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.


greatpumpkin said...

The New Gag Recap web site at the link you provided lists the latest issue as February 2017.

Van said...

I'm the Publisher Of the New Gag Recap and we are still sending out issues each month. Just sent out issue #92 a few weeks ago
and working on Issue #93.
Like the great Al Gottlieb, we've never missed an issue in close to 8 years.

Van Scott

greatpumpkin said...

Glad you are still publishing.

Van said...

Thanks. We updated our website.