Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Best Cartoons of the Year 1957

Time to visit Lawrence Lariar's BEST CARTOONS OF THE YEAR 1957! Here's an edit of a blog entry that originally appeared on November 21, 2007.


There is a lot of knowledge in this book. A lot of cartoon knowledge.


Here's what I mean. Here is an example of great composition and skilled use of wash. You get drawn in to the clunker of a foreign car due to the black spotting. I don't know who Keith was, but he's a pro.


Above is one by Huffine. Oh those darn office signs that people had in the 50s and 60s: THINK, SMILE, GENIUS AT WORK! They were a lot better than the once we have now with mountain climbers (ACHIEVE!) or eagles (SOAR!). I like Huffine's style, and I wish (like so many gag cartoonists) there was more about him on the Web.


The expression on the kid's face in this cartoon by the one and only Orlando Busino just grabbed me. Here's the whole format for that FAMILY TIES TV series wrapped up in one cartoon.


Al Piane draws beautifully correct plumage and I'll be darned but that suit looks like it could work.

John Albano shows us that what's old is new again with this gag that is still applicable today.

Bob Weber gives us the hardest working bank robbers ever. Bob, along with Orlando and other cartoonists, used to meet every week for lunch in Westport and talk cartoons. It was my pleasure to bump into this book, with samples of cartoons by two guys I admire!

I'm including Serrano's gag. I think I've seen this gag many times before. I don't know who was first, but the theme was popular with editors.

The one and only Don Orehek with a fantastic desert island gag. Not only is our man upset (he's literally tearing his hair out!), that bunny does not look pleased either!

Another from Busino. A great gag on an old topic. I love his lines; always great, cartoony, fun line work.

Huffine (I'm not sure of the first name; I think it's Dave -- but there's a Ray Huffine who worked for Disney), whose scribbly style I admire, has a great gag -- but there's a famous Addams cartoon that's similar. No, I don't know which one was first since I can't find the Addams one on Cartoonbank. If anyone wants to do the research on this, please do! I'd like to know myself!

The "I hate my mother-in-law" gag, along with the "boss chasing secretary around the desk" gag has been consigned to the great gag cartoon out-box in the sky. Still, I admire Hageman's ability to sketch this out so concisely.

Albano scores a hilarious (and mean) gag in the above cartoon. The look on the kid's face, and him holding onto his hat as he races away from the scene of the accident made me smile. This would not be politically correct today, so I could see that editors would not OK it. The times are a changin'. Heck, even 1970s era Sesame Street shows may not be appropriate for children!


Mr. Bernhardt will have the last word. Have a great Thanksgiving! And if you're drinking and driving, then please drive a dogsled!

UPDATE: On December 4, 2007 Orlando Busino was kind enough to email me and laboriously type in Dave Huffine's bio from THE BEST CARTOONS OF 1943:

"David Broome Huffine was born in Knoxville Tennessee in 1911. He left the University of Tennessee after his second year to become a surveyor and guide in the Great Smoky Mts. He left the Smokies to come to New York to attend the Art Students League which he left to become an apprentice to Dennis Wortman* whom he left after two years to become a free lance cartoonist...a field which he has not left as yet. He and his wife, Ruth Huffine. who is a painter have one nine month old son ( adopted). They hope he will share their hobbies of angling and hill-billy music. The Huffines live the year around in the Catskill Mountains.

"* I think he is referring to Denys Wortman who did a panel for United Features called EVERYDAY MOVIES."

I wanted to share his reaction to the similarity of Huffhine's cartoon with a famous/similar one by Addams. Here's Orlando once more:

"By now you must have gotten a number of answers to the question as to when Charles Addams did his cartoon ('George! George! Drop the keys!') but on the chance that you haven't. I have found it in a collection of Addams' work, MONSTER RALLY, published in 1950. The gags in Lariar's book are cartoons published in 1957. Huffine's gag has a similar caption but a different situation and I assume can be considered a legitimate switch."
I agree with you, Orlando! (Who am I to disagree?!)


Orang Basikal said...

The car in the "Foreign Car Specialist" cartoon looks a bit like one I actually own.

Manqueman said...

TBH, I clicked on this hoping or expecting or wondering about material funny in the mid-50s but now considered unacceptable.
None of that is shown in the post. So what I wonder: Was this your choice, Mike, or is the book free of that kind of stuff? Just curious.

Mike Lynch said...

Those Best Cartoons books tended to be previously published cartoons from the major general interest mags. The gags tended to be clean. But a lot of the topics (spousal violence, men lusting after young women, bad female drivers, etc.) are not politically correct now. Of course, that, and the fact that they tended to depict a lily white middle class -- with no mention of racism, income disparity, women's issues, LGBTQ -- well, I could go on and on, but you get the idea. So, yes, most of the gags are innocuous.