Monday, June 27, 2022

Have a Good Week


I'm away from the blog for a short time. Be back soon.

Friday, June 24, 2022

OFFICE LAFFS Edited by Charles Preston

Above: The OFFICE LAFFS cover. The woman is saying, "Thanks for the raise, honey!" The gag line, which was at the bottom of the cover, got accidentally unscanned due to slovenliness of the man at the scanner (me).

Since when did Bennett Cerf's name sell a book of cartoons? Well, not recently, that's for sure.

Here's a collection of Wall Street Journal cartoons titled OFFICE LAFFS*, copyright 1957, E.P. Dutton and Co., Inc. This is the first Crest printing, February 1957, which I have mercilessly bent the spine of to scan in for you. You see? You crazy kids out there on the internet!!! Nothing is too good for you!

"Save 88 cents for the milkman."

Doug Follette showcases the undermining, dead end marital relationship at the heart of a WSJ reader. Follete drew the most distinctive sucking-on-a-lemon pouted lips in cartoon history.

Mr. Stamaty with a nice to look at clean line style. Look at all the wonderful details in the kitchen. His son, Mark Alan, went on to cartoon as well!
Above: Dad looks too happy about reading the dry contents of the Congressional Record to his child. Today, Dads have no time to read to their children, and so C-Span is merely streamed on the kids' tablet until the kid falls asleep. The cartoon is drawn by Sid Gordin, who created the cartoons along with Vicky, his wife, so (to quote the great Orlando Busino, who was there and knows) "hence the signature 'Sivic.'"

Above: another unhappy marriage cartoon. This one is by Martin Giuffre. I could not, for a moment, figure out exactly where we were supposed to be. It took a few extra seconds.

The one and only Mort Walker, in one of his most reprinted gag cartoons: the quintessential WSJ Salt ... and Pepper cartoon.

"Well, stupid, there's four days work we don't get paid for!"

You see? Not only does management get a poke, but labor as well. John Gallagher wields the ink on this good cartoon. related: John Gallagher is one of the featured cartoonists in 1000 Jokes magazine #79.

"Who's the new man?"

Serrano, who drew the lovely juxtaposition of the wispy smoke rings and the piles of paper, is like so many gag cartoonists; a name on a page, with so little more information on the Web.

Above: Another Serrano cartoon, with some good composition. If he had made the choice to put black on those shoes, or do a grey wash on the suits, then the visual gag would be lost.

"If we can get a subsidy we can give this country what it needs, a good five cent cigar."

Scott Brown draws some cigar smoking board members in a gag that's lost in time. I like how we can see every cigar and every cigar's wisp of smoke clearly.

Above: Brad Anderson of Marmaduke fame, with a breezy styled wordless cartoon that would enrage the unionized waste management people for that guy's building.


Follette, once more, with one of the funnier cartoons in the volume. Look at the Book Ends Salesman, crouched and ready to make a sale in the wake of the Book Sales Salesman. I admire the gag so much.

"Don't be upset if my wife gives you a nasty look, boss.
She doesn't know about those last two raises."

Bob Schroeter; another cartoonist showing us the life of deceit that husbands lead. Again, I'm beholden to Orlando Busino for being able to recognize Mr. Schroeter's signature, which fluctuates from legible to hieroglyphics from cartoon to cartoon.
"I got the worms -- let's go!"

What I noticed here is that Mr. Folette disavowed the showing of the sunrise, a clock, or anything else that would be a "tell" as to the time of day. The expression on the Dad's face is all you need.

Jerry Marcus -- the one and only -- with a joke on the WSJ Cartoon Editor himself.

* from the indicia: "OFFICE LAFFS was originally published by E. P. Dutton and Co., Inc., under the title HEY, CAN'T YOU FORGET BUSINE$$? and this new and expanded Crest edition is reissued at 25 cents through arrangement with that company. "

-- Edited with an extra joke added from an original bloggarino entry dated April 21. 2008.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Video: Jim Keefe Interview

Syndicated cartoonist Jim Keefe discusses his comic strip Sally Forth (written by Francesco Marciuliano), bringing the pandemic into the funnies, and the perils of work for hire.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Sesame Street: Cookie Monster's "Cookiegate"

This undated video has PBS MacNeil Report host Jim MacNeil interview Sesame Street's Cookie Monster about the mysterious and allegedly criminal "Cookiegate" affair. 

Friday, June 17, 2022

Dr. Michael J. Vassallo: Stan Lee: The Timely Years


Dr. Michael J. Vassallo writes Marvel Comics from 1939 to 1969, its owner Martin Goodman and then-young writer/editor Stan Lee (1922-2018) in the essay Stan Lee: The Timely Years. This fascinating, well-researched article, written soon after Lee's passing, talks about (among other things) the challenges of research about this time:

"The main problem is that there were no scripts. The method of creation depended on the artist to plot the stories after a discussion, or a paragraph summary, or one or two sentences, or even on his own. The plotted stories were then delivered back with copious notes in the margins explaining what was going on, often with rudimentary dialogue. Stan would then use these guidelines and turn on the 'jocular wordsmith with a felicity of expression' mode, giving them a sheen, a voice, or a 'read,' usually in full alignment with the artist-plotted continuity, although on rare occasions pulling the story in an awkwardly different, and in my opinion, inferior direction. The end result was something different to what was usually found on the newsstands and was embraced by rabid fans. It was a collaboration, certainly, just not an equal one."

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Angelo Torres Documentary: MY DINNER WITH ANGELO (2022) Directed by Ian Scott McGregor

“Cartoonist Angelo Torres recounts stories from his illustrious career and paints a rare picture of the Golden Age Comic scene as the industry faced public scrutiny. Including footage of the infamous MAD trips and publisher Bill Gaines, this short documentary welcomes you to chew the Chicken Fat with one of MAD’s most legendary and prolific Idiots. Directed by Ian Scott McGregor, for exhibition at NYC's Society of Illustrators exhibit 'What, Me PANIC?' Celebrating Angelo Torres.”

