Friday, May 28, 2021

Al Gottlieb, Longtime Editor of Gag Recap, RIP


Al Gottlieb, former editor of Gag Recap, passed away last week. He was 94.

I received the below from Van Scott, current publisher of the magazine cartoon industry publication Gag Recap. (Gag Recap records all published gag cartoons by publication, date and cartoonist. It was. and still is, the go-to for information on what publications are buying gag cartoons, how to contact them, and what kind of cartoons they publish.)

"Jacqueline Rosenberg, the daughter of Al Gottlieb informed me that Al passed away last week of natural causes at the age of 94.

"Al had been the publisher of The Gag Recap (a newsletter for cartoonists and gagwriters).

"The Gag Recap started in 1954 by Earl Temple. Al bought the Recap from John Waterfield in August 1963, and it continued for 36 years until Al sold it to Publisher Bill Keough. Al's last issue was August 1999.

"Al wrote re: the Recap, 'I’m proud of the fact that we never missed an issue in all those years.'

"Jacqueline states Al was a truancy officer working for the city of New York and worked on the Recap at nights and on weekends. Al was a gagwriter, not a cartoonist.

"He wrote for Joan Rivers and Phillis Diller. He sold gags to Marmaduke, Family Circus, Blondie and to many magazines. (His favorite magazine was Saturday Evening Post.) He had a close friendship with illustrator/cartoonist Ed Arno.

"The Gag Recap was a family business for Al, his wife Jo, and daughter Jackie.

"Jackie reminisces: 
‘We were a family of three and everything was done manually in those days. So it was just us. Dad collected all the material to be included in each months' edition. My mom (who passed 3 years ago) and I would handle the processing of the actual magazine. Mom did all the translating/describing of the cartoons, typing and collating, while I stapled and stamped the manila envelopes they were mailed in. Remember those sloppy stamps? Yup, that was me. I was only a kid. And all those typos? That was mom. We all knew that she made so many typos but dad could only proofread so much! Then, Dad addressed, sorted by state, loaded up the car and schlepped the boxes of about 450 Gag Recap/Trade Journals to the P.O. each month. This was the routine in my household for as many years as he had the magazine. That was how I grew a mini publication house.'

"In a final note, Jackie writes about her father ‘He loved the Recap!’"
Above: the cover of the last Gag Recap that Al Gottlieb edited. It's from Van Scott, who assured me he DID renew his subscription. 

Van added in another email:

"Al published The Gag Recap every month which covered all the 'major' magazine markets, and the Trade Journal Recap which had the smaller specialty magazines. 

"He also published a yearly Directory of Cartoonists/Gagwriters & Short Markets List, Comedy Calendar Guide (a guide for writing and submitting monthly and seasonal material-topically indexed), Self-Syndication (step-by-step methods to sell and syndicate your cartoon strip), Successful Cartoon Gagwriting (a MUST for beginning cartoonists and gagwriters), as well as Pleasing Editors For Fun and Profit. And finally, Al would send you cartoon clips to help you build a morgue of cartoon settings. 50 clips for $5.

"Al was into side hustling before it was a thing! 

"But, seriously, many cartoonists and writers owe Al and the Recap a lot for helping with their career."


Above: Bob Vojtko's cover to the February 200s issue of Gag Recap, poignantly acknowledging the loss of some of the markets then.

Agreed! Al Gottlieb quietly impacted a couple of generations of cartoonists and gag writers during his 36 years of running the Gag Recap and other publications. My condolences to his daughter. And thank you, Van, for continuing Gag Recap.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

From the Dick Buchanan Files: Summer Fun Gag Cartoons 1939 - 1964

We got up to 91 degrees yesterday afternoon way up here in Northern New England, and then the big thunderstorms rolled in, with lots of wind and a bit of rain. This made the garden happy. I filled the tub with water in case of an electrical outage. (There are a lot of trees falling on lines up here.) But nothing happened, so this morning I drained the tub. It's much cooler today, and I suspect that crowds of people will be zooming around the coast and into the Lakes Region this Memorial Day weekend. Everyone is more than ready for summer. 

Dick Buchanan shares some summer-themed magazine cartoons from the golden age of gag cartooning, so we are guaranteed some laughs thanks to his clip file. Thanks very much, Dick, and take it away ...


