Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Dick Buchanan Files: Gag Cartoons in Glorious Color 1949 - 52

In the media of the mid-20th century, color was a big deal. Heck, back in the day, the Sunday night NBC Walt Disney TV show was NOT originally called "The Wonderful World of Disney." It was called "Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color." And, by God, if you didn't HAVE a TV that was COLOR the implication was YOU WERE MISSING OUT. Never mind that NBC was owned by RCA and RCA was in the business of selling color TVs.

Color in any media was a rarity. Here is Dick Buchanan with some unique color gag cartoons. Color being more expensive to produce, these cartoons are not the usual gray-tone vintage gag cartoon oeuvre, gang. So, sit back and let Dick take you on a color-filled single panel cartoon romp.

Take it away, Dick -- and thanks!



1949 – 1952

Collier’s began publishing color gag cartoons in the mid-forties and continued the practice until the magazine folded in 1957. Most issues contained several, always by their best cartoonists. The Saturday Evening Post published fewer cartoons in color but had some great ones as well.

Are traditional black and white cartoons funnier than the ones in color? The debate rages but one thing is certain, often the gag is secondary to the illustration--as clearly demonstrated by John Ruge’s superb illustration in this group.

In any event, it is always a treat to see the great work these great cartoonists turn out when given the opportunity to work with color.

1. FRANK BEAVEN. Collier’s November 4, 1950.

2. STANLEY & JANICE BERENSTAIN. Collier’s December 9, 1950. 

3. KATHERINE (KATE) OSANN. Collier’s May 17, 1952.

4. CORKA. (Jon Cornin & Zena Kavin) Collier’s October 14, 1950. 

5. JEFFERSON MACHAMER. Colllier’s May 13, 1950. 

6. JACK MARKOW. The Saturday Evening Post December 8, 1951. 

7. MARY GIBSON. Collier’s May 7, 1949. 

8. BARNEY TOBEY. Collier’s April 1, 1950. 

9. TED KEY. Collier’s July 2, 1949. 

10. GREGORY d’ALESSIO. Collier’s October 13, 1951. 

11. WILLIAM von Riegen. Collier’s December 9, 1950.

12. JOHN RUGE. Collier’s April 26, 1952. 

13. HARRY MACE. American Magazine September, 1951. 

14. JANE SPEAR KING. Collier’s April 21, 1951. 

15. LAFE LOCKE. Collier’s April 26, 1952.

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