Wednesday, January 14, 2009

American Cartoonist 1951

Above: the August volume V, issue 1, 1951 issue of American Cartoonist. The scan is unclear, but the man on the cover is holding a slip of paper: "Sorry does not fit our present needs. The Editors."

Ahh. Those were the days. Even a mediocre cartoonist could get by. There were a lot of magazine markets. American Cartoonist, edited by L.T. Benson, was a trade publication for and by cartoonists.

Let's see what is happening with the markets! Jack Markow and Gurney Williams need gags!

And this back when $60 was real money.

American Cartoonist
published cartoons as well. Here's a cartoon from the Marketplace pages by Ed Morgan:

After cleansing our palate with the above panel, let's delve back into the markets. Click to supersize:

No more stenographer on the boss's lap cartoons? Darn! Those are classics!

What about the boss chasing the secretary around the desk cartoons?

Collier's cartoon editor Gurney Williams even had a newsletter for his cartoonist contributors. It's excerpted in American Cartoonist:

And below is a "letter" from Hank Ketcham. 1951 was the first year of his Dennis the Menace panel:

These are a few of the highlights from this 55 year old issue. I thank Bob Weber (not the Bob "Slylock Fox" Weber or the Bob "New Yorker cartoonist" Weber, but the Bob "Moose & Molly" Weber") for copying this little gem for me.

Related: Wednesday: Cartoon Look Day

Also related: Seminal Cartoons at Eli Stein Cartoons

Final note: It was a wonderful time to be a cartoonist. Not like magazine cartooning today, huh? Below is the one and only Bob Vojtko's take on the declining publication industry from a 2003 cover of The Gag Recap trade magazine.


Anonymous said...

Great post and thanks for sharing that Vojtko gag!

Tyler Garn said...

Those were the days. Hey Mike, do you think we'll ever see another cartoon renaissance?

Anonymous said...

We're up the proverbial creek all right. An incredible period of transition for the industry. In the long run, it may be better for all of us... but right now, it's just horrible. Nobody can figure out the rules!

Unknown said...

Hey, THAT'S ME!!!
Thanks, Mike.
It's hard to believe that even when we started there were still quite a bit of markets to send to. Now that 'cemetery' just keeps getting bigger. And what a shame too. LOOK how many magazines that are on the stands that have NO cartoons in them...

Jim Brenneman said...

I've got files full of old cartoons I salvaged from magizines that were stored in my Grandmothers attic for literally fifty years. Most of the mags were about ready to fall apart, but I was able to save the cartoons. The one thing that amazed me when I first looked through them some twenty odd years ago was the amount of cartoons in each mag. The various techniques and over use of cliches were most noticable. Thanks for posting the ads and artwork.

Sherm said...

I love looking at old magazines that are typeset on a manual typewriter!