  (1939 – 1964)

Another summer is on the horizon, prompting your friendly crackpot cartoon clipper to sift through the files to find gag cartoons dealing with summer activities. The result is a selection of gag cartoons in color and glorious black and white which show how some cartoonists portrayed summer back in the days “when the livin’ was easy.” Of course, in reality, while everyone else went to the beach or the ball park, the gag cartoonist spent the summer indoors, chained to the drawing board churning out roughs about autumn and football.

1.  HARRY MACE.  Collier’s  August 5, 1955.


2.  STAN FINE.  American Legion Magazine  June, 1954,


3.  SALO ROTH.  The Saturday Evening Post  July 17, 1948.


4.  DAVID HUFFINE.  Collier’s  June 10, 1939.


5.  DON TOBIN.  The Saturday Evening Post  July 8, 1950.


6.  ROY FOX.  The Saturday Evening Post  May 21, 1949.


7.  BOB BARNES.  Collier’s  July 4, 953.


8.  JOHN ALBANO.  The Saturday Evening Post  March 6, 1951.


9.  BORIS DRUCKER.  The Saturday Evening Post  July 31, 1948.


10.  ORLANDO BUSINO.  Argosy  October, 1964.


11.  BILL HARRISON.  Collier’s  October 10, 1953.


12.  DAVE GERARD.  The Saturday Evening Post  July 17, 1948.


13.  VIRGIL PARTCH.  Collier’s  July 28, 1950.


14.  ROWLAND WILSON.  American Legion Magazine  September, 1953.


15.  MARTIN GIUFFRE.  Collier’s  June 13, 1953.


16.  JOHN GALLAGHER.  American Legion Magazine  July, 1963.


17.  WILLIAM von RIEGEN.  Collier’s  July 11, 1953.


18.  WALT WETTERBERG.  The Saturday Evening Post  June 15, 1957.


19.  BERT GOSHELL.  Liberty Magazine  July 21, 1945.


20.  JERRY MARCUS.  The Saturday Evening Post  June 1, 1957.  


Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Cartoonists Make Big Money

"Andy and Min earn big money for Sid Smith every day!"  Wow!

"Illustrating and cartooning are paying men like Briggs, Smith, Fontaine Fox and J.N. Darling from $10,000 to $100,000 a year. You may have idea that are equally good."

Yeah, right.

Speaking of making a living ...

I'm on deadline and so must excuse myself from blogging temporarily.

Be careful out there and remember: if you drink, don't ink.

Above: Dorr Eldred Wood, President of Kalamazoo's Acme School of Drawing, would be run out of town for that drawing today.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Video: Cartoonist Glenn Head Talks About His New Graphic Novel "Chartwell Manor"

 Via The Comics Multiverse:

"CHARTWELL MANOR is the harrowing graphic memoir from cartoonist Glenn Head that details his two years at the now-defunct Mendham, NJ, boarding school run by a serial sexual and physical abuser of young boys. Glenn Head has been drawing comics since age fourteen. In the early 1990s Head co-created (with cartoonist Kaz) and edited Snake Eyes, the Harvey-Award nominated cutting edge comix anthology series and he was a frequent contributor to the Fantagraphics' comix anthology quarterly Zero Zero. From 2005 to 2010 Glenn edited and contributed to the Harvey and Eisner-nominated anthology HOTWIRE Comics and recently created his graphic epic, Chicago (2015). He lives in New York City. In this interview, Chad and Glenn discuss his graphic novel, his influences as a creator and more"


Monday, May 24, 2021

Interview: Jeff Keane, Cartoonist for The Family Circus

Via StoryBeat with Steve Cuden:


"Two years after the renowned cartoonist, Jeff Keane, was born, his father, the legendary cartoonist, Bil Keane, started chasing him around begging him to do something funny. So began Jeff’s career as a cartoon model for "The Family Circus." Raised in Arizona, Jeff moved to California to attend the University of Southern California where he received his BFA in Drama. After graduation, in an attempt to have a freer schedule for auditions, he returned to his cartoon roots and began to assist his father. He started out answering mail and compiling books, but now, after many years, and with his father's advice and guidance, he now writes, inks, and colors Family Circus, which appears daily in more than 1,300 newspapers worldwide. It’s the most widely syndicated panel in America today. In 2007 and again in 2009, Jeff was elected President of the National Cartoonists Society, the world's premier organization of professional cartoonists. Along with other members of the NCS and with the helping hand of the USO, Jeff has made numerous visits to military bases and hospitals around the world, including to both Iraq and Afghanistan."


