Thursday, April 19, 2007

Literary Digest Cartoons and Ads Late 1920s Part 2

More Literary Digest cartoons. The first part is here.

Oh those kids! Here are some cartoons from Literary Digest circa late 1920s with some little wisenheimers! Above: a cartoon by Steve Rass.
TOMMY: "Hey, pa! What you doin' with my water pistol?"

A lovely painted cartoon, from the old Life magazine, back when it was full of cartoons. This wash was done by Nate Collier, more of him and his work below.

"See what the boys in the back room will have."

So, there's this grouchy old guy telling this young maid to quiet the kids. He looks pretty old to have 'em, but maybe this is his second family. Cartoon by Paul Reilly.

PILOT: "It's a good job you kissed your muvver 'fore you came out, Nick."
PILOT: "Cos I can't stop it."

The above cartoon by Alex Oxley is reprinted from Everybody's Weekly, a UK publication. Literary Digest tended to only reprint cartoons. There's a possibility this was inspired by similar conversations between Skippy and Sooky in Percy Crosby's comic strip SKIPPY. Joan Crosby Tibbetts, Mr. Crosby's daughter, is alive and well and runs the SKIPPY site, full of work by one of my favorite cartoonists -- and least known.

And, yeah, Calvin & Hobbes used to have wild wagon rides too -- but Bill Watterson says he never heard of Skippy.

PROFESSOR (taking his little boy for a walk): "I wish those kids would stop yelling. I can scarcely keep my mind on this Einstein theory."

OK, another really old guy with a little kid! I love how the car in the background emulates its surprised driver. The art is, once more, by Nate Collier, who would create a comic strip titled THE PROFESSOR in the 1930s. Collier was also known as "the guy who illustrates Will Rogers' books." He also influenced Woody Guthrie's cartoon work. More Nate Collier work at Stripper's Guide, including a magazine column about cartooning, advice to amateurs, and rambling philosophical essays.

Tommy flies his airplane model by fastening it to Dad's coat-tail when he runs for the train.

Another Nate Collier cartoon; this one reprinted from Judge. One thing bothers me: where's dad's briefcase?!

When I pulled these cartoons for scanning, I could not tell that the 3 of them were by the same guy! It was a surprise to me.

Above: an ad for a Ditto machine from the May 11, 1929 issue of Literary Digest. I remember the test sheets that the teachers handed out in Deerfield Elementary, back in Lawrence, Kansas, circa 1970. You could always tell when your purple test sheet (yeah -- dittos were usually purple) was fresh off the ditto machine by the probably-toxic, not altogether unpleasant aroma of the duplicating fluid.

If you wanted to self-publish, this was how you made comics back in the day. It was invented in 1923.

I recall using it when I was in school in the groovy 1970s. That's almost 60 years that the Ditto machine was in force. Cool! Mod! Freak me out!

I think it would be cool to have 'em come back as a retro alternative to desktop publishing or publishing -- or maybe that idea's borne from the aftereffects of the mix of methanol and isopropanol purple haze I sniffed.

1 comment:

P.L. Frederick said...

My last known interaction with the Ditto Machine was 1984, in Linden Middle School's science class in Michigan. Teacher always used it for quizes and tests. Pretty stuff. It never occured to me what the purple print was made of. Certainly not grape Bubblicious. Yikes.

Fun blog you have here!

P.L. Frederick
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