Friday, May 24, 2019

Video: Brian Walker "Cartooning and Comic Strips: The Essence of the Art"

From 2016: This historic lecture by cartoon historian and Beetle Bailey artist Brian Walker took place at the opening of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum at Ohio State University.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

From the Dick Buchanan Files: Color Gag Cartoons 1946 - 58

Some rare, vintage color magazine cartoons from the Greenwich Village single panel collection of Dick Buchanan's. Thank you very much for sharing these rarities, and take it away, Dick:


(1946 – 1958)

Although comic strips were published in color from the beginning, gag panel cartoons did not follow suit. Cartoons were an important feature of magazine covers such as Puck, Judge, Life and The New Yorker. But interior gag panel cartoons did not appear in color until the early 1930’s when Collier’s and The Saturday Evening Post began publishing them occasionally. The New Yorker eschewed the interior color cartoon, with editor Harold Ross famously exclaiming “What’s so funny about red?” Whether or not red is a funny color is debatable, right along with other discussions about what is the funniest number, the funniest fruit or the funniest animal. Be that as it may, here is a collection of 20th Century gag cartoons in color. One is in colour.

As always, these are examples of some fine work by the best cartoonists from the “Golden Age of Gag Cartooning.”

1. ELDON DEDINI. Esquire July, 1955.

2. CHON DAY. Collier’s August 2, 1952.

3. DAVE GERARD. Collier’s July 8, 1950.

4. KATE OSANN. Collier’s August 2, 1952.

5. REAMER KELLER. American Magazine circa 1950’s.

6. BOB BARNES. Collier’s August 9, 1952.

7. RODNEY deSARRO. The Saturday Evening Post January 11, 1947.

8. JERRY MARCUS. The Saturday Evening Post April 27, 1957.

9. GARRETT PRICE. Collier’s August 2, 1952.

10. MARTIN GIUFFRE. American Magazine July, 1953.

11. STAN FINE. Collier’s March 28, 1953.

12. STAN and JANICE BERENSTAIN. Collier’s January 17, 1953.

13. WILLIAM von RIEGEN. Collier’s December 16, 1950.

14. MICHAEL BERRY. Esquire May, 1946.

15. RUSSELL BROCKBANK. Punch Almanac 1959. Punch November 3, 1958.    

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

From the Dick Buchanan Files: Captionless Gag Cartoons 1946 - 1968

Dick Buchanan has once more pulled some vintage magazine cartoons cartoons from his Greenwich Village flat to share with us. Here are some gag cartoons about clowns, fishing, dogs, William Tell, husbands and wives, magicians, department stores, furniture refinishing, monks, and a wonderful construction cartoon by Peter Porges. They all have one thing in common: no gag line. Thanks, Dick, and take it away:



Cartoonists themselves are particularly fond of their caption-less cartoon creations. They comprise but 10-15%% of all published cartoons. And they have a special place in the Cartoon Clip File—a simple manila folder with a blank label.

So here is another sampling of cartoons of the no-caption variety. As usual, some require minimal reading, while others require no reading whatsoever. And it’s all in fun . . .

1. TON SMITS. Look Magazine August 5, 1958.

2. JOHN GALLAGHER. The Saturday Evening Post April 17, 1954.

3. NED HILTON. The Saturday Evening Post July 18, 1959. 
4. CLYDE LAMB. The Saturday Evening Post February 11, 1950.

5. VIRGIL (VIP) PARTCH. Liberty Magazine January 1, 1944.

6 VAHAN SHIRVANIAN. The Saturday Evening Post July 18, 1959.

7. CHARLES E, MARTIN (CEM) The Saturday Evening Post June 6, 1962.

8. CHARLES SHARMAN. Collier’s August 12, 1950.

9. HENRY SYVERSON. The Saturday Evening Post December 7, 1946.

10. JACK TIPPIT. The Saturday Evening Post August 28, 1965.

11. WALT WETTERBERG. The Saturday Evening Post January 20, 1951.

12. PAUL PETER PORGES. The Saturday Evening Post July 18, 1959.

13. HENRY MARTIN. 1000 Jokes Magazine September-November, 1968.

14. JOHN ART SMILBY. The Saturday Evening Post November 11, 1947.

15. TON SMITS. Boys’ Life January, 1967.  

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

From the Dick Buchanan Files: Cops and Robbers Magazine Gag Cartoons 1899 - 1965

Good guys and bad guys matching wits is the staple of a lot of entertainment, the magazine gag cartoon being no exception. Here's two-thirds of a century of samples from the massive clipping files of my friend Dick Buchanan. Thanks and take it away, Dick!




