Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Saturday Evening Post, February 28, 1959 UPDATED

Here we go, paging through a Saturday Evening Post from 1959. Let's explore this world of 1950s duplicity and dullness. Below: a gag cartoon by John Albano in which a cross, angry bald man has inappropriately placed another fellow's wife on his lap.

Below: A good gag, although today the big boxer would sport tattoos and piercings. You do get the immediate sense of where his is (a boxing ring, natch!) even though the cartoonist (whose name I can't make out) is only showing 2 of the 4 corners.

The great Chon Day gives us this bizarre gag. Now, did the guy just walk out of the car and happen to open the hood and walk THROUGH the grill? I like how the background (grass, bush, mountains) are drawn in 4 lines and that's all you need for a feeling of place. Economy, kids; Mr. Day has it!

Below: an advertisement against Generic brands! Buy things made by large corporations with logos and Madison Avenue ad campaigns!

Bill Harrison's cartoons shows us the lovable dope of a husband that, to this day, is the staple for much middle-brow humor. I think that this is the same fellow who, in the same year as this issue of The Post, began Harrison Greetings.

Veteran gag cartoonist Edwin Lepper gives us one of those "the moment before chaos" cartoons. I like cartoons where you imagine what will happen in the next couple of seconds later. It may have been more fun to draw a couple of brawling brides, but the choice of this nanosecond before their mutual discovery was, I think, the funniest choice. The non-reaction from the groom is a nice touch.

Below: Some great wash effects. Cartoonist Kirk Stiles' wash efforts reminded me a bit of Jack Cole's brush work, and that's the best praise I got. The gag, though, is a bit silly.

A color ad below: This looks kinda like an anime version of a bee. It reminded me of the character design in the BEE movie that's opening this week which, like this 48 year old bee below, is similar and not pretty.

Below: Bob Schwartz Schroeter gives us "blogging" 1959-style. I like how the regular guys are all in shirt sleeves and "management" sports grey blazers. A subtle way of reinforcing the power structure that you need to perceive understand in this gag.

Stiles and Lepper and Schroeter are three cartoonists who have scant Web presence. I was not able to hyperlink any bio info.

Below: One of the most boring stories I have ever read, and I have to wonder why it saw the light of print. Dull, dull, dull. I said there was dull, and here it is. The only silver lining: It's a good excuse for nice illustration by Boris Drucker; a piece of art that conveys more action and mayhem than the actual story of these two farmers ever had ever, ever in a million, jillion eons.

I said there would be duplicity today (other than the gag with the 2 brides). Below: Echoes of that earlier cartoon by Chon Day! This is a good gag by Joe Zeis, but the fact that Day's similar gag precedes it cheapens the effect.

This being the Saturday Evening Post, the last cartoon you get on the inside back page is HAZEL by Ted Key. Looks like HAZEL has lost her license (probably a DUI conviction) and now must bank via one of the kids' bikes.

Orlando Busino, cartoonist extraordinaire, just wrote an email and makes these corrections to my errors:

The boxer gag on your blog whose signature was hard to read was done by Jeff Monahan and the cartoon attributed to "Schwartz" is really Bob Schroeter's work. Bob was cartoon editor for the King Feature's Laff-a-day panel for quite awhile. Both cartoonist have passed away.

I thank him for graciously correcting my errors! Thank you, Orlando! And happy belated birthday, sir!



Mike, The cartoonist you could not make out the name is or was Jerry
Monahan. Best, Don Cresci

Mark Anderson said...

Wow! You are a wealth of good stuff my friend! Now I gotta go back a reread my Chon Day book. Good LORD that man was fantastic!

Mike Lynch said...

Don, thanks for the correction -- but Orlando Busino got the correction in via email first and, well, besides, Don, he's Orlando Busino for goodness sake! He's THE MAN! He knows these guys, knew this time!

Mark, Chon Day deserves a multi-volume hardcover collection, don'tcha think?