Archive for July, 2010
Saturday, July 31, 2010
On September 22nd, 1882, in the comic strip A Sporting Connoisseur, Charles Jay Taylor depicted for the (New York) Daily Graphic, the events of a relatively light-hearted carriage horse team race between William H. Vanderbilt and one of his rivals.
The following day, September 23rd, the mood changed dramatically, as the New York Times reported on the deadly collision of two passenger trains on Vanderbilt’s railroad (see A Collision in the Dark — Terrible Accident in a Hudson River Railroad Tunnel).
This tragic event was translated into cartoon form, on October 4th, 1882, by artist F. Graetz’s Discrimination — The Selfish Millionaire — How He is Taken Care of, and How He Takes Care of His Patrons appearing in Puck magazine, and, on October 5th by Edward Kemble’s The Recent Disaster in the Fourth Avenue Tunnel, in the (New York) Daily Graphic. Both cartoons took Vanderbilt to task for his hiring of children (to save money), rather than adults, for the important job of signalling to trains when there was a hazard ahead of them (such as another train on the same track).
On October 7th, 1882, on the rear cover of Judge magazine, cartoonist Thomas Worth combined the two events — Vanderbilt’s horse racing hobby which were headlines in the press one day, and, the injuries and deaths of passengers on his lines, the next day. In W.H. Vanderbilt Testing His Patent Block System in the Tunnel, Worth suggests that to help slow down trains, Vanderbilt should place himself and his horse team in front of them…
Click on the below picture, to open a larger version.
The below prose piece appeared in the same issue of Judge, mocking the details of Vanderbilt’s horse race, suggesting he attempt to race one of his trains – in the same tunnel as the collision. Plus, implying that Vanderbilt’s attention to racing horses had diverted him from properly running his railroad.
Next weekend, William Vanderbilt digs his public perception down further…
financial reform JudgeMag TrainHorror Frederick Graetz
Saturday, July 31, 2010
4 S J Ackerman and Tom Sutton collaborated on the less than serious debut of the ever-popular Vampirella back in the late sixties with the latter being very much in a Wally Wood mode here with cute monsters, sleek spaceships, nice lighting, lots of screens and, of course, a buxom babe.
For a more traditional comic book hero, here’s the Atom from 1968, written by veteran Gardner Fox and drawn by Gil Kane and one of my personal favorites of his inkers, Sid Greene.
“Who is Jay Scott Pike?” was an unusual marketing campaign for a veteran artist from DC in the late sixties. Turns out Pike had been around for ages toiling anonymously in romance and western comics. Here he is woking with Stan Lee at Atlas more than a decade prior to his famous Dolphin.
Finally, let’s go back to Warren for a sci-fi tale from the seventies drawn by Paul Neary who would go on to a long career inking for various companies and drawing Captain America.
Friday, July 30, 2010
Politicians, Big Business & Labor in 2010
Judging from corporate profits, we should be enjoying a powerful economic recovery. The drop in profits in the recession was about a third, the worst since World War II. But every day brings reports of gains … So far, history be damned. The contrast between revived profits and stunted job growth is stunning. From late 2007 to late 2009, payroll employment dropped nearly 8.4 million. Since then, the economy has recovered a scant 11 percent of those lost jobs. Companies are doing much better than workers; that defines today’s economy.
Why CEOs Aren’t Hiring; The Washington Post, July 26, 2010
"As bad as it sounds, ultimately we do have to sometimes accept a wage that’s less than we had at our previous job in order to get back to work and allow the economy to get started again. Nobody likes that, but it may be one of the tough love things that has to happen."
2010 Republican Senate Nominee Rand Paul interviewed on the Sue Wylie show
WVLK-AM, Lexington, Kentucky
"You can make more money on unemployment than you can going down and getting one of those jobs that is an honest job but it doesn’t pay as much. We’ve put in so much entitlement into our government that we really have spoiled our citizenry."
2010 Republican Senate Nominee Sharron Angle interviewed on "Face to Face" by Jon Ralston
KVBC, Las Vegas, Nevada
Politicians, Big Business and Labor in 1883
The cover of the August 15, 1883 issue of Puck Magazine features a lithograph by Bernhard Gillam that depicts a Workman being burned at the "Monopoly" stake. Like Joan of Arc, he gazes toward heaven as monopolists and the policians and media outlets that support them, blow flames from below.
