Thursday, February 29, 2024

1913: Vitagraph Asks Winsor McCay If He Had Finished Drawing some "Film About Some Dinosaur Named Gertie"

Via Rob Stolzer with gratitude:

"John Canemaker posted this historical gem on his FB page. J. Stuart Blackton, the co-founder of The Vitagraph Company, reached out to some hack cartoonist named Winsor McCay in 1913, asking if he would show his film about some dinosaur named Gertie, if he had the drawings finished. Wow!"

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Dick Buchanan's Cartoon File: Funny Vintage Magazine Gag Cartoons 1946 - 1963

Dick Buchanan, whose trove of great old gag cartoons has been featured here before, has some of what he calls his "funny ones:" sixteen magazine cartoons that were just funny to him.

Here's Dick: 


Greetings once more from Greenwich Village. As chance would have it, while cleaning up after the holidays, I found a folder marked “Funny Cartoons” stuffed under the cushions of my couch. I was skeptical, but after leafing through them I found that quite a few pretty funny at that.

Thanks to the miracle of digital technology beyond my understanding, here are some of my favorites from Funny Cartoons.

AL JOHNS. The Saturday Evening Post February 9, 1963




HARRY MACE. American Magazine. March, 1951

BORIS DRUCKER. Drucker’s cartoons began appearing in major magazines in the 1940’s. Collier’s. December 14, 1946


JACOBSON. The Saturday Evening Post. June 14, 1947


JOHN DEMPSEY. Either you think this cartoon is funny, or you don’t.1000 Jokes Magazine, December,1956-February,1957


JOHNNY HART. Hart was a top gag cartoonist before his comic strip B.C. debuted in 1958. American Legion Magazine. July, 1958

DAVID LANGDON. Punch stalwart Langdon often contributed to American publications over the years. A clever gag from The Saturday Evening Post. 1950’s.

AL KAUFMAN. American Legion Magazine. August,1958

GAHAN WILSON. Early Gahan Wilson at his best. Look Magazine. April 16, 1957


JOHN GALLAGHER. Colliers. January 7, 1957


VAHAN SHIRVANIAN. Shirvanian’s cartoons appeared everywhere from Highlights for Children to Playboy. American Legion Magzine. December, 1958

ALI. (ALFRED ISLER) Isler’s cartoons first appeared in the 1930’s. The Saturday Evening Post September 29,1962


GARDNER REA. Colliers. March 28, 1953


JERRY MARCUS. American Legion Magazine. November, 1958

- This was an edited rerun of a February 1, 2017 blog entry.

Here are more of Dick's great gag cartoon finds:

Dick Buchanan's Cartoon File: Wordless Gag Cartoons 1944-1964

1953 George Booth Drawings for American Legion Magazine

Dick Buchanan: Winter/Christmas/Holiday Gag Cartoons 1940s-60s

Dick Buchanan: Some PUNCH Magazine Cartoons 1948-1963

Dick Buchanan: Gag Cartoon Clip File 1946-64

Dick Buchanan: Gag Cartoon Clip File 1947-62

Dick Buchanan: Some Favorite Magazine Gag Cartoons 1940-60s

Dick Buchanan: Gag Cartoon Clip File 1931-64

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

From the Dick Buchanan Files: Snow Cartoons 1938 - 1962

My friend Dick Buchanan showcases a small part of his gigantic collection of vintage magazine cartoons for your enjoyment. Look, you can't do anything about the snow and ice and freezing rain and school closings, so you might as well laugh about it. Thank you, Dick, for sharing.


(1938 – 1962)

No doubt about it, snow is funny. That’s why we have reached deep into the Cartoon Clip File and retrieved some gag cartoons about snow and ice. One thing’s for sure, snow is funnier when viewed from afar so stay inside and enjoy these cartoons from the past.