Friday, May 21, 2021

"Ditkoesque:" An Unpublished Appreciation of Steve Ditko by Dan Clowes


Via Noah Van Sciver and Paul Gravett, here's a two page color rough for a never-published visual essay on comic book artist Steve Ditko by Dan Clowes.

Here's Paul:

"A superb, fully-developed colour rough by Daniel Clowes for a two-page personal 'appreciation' about the '64-year career' of 'America's greatest living comic book artist' (so not a posthumous tribute but made in 2017 when Clowes was 56, so a year before Ditko's death in 2018), as well as his formative and lifelong influence on Clowes. As always with Clowes, there is some superb writing here - 'Out-of-shape weirdos who cut their own hair' and 'It's all in the hands' (and not a peep about Stan 'The Man'). Who remembers the 'Killjoy' back-ups in E-Man, a favourite of mine? It was intended for The New Yorker, but sadly never saw print, though I gather these artworks have been exhibited. Thanks to Noah Van Sciver for sharing this... And if you've not watched Jonathan Ross's BBC TV doc 'In Search of Steve Ditko', here's the link.


Thursday, May 20, 2021

Walt Kelly: "The Account of the Wooful Frog"


Chicken Little is here. His mission is to make the kids stop playing their bloody violent games, and perform his "A Frog He Would A-Wooing Go," which is "great good fun." The kids are not convinced.

If there's a shortlist in my head of the comics the influenced me, Walt Kelly's POGO would be up at the top. His characterization and drawings spoke to me when my Dad handed down his collection of Simon and Schuster reprint books. I was a mere child of nine or ten. It must have been good timing. All of these stories have stayed with me but my favorite is "The Account of the Wooful Frog," a 1955 standalone story about a doomed amateur theatrical.

The best part is the young turtle, who, when brow-beaten by Chicken Little, recedes his noggin into his shell and sounds off with a loud "WAW!" The only way to shut off his "WAW-ing" and get the young turtle out of his shell, is to insert a handy candy cane, thusly:

This idea knocked me for a loop and I love the gag to this day.

Go to Thomas Haller Buchanan's Whirled of Kelly blog to see the whole story. 


--- Edited from a blog entry originally published August 25, 2014. Waw!!!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

From the Dick Buchanan Files: Gag Cartoon Clip File 1946-64

Here are some mid-century cartoons that friend-of-this-blog Dick Buchanan "found interesting and amusing." This is a great selection of fifteen gag cartoons that probably have not seen the light of day since they were first published. These are from his personal clip file and Dick has cataloged them and made some notes. Below is some early work by Eldon Dedini, Edward Koren and Johnny Hart. Thanks for sharing these! Take it away, Dick!

TON SMITS. A cartoonist from the Netherlands, his work began appearing in American magazines in the mid 1950s. Always simple and endearing, this is from Look, March 28, 1961.

CHARLES ADDAMS. Collier’s, March 29, 1948.

CHON DAY. Collier’s, June 22, 1956

TOM HENDERSON. From The Saturday Evening Post, 1940’s. A wacky cartoonist & a master of slapstick . . .

 . . . Case Closed — TOM HENDERSON in Collier’s, January 13, 1951.

STAN FINE. American Magazine. May, 1954.

STAN HUNT in The Saturday Evening Post, April 18, 1953.

JOHNNY HART. His popular comic strip B.C. would debut in 1957. For Laughing Out Loud, Oct-Dec, 1956.

DICK CAVALLI. Collier’s, February 21, 1953.

CEM (Charles E. Martin) a full page For Laughing Out Loud, April-June, 1964.

AL ROSS. In the late 1950’s Al Ross, master of the zen cartoon, was at his best. For Laughing Out Loud, Apr-June, 1959.

 ELDON DEDINI. The New Yorker and Playboy magazine great with an early charcoal effort for JUDGE, March, 1946.

 ELDON DEDINI ten years later, in Collier’s, March 30, 1956.

EDWARD KOREN. For Laughing Out Loud, Oct-Dec, 1964.

 FRED LUNDY, March 30,1956. Just a silly cartoon, which is the the point.

Dick Buchanan: Some Favorite Magazine Gag Cartoons 1940-60s


-- Edited from a blog entry that originally ran on July 26, 2016.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

The Garden As of Mid-May 2021


Not much to see here this early. Stop by in the weeks coming up so you can see actual zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes and lettuce coming up in those raised beds. Unless the deer get them! 

But one thing to see is the flowers. They are everywhere. Happy spring!