From the earliest days of humor magazines one of the most popular subjects was Crime & Punishment.  Criminals were always one comical step ahead of bumbling law enforcement, usually stumbling over themselves in the process. Victims were remarkably unfazed by home invasions and burglary, often remaining comfortably in bed while their home was ransacked. As usual, in Cartoon World no one got hurt.

1.  F.M. HOWARTH. Howarth was one of the great cartoonists published in Puck Magazine during 19th Century.  Puck  September 16, 1899.

2.  ORLANDO BUSINO.  The Saturday Evening Post  September 5, 1964.

3.  DAVID PASCAL.  1000 Jokes Magazine  August-October, 1963.

4.  LARRY REYNOLDS Look Magazine  March 17, 1959. 

5.  ROBERT DAY.  Life  March, 1935.

6.  JAY IRVING.  Colliers  November 11, 1936.

7.  GUSTAV LUNDBERG.  Colliers October 10, 1948.

8.  JOSEPH MIRACHI.  True Magazine  November, 1963.

9.  GARDNER REA.  Colliers  March 8, 1952.

10.  JOHN NORMENT.  Colliers  May 23, 1953.

11.  JOHN GALLAGHER.  The Saturday Evening Post  July 18, 1959.

12.  JERRY CALLAHAN.  The Saturday Evening Post  March 9, 1957.

13.  VAHAN SHIRVANIAN.  February 8, 1958.

14.  IRWIN CAPLAN.  Collier's July 8, 1955.

15. HERB GREEN.  Saturday Evening Post July 11, 1959

16.  VIRGIL PARTCH.  True Magazine  June, 1948.


Friday, May 17, 2019

Lee Ames Illustrations for CIRCUS PARADE (1954)

Lee Ames (1921- 2011) was a prolific illustrator of many books, including over two dozen of his Draw 50 book series. Lee was also a member of the Long Island National Cartoonists Society chapter, the "Berndt Toast Gang." He retired to California, and although we never met, we chatted on the phone from time to time. Lee was always very friendly and knowledgeable. He was also the guy who coined the phrase "Berndt Toast Gang."

Here is the background on the Berndt Toast Gang, which I originally wrote and is now part of a Wikipedia entry:

"The Berndt Toast Gang, named in honor of Walter Berndt, is a group of Long Island cartoonists who meet on the last Thursday of each month. As explained by cartoonist Lee Ames:

"When the Long Island group, Creig Flessel, Bill Lignante, Frank Springer, Al Micale and I got together to work for Hanna Barbera in the 1960s, we decided to have a Finnegan's Bar lunch every last Thursday of the month. During that period, Creig brought Walter Berndt to join us. We fell in love with the cigar-smoking old-timer (look who's talking!), as he did with us. After a couple of years he passed away and left us grieving. Thereafter, whenever we convened on Thursdays, we'd raise a toast to Walter's memory. On one such, my big mouth opened and uttered, 'Fellas, it's time for the Berndt toast!' I wasn't trying to be cute at the time, but I'm not displeased that it stuck and we became the Berndt Toast Gang, one of the largest branches of the National Cartoonists Society." 

Here's a peek at just one of the books he did the illustrations for.  You can see why, at the age of eighteen, he was all ready working for Walt Disney. The man had an amazing mastery of the pen. CIRCUS PARADE is a collection of short storied selected by Phyllis R. Fenner. It was published in 1954 by Knopf and is copyright that year by them.


The Comics Reporter obituary