mike Lynch Cartoons blog:
The other day, Mark Evanier posted [the above] iconic image on his blog.And Mark Evanier provides the post mortem proof here.
Anyone who's done any office work in North America in the past couple of decades has seen this widely reproduced little poster of the laughing "You Want It When?" guys.
Mark asks: Who drew it and what is its origin?
... I've always wondered who drew it. It sure looks like a 1950s style. Most of my colleagues don't know where it came from. But a lot of cartoonists agree that it's Henry Syverson.
Above: a Henry Syverson illustration from the March 29, 1958 Saturday Evening Post.
For your consideration: Here is Anna Collins, who says she drew the original in 1978 that Syverson later copied:
I can clear up the origin of that cartoon for you. I did the original one that was coped, copied and then re-drawn by Henry Syverson.
I was working for a company (Lee Mark Elenka in Aylesford [UK]) in 1978 that had a problem with clients wanting deliver on items before we'd even received them.
I used Michael Bentine's book of cartoon drawings to get the idea for the figures and drew it with the wording on. This was one of many cartoons that I used to do.
My father (Ben Collins) who worked for Reed Paper Mills in Kent took a copy into work, they had a representative from the Daily Mirror come in who liked it and also took a copy back. From then on it was copied all over the place and I only wish I'd copyrighted it at the time as the numbers of times I have seen it I would have made a bit of money from it.
So now you know how it all came about. I am glad people love it.
Alright, does this help clear or muddy the water?
I don't know the book that Anna is referring to. But, OK, Michael Bentine's Bumblies (above) sorta look like the Syverson nebbishes. Maybe Syverson picked up a copy of the Daily Mirror somewhere and saw it. Maybe he saw it somewhere else. It's hard to believe he decided to redraw the poster. Why would he? He already had a nice gig at The Saturday Evening Post. More likely it was a copy and paste affair like Anna did with the Bentine book.
Regardless, like Anna says, it was one popular sign.