Friday, September 24, 2021

National Board of Fire Underwriters: "The Careless Family" by Stanley Stamaty


Here's a rare gem: "The Careless Family" pamphlet, with cartoons by Stanley Stamaty, created and distributed by the National Board of Fire Underwriters. Stanley is the cartoonist father of cartoonist Mark Alan Stamaty. This was all part of a kids' education project and was probably distributed to schools in the 1950s or early 60s by major insurance companies.

"The Careless Family ... They're Responsible for Most Home Fires!

CARELESSNESS causes most fires. And carelessness means people. Some of the members of the Careless Family are shown on these pages ...

... are YOU a member of the CARELESS FAMILY?"

And we get ten samples of careless people like Hoarder Hattie, Bert and Nessie the Blow-Uppers, Glow-worm Gertie and other alliterative careless family members. This is from a small stack of fire prevention pamphlets and other paper ephemera that I recently bought. This may be the only instance where we get to see a cartoonist's signature on the art.

- This has been an edited version of a blog entry that originally appeared July 18, 2016.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

The Junior Fire Marshal Magazine Fall 1961

If you are a fan of this midcentury modern style of cartooning, then these elementary school fire prevention publications, put together and distributed by The Hartford in the 1950s and 60s, are a trove of great comic art.

The Junior Fire Marshal Magazine for Fall 1961 marks the 15th year of the national Junior Fire Marshal program. This issue has a number of articles about fire safety, as well as a two-page comic: Johnny Hartford, Junior Fire Marshal. Johnny has an adventure in every issue I have seen, and below are links to even more.

The unsigned art sure looks familiar and was probably produced by a pro comics artist. But I am at a loss to explain who it is.

And here are some fire safety activities ...

The Junior Fire Marshal Magazine Christmas 1957 

The Junior Fire Marshal Magazine Fall 1962

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

The Junior Fire Marshal Magazine Christmas 1957


Here is the Junior Fire Marshal Magazine from 1957. It's formatted like a Weekly Reader, which was a free newsprint booklet we would get in Roosevelt Elementary School (Iowa City, IA) back in the 1960s and early 70s. Well, pretty much all suburban public school pupils got Weekly Readers back in the day.

Sponsored by The Hartford, there are some great midcentury modern examples of cartoon illustration in these fire safety primers for kids. The art is all uncredited. I have a couple more of these Junior Fire Marshal Magazines, so I will continue to share them since they have been most likely not seen for many decades. Any guesses as to authorship would be welcome!

- Edited from a blog entry dated July 20, 2016.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

From the Dick Buchanan Files: Humor v. Humour 1947 - 1965

"Separated by a common language" goes the saying for American and Brits trying to communicate. Dick Buchanan takes popular gag cartoon tropes and explores how cartoonists on both sides of the Atlantic spin a single panel about it. Thanks and take it away, Dick!


(1947 – 1965)

What is the difference between American humor and British humour? During the 20th century that was a question readers, scholars and crackpots alike discussed without reaching consensus. The subject was forgotten until one day it was remembered. 

The answer is a simple one. Humor knows no geographical boundaries. Nonetheless, your friendly Cartoon Clip File curator, always eager to tackle a pointless task, decided to explore the subject.
We have delved into the Cartoon Clip File, searching high and low for cartoons which illustrate how British and American cartoonists tackle identical subjects. These are topics, clich├ęs, tropes and whatnot which appeared year in and year out in both British and American magazines. Some topics are more familiar to British readers, sheep and monks, for instance. They were included simply because we have had a bunch of them lying around for a really long time. 

Take a look at these single joke/gag cartoons and draw your own conclusion . . . 


LESLIE STARKE. Lilliput May, 1954.

 ELMER ATKINS. Collier’s May 24, 1947.



KENNETH MAHOOD. Punch October 29, 1958.


TOM HENDERSON. Collier’s October 28, 1955.


ROY RAYMONDE. Punch June 27, 1962.

ORLANDO BUSINO. 1000 Jokes Magazine September – November, 1964.


CHARLES PEARSON. 1000 Jokes Magazine March – May, 1956. 

ERIC BURGIN. Punch January 30, 1954.


NORMAN THELWELL. Punch July 23, 1953.

CLYDE LAMB. The Saturday Evening Post October 3, 1953.


DONALD REILLY. Collier’s April 16, 1954.

LESLIE STARKE. Lilliput August, 1949.


NORMAN BROCKBANK. Punch November 11, 1953.

VAHAN SHIRVANIAN. Look Magazine October 5, 1964.


NORMAN BROCKBANK. Punch April 24, 1952.

VIRGIL PARTCH. Collier’s November 23, 1955.


MICHAEL FFOLKES (Brian Davis) Punch November 17, 1948.

JEFF KEATE. Collier’s February 5, 1954.


VIRGIL PARTCH. True Magazine June, 1950.

ALEX GRAHAM. Punch January 28, 1953.


DAVID LANGDON. Punch February 5, 1958.

JOHN GALLAGHER. Argosy September, 1965.


Monday, September 20, 2021

Spider-Man Debut Comic Book in "The Naked City" (1962)



Christmas in September? September 19, 1962? And Spider-Man?


Below is an episode of the TV series The Naked City (1958-1963). It's the fourth season opener of the series.

"It was inspired by the 1948 motion picture The Naked City and mimics its dramatic 'semi-documentary' format. As in the film, each episode concluded with a narrator intoning the iconic line: 'There are eight million stories in the naked city. This has been one of them.'"-- Wikipedia

Via Gary Dunaier:

"Most comic books fans are aware of the episode of the police drama "Naked City" that has a scene taking place in front of a newsstand, where an actual genuine real copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 is prominently visible.
"With a copy recently selling for a record-breaking $3.6 million*, it's fascinating to see Amazing Fantasy #15 presented as a current issue. Collectors will no doubt shudder at the sight of a mint copy being held aloft on a string by a clothespin, but the newsdealer would no doubt dismiss you as a loony if you were to tell him that someday that comic book would sell for over $397,000 (the 1962 equivalent of $3.6 million**).
"The scene is part of the Naked City Season 4 opener, "Hold For Gloria Christmas," and if you've ever wanted to see it in the context in which it originally aired, the complete episode is on You Tube.
"And there's no better time to see it than today, because "Hold For Gloria Christmas," season 4, episode 1 of Naked City, with the newsstand-fresh Amazing Fantasy #15 on the newsstand, was originally broadcast 59 years ago today - September 19, 1962.
* Heritage Auctions, Comics and Comic Art Signature Auction #7246, lot #93001, September 9, 2021.
** Actually $397,416.36.
The appearance of Amazing Fantasy #15 is about 55 seconds into the teaser. Hat tip to Heidi MacDonald!

Friday, September 17, 2021

Some Favorite Quino Cartoons

 Argentine-Spanish cartoonist Quino's gag cartoon that's based on Picasso's Guernica is a favorite.


While best known for his "Mafalda" comic strip, Quino (1932-2020) also created many other comics. Here are just a few wordless sequential gags. 

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Artists Draw Their Own Visions of Life at the Museum of Modern Art


The Museum of Modern Art has an online series "Drawn to MoMA," in which different artists draw their own visions of life at the Museum. Above is a panel from Roz Chast's "Museumland."

Participants in the series include Gabrielle Bell, Sofia Warren, Ben Passmore and others.  

Hat tip to Paul Gravett.