Monday, September 25, 2006

The Neighbors by George Clark

I was fortunate enough to be at Don Orehek's home for a great dinner cooked by his lovely wife on Saturday. We had a grand time (except for heavy traffic on the way there thanks to heavy LIE volume). Sandy Kossin and his charming wife attended as well. At one point, Don went up to his studio and came back with a stack of originals of a panel titled THE NEIGHBORS by George Clark. I don't really remember how he said he came by them -- but one look at these wonderful cartoons and I grabbed my camera and got a few photos.

Please remember that I was shooting these photos in their dining room, and so quality is not the best. A few of these, when you click on them, will blow up into giant size, so you can see Clark's dry brush technique. Below each, I've written the gag line, which you can make out in blue pencil at the bottom of the originals. These are all from the early 1960s.

"Nothing going on out there. Back home on TV all that empty space would be filled with hard riding and shooting."

I love the way Clark spotted in those mountains in the background.

"I'm the rugged outdoor type while my wife likes sitting in an office. She took her job back and I took over here."

This was over 40 years ago, way before Mr. Mom and all that. A rather progressive gag!

"I thought you might like the tape recorder handy in case you hear some of his brighter remarks."

This line was changed to "... in case you want to take down some of his brighter remarks."

Nowadays, the kid would've just been put on drugs ....

"This is the very efficient little restaurant I discovered. No head waiter needed to --- customers to their seats."

Look at the coffee urn and cups -- all denoted with quick, masterly brush strokes.

"I'm afraid your mother was right, dear. I DON'T make enough to support a wife and family."

Love the suggestion of the laundry basket full of linen.

"What a letdown THIS job is! I thought work in a hospital was full of thrilling drama -- excitement -- suspense!!"

The panel ran from 1939 to 1976. Clark received the NCS Newspaper Panel Cartoon Award in 1961.

Bentonville, Arkansas native George Clark was featured in this story on September 11, 2006, by Jennifer Turner from The Benton Daily County Record:

“In 1939, he came (to Bentonville ) to visit,” Westby said, with a framed sketch in hand. “At some point, he pulled a piece of charcoal out of the fire... and sketched my mother and signed it.”

Nice to see these, and I've got one more to share. But that will have to wait till later ....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Approximately half a year after I was born, one of my parents clipped this "The Neighbors" cartoon from a local newspaper. It's dated Dec. 10, 1959.

I had assumed that George Clark's "The Neighbors" was little more than an obscurity ... but upon doing to internet research, it turns out this comic strip was quite popular in its day.