Friday, December 03, 2021

From the Dick Buchanan Files: Winter Gag Cartoons 1943 - 1964

It's getting colder and it's dark by 4:30 up here in Northern New England. I have the Christmas Is Here song in my head every day now, thanks to over fifty years of watching A Charlie Brown Christmas. Flannel and hats are standard garb, along with my trusty mask. To help spread holiday cheer, I'm happy to share some of the latest golden age magazine cartoons from the vast collection of Dick Buchanan. Think of that last visual of Citizen Kane, with all those boxes of stuff -- except in this case it's gag cartoons. This is my mental picture of Dick's world renowned vintage single panel cartoon collection. Thanks and take it away, Dick!


(1943 – 1964)

It’s time once again for those long winter nights and bone chilling winter days, punctuated only by frenzied holiday shopping. If one drops by the Cartoon Clip File, located somewhere in New York City’s Greenwich Village, one may revisit winters past as illustrated by the 20th century’s leading cartoonists. If you can’t drop by Clip File headquarters, then take a look at this sampling . . .

1. BRAD ANDERSON. American Legion Magazine February, 1954.

2. HARRY MACE. This Week Magazine February 2, 1958.

3. VAHAN SHIRVANIAN. The Saturday Evening Post December 18, 1959.

4. DAVE GERARD. Collier’s March 1, 1952.

5. HEBERT GOLDBERG. Argosy December, 1959.

6. ADOLPH SCHUS. Liberty July, 1946.

7. BOB SCHROETER. American Magazine December, 1955.

8. BARNEY TOBEY. The Saturday Evening Post December 5, 1953.

9. HARRY LYONS. Argosy December, 1959.

10. LEO GAREL. The Saturday Evening Post December 5, 1953.

11. BRAD ANDERSON. Look Magazine March 10, 1964.

12. BEN ROTH. Collier’s December 25, 1943.

13. NED HILTON. American Magazine January, 1955.

14. BILL YATES. The Saturday Evening Post December 21, 1957.

15. TED KEY. The Saturday Evening Post December 5, 1953.

16. TOM HENDERSON. Collier’s November 30, 1946.

17. CHARLES SHARMAN. American Magazine February, 1950.

18. PHIL INTERLANDI. Look Magazine December 25, 1964.

19. HARRY MACE. The Saturday Evening Post December 25, 1954.

20. JERRY MARCUS. American Legion Magazine February, 1961.

Thursday, December 02, 2021

Happy Birthday, Jack Davis


Happy birthday to one of the original "usual group of idiots" at Mad Magazine: Jack Davis, born this day in 1924.


Perhaps best known for his work at EC Comics and Mad, Davis was an in-demand illustrator for magazine covers, albums and movie posters. 

Ten years ago, Davis talked to The Wall Street Journal about his early career and his breakthrough with EC:

"I was about ready to give up, go home to Georgia and be either a forest ranger or a farmer. But I went down to Canal Street and Lafayette, up in an old rickety elevator and through a glass door to Entertaining Comics where Al Feldstein and Bill Gaines were putting out horror [comic] books. They looked at my work and it was horrible and they gave me a job right away! Every time you went in to see Bill Gaines, he would write you a check when you brought in a story. You didn't have to put in a bill or anything. I was very, very hungry and I was thinking about getting married. So I kept the road pretty hot between home and Canal Street. I would go in for that almighty check, go home and do the work, bring it in and get another check and pick up another story. [Edit: the actual cross street to Lafayette was Spring Street, not Canal.]" -- Wikipedia


Above: "Davis first worked with TV Guide in 1965, which hired him to illustrate an expansive eight-page advertising supplement for NBC's TV lineup, which featured icons such as Johnny Carson, Dean Martin and fictional characters such as Dr. Kildare, Napoleon Solo and Maxwell Smart." -- Wikipedia


I met Jack at an NCS Reubens weekend and he was just the nicest fellow. Very tall guy, too. And the room I met him in had low ceilings so he seemed even taller. His wife, Dena, was with him and she was telling me "cartoonist's spouse" stories. A number of these revolved around deadlines and dealing with time management -- or lack thereof. My favorite one was about her driving their sedan into Manhattan, with Jack in the back seat, furiously erasing his pencils from pages of inked originals. 

A few years ago, I was awarded the Jack Davis Cartoonist of the Year by the National Cartoonists Society. I am so honored by my colleagues!

Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Joe Giella: 'I feel that I haven't done my best work yet.' 93-year-old artist continues drawing after long career in comics

Comic book artist (and my fellow Berndt toast Gang member) Joe Giella is interviewed by teh TV program News 12 Long Island. He talks about his love of drawing and his work during the Silver Age of comics. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Live Video: Live Boreal Birds at the Ontario FeederWatch Cam, Powered by Perky-Pet® | Cornell Lab

It's Thanksgiving time in the States, so let's look at this live feed of Canadian birds at the feeder. Here are some local Ontario birds, chowing down. This is 5-6 hours north of us, and I tend to peek in on this feel once a day to see what birds I can see. I'm back next week, for more blogging about cartoons and comics and maybe birds again. We'll see. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Captain Neptune's Secret "A Great Dot-To-Dot Adventure for YOU to complete" by Ron Turner


We all have our secrets, and if you want to know Captain Neptune's secret, then you gotta connect the dots first. Literally.

Here's what could be a one-of-a-kind comic book story: Captain Neptune's Secret "A Great Dot-To-Dot Adventure for YOU to complete" illustrated by Ron Turner in 1984 for the Whoopee! Annual, published in the UK. 

Ron Turner (1922 - 1998) was a British comic strip/comic book artist, known for his work on the Judge Dredd and Doctor Who comics - as well as a prolific illustrator for other properties.


A gallery of Ron Turner science fiction pulp magazine covers. 

Comic Art Fans Ron Turner gallery

Hat tip to Paul Gravett!

Monday, November 22, 2021

Video: Not in Kansas Anymore: The Persinger Scrapbook and Conservation

Last week I posted this picture of the Persinger scrapbook. This is a massive, home-made leather-bound  book, held together by two spikes, and full of Wash Tubbs comics and comments and poems from the owner and patrons of Mr. Persinger's barbershop. It dates from the Depression-era, and it's a peek into that time. The one-of-a-kind book got a thorough presentation at Columbia last week, which I was fortunate enough to be able to attend (virtually). Here it is:

"Karen Green (Curator for Comics and Cartoons) and Alexis Hagadorn (Head of Conservation) discuss the 'Persinger scrapbook,' a unique Depression-era artifact, consisting of comic strips with drawings and annotations, compiled by a barber in Fredonia, Kansas."


Friday, November 19, 2021

Midcentury Braniff Airlines Advertising


Way back in the day, when traveling by air was glamorous, Braniff Airlines (1928-1982) had a series of TV advertisements featuring -- well -- oddball pairings of celebrities. You can see what I mean. Here are a few examples, with Andy Warhol and Sonny Liston;

Ethel Merman and Bennett Cerf;


and Sonny Liston and Salvador Dali. These were all part of Braniff International's ad campaign featuring the "When You Got It, Flaunt It" slogan.



Braniff also prided itself on the flight experience, and emphasized its stewardesses in its advertising.

The World Stewardess Crews site has a photo-filed piece on the Pucci-designed Braniff flight attendant uniforms here. Lotsa midcenturymodern goodness!