Friday, December 15, 2023

From the Buchanan Files: George Wolfe Magazine Gag Cartoons 1943 - 1965

George Wolfe (1911 - 1993) was a prolific, widely published cartoonist during the golden age of magazine cartooning. Every week, all the national magazines would have a Wolfe or two or three. Easy to identify his cartoons since he clearly and legibly wrote his name at the bottom of most of his gag cartoons. He was also friends with fellow cartoonist Don Orehek, who advised him (Not that George needed any advice.) to draw pretty girls in the panels to sell more. Since Don was a Playboy contract cartoonist, that made sense.

Here's Dick Buchanan with more information and many samples of George Wolfe cartoons. Thanks and take it away, Dick!



Photograph of George Wolfe. Here! March, 1952.


George Wolfe was a magazine gag cartoonist whose work appeared in many of America’s leading magazines during the mid-20th century. He contributed to Collier’s, The Saturday Evening Post., This Week Magazine, Ladies Home Journal, True, Esquire, Look Magazine and others. 

Wolfe was born in New York but spent most his life in Glen Rock, New Jersey, where he was active as a community volunteer. He founded the Bergen County Blood Bank and had leadership roles in the local Kiwanis, Rotary and Glen Rock Garden Clubs. He was known to one and all as “Mr. Glen Rock.” Consequently, every once in a-while, George managed to insert Glen Rock’s name in his cartoons.

George Wolfe sold his first cartoon while still at George Washington High School New York City. His classmates included future cartoonists Ben Roth and Henry Boltinoff. After high school he attended the Art Students League, an outstanding art school which spawned many cartoonists over the years. In 1934 George sold his first cartoon to The Saturday Evening Post, the first of many major market sales to be chalked up over his long career as a magazine cartoonist. He also drew two comic strips, Pops (1962–1978) and Citizen George (early 1970s). Both were syndicated by the Al Smith Feature Service.

In 1969 the Department of Defense and the USO asked George to travel overseas to draw cartoons for injured soldiers. He accepted and, despite the fact he had never flown, traveled to Vietnam and Thailand in 1969. He returned in 1973. 

Wolfe was awarded the National Cartoonists Society’s Reuben Award for Gag Cartooning for 1969. He received the award again in 1973, 1975 and 1976. In 1982 he received the Society’s Silver T-Square Extraordinary Service Award. He was also the Society’s Treasurer for 17 years.

Here are just a few George Wolfe cartoons . . . 

The Saturday Evening Post April 3, 1943.


Liberty Magazine February 19, 1944.


This Week Magazine November 5, 1944.

Collier’s November 30, 1944.


Collier’s September 6, 1947.


This Week Magazine April 10, 1949.

The Saturday Evening Post June 11, 1949.


Collier’s August 27, 1949.

American Magazine May, 1950.


The Saturday Evening Post February 11, 1950.


The Saturday Evening Post July 15, 1950.

Here! December, 1951.


This Week Magazine April 27, 1952.

American Magazine December, 1952.

Here! March, 1952.


The Saturday Evening Post October 10, 1953.


Collier’s July 11, 1953.


The Saturday Evening Post April 17, 1954.



American Magazine March, 1955.


American Legion Magazine June, 1956.

The Saturday Evening Post October 30, 1959.

Collier’s April 5, 1952.

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