Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Once again, in honor of the new Man of Steel movie, we’re going to completely ignore it and focus instead on the Superman of days gone by. By the way, if you’re my age (which is to say, old) you probably think of the George Reeves portrayal as the definitive Superman.
The definitive Superman for kids in the 1940s was the Bud Collyer version, whereas people of my generation think of him as the host of To Tell The Truth. To tell the truth, there is no definitive Superman for every generation. Every generation has its own Superman to look up to. Look! Up in the sky! For today’s kids it’s Henry Cavill. Who will be the Man of Tomorrow tomorrow?
I sure don’t know, but for this Tuesday it’s George Reeves. Instead of a sing-along, why not speak along with the opening theme from Adventures of Superman? Come on, you know the words!
Click the link below and recite the most famous narration ever!
Adventures of Superman
— DJ David B.
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
From the June 22nd, 1892 issue of Fun magazine, comes “A Superfluity”, involving the consequences of a man’s brain operation.
Click on the above comic, to view it in geater detail, and be able read its text.
For prior postings involving comics & the advance of science, click on Tigwissel Tuesdays.
Monday, June 17, 2013
The Gumps is another one of those once incredibly well known, loved and influential comic strips that have almost completely disappeared. Joseph Patterson, editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribute, the guy who, or so the story goes, turned Little Orphan Otto into Little Orphan Annie, had an idea for a comic strip soap opera about “regular people” which he called “gumps”. Cartoonist Sidney Smith came up with the characters including Dick Tracy villain ugly Andy Gump; we toss about the term “comic grotesque” pretty casually, but Andy Gump was supposedly inspired by a real person who due to an infection the result of a tooth extraction lost his entire lower jaw. According to Wikipedia when he met Smith he thought him “an ideal comic character”. Boy, times were different back then.
Anyway, the strip was in fact a low level soap opera that followed Andy, his wife, sons and rich Uncle Bim, who shared Andy’s unique profile (so, happily, it was some kind of genetic abnormality, and not the result of bad dentistry). If the strip is remembered at all it’s because it was the first comic strip to feature the death of a major character; you can see for yourself in IDW’s Library of American Comics, The Saga of Mary Gold (1928-29). But me being me, I’m more interested in the Sundays which had more kid appeal thanks to some adventure strip style plots.
Smith died in 1935 and the strip was taken off by Gus Edison who wrote and drew the strip for 24 years (in the 50′s his assistant was actor Martin Landau) and later went out to create Dondi with Irwin Hansen. In 1947 the Lafayette Street Corporation published five issues of a Gumps comic; I’ve been able to find one which features this long adventure by Edison featuring Canadian dinosaurs; you read right, Canadian dinosaurs. I wish I could find the other four issues because this is wonderful stuff.
— Steve Bennett
Sunday, June 16, 2013
Our Father’s Day posting (coming to you late, thanks to a power outage), comes from the 1930 booklet Health in Pictures.
Friday, June 14, 2013
For Flag Day, I’ve culled through my past postings, to find comics covers where the U.S. flag was featured prominently. Not surprisingly, the majority of these flag-waving instances involved war and/or veterans.
Above, from the 1942 book War Cartoons, we have Joseph Parrish’s day-after-Pearl Harbor editorial cartoon, “At Your Service”.
Beneath, the covers from four different issues of Hello Buddy, one of several cartoon & joke pamphlets sold on the street by Disabled & Unemployed WW I Veterans, starting just after (or perhaps even during) WW I, through Great Depression I, and into the start of WW II.
Clicking on any cover, will take you to the post where that cover was originally used.
From the September 19th, 1896 centerspread of Up-To-Date magazine, we have a parody on politicians who misuse devotion to the flag, to promote their own agenda.
Finally, to close out, we have below the cover of the January 1912 first issue of our favorite continuing comics title, Cartoons Magazine.
Thursday, June 13, 2013
With the June 1913 issue, Cartoons Magazine made its first major format change. Most immediately obvious, is its reduction in size — shown above, side-by-side, are the May & June issues. While Cartoons Magazine explained this change as having been requested by its readers, I’d far more believe it was because the smaller format was more acceptable to advertisers. Prior to this issue, Cartoons Magazine carried very little advertising; starting with June 1913, the front and rear pages each issue are pure advertising. In later issues, this will include ads for various Cartoon Correspondence Schools and upcoming & released issues of comic strip reprint collections. We’ll show those once they start appearing, but at this point, none of the advertising is cartoon-related.
