Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Compliments of Your Volkswagen Dealer

It's a book that was given away by VW dealers in 1961 titled either THINK SMALL or COMPLIMENTS OF YOUR VOLKSWAGEN DEALER. Both of these titles are used. This was a cool marketing gimmick, and full of the great humorists of the time. If VW did this today, who would they ask to contribute? The New Yorker cartoonists? Jon Stewart? The Simpsons?

The great thing about this book is the editors decided to put a photo of the cartoonist next to his work. By the way, Christopher Wheeler has a huge site that does that today -- enter and much time will be spent!

Above: Chon Day always looked like a nice guy, but who would know if they saw him walking down the street that he was a cartoonist draftsman of the first order? He looks more like a dentist or an accountant.

James Stevenson is one to learn from. Just look at the verve in those lines. Those cops look like they are really working, really feeling the weight. A bit more about Mr. Stevenson here. He also draws and writes the "Lost and Found in New York" occasional feature for the NY Times. Unfortunately, these are not preserved by the NYT online!

Virgil Partch looks like he is looking amusedly at his creations. "VIP's" style of cartoon and sense of humor was uniquely his, and his fan base grows still, with many links that you can easily Google.

William Steig; I like those photos that look like the subject was too busy/distracted for a formal stand-up-shoot-'em-down portrait.

Gahan Wilson looks pretty much the same to me now.

Joe Zeis, another prolific cartoonist that's appeared in this blog before. Take a look at this Saturday Evening Post gag cartoon blog entry for a link to more Zeis goodness.

And here's Lee Lorenz, who would become The New Yorker's cartoon editor. A couple of years ago, I had a wonderful experience in current cartoon editor Bob Mankoff's office where he pulled a number of large (because Lorenz works very large with a relatively thick brush) originals so we could look at ho he (Lorenz) draws crowd scenes. They're just bops and swirls and lines -- but they completely do the job!

The late, great Phil Interlandi -- a favorite of Hugh Hefner -- with a wordless, multi-panel cartoon. His daughter runs an Italian restaurant in Cottonwood, AZ. You can read a lovely bio of Mr. Interlandi at the restaurant's Web site, and you can order Mama Interlandi's pasta sauce online too. Interlandi's Pasta Casa site.

More at Compliments of Your VW Dealer Part 2.


Jack Ruttan said...

My guess is that they would just go to the New Yorker stable of artists (that's still going on?), with maybe a Groening, or whomever's doing calendars these days.

It would have to depend on snob appeal rather than names anyone would recognize.

John R. Platt said...

Small World Department -- After reading this post this morning, I dropped by my local library's used bookstore... and found a copy of this book for a dollar! Nice shape, too. Since it was spine-out on the shelf, I never would have given it a second look if not for reading about it today. Score for me!

I also picked up a copy of Best Cartoons from the Grapevine, a collection of toons from the Alcoholics Anonymous newsletter.

Not a bad used-bookstore day.

Anonymous said...

Dude - Mike, I used to own and love THIS book as a kid!

Ryan M