1.  JOHN BLUTO.  The Saturday Evening Post  January 25, 1958.

2.  CHON DAY. Collier’s January 30, 1943.

3.  AL KAUFMAN.  The Saturday Evening Post  March 9, 1957.

4. REAMER KELLER. Collier’s  March 12, 1938.

5.  STAN HUNT.  The Saturday Evening Post  January 6, 1951.

6.  DICK ERICSON.  True Magazine  March, 1952.

7.  BRAD ANDERSON. The Saturday Evening Post  January 6, 1951.

8.  BOB BARNES.  The Saturday Evening Post  January 6, 1951.

9.  SCOTT  TABER.  The Saturday Evening Post  February 8, 1958.

10.  AL KAUFMAN.  The Saturday Evening Post  February 11, 1950.

11.  CHON DAY.  The Saturday Evening Post  February 8, 1958.

12.  JAY IRVING.  Collier’s  March 2, 1940.

13.  DAVE GERARD.  Collier’s March 6, 1952.

14. TED KEY.  Collier’s  The Saturday Evening Post  November 29, 1949.

15.  HERB GREEN.  True Magazine  March 1962.

16.  NED HILTON.  Collier’s  December 23, 1950


- This has been an edited version of a blog entry that originally appeared on February 21, 2019.


Monday, February 26, 2024

Ramona Fradon 1926 - 2024

Ramona Fradon, whose decades-long career in comic books and comic strips spanned generations, has passed away. She was 97 years old. 

From CBR:

"Fradon was born Ramona Dom in Chicago, but grew up in Westchester County in New York. Her father was a commercial letterer. He encouraged her to go to art school. Soon after graduating from the Parsons School of Design, she married the New Yorker cartoonist, Dana Fradon. He encouraged her to work in comics. A friend of his was working as a comic book letterer, and he got Fradon a shot working for DC. She was hired for the Shining Knight feature in Adventure Comics...


"In Adventure Comics #167, Fradon took over the Aquaman feature...


"Fradon would remain on the series for the next DECADE, over 100 issues of Adventure Comics (and continuing the feature in World's Finest Comics for a little bit, as well). She co-created Aqualad, and in Adventure Comics #260, she and writer Robert Bernstein revamped Aquaman for the Silver Age, introducing his Atlantis origin story for the first time."

Ramona worked as the illustrator for the long-running Brenda Starr newspaper comic strip. Taking over after creator Dale Messick, she worked on the strip for fifteen years from 1980 to 1995. 

Mary Schmich, who took over the Brenda Starr writing chores, reminicsed on her Facebook page yeaterday:

"Ramona Fradon died yesterday at the age of 97.

"You may not recognize her name but there's a good chance that if you're of a certain age, you ran across her art. She was a pioneer in comics, in a time when women were rarely admitted to that elite club.

"I met her in 1985 when I was recruited to write the old Brenda Starr comic strip, which Ramona was drawing at the time.

"Brenda--as we called her--was created by Dale Messick, who both wrote and drew it for decades. But in the 1980s, Ramona took over the drawing. Eventually another writer was brought in, too, but she didn't last long.

"And then my turn came. I wrote Brenda for 25 years, always while juggling a newspaper job; looking back I'm sure that my newspaper-deadline approach to writing a comic strip script drove Ramona crazy.

"I'd write a week or two at a time then fax or FedEx the script to her from wherever I was. (This was pre-Internet). I scrawled, on a yellow legal pad, several weeks of script while sitting on the floor of the Charlotte, N.C., courthouse, on breaks in the Jim Bakker trial. Once on assignment for the Tribune, I drove around rural Mississippi desperately in search of a fax; when I didn't find one, I called Ramona and she patiently took dictation.

"I honestly don't know how she put up with me, but she did. And she cranked the clever art out week after week, year after year, until she left the comic strip biz in 1995. The great comics artist June Brigman replaced her, and it was June who wrote yesterday to tell me Ramona was gone, and to say how much Ramona meant to her.

"It's tempting when you work with people to take their talents for granted. Or to take for granted that you get to work with someone who's so freaking good.

"Ramona was one of the greats, and a few years ago I wrote her to make sure she knew that I knew. She was also very kind to me, in addition to tolerant.

"As for the strips I've posted here, they're just what I randomly laid my hands on when I opened one of the drawers where I haphazardly stash the old strips."

On February 24th, Ramona’s agent Scott Kress of Catskill Comics made public her passing:

"It comes with great sadness to announce that Ramona Fradon has passed away just a few moments ago. Ramona was 97 and had a long career in the comic book industry and was still drawing just a few days ago. She was a remarkable person in so many ways. I will miss all the great conversations and laughs we had. I am blessed that I was able to work with her on a professional level, but also able to call her my friend."


