Tuesday, April 30, 2024

1973 BBC Archive: Cats With Their Own Bank Account

Hat tip to Sarah Booth for this great 1973 BBC Archive documentary news clip.

Monday, April 29, 2024

Cartoons from WIT FROM OVERSEAS Edited by Roy H. Hoopes, Jr.


WIT FROM OVERSEAS, is a collection of wit (cartoons and prose) from various foreign periodicals. It's edited by Roy H. Hoopes, Jr. and is (I swear to goodness) copyright: 1950, 1951, 1952 by Farm Journal, Inc.; 1952 by Hulton Press, Ltd.; 1950, 1951 by The Elite Publishing Corp.; 1950, 1951, 1952 by Bradbury, Agnew, Ltd.; 1953 by Roy H. Hoopes, Jr.

I don't know the work of most of these cartoonists, so please excuse my ignorance. I'd love to hear from someone who may know more than I do about them.

Above: I love the old robots: all boxy, with knobs and gears and sometimes an old fashioned lightbulb for a nose. The cartoonist added that great big wind-up mechanism in back and it just is a wonderful gag. The smug reaction on the bearded scientist tells you that the poor robot is right.

Above: the drawing makes the gag. Click to really supersize the cartoon. Look at that detail! Look at all that patience to get it all looking right.

The above cartoon COULD be the way it all works. Maybe there's this WHITE CONCRETE, y'know? I recall an episode of the British comedy series THE GOODIES wherein one of the Goodies guys is making an old time black and white movie, and he truly believes that he must paint everything within camera range with black or white paint.

Above: you get a great feel for the space in the compartment. Yeah, it's a potty joke -- but one that's clever, and, international -- since it's wordless.

Above: Just look at the cartoonist's command of perspective and excellent reference. And this was before Google images!

Above: a creepy one that would plague me if I saw it when I was a tot. What kind of product are those statue heads using?

Above: some gorgeous work by a Mexican cartoonist. If anyone knows who the cartoonist is, please drop a line. Note to Mr. Hoopes: this wit is not from overseas, since Mexico is part of the North American landmass.

Above: a silly and twisted little cartoon. Who knew that umbrellas were so prim and proper!

Chaval is a name that I see a lot -- but I know nothing of the human being behind the pen. His bold, wordless gags work so well because they're all rooted in human behavior. Not necessarily the kind of behavior that would win you a merit badge, but human behavior nonetheless.

Above: the cartoonist Wiles (?) puts together this grand vertical composition with exacting precision.

It's the appearance of that one high heel -- and leaving their view to the imagination -- that makes this one so successful.

Above: a silly gag, but one full of good drawing: the watery squiggles, the spritzing leak, the Commander in full Napoleon pose.

Not only that, the divan looks like it's floating! An eerie cartoon that smacked of Edward Gorey or William Steig.

Above: life before the Internet. A sharply drawn cartoon by Starke, whose work I've seen in some other UK collections.

Above: another great silent gag, with just enough detail for you to see what's going on.

Chaval with another winner. Are there really big trucks, lugging wine all over France?

Above: a silly cartoon by some youngster named Ronald Searle!

- Edited from a blog entry of March 11, 2008.

Friday, April 26, 2024

Iconic 1982 Patrick Nagel Print Based on Model Eva Voorhees



Doesn't this just scream 1980s?! This well known fashion print -- something I have seen for decades in salons all over the USA -- was created by Patrick Nagel (1945 - 1984). Nagel may be best known for his Duran Duran record covers, as well as his work for Playboy magazine. 


What I didn't know until now is that Nagel's print here is based on a 1982 photo of a model named Eva Voorhees:


Voorhees was a rarity: a popular American model of the time who had brunette hair. 

She wrote a book about her life in 2007: Live Through This: A Mother's Memoir of Love and Loss.



She had a busy modeling career, and overcame family abuse (read her book),  becoming an iconic model. Last I could tell, she wanted to create a site paying tribute to the models of the 1970s and 80s "and then some." She wrote this on the Bellazon board in 2008:


To my Bellazon friends:

Thank you from the bottom of my heart! I'm playing catch up to all you proficient Bellazon users, but I will get to your level and learn how to maneuver through this site, hopefully!

I am so grateful for your generosity and assistance in this monumental task. It will be like nothing else-I'm sure of it! Every 70's-80's (and then some) model will have her own album and as much information as possible when the site is expanded to include more than just photographs.

I made 60 albums with my collection of tear sheets. Now, with generous contributions from some of you, I can do justice to a number of models whose albums were nearly empty.

Any contributions you can make to the site would be invaluable. With your assistance I can keep alive the memory and body of work of so many adored models.

I read a post that was called the forgotten models on here once. It was while I was making my site, and all I could think was: I can't wait to go here and let everyone know they are not forgotten! And you could help me keep their memory alive and well. I hope you will visit the site: www.supermodelsofthe70s-80s.org and contribute anything you can. If you have bios, updates, articles, videos, websites, etc., the site is the place where all that information will be kept!

