Monday, February 18, 2008

MY SHELL WAS RECALLED! A Cartoon Portfolio from The Wall Street Journal

Let's delve into MY SHELL WAS RECALLED! A CARTOON PORTFOLIO FROM THE WALL STREET JOURNAL edited by (who else?) Charles Preston. It's copyright 1973 and 1974 by the Dow Jones Company. As you can see, I bought it second hand at The Strand for $3.50.

Above: I guess by now Miss Knight is a grandmother. What has it been? A generation or more since the typewriter!?

"I don't know his exact age, but he speaks of having seen three revivals of wide neckties."

Master Gag Cartoonist Leo Garel shows us the interior of a mens club in such bold and economic lines here. Dig those cool 70s biz men in the right bottom foreground!

"Sure it's great. But have you given thought to what it will do to the environment?"

Cartoonist George Dole gives us a gag about the environment. Note his quick linework and expressive eyes.

"Our chances are looking better"

I don't know the cartoonist who drew this, but he knew what he was doing; using the black spotting to draw our eyes to the defendant and the judge so as to complete the gag.

"I feel like an absolute fool holding this plastic umbrella."

Big, clear plastic umbrellas were a rage in the 70s,as Bill Levine posits above. Like CB radios, this one rage, fortunately, passed.

"-- and I say it's Little Miss Muffet, not Little Ms. Muffet."

The thing I liked about this was the frown on the kid's face. She will not grow up to be a "Miss."

"Remember when the teenage drug problem was what to use on pimples?"

OK, an old joke. But I like how this seems like a cartoon I could see today, 35 years alter, in some middle-of-the-road women's magazine. Bruce Cochran (Cochran!) hides his signature behind the chair leg. I think that Cochran! and Scott Shaw! are the only cartoonists who sign their names with an exclamation mark.

$10,000 ain't what it used to be. Nice drawing of a circa 1970s living room, but no signature!

"Why can't we live beyond our means, I'd like to know? What's wrong with the American way of life?"

Aptly put, by Leo Garel in the above cartoon. Unfortunately, it's the same or worse today.

Cochran! gives us a pollution-oriented cartoon. Dig the groovy decor! Remember when people would smoke inside?

Above: Serrano didn't know that nowadays our kids would be the target of Big Pharma for all that and more. Like fine wine, this cartoon is even better today.

"You missed a fabulous party, Emily -- no one mentioned Watergate or the energy crisis!"

"It's hard to believe we once stood in line to see this movie!"

And pretty soon, it'll be, "I can't believe we used to wait three days for our DVD rentals to arrive in the mail." I love the milieu in a Reamer Keller drawing.

" ... And do you, John, further promise to love, honor and cherish this woman regardless of any view she may have on women's liberation?"

Ed Arno (no relation to Peter) gives us swift lines, almost a casual sketchiness, to the above scene. Does it look like the people on the right are inexplicably wiped out? That's the way the drawing appears.


Cartoon Boy said...

Hi Mike --

I believe the cartoonist who did "Our chances are getting better" is Deb Polston. He did a lot of work in the '70s and '80s and was published in everything from Good Housekeeping to Playboy. I met him when I used to make the rounds with Jerry Marcus and Orlando Busino.


masterymistery said...

love your work. very economical use of line to capture the essence of a person. I've added your blog to my doodlemania blogroll. Perhaps you might do the same.

cosmic rapture

Eli Stein said...

I guess for $3.50 at the Strand Book Shop, you get a factory-reject edition -- MY copy of "My Shell . . . " has the complete Ed Arno drawing, including all the figures in the background.
The "True, eight years ago . . . " cartoon is definitely by Glenn Bernhardt. It's the first unsigned cartoon of his I've ever seen -- the WSJ must have done some severe chopping.
And last, I've always assumed that Deb Polston was a woman, but then I never met him. Now I can see that the drawing style is definitely masculine. I googled him, and his full name is Delbert.
Sorry about this delayed comment, but I've been away on vacation for a month.

Janet Wahl said...

Hi Mike, Janet from Lakeview, Oregon here. I was doing a search for my uncle, Glen Bernhardt and you came up. My uncle must be well into his 80s, (or more!) but he was a very good, popular cartoonist with publications in all the big magazines of the era. Anyhow, I tripped out because I am almost sure the "$10,000 ain't what it used to be" is his work. My dad has the originals of several hilarious cartoons Glen did back in the 50s and 60s. I'll try to post them. Any suggestion on how to find my uncle?? Thanks for you time...

Janet Wahl said...

Hi, I had spelled Glenn wrong! I have found him all over the place. Thanks and I enjoyed your page. jw

KittyDigitize said...

@Cartoon Boy: You are correct! That is Deb Polston. He was my instructor for a few years who taught me TONS. A great man and artist.


Deb(Delbert)Polston was my dad and a great Christian man, missed greatly. He was a very good artist and cartoonist all given naturally to him. He never went to school for it,but did teach it. He loved to make people laugh! Love you dad.

Stan Polston

Unknown said...

I worked with Deb Polston many, many years ago at a newspaper in Little Rock. He was not only incredibly talented, but the sweetest guy imaginable. He actually was instrumental in helping me get a job that led to an even better job and eventually my dream career, and I’ve never forgotten his kindness. I loved his work, and he was a wonderful friend. Sandy Miller Hays