Thursday, August 14, 2014

Cartoons by Marcel Vertès

Above: the well-worn cover of IT'S ALL MENTAL.

Marcel Vertès' hand can be seen in the 1952 movie version of MOULIN ROUGE. There's a scene where the camera dollies in on the back of and actor playing Toulouse-Lautrec, as he is drawing. That actor, and that hand, belongs to the artist Marcel Vertès.

Ironically, during WWI when Vertès moved from his native Hungary to Paris, he made money by copying Lautrec paintings and selling them on the street. His Lautrec copies can bee seen in the opening titles of MOULIN ROUGE. He would share an Oscar win for costume design for the movie.

So, he was a painter, a Hollywood designer, an Oscar winner … and, for at least a short time, a cartoonist.

IT'S ALL MENTAL, copyright 1948 and 1952 by Vertès was published by Tudor Publishing Company in New York. Here are some of his cartoons, all about analysis. Racy in its day, these are all worth looking at for Vertès' ease of composition. You can definitely see the Lautrec influence here. 

"They're doing nothing, Miss Jones? What's wrong with your libido?"

One of the layout challenges of the book is that, generally, the drawings are on the right side and then the entire left-hand page is devoted to the gag line. My scanner chops off an inch if I scan it that way, so I'll just write in the captions as they appeared.

"When my analysis is finished, I'll be a perfectly balanced woman."

"Thanks a million, Doctor, for making a man of me!"

"That's my mother . . . a saint. No man ever touched her!"

""I refuse to talk until I see my analyst."

"Shame on you, Doctor -- what would Freud say!"

"Doctor, may I talk to you some day about my inferiority complex?"

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