The above via The Daily Cartoonist, which has copious links. 

Friday, February 23, 2024

Pan Cooke on Non-binary Teen's Death

Pan Cooke draws and writes the true story of Nex Benedict, a non-binary 16 year old who, died after being attacked in their school.

The Guardian:

"The death of a non-binary 16-year-old in Oklahoma has left LGBTQ+ Americans overwhelmed by anger and grief this week.

"Nex Benedict, a 16-year-old non-binary student, died on 8 February after a “physical altercation” with classmates in their high school bathroom, according to a statement by local law enforcement on 21 February.

"In a statement on the school’s website, school officials said: “Students were in the restroom for less than two minutes and the physical altercation was broken up by other students who were present in the restroom at the time, along with a staff member who was supervising outside of the restroom."


The police claim the death was not the result of the altercation. Toxicology results are still pending.

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Gannett Censors Doonesbury Comic Strip: "Gannett doesn't want comic strip fans learning about how almost 100,000 white southerners chose loyalty to their country over preserving slavery as they fought for the Union during the Civil War."

The Gannett News Service, which owns nearly 400 newspapers in the United States, did not print the Sunday Doonesbury comic strip. Here it is, above, in case you were not able to see it. Judge for yourself that it was unfit to print. (It was not.)

From MSN's "Conservative Newspaper Conglomerate Proved Their Opponents’ Point When They Banned This ‘Doonesbury’ Comic Strip" article by Keagan Kelly:

"You’d better not joke about Florida censoring speech that goes against their preferred narrative, or else Florida newspapers will censor your joke.

"For 53 years, Garry Trudeau’s comic strip Doonesbury has graced the funny pages of local and national newspapers, bringing dry, informed political satire to readers across the country six-to-eight panels at a time. Since starting the strip, the Yale graduate and Pulitzer Prize-winner has ruffled the feathers of the rich and powerful on many occasions, earning the ire of politicians like President George H.W. Bush and House Speaker Tip O'Neill over their portrayal in the political parody cartoon. With Doonesbury, Trudeau takes aim at the reckless and influential regardless of their party affiliation, making few friends in the process besides the papers that carry his comic strip – well, some of them, anyways.

"This past Sunday, many readers whose regional newspapers are owned by the multi-billion dollar, conservative-leaning mass media holding company Gannett flipped to the funny pages to find that Doonesbury was conspicuously missing from its usual position in the printing. Former Iowa State Representative and president of the Veterans National Recovery Center Bob Krause noticed that absence and made sure to show Twitter what Gannett hid from them.

"Gannett owns almost 400 newspapers in the United States, including the national publication USA Today and local papers in 44 states, among which is Krause's Iowa, where the Des Moines Register followed company protocol and cut out the above strip from circulation. Apparently, Gannett didn't want its readers knowing that seven of the states in the U.S. Confederacy explicitly cited the issue of slavery in their declarations of secession. Gannett also doesn't want comic strip fans learning about how almost 100,000 white southerners chose loyalty to their country over preserving slavery as they fought for the Union during the Civil War.

" ... The cognitive dissonance required to strike such a strip from publication proves the importance of the information Trudeau was trying to communicate as the hypocrisy of the conservative media continues to demonstrate that there is no greater enemy to their agenda than an informed populace."



DailyCartoonist: The Great Gannett Comics Conspiracy to Rid the Nation of G. B. Trudeau’s Doonesbury

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Download "How to Create Cartoons" book by Frank Tashlin


Cartoonist, film writer and director Frank Tashlin's (1913 - 1972) How to Create Cartoons book has been scanned and put online in its entirety. 

Tashlin started off in life in animation, working for Schlesinger, Disney and Warner Brothers. He then worked as a gag writer for the Marx Brothers and Bob Hope. He wrote screenplays and became the go-to comedy director. His first film was Bob Hope's The Lemon Drop Kid. Tashlin also directed six of the Jerry Lewis solo pictures, as well as two 1960s movies starring Jayne Mansfield (The Girl Can't Help It and Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?

His How to Create Cartoons book was self-published in 1952 and it's about cartoon drawing, not animation.