Wednesday, June 16, 2021

From the Dick Buchanan Files: Clyde Lamb Roughs 1946 - 65

The other day, Dick showed us all some great Clyde Lamb cartoons. Today, we go behind the scenes and look at some Clyde Lamb roughs.

Take it away, Dick!




1946 - 1965

Clyde Lamb was a self-taught artist and cartoonist who gained national attention in 1940’s when his gag cartoons began appearing in major magazines while he was serving two consecutive 25-year terms in the Indiana State Penitentiary. The resulting publicity led to his parole and a successful career as a gag cartoonist and artist.

Here is a batch of roughs by Clyde Lamb that have never been seen, except by the handful of cartoon editors who passed on these gags more than 70 years ago. The Cartoon Clip File asks the question “Would you pick any of these for your magazine?”

A tip of the Clip File hat to self-styled wit, Jerome Wrinkle, who furnished these roughs from his humor collection.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

The Garden As of June 15, 2021


Three raised beds coming along nicely -- and some pretty flower pictures follow. There was a day and night of rain. Much needed rain. And everything is bushy and green. I've never had tomatoes this big so early in the season. There are even a few big-as-your-the-tip-of-your-thumb tomatoes on the vines. 

Peppers in the foreground and lettuce in the back. 

The tomato plants. If I remember, there are three kinds of tomato plants, with the ones at the far end far out-pacing the others in terms of height. 

Yellow squash, with many blooms. But it has to be protected against the squash borer worm! They can decimate an entire boxful (and have). 

Monday, June 14, 2021

From the Dick Buchanan Files: Clyde Lamb Gag Cartoons 1946 - 1965

There is not a lot about drawing for a living that is action-filled. It is a quiet, sedentary life, bent over your drawing board. No dashing in front of trains, committing armed robbery or escaping the police. Unless you are cartoonist Clyde Lamb.

Here's Dick Buchanan with an explanation and sixteen great Clyde Lamb cartoons:




1946 - 1965

Born in Sidney, Montana, Clyde Lamb was drawing while he was in the Montana Industrial School of boys at 17.  After one year of high school he left Montana and wound up in Memphis, Tennessee where he was convicted of armed robbery and sentenced to 5 years. He escaped after 18 months and was working as a sign painter in 1934 when he was once again arrested for armed robbery in Hammond, Indiana.  Allowed to visit his pregnant wife in Chicago, he escaped his escorts by dashing in front of an oncoming train.  He was recaptured a few months later, suffering a gunshot wound. He wound up in the Indiana State Penitentiary, to serve 2 Consecutive 25 year terms.

Lamb began drawing in prison, just has he had done in reform school.  At first he painted and then began drawing cartoons for the amusement of his fellow prisoners.  The prison arts and craft director encouraged him to submit his efforts to magazines. Lamb gave it a try and began to sell cartoons. His early efforts appeared in Judge, later his drawings appeared Collier’s, This Week, The Saturday Evening Post, True, Argosy and others.

In one year Clyde Lamb reportedly earned $11,000—an impressive income for anyone in the mid-forties. National attention was focused on Lamb and he was pardoned in June 1947, returning to Montana to pursue a career drawing simple cartoons.

1. Judge March 1946.


2. Judge February 1947.

3. The Saturday Evening Post June 14, 1947.

4. The Saturday Evening Post August 7, 1948.

5. Argosy April, 1950.

6. The Saturday Evening Post September 8, 1951.

7. Boys’ Life February 1951.

8. Judge October 1953.

9. American Legion Magazine June 1954.

10. The Saturday Evening Post December 10, 1955.

11. American Legion Magazine March 1956.

12. 1000 Jokes Magazine August-October, 1955.

13. True Magazine March 1949.

14. Boys’ Life August 1950.

15. Lamb was a Boys’ Life regular. Millicent, a panel cartoon featuring a mischievous elephant, appeared in the monthly until 1966. Boys’ Life August 1955.

16. Lamb created a panel cartoon, "Open Season" for the Iowa Tribune & Register Syndicate in 1957. Brown & Bigelow subsequently reprinted some of these cartoons in a booklet called Call of the Wild. Call of the Wild circa 1950’s.  

-- Edited from a blog entry originally published on June 13, 2018.