Hopelessly Bound to the Stake by Bernhard Gillam
August 15, 1883, Vol XIII No. 336; Chromolithograph
19″w x 12 1/2 “h
And aren’t they fond of the wage-worker – the man who makes the money for them? Oh, so fond! They want to see him become as rich as they are. In fact, the richer they grow, the richer they wish to see him become. They are not at all anxious that he should end his days in the poor-house, or die in a garret or gutter when he is old and feeble, and that his children should become thieves. This is why they pay him such high wages – more than enough for him to support his family on, so that he can put by for a rainy day. This is why there are never such things as strikes or watered stocks or lock-outs. It must be a dull brain that cannot understand that the delightfully pleasant relations at present existing in this country between labor and capital are entirely owing to the capitalists’ beneficence.
H.C. Bunner, from "Cartoons and Comments" at the front of the issue
In 1877, a conflict between big business and labor set the tone for the rest of the century. The U.S. economy was in a depression. William Vanderbilt and other monopolists decided that in order to increase the value of their stock, they needed to reduce operating expenses. The wages of laborers were cut by 10%. For some workers, this was the third reduction of wages in three years. Almost immediately, workers walked off the job in West Virginia. The strike spread to Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Kentucky and Missouri. 15,000 workers joined the picket lines. Within four days, most of the railroads in the U.S. were impacted by the strike: transportation stopped, shops closed and factories were shut down.
For the first time in U.S. history, the Government intervened to restore order. Some of the strikers ignored the President’s proclomation. In Wheeling, PA the militia was outnumbered and disarmed by the strikers. The strike spread and violence increased. The National Guard and Federal Troops were brought in to break the strike. Before it ended, 100 people would die, 1,000 would be jailed and 100,000 would join the strike.
Click here to see all of the I.T.C.H. posts on Corporations and Wall Street!
David Donihue, GreatCaricatures.com
— David Donihue, GreatCaricatures.com
Friday, July 30, 2010
Last Saturday, we saw the October 5, 1882 Edward Kemble comic, The Recent Disaster in the Fourth Avenue Tunnel, involving a deadly two-passenger train collission on William Vanderbilt‘s railroad lines. The collision was caused by the exact same safety concern as other recent deadly crashes on Vanderbilt lines (the Spuyten Duyvil references), directing public anger at him, for his resistance to spending money on safety issues, in essence exchanging his patrons’ lives for greater profits.
Below, by artist Friedrich Graetz, is the centerspread from the October 4, 1882 issue of Puck magazine, titled Discrimination — The Selfish Millionaire — How He is Taken Care of, and How He Takes Care of His Patrons. Tackling the same issue as Kemble the next day, it charges railroad baron William H. Vanderbilt with using young boys rather than mature men, to monitor what tracks contain trains, and to signal to incoming trains which tracks they should take. (The collision involved one passenger train at full speed, plowing into another passenger train stopped on that same track). Vanderbilt hired boys rather than men, because he could pay them less. Graetz explicitly spells this out within the left edge inset cartoon, where we see Vanderbilt tallying his savings: Man — $30.00. Half Grown Boy — $10.00. Profit $20. Behind Vanderbilt hangs a sign, Boys Wanted to do Men’s Work.
Click on the pictures below, to open larger, easier-to-read versions.
Below, from the same issue, Puck’s editorial text piece, accompanying the above Graetz cartoon. Puck’s prose laments that only legislation can force the corporate monopolies to take the proper safety measures — and how this is unlikely, as the monopolists control the legislatures. (We can thank our current conservative activist Supreme Court judges, for heading us back towards this same direction again, after they nullified more than a century of established election reforms, starting with those of Teddy Roosevelt.)
Below, yet another cartoon inspired by the crash, attacking Vanderbilt for his use of young boys to save money. By artist Michael Woolf, on page 11 of the October 14th, 1882 issue of Judge magazine, Vanderbilt is shown warning a signal boy, that if a couple such crashes occur, he might be forced to replace him with someone competent. (The “torpedoes” held by the young boy, were were used to set warning signals to oncoming trains to slow down because of something — such as a stopped train — ahead.)
Tomorrow, more from Judge on Vanderbilt’s Tunnel Horror.
financial reform NYPuck JudgeMag TrainHorror Frederick Graetz
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Martial arts films were all the rage in the US beginning in 1973 and Bruce Lee’s tragic death simply made them even more popular. It was inevitable that they would spill over into comics. Here’s a selection of martial arts comics covers from that period.
