Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A Cavalcade of Collier's Cartoons

Some cartoons from the book A CAVALCADE OF COLLIER'S.

"Double Martini."

Virgil Partch, September 13, 1947

One of the great Partch's many bar room cartoons. He really was one part cartoonist and another part surrealist.

"Oh, no, I think you dance very well for a horse."

Irwin Caplan, September 27, 1947

Horse Joke #1.

The prolific Irwin Caplan recently passed away. I think he had the fanciest signature of any gag cartoonist.

CAVALCADE is primarily a collection of Collier's Magazine (b. 1888, d. 1957) articles, with some pages of cartoons tucked into the back. Kenneth McArdle, the mag's last editor, assembled this posthumous tome.

Otto Soglow, February 8, 1941

Horse Joke #2. Love Soglow's line. Why isn't he getting the hardcover, high production value collection treatment? Soglow was a New Yorker mag regular, had a syndicated strip and was there at the beginning of the National Cartoonists Society. Plus: he had one of the great naive styles.

"Pssst -- alternately, Schultz!"

Virgil Partch, January 16, 1943

Another Virgil Partch cartoon. "VIP" -- one of the great cartoonists who died suddenly in a car crash (along with Sidney Smith and Sam Cobean) -- was another original cartoonist. But, despite submitting over the years, the man never got into the New Yorker. There are a lot of theories on this. One that I hear is that he drew lower class characters, but that never made sense to me since NYer mag great like Syd Hoff and George Booth have done that. Another theory is that VIP drew nostril holes and the NYer does not show nostril holes in its cartoon characters. This theory pretty much falls to the ground since the above cartoon is distinctly nostril hole-less.

Eric Ericson, March 20, 1948

Makes me laugh every time. Another one of those prolific gag cartoonists who is all but invisible on the Web -- at least my searches come up nil.

Bernard Wiseman, January 11, 1947

Mr. Wiseman's name came up in conversation on Saturday. I only know the name from his cartoons, but Bob Weber and Orlando Busino knew him. This is a great pantomime gag. I needed a few extra seconds to get it. Click for the bigger picture.

It was my pleasure to be part of "The Funny Side of the Street," a 50 year retrospective of Wall Street Journal "Pepper .... and Salt" cartoons, along with many great gag cartoonists. Mr. Wiseman was among them.

"It's great having you home, Kilroy. Sit down and tell us where you've been."

Hank Ketcham, March 29, 1947

This joke depends on understanding the phrase "Kilroy was here." "Kilroy" is so old that the Google spellcheck does not recognize it, giving me the red wavy line under the thing every time I type it. Google suggests I change Kilroy to "Elroy," "Railroad," or "Uniroyal." For those who want to know, I pass along the Wikipedia entry.

A collection of Hank Ketcham's gag cartoons titled WHERE'S DENNIS? (Get it? There's NO DENNIS in these panels 'cause they're Mr. Ketachm's magazine cartoons) will be out in August 2007 courtesy of Fantagraphics, the same publisher that's reprinting his DENNIS THE MENACE panels in hardcover.

And my friend Leif Peng has a lovely appreciation of the Ketcham line technique in his Today's Inspiration blog.


Richard Jennings said...

funny cartoons...FYI - you can get free access to those wall street journal article from http://www.congoo.com

Mark Anderson said...

Man, I LOVE VIP. Are there any collections out there of his stuff?

rachael said...

this is a wonderful tribute...i have a book that includes his cartoons, the funny bar book. he had such an interesting style, you're right...definitely part surrealist! thanks for writing about him.

Mike Lynch said...

The nice thing about VIP is that he's a perennial. More and more people discover him and more and more of his work is on the Web every year.