Friday, June 11, 2021

Stan Lee and Steve Ditko: The 'Marvel Method' As Depicted in Actual Marvel Comics

When creating the Marvel comic books of the 1960s, Stan Lee employed what became known as the "Marvel Method." The artist would talk with Stan about the next issue of The Fantastic Four or Spider-Man, and then go back to his board and pencil an entire story based on their discussion. Once that was done, the artist put the penciled pages on Stan's desk for him to write in dialogue balloons for all of the panels. This meant that, unlike DC Comics at the time, Marvel's look was a more visual experience. Marvel Comics told and retold this "Marvel Method" story in its own comics from time to time. Here's one of them from Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1, and Brian Cronin has more at CBR.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Podcast: New Yorker Cartoonist Will McPhail Talks About His New Graphic Novel "In"

From the Virtual Memories Show:

"Cartoonist and illustrator Will McPhail joins the show to celebrate his debut graphic novel, IN. We talk about weaponized self-awareness, the genesis of his poignant and hilarious tale of anhedonia, the value of real conversation, and how he stretched from single-panel cartoons to a long-form book. We also get into how finishing the book during the pandemic informed its earlier parts, what we’ll talk about when we can talk in person again, and how IN took him away from submitting gags to The New Yorker at an opportune moment. Plus we get into the problem with 'mindfulness' apps and the real definition of meditation (which we happen to find in the same place), why I should pay more attention to Bill Watterson’s trees, and otters, stoats, and Will’s other favorite animals to draw."

Listen at the site or via YouTube: 

 (Hat tip to Paul Gravett!)

Wednesday, June 09, 2021

Short Film: "Alternative Math"

New to me, although it's gotten millions of views since it was posted in 2017. Funny and spooky at the same time. A primer of this belligerent, bullying, post-fact world we are living in. Hat tip to dear old Dad for this!

Tuesday, June 08, 2021

From the Dick Buchanan Files: Gag Cartoons in Glorious Color: 1948 - 1964

Nothing like a wonderful color gag cartoon. Since color was a more expensive process back in the golden age of gag cartoons, they are NOT the norm. Fortunately, Dick Buchanan has stealthily navigated his Cartoon Clip File for these rare gems. Thanks, and take it away, Dick!


(1948 – 1964)

Everyone loves color. Some folks enjoy the colorful flowers in a garden while others prefer gawking at fine art at a museum. Naturally, when the The Cartoon Clip File seeks to enjoy color, it is in the form of a gag cartoon. So, we trotted around the corner to visit the Old Joke Cemetery and headed straight for the section reserved for mid-20th century gag cartoons published in color. Here are a few color gag cartoons which have bloomed once more, after lying dormant for over half a century. Take a Look . . .

1. HENRY SYVERSON. Best known his for his work for The Saturday Evening Post, Syverson’s cartoons appeared in Yank during WWII he was was a freelancer. Look Magazine June 30, 1964.




2. GREGORY d’ALESSIO. Cartoonist and illustrator d’Allesio was an instructor at The Art Students League where he met his wife, cartoonist Hilda Terry. Collier’s October 13, 1951.

3. JAN & STAN BERENSTAIN. The Saturday Evening Post May 28, 1949.

4. JOSEPH FARRIS. In 2012, National Geographic published Farris’ “A Soldier’s Sketchbook,” a memoir of his time in WWII. Collier’s June 9, 1953.

5. TED KEY. Key was a writer as well as a cartoonist. He wrote plays for radio and contributed to Jay Ward’s the Rocky & Bullwinkle TV series. The Saturday Evening Post July 15, 1950.


6. MARTHA BLANCHARD. The Saturday Evening Post October 28, 1950.


7. GLENN BERNHARDT. Bernhardt helped start the Northern California Cartoon & Humor Association in 1954 and served as president for 35 years. Collier’s August 7, 1953.


8. JEFERSON MACHAMER. Machamer was known for his drawings of glamorous women. Collier’s September 2, 1950.


9. KATE OSANN. Collier’s February 25, 1951.


10. RAY HELLE. American Magazine May, 1951.

11. BILL KING. Bill King was an illustrator, graphic designer and toy designer, specializing in children's premiums Collier’s February 25, 1951.

12. FRANK RIDGEWAY. The Saturday Evening Post October 30, 1954.

13. JOHN RUGE. Ruge has been credited as the author of the caption for Peter Arno’ s classic, ”Well, back to the old drawing board.” Collier’s January 3, 1953.

14. BEN THOMPSON. Thompson was a comic book artist as well as a gag cartoonist. He worked for Timely Comics among others. The Saturday Evening Post February 26, 1955.

15. ELDON DEDINI. Dedini was on the Esquire staff before embarking on his highly successful freelance gag cartooning career. Esquire May, 1948.