Sunday, September 17, 2023

It'll Happen To All of Us Eventually

A week ago I tested positive for Covid. I called my GP immediately after taking this pic and she answered by the second ring. I have the best doctor. Covid has, so far, been mild, and hopefully I’ll be feeling better soon.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

CARE FOR A MERGER? Cartoons from WSJ

This 1958 hardcover collection of Wall Street Journal cartoons, CARE FOR A MERGER, was found in the used book section of a huge Barnes and Noble in Paramus, NJ a while ago. I bought it for the Phil Interlandi drawing on the cover. Love that guy's lines!

Copyrights retained by the copyright holder.

Above: The sad selling price history of this secondhand book, from the inside page, unsold until it got down to $1. The original 1958 cover price was $2.75.

Here's a cartoon by Joseph Farris. Love that iconic see-gar in the boss's mouth. Whatta nasty boss! I like the juxtaposition of the vertical and horizontal lines in the background to suggest the curtains and blinds. Snappily done.

Lee Lorenz! And the drawing looks like it was done in scratchy pen style. He uses a brush now -- or rather, has for many decades! This is the only time I've seen a cartoon of his outside of the New Yorker. He became a contract cartoonist to the NYer this same year, and was the mag's cartoon editor from 1973-1997

The cartoon above shows Al Kaufman's mastery of depth and layout. It wasn't until I'd looked at this drawing, scanned it, and then looked at it again that I noticed that the chairs were too darn big. I still like the drawing, but I wonder why I didn't notice that right away.

Cartoonist Doris Matthews is the only female cartoonist in this WSJ collection. You can find more of her work in Funny Ladies: The New Yorker's Greatest Women Cartoonists and Their Cartoons, edited by Liza Donnelly. I like her sketchy style, but know nothing about her.

Chon Day, the master of line, has a couple of cartoons in the collection. The lines, the placement of blacks, all done so deftly and frugally. A prolific cartoonist who, like so many of the pros, kept producing until the end. He created cartoons for many major mags and was a featured regular at The Saturday Evening Post from 1948 until Mr. Day's passing in 2000. He's another cartoonist that deserves a large "Best of" collection.

Mort Temes gives us this very inappropriate (for 2023) cartoon that tells us all that anatomy is destiny! I do admire how Mr. Temes is able to squeeze in the boss's face in the interior office. Of course, you notice how all the angles lead to that office. Nicely done. Another archaic touch: the pedestal ash tray. There was one in the shoe store cartoon above as well. You can see a photo of Mr. Temes and other cartoonists from around this time in a previous entry about Look Day.

Bernard Wiseman chimes in with this IRS joke. I liked it because of the brush work. How just the suggestion of a few people and desks in the background gives us the feel of a busy office. I like how the guy who is speaking is leaning in to the old guy while speaking.

Dan Danglo, who I am glad to say is a friend and fellow Berndt Toast Gang member, brings us this beautifully drawn cartoon. Looks like an animation kinda style of the 1950s, huh? Well, Dan was working in animation in the 1950s. He still cartoons today, and you can see more at his site.

-- This is an edited version of a blog entry from May 17, 2007.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

"Yankee Yiddish" Cocktail Napkin Cartoons by Lawrence Lariar

If you know your gag cartoons, then you know who Lawrence Lariar (1908-1981) is. He's the guy who put together the BEST CARTOONS OF THE YEAR books from 1942 to 1971. He was also a writer of mystery novels (under the pen names Michael Stark, Adam Knight and Marston la France), as well as the title "famous cartoonist" of Bill Griffiths' graphic memoir INVISIBLE INK: MY MOTHER'S SECRET LOVE AFFAIR WITH A FAMOUS CARTOONIST. 

Here are a bunch of his cocktail napkins. The full box, in fact. These are copyright 1955 by Mr. Lariar. I know this because each individual napkin has that printed on its backside. It was produced by Monogram, 2500 18th Street, San Francisco 10, Calif.

These are all just oddball, dusty ethnic punning kinda jokes. But I guess in 1955 it was good stuff. And you certainly have to know some Yiddish expressions to "get" the humor.

The ironic thing is that even though Lariar edited so many top-selling gag cartoon anthology books, one rarely sees his cartoons. I mean, if you have the covers to some of his BEST CARTOONS books, then you can see some his art there, and sometimes it's in his intros to the books. But he does not put many drawings of his own into the cartoon books he edits. This is the first time I have seen so many in one place.

There are 35 designs here. One of them is a repeat and I left it off. Even in 1955, you couldn't trust advertising!

A few related links to Lawrence Lariar-edited cartoon collection books:




Sketches from CARTOONING FOR EVERYBODY by Lawrence Lariar



-- Edited from a blog entry that originally appeared on May 17, 2017.

Tuesday, September 12, 2023


Here is a selection from the paperback FATHER DEAR FATHER (copyright Abbey Books, 1958), a series of Catholic cartoons by Frank Evers. Frank was a comic book artist, an illustrator and gag cartoonist before he got a regular gig as the New York Daily News' editorial cartoonist. After retiring from the News, he was President of the National Cartoonists Society from 1985-87.

These cartoons are, obviously, from a more innocent time. The continuing characters were the Father, of course, and a choir boy named Jimmy Coogan. These were all drawn with a razor quick line. I have no idea where these first appeared.

Frank Evers' bio:

Hat tip to Don Orehek for passing this book along to me.


-- Edited from an original blog entry of June 17, 2011.