Thursday, February 28, 2008


Below are some more cartoons by the masters of postwar gag cartooning. This is a selection from CARTOON LAFFS, a True Magazine collection, copyright 1952 by Fawcett. For Part 1 of CARTOON LAFFS, please go here.

"I wish it were called something else besides broadtail. My husband fancies himself a comedian."

Ketcham's clean pen line is a thing of beauty. The suggestion of the overhead lights receding and the successively smaller people in the background give this a good illusion of depth.

I think that if I described this cartoon with the comment that the guy has a big wrench on his head, you might not think it was so funny. One of the reasons that this is a great, funny cartoon picture is because cartoonist Leo Salkin worked in the animation business, and when he draws a big funny wrench, he does a great job.

Ralph Newman gives us a patent office cartoon. This is the first time I've seen a Ralph Newman cartoon and I don't know anything about him. This is such a strong gag, I'd like to see more.

Above: a horrible scan of a bad print job from CARTOON LAFFS. It's a cartoon by the one and only Hank Ketcham, with a touch of wash, hence, the reproduction in half-tone. What's interesting about the cartoon is that you can see a bit of the hand-written gag line to the bottom, right.

Dick Cavalli with the married brunette Cavalli woman and the single blonde Cavalli woman. Only a Cavalli man would discern that the blonde is the more desirable. They look like sisters to me -- except for the low décolletage of the blonde.

Chon Day gives us a glimpse of this woman's whole lifestyle in one line. Love her elf hat. Those should have come back in style when the LOTR movies came out!

Mort Walker examines the love/hate nexus of a bad marriage. You go to the saloon to get away from her, and then you call her up? I love Mort's line work. The floorboards draw us back into the background here. And the blinds and the criss-cross pattern in the phone booth complement each other in a nice designerly way. Are there still phone booths?

I had perverse fun in playing my own how-many-doors-did-Mr.-Monahan-knock-down game. It's a study in some stunning physical stamina. Five doors, and he's still in the mood! The loving detail of the twisted hinges and screws on the floor are nice touches by, who else, VIP.

Ed Nofziger, who drew some of the best cartoon animals ever, contributes this ghoulish gag. Again: a badly reproduced cartoon.

I like Gardner Rea's wonky, wobbly line.

Hank Ketcham shows us how young Alice Mitchell worked her way through college. She was a burlesque hoofer! And I bet ol' pipe smokin' Henry Mitchell was a Stage Door Johnny!

The beautiful signature of Irwin Caplan dresses this great gag. The guy's expression is spot on.

I think that the Jiffy Key Co. salesman can be put away for this. Another name that was new to me: cartoonist Les Colin.

Ted Key
gives us a strong sense of the dining room, with a good look at the crockery cabinet in the background. Nice line control and detail, down to the place setting on the table.

Claude gives us a gag based on a supposition that we all know the proper accouterments for an Elks Club man to wear. It also is a throwback to a time when this kind of humor was shrugged off. I included it because I liked his clean line and, although I sometimes see Claude's originals for sale on eBay, I rarely see his work in collections.

OK, there's love-hate marriages and then there's just the hate-hate kind. I like VIP's work on those sheets. Dig the 1950s single beds!

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