The 9th issue of Charlton’s Monster Hunters from 1977 was a vehicle for the vastly under-rated fan-turned-pro Bronze Age artist, Mike Zeck, his first full-lenth pro piece, written by Nick Cuti.
Billy Batson’s sister, Mary Marvel, was never drawn as cute as when she was drawn by the great Bob Oksner during the seventies revival of the Marvel Family. Here’s a fun little Bridwell tale with Uncle Dudley!
Ivan Brunetti is known as an alternative comics artist with an attitude both in his style and in his subject matter. Surprising then to find this early DC Scooby Doo story drawn by him!
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Ragman–not the most thrilling name for a comic book hero, is it? Here, though, from the early 1940′s, we have, of all things, a knock-off of Will Eisner’s Spirit called just that–the Ragman–, complete with politically incorrect sidekick.
Then, three decades later, somebody tried it again! DC came out with a completely unrelated character called the Ragman in the seventies. In what may be his best appearance, here’s a Michael Golden-drawn team-up with everyone’s favorite caped Crusader, the Batman!
And then…! Totally coincidentally, here’s Pappy with a 1940′s adventure of the Rackman, a little person hero who more or less walked on stilts!
Finally, here’s a fun selection of 1950′s panel cartoons from Sweetie-Pie and Bobby Sox (Emmy Lou), both reprinted from contemporary mass market paperback collections of the type that used to fill dime-store shelves.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Today, Part 6 of the 1913 cartoon series, The Career of John Silverthorne — Banker, by Canadian cartoonist Trevor Michael Grover, which originally was serialized in the Toronto weekly magazine, Saturday Night. To view prior episodes, click here.
Click on any picture, to open an enlarged version.
Next Wednesday, Part 7.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Who is Superman?
If you answered “Clark Kent,” you’re wrong! Kent is an assumed identity, as is Superman when you come right down to it. The real identity of Superman is Kal-El, a nice Kryptonian kid with a Jewish name.
Then again, there are a lot of people who can say “I am Superman.” This neat montage by Huckman shows the actors who have played the Man of Steel on screen.
How many of these Supermen can you name?
But wait! There’s one more. A band by the name The Clique attests that they are Superman. Or at least the singer says that he is.
To hear this rare record (and find out what’s happening) click the link below:
Superman – The Clique
— DJ David B.
Monday, July 26, 2010
This past April, another of SuperI.T.C.H’s contributors posted on the events of France’s July Revolution, and the involvement of cartoons in it. Click on Caricature vs. the Censor, Part 1, to read it.
The July Revolution was triggered by ordinances which into effect 180 years ago today, on July 26, 1830. Across the English Channel, at this same time, cartoonist Robert Seymour had just taken over as the artist of The (London) Looking Glass, from its founder William Heath. The Looking Glass was a monthly caricature magazine, each issue consisting of four broad-sheet styled pages, containing multiple single panel cartoons. If you were willing to pay six shillings instead of three, you could buy the issue hand-colored.
Heath had dabbled a few times in its pages with small multi-panel cartoon sequences, but nothing akin to the below. Seymour had already laid out and drawn his first issue by the time the Revolution had started, but, for his second issue — Volume 1, issue 9, published September 1st, 1830 — Seymour devoted the first three pages of Looking Glass’s four, to chronicling in sequence, hilights from the July Revolution. We present those three (hand-colored) pages.
Click on any picture, to open a version large enough to read.
Monday, July 26, 2010
As yet another Comic-Con gets consigned to history after this past weekend, here’s a recap of all of the winners of this year’s Eisner Awards from Tom Spurgeon, himself a much deserved winner for his wonderful and always informative Comics Reporter site. Congrats, Tom!
Captain America Goes To War Against Drugs was a 1990 one-off (although it did later get sequels) comic written by Peter David that you can find today over at Mail it to Team-Up.
Neal Adams may get all the credit sometimes but there were a few other artists associated with Green Arrow and Black Canary, also. Here, for instance, is Mike Grell illustrating a two-part Action Comics back-up story from 1975.
Finally today, for those who just can’t get enough of fishnets, here’s Black Canary again from 1970, freshly transplanted from Earth 2 and fooling around with Bob Haney’s Batman as drawn by the great Nick Cardy!
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