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

The Garden As of June 15, 2022

The garden as of June 15, 2022. The cucumbers and carrots are not coming up. I suspect some animal dropped by and ate them. Everything else looks incredible. The tomatoes are getting so big I have to stake them. I usually don’t have to do this until July!


Tuesday, June 14, 2022

What’s My Line? - Sept 3, 1961 - Recreated COLOR Opening Animation

Confession: pretty much every night I watch an old episode of What's My Line? on YouTube. Hundreds of them are there. I started with the 1955 episodes, which have Fred Allen as a permanent panelist. I'm watching them in sequence. I'm now in October 1962. At this time, the show had a great midcentury animated title sequence. Jim O'Kane, over at Vimeo, has recreated the titles in color. He shows us the original black and white opening, and then his completely redone sequence.

Jim adds: "The original animator was never credited with its execution, but it's a simple, humorous, and engaging story, told in just 40 seconds. Recreated in color and HD, with virtual cereal boxes of 1961 making an appearance for Kellogg's."

What's My Line? - Sept 3, 1961 - Recreated COLOR Opening Animation from Jim O'Kane on Vimeo.

Monday, June 13, 2022

AAEC: Gannett Slashes Editorial Pages from Papers — Along with Cartoons


From the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists:

"Word has trickled down from Gannett (née GatehouseMedia) that, beginning June 1, they will be stripping out the daily editorial/opinion section in the print editions of all their daily papers. Gannett, the largest newspaper publisher in the country as measured by total daily circulation, announced their Op/Ed pages will now only appear in print on Wednesdays and Sundays. (If that— one cartoonist who freelances at a Gannett-owned paper said their editor told them it would only be Sunday.)

"While some editors at the affected newspapers spun this as a good and necessary move, noting that local editorials and letters to the editor could still be found online, Mary Kelli Palka at the Florida Times-Union flatly wrote that content was being slashed: “We also no longer have access to syndicated content, though we had stopped running many syndicated columns years ago. But it does mean we’re losing syndicated cartoons. This has all made us rethink our editorial pages.”

"Cartoonists were swift to respond. 'Bad news for editorial cartoonists for sure, as well as really horrible news for an informed citizenry in the communities these papers are supposed to serve,' wrote Jimmy Margulies, the award-winning political cartoonist who spent more than two decades on the staff of The Record in northern New Jersey, one of the papers hit by the cuts.

"Some cartoonists, posting on a private message board for AAEC members, said their freelance work in Gannett-owned papers would be affected. (Gannett has not had a full-time staff cartoonist since laying off Mike Thompson from USAToday last year.)

"One cartoonist, speaking on background about the decision, said 'It’s a cowardly and wholly expected move. Even for those one or two days a week, I’ve been asked to draw ‘unifying’ rather than ‘divisive’ cartoons. In other words, they want Hallmark cards.'

"Another syndicated cartoonist, whose local newspaper was hit by Gannett’s big change, vented, 'What I wanna know is, what does a newspaper become without an editorial page? #pennysaver.'

"Gannett, whose newspapers once had dozens of staff cartoonists, including a number of Pulitzer Prize-winners, was absorbed by Gatehouse Media in 2019, who bought the chain for its brand name recognition."

— JP Trostle

Friday, June 10, 2022

From the Dick Buchanan Files: Color Gag Cartoons 1939 - 1958

Dick Buchanan has delved into his stockpile of magazine gag cartoons and some up with a trove of rare color ones today. Thanks and take it away, Dick!


   (1939 – 1958)

     Magazine gag cartoons were not usually published in color, so when we find one, we take special care to save it.  Most of the cartoons in this selection appeared in Collier’s and American Magazines.  The Charles Schulz cartoon we discovered on the back side of a Quaker Cereal advertisement for the Sgt. Preston of the Yukon Trial Kit.  One never knows where one may find an old cartoon. Take a look at color cartoons by some of the 20th century America’s best magazine gag cartoonists . . . 

1.  CHARLES SCHULZ.  “It’s Only A Game”  United Feature Syndicates, Inc.  March 23, 1958.

2.  STANLEY (& JANET) BERENSTEIN.  Collier’s  March 19, 1949.


3.  REGINALD HIDER.  American Magazine  February, 1955.


4.  GUSTAV LUNDBERG.  Collier’s  April 18, 1953.


5.  BILL HARRISON.  American Magazine  August, 1955.


6.  NORMAN HOIFJELD.  American Magazine  March, 1955.


7.  KATE OSANN.  Collier’s  July 22, 1950.


8.  ERIC ERICSON.  American Magazine  February, 1955.


9.  MARTHA BLANCHARD.  American Magazine  June, 1955.


10.  JERRY MARCUS.  American Magazine  March, 1955.


11.  WALT WETTERBERG.  American Magazine  July, 1955.


12.  JEFFERSON MACHAMER.  Collier’s  July 20, 1946.


13.  AL KAUFMAN.  The Saturday Evening Post  October 1, 1954.


14.  STAN FINE.  Collier’s  February 19, 1954.


15.  LAWRENCE LARIAR.  Collier’s  February 20, 1939.


16.  BOB BARNES.  American Magazine  May, 1955.


17.  HERB WILLIAMS.  American Magazine  January, 1955.


18.  CHARLES RODRIGUES.  Collier’s  May 26, 1951.


19.  WILLIAM von RIEGEN.  Collier’s  July 8, 1950.


20.  DON TOBIN.  Collier’s  July 8, 1950.