Thank you all for even considering to help me, and for those of you who already have: I am truly touched by your kindness and patience with me. You're the best!

I look forward to this exciting and limitless undertaking!

Most sincerely,

Eva Voorhees



Unfortunately, neither of those sites are working. 


Thursday, April 25, 2024

From the Dick Buchanan Files: William Steig Gag Cartoons 1946 - 1965

The terrific thing about seeing a collection of gag cartoons like this is that they are usually unseen since their initial publication. These aren't just the top cartoons that have been reprinted and reprinted over the years. And it's a reminder as well that most of the major magazines had gag cartoons.

Here are fifteen gag cartoons by the great William Steig. All have been lovingly clipped, scanned and cleaned up by Dick Buchanan. My thanks to you and -- take it away, Dick:


1946 – 1965

William Steig was a cartoonist and sculptor as well as a renowned children’s books author and illustrator. He sold his first carton to Judge in 1930, soon followed by his first sale to The New Yorker. Over the next 73 years The New Yorker would publish 1600 of his drawings and 121 covers—that’s more than two years of covers.

Today Steig is perhaps best known as the author and illustrator of series of books for children. His Sylvester and the Magic Pebble was awarded the Caldecott Medal. It was followed by Abel’s Island, Doctor De Soto and many more, including Shrek! They are all marvelous books for children and adults alike.

These are William Steig gag cartoons from the era when he was hailed as “The King of Cartoons.” It’s a sampling of his drawings from Collier’s and Look Magazine from 1946 to 1965 . . .

1. Collier’s February 16, 1946.

2. Collier’s February 16, 1946.

3. Collier’s August 14, 1948.

4. Collier’s May 14, 1949.

5. Collier’s December 31, 1949.

6. Collier’s March 11, 1950.

7. Collier’s July 22, 1950.

8. Collier’s August 19, 1950.

9. Collier’s May 11, 1956.

10. Look February 3, 1959.

11. Look February 17, 1959.

12. Look September 15, 1959.

13. Look May 10,1963.

14. Look January 15, 1963.

15. Look August 10, 1965.

-- This is an edited version of a blog entry dated January 11, 2018.

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

BBC Archive: Raymond Briggs Talks About His Graphic Novel "When the Wind Blows" (1983)


When the Wind Blows by Raymond Briggs was first published as a graphic novel in 1982. It's "known for its critiques against government issued preparations for nuclear war. Utilizing a cartoonish design, this graphic novel follows a retired couple, Jim and Hilda Bloggs, and their journey through surviving a nuclear attack on Britain launched by the Soviet Union. The novel was later adapted for different entertainment types including an animated film, radio play, and stage play" - Wikipedia.

Here's Mr. Briggs, in 1983, talking to the BBC about the book and its aims. It was not a "protest book," says Briggs, but a "human story." The short video includes some peeks at his studio, as well as a look at the recording of the book as a radio play starring Peter Sallis and Brenda Bruce. It was just released on the BBC Archive channel


Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Complete Guide To Cartooning by Gene Byrnes (1948)


The Complete Guide to Cartooning by Gene Byrnes is available at Archive.org, and do take a look at the Animation Resources site, which has hi res scans and more detail about this how to cartoon book, which features "157 Outstanding Artists."

The author, Gene Byrnes (1889 - 1974), created the long running Reg'lar Fellers syndicated comic strip (1917 - 1949). He had planned a career in sports, but broke his leg during a wrestling match. While convalescing, he copied cartoons by Tad Dorgan. Then he took the Landon Course. After meeting Winsor McCay, he applied for and received a position as sports cartoonist at the New York Telegram on his recommendation.

He drew a couple of cartoon features at the Telegram, with names like Things That Never Happen, Wise Awake Willie and It's A Great Life If You Don't Weaken. That last one featured a couple of the kid characters that would star in Reg'lar Fellers

Via Wikipedia:

"His humorous look at suburban children (who nevertheless spoke like New York street kids) was syndicated from 1917 to 1949.

" ... In 1923, he was interviewed by Helen Hilliard of The Oakland Tribune:

"I sat and watched Gene Byrnes draw a cartoon of himself for me. And I marveled as I watched. How anybody could sit down off-hand, take up pencil and paper, and start right off on a picture. When I had asked him for a photograph, he had looked rather dubious. He had his doubts if he had any pictures of himself. 'But,' he continued, 'I can make that all right.' A soft drawing pencil appeared magically in his fingers, and deftly he began to trace various figures on a square of drawing paper. As I looked on the lines gradually began to take shape until I could see the faint resemblance to a man. The pencil suddenly disappeared and its place was taken by a pen. This he dipped in India ink and with big swift strokes blotted out the penciled lines with streaks of heavy black. A small paint brush put on the finishing touches. And lo and behold! there was the picture all finished, showing Gene Byrnes, cartoonist, with two Reg’lar Fellers on the top of his desk."

His Complete Guide to Cartooning was influential on a generation of comic artists, including Ralph Bakshi.

Below are some sample images.