Thursday, October 11, 2007

Compliments of Your Volkswagen Dealer Part 2

Part 2 of the 1961 Volkswagen giveaway book from 1961. Part one is here. This book is a collection cartoons, as well as humorous essays by Jean Shepherd, Roger Price and others, all tailored around the VW. These scans are but a portion of the book's contents.

Henry Martin. His daughter learned to become a hard-working, talented freelance writer from watching her Dad's work habits. When Henry Martin's little girl grew up, she wrote THE BABY-SITTERS CLUB series of books.

Al Ross always has this out of the sketchbook feel to his published art. I love his loose style and characters. If you like Al Ross, then check out Al Ross and His Cartoon Style and/or this essay on his "plate of spaghetti" style in Cartoonist Al Ross.

Charles Addams, who drew the cover of this book (see page one), looks a little grim -- but what do you want? I men, isn't there a touch of Gomez or Lurch in there? As many know, his bio came out last year and, grim countenance or no, he was quite the high rollin', skirt chasin' man about town.

George Price who, like Addams, was a New Jerseyite, had a style that at first I did not like. I was a fool! I admire his drawings, although I have been told, from a couple of close sources, that he did not do his own gags. (Ditto Addams -- but that's more or less an open secret.) Some of his cartoons were brought in without captions for a NYer mag writer to puzzle out a funny line. Here's his 1995 obit from the NY Times.

John Gallagher, who is best known for his work on the Heathcliff syndicated panel with his brother, had a really fun line. By "fun line," I mean one that is full of life and great to look at. You get the sense of movement from his work. His gag cartoons deserve to be better remembered.

Charles Saxon, maybe the preeminent NYer cartoonist stylist of the 1960s and 70s. The story goes that Saxon came in, week after week, showing his cartoons to the NYer cartoon editor. No sale, week after week. So, Charles Saxon went away. He was away for months

And then, so the story goes, he reappeared at one of the NYer's weekly "Look Days." He had a new, consciously developed style. And then he sold a lot. This is the way the story goes; this is the way I've heard it -- although I never saw it written anywhere.

His neighbor in New Canaan, Ct was writer Vance Packard who was quoted in the NY Times obit for Mr. Saxon:

''I think it's important to say he was sardonic even to the end,'' Mr. Packard said of Mr. Saxon. ''At home, when he had his heart seizure, in the process of falling down he knocked down a lamp. He seemed to be pretty sure he was dying, and when the medical technicians were taking him out on a stretcher, he said, 'I guess I'd better die; I just broke our best lamp.' ''

Bill Hoest was one of the hardest working guys in cartooning. Here's all the cartoony plates he had up i nthe air: he was an NCS president, cartoonist on syndicated features (THE LOCKHORNS, AGATHA CRUMM, BUMPER SNICKERS, WHAT A GUY!), one of Hef's favorite cartoonists, as well as the regular couple of gag cartoons and HOWARD HUGE in Parade Magazine titled LAUGH PARADE! The guy was a powerhouse.

And here's Charles Martin or C.E.M. as he signed his work. I'd like to find out more about him. He painted dozens of New Yorker covers, and his painterly style shows in the ease of those washes.


Tom said...

Hello-- I just came across your blog entries about the Volkswagen book. I have one of these myself (although I must say yours appears to be in a little better shape!).

I do want to correct something: The book was published in 1967, not 1961. The copyright is down at the bottom of page 2, which has the Volkswagen logo.

Nice comments on the artists!

Tom Tuerff
Phoenix AZ (who had Gahan Wilson autograph his cartoon in this book; his comment was "Wow! You don't see many of these these days!")

Mike Lynch said...

Hi there Tom. Thanks for commenting. You are correct that the book is copyright 1961. I guess I'm better at cartoons than numbers!