Another major change, is that before June 1913, the only prose that appeared was that written by or about cartoonists (i.e., what we’ve been showing in our monthly Focus on Cartoonists posting) — almost every page 100% cartoons. With this issue, Cartoons Magazine goes to nearly the opposite extreme. Almost all the pages become predominantly prose, with one or two smaller cartoons inset within that text. The positive is that the text pieces explain the background events of what the cartoons are taking aim at. The negative, of course, is a dramatic reduction in the number of cartoons that appear, and the reduction in their size. And some of these cartoons, are ones that had appeared in prior issues — something Cartoons Magazine had never done before. There are a few instances in which a single cartoon occupies the full page, but even here, since the magazine’s dimensions have been reduced, so are the dimensions for the full-page cartoons. The whole result is a magazine that more resembles the “news with cartoons” pages of that days’ Review of Reviews magazine, than what had been before.
As 1913 moves forward, the repeating of cartoons will fade, and purely cartoon pages will increase, so that by the end of 1913, a happy balance between prose and cartoons will be achieved. But in June of 1913, I can’t imagine that readers of Cartoons Magazine were very pleased.
Click on the above & below pictures, to view them in greater detail, and be able to read them.
Below, the June 1913 issue added a new commentator on cartoon history, comics collector Mrs. D. Harry Hammer, whose dress and pose can’t help but remind me of Groucho Marx’s favorite comic foil, actress Margaret Dumont. For her opening article, Mrs. Hammer writes about early incarnations of Uncle Sam.
Cartoons Magazine‘s other comics historian — Henry C. Williamson — returns with an article about cartoonist Charles Nelan.
Beneath, the editors comment on some of the contents this issue.
This month’s short bio pieces, above, involve artists Ole May and Herbert H. Perry. Beneath, anecdotes from cartoonist studios, including one about Pennsylvania Governor Pennypacker’s attempts to censor cartoons.
Finally, a call out to readers. My run of Cartoons Magazine has some holes in it, and the first snag is coming soon — my copy of the July 1913 issue is coverless. If any reader out there has a copy of that cover they’d be willing to scan and email to me for use here next month, it would be greatly appreciated, and of course, you would be credited in that post. Please contact me first before sending a scan. I can be reached directly at: NeoVictorian@nycap.rr.com
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Superman! Yes, it’s Superman, strange visitor from another planet with powers and abilities beyond those of mortal man. And he’s back on the big screen, flying high and saving the world as only he can. In honor of the new Man of Steel movie, we’re going to completely ignore it and focus instead on the Superman of yesteryear, back when he was known as The Man of Tomorrow. (That’s a little confusing.) So many great versions to pick from, and so much terrific music. We could spotlight “It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane, It’s Superman,” the 1966 Broadway musical, but we were scooped by Drew “Jimmy Olsen” Friedman and his excellent blog here. Of course, there’s also the Superman TV show, several movies, the radio show…
Now, what to do for this Tuesday?
After careful consideration I’ve decided to share the Sammy Timberg theme from the Max Fleischer cartoons. And a wonderful theme it is. March along!
Click the link below and march!
Superman March – Sammy Timberg
— DJ David B.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Tigwissel Tuesdays resumes, with an extract from issue nine, October 1825, of the Glasgow, Scotland based Northern Looking Glass, with art by William Heath. Above, Heath parodies the proposal of a Vacuum Tube Company (which appeared in the January 29th, 1825 issue of The Mechanics Register), to transport passengers between Edinburgh, Scotland and London, England, via vacuum!
Beneath, text appearing in the same Northern Looking Glass issue.
Click on the above picture, to view the cartoon in detail, and read the text captions in it.
Monday, June 10, 2013
Friday, June 7, 2013
WARNING: The below posting includes racist imagery
With Mainland China’s President Xi Jinping, today in the U.S. and meeting with President Obama, we look back one hundred years ago to the June 1913 issue of Cartoons Magazine, whose front cover (above, with cartoon by Phil Porter) and 3-page article (further down below) involve the U.S. recognizing the Chinese Republic (more a military government, which removed power from China’s last Emperor, Puyi, keeping him confined to the Forbidden City).
Beneath, by Bronstrup, from the March 1913 edition of Cartoons Magazine, “Still Waiting” — Puyi was removed from power in February 1912, and in 1913, the Chinese Republic was still waiting for diplomatic recognition.
Click on the above & below pictures, to view the cartoons in detail, and read their captions.
WARNING: The below article includes racist imagery
While the cartoons that Cartoons Magazine‘s editors decided to show with its article on the 1913 U.S. recognition of China, unfortunately are racist, the article itself is not. It discusses how European Colonial powers — still withholding recognition — were trying to extort from China the kinds of concession Europe was used to stealing at gunpoint.
Cartoons above by James H. Donahey and Robert Minor, Jr.. Below, by Tige Reynolds and James E. Murphy
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