Tuesday, March 08, 2022

From the Dick Buchanan Files: Can Cartoonists Predict the Future?

Before handing today's blog over to the one and only Dick Buchanan, the owner and curator of The Cartoon Clip File (located somewhere in Greenwich Village), I want remind you that what he's talking about here is just a theory and people who draw silly pictures are not omniscient. A little crazy, but not all-knowing. Here's Dick to explain:


Every once in a while, The Cartoon Clip File gets letters. Yep, actual letters that come in an envelope, with a postage stamp. No return address, naturally. Most of these letters come from fellow crackpots. They usually consist of letters of the alphabet cut out of a newspaper or magazine and pasted in on a sheet of paper in a surprisingly artistic fashion. As chance would have it, we stumbled across a few of these letters, each of which insisted, in a rather emphatic manner, that a we left out some important examples of gag cartoons which illustrate cartoonist’s ability to predict the future. So, we have followed their instructions and added their suggestions to the original presentation.

Do we know if cartoonists can predict the future? Of course not, we aren’t even certain there is a future. Nonetheless, take a look at the evidence the Cartoon Clip has unearthed . . . and thanks and a tip of our cap to fellow crackpots, No Name, You Know Who and Fang.

TRICKLE DOWN ECONOMY. WALTER GOLDSTEIN. The Saturday Evening Post November 21, 1953. We can’t entirely credit cartoonist Goldstein for this so-called theory, later called Reaganomics—humorist Will Rogers thunk it up.


CLOSED CAPTION TELEVISION. GARRETT PRICE. Collier’s June 8, 1946. Although cartoonist Price was on the right track with this idea but we’re still working on the word balloon angle.


Although Garrett Price covered this one with his Closed-Caption TV, credit also goes to Clyde Lamb who needed a Big Screen TV to make his gag work.


WORKING FROM HOME. JERRY MARCUS. The Saturday Evening Post November 6, 1954. A dream of many but it took cartoonist Marcus to give us a glimpse of what working from home might look like.


GUARANTEED ANNUAL INCOME. J. G. FARRIS. Collier’s October 28, 1955. It was Joseph Farris’ baby boomer who introduced this idea, now experimental some places.


1 comment:

Orang Basikal said...

There is a denunciation of trickle-down economics in Theodore Roosevelt's Progressive Party campaign speeches from 1912. I used it in a speech I put together for an appearance as TR in 1993.