Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Best Cartoons of the Year 1957 UPDATE

Time to visit Lawrence Lariar's BEST CARTOONS OF THE YEAR 1957!

There is a lot of knowledge in this book. A lot of cartoon knowledge.

Here's what I mean. Here is an example of great composition and skilled use of wash. You get drawn in to the clunker of a foreign car due to the black spotting. I don't know who Keith was, but he's a pro.

Here's one by Huffine. Oh those darn office signs that people had in the 50s and 60s: THINK, SMILE, GENIUS AT WORK! They were a lot better than the once we have now with mountain climbers (ACHIEVE!) or eagles (SOAR!) . I like Huffine's style, and I wish (like so many gag cartoonists) there was more about him on the Web.

The expression on the kid's face in this cartoon by the one and only Orlando Busino just grabbed me. Here's the whole format for that FAMILY TIES TV series wrapped up in one cartoon.
Al Piane draws beautifully correct plumage and I'll be darned but that suit looks like it could work.
John Albano shows us that what's old is new again with this gag that is still applicable today.

Bob Weber gives us the hardest working bank robbers ever. Bob, along with Orlando and other cartoonists, meet every week in Westport and talk cartoons. It was my pleasure to bump into this book, with samples of cartoons by two guys I admire!

I'm including Serrano's gag. I think I've seen this gag many times before. I don't know who was first, but the theme was popular with editors.

The one and only Don Orehek with a fantastic desert island gag. Not only is our man upset (he's literally tearing his hair out!), that bunny does not look pleased either!

Another from Busino. A great gag on an old topic. I love his lines; always great, cartoony, fun line work.

Huffine (I'm not sure of the first name; I think it's Dave -- but there's a Ray Huffine who worked for Disney), whose scribbly style I admire, has a great gag -- but there's a famous Addams cartoon that's similar. No, I don't know which one was first since I can't find the Addams one on Cartoonbank. If anyone wants to do the research on this, please do! I'd like to know myself!

The "I hate my mother-in-law" gag, along with the "boss chasing secretary around the desk" gag has been consigned to the great gag cartoon out box in the sky. Still, I admire Hageman's ability to sketch this out so concisely.
Albano scores a hilarious (and mean) gag in the above cartoon. The look on the kid's face, and him holding onto his hat as he races away from the scene of the accident made me smile. This would not be politically correct today, so I could see that editors would not OK it. The times are a changin'. Heck, even 1970s era Sesame Street shows may not be appropriate for children!

Mr. Bernhardt will have the last word. Have a great Thanksgiving! And if you're drinking and driving, then please drive a dogsled!

UPDATE December 4, 2007: Orlando Busino was kind enough to email me and laboriously type in Dave Huffine's bio from THE BEST CARTOONS OF 1943:

"David Broome Huffine was born in Knoxville Tennessee in 1911. He left the University of Tennessee after his second year to become a surveyor and guide in the Great Smoky Mts. He left the Smokies to come to New York to attend the Art Students League which he left to become an apprentice to Dennis Wortman* whom he left after two years to become a free lance cartoonist...a field which he has not left as yet. He and his wife, Ruth Huffine. who is a painter have one nine month old son ( adopted). They hope he will share their hobbies of angling and hill-billy music. The Huffines live the year around in the Catskill Mountains. "

* I think he is referring to Denys Wortman who did a panel for United Features called EVERYDAY MOVIES.

I wanted to share his reaction to the similarity of Huffhine's cartoon with a famous/similar one by Addams. Here's Orlando once more:

By now you must have gotten a number of answers to the question as to when Charles Addams did his cartoon ("George! George! Drop the keys!") but on the chance that you haven't. I have found it in a collection of Addams' work, MONSTER RALLY, published in 1950. The gags in Lariar's book are cartoons published in1957. Huffine's gag has a similar caption but a different situation and I assume can be considered a legitimate switch.
I agree with you, Orlando! (Who am I to disagree?!)


Bob Buethe said...

Lawrence Lariar once wrote a book called "Careers in Cartooning" that I must have checked out of my high school library about 20 times. Haven't seen it in 30 years. There are a lot more (and probably better) books on the topic these days, but at that time it was one of a kind.

Mike Rhode said...

I pick up these books whenever I see them, but like you I'm really sorry that Lariar didn't put any biographical info in them.

Mark Anderson said...

The first cartoon I sold was a dog sled cartoon (I think), so that last one was fun to see.

Yeah, those Larier books are always ones to grab up.

Yeesh,how much scanning have you been doing lately?

Unknown said...

I'm not sure if anyone will see this comment, but my grandfather (81) just sent me on a search on David Huffine because he used to work with him. I'm sure David Huffine is long passed now but if anyone has anymore information that would be great

Mike Lynch said...

There is little to no information on David Huffine online, but perhaps at a research library like the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum at OSU or Columbia University's collection of comic art.

Unknown said...

My name is David Williams. David Huffine was my mother’s uncle and for whom I’m named. He lived most of his adult life in NYC and then the Catskills. By the time I was born in 1962, “Uncle Dave” only came home to Knoxville one time that I know of and that was in 1966. I remember sitting on his lap at our home’s kitchen table and he taught me how to draw the Empire State Building. He died in 1973 at the age of 62. He had only one child, and adopted son, whom I’ve never met and do not know if he is still alive.

I have since collected a few of his illustrations, but my greatest joy was staying at the Algonquin Hotel in NYC a few years ago while on a business trip and stumbling upon one of Uncle Dave’s cartoons framed and hanging on the third floor near the room I was occupying. I learned the history of the Algonquin, where the New Yorker magazine was started. Uncle Dave was one of the magazine’s illustrators and the hallways are filled with framed illustrations featured in the magazine.