Archive for February, 2013
Thursday, February 28, 2013
From the 1925 collection, Cartoons from Life, by Ellison Hoover, we have a view of “Our Next Congress”.
Which, actually, looks more like our current and several past Congresses to me.
Click on the above cartoon, to view it in greater detail.
Congress has perennially been the target of cartoonists, depicting them as inept, combative, and/or corrupt. Click here for a few other examples.
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
To close out African American History Month, we present the following trade card (i.e., advertising cards) series, given away in the 1880′s by Higgins Soap. While it does have stereotyped dialect (and one use of “Sambo”), it otherwise (in my opinion) avoids a racist presentation. It’s especially refreshing, in comparison to other cartooned soap advertisements of this period (the worst of which we showed last week). Its presentation of dress & family, would have been typical of any working class family of the time, regardless of race. And the work it shows the mother engaged in throughout the week, would have been the norm for all working class women — the logical target audience for these ads. It also makes it the perfect lead-in to Women’s History Month, about to begin in a few days.
BlackHistory Women’s History AdvertisingStrips
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
The February 1913 edition of Cartoons Magazine contained a small handful of cartoons, foreshadowing the approaching “Great War”, WW I. Here they are.
Above, “Insatiable”, by Barnett of the Los Angeles Tribune.
Below, ‘London “Pulls the Strings”‘, by E.T. Reed in the London Bystander.
Click on the above & below pictures, to view them in greater details.
Beneath, from the Italian periodical, Pasquino, “The Angel of Peace”, by Cannata.
WWIcartoons LondonBystander TurinPasquino
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
I can’t tell you about the subject of this week’s blog. Why? It’s a secret!
If you know who this is, then click the link below and listen to his theme song. But keep it on the D.L.
Secret Squirrel Show
— DJ David B.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
The 2012 Rondo Awards Nominations are out and HAUNTED HORROR is up for Best Horror Comic. The Awards discourage active voting campaigns so let this just serve as notice that it’s nominated and if you decide to vote in the horror-themed awards this year, we hope you’ll consider a vote for HAUNTED HORROR!
And while you’re there, my own FOUR-COLOR SHADOWS blog has been inexplicably nominated (since it doesn’t really fit the category) for the second year in a row. Please consider it as well.
Monday, February 25, 2013
In 1942 the publisher Parents Magazine Press (the people behind such “wholesome” titles as Calling All Boys and Calling All Girls produced this 54 page one-shot that tried to channel the energy of America’s youth into fighting the War. More artifact than an actual comic (neither I or the Grand Comic Book Database have any idea who wrote or drew it), and while it’s strictly propaganda it does have it’s clever moments, such as this panel’s use of a thought balloon to illustrate the concept of freedom of thought.
Sunday, February 24, 2013
Ousted Venezuelan President Cipriano Castro, that is.
Cipriano Castro militarily seized the Presidency of Venezuela in 1899, reigning until, in 1908, he travelled to France to be treated for VD. (And why was France the place to go for this???). He left his fellow military coup compatriot & Vice-President, Juan Vicente Gomez in charge in his absence, only to have Gomez seize power. (Click here for slightly more details.) He exiled in numerous countries, hoping to return to Venezuela and retake control (he never did). The majority of his exile was spent in Puerto Rico — a U.S. territory. Yet, the cartoons on these pages — scanned from the February 1913 edition of Cartoons Magazine — involve barring Cipriano Castro from the United States (I have to assume, from the mainland, as he died in 1924, still in Puerto Rico.
Above, a cartoon on Castro by artist Fred Morgan, on the cover of the February issue. Beneath, cartoon by Charles Henry Sykes.
Click on the above & below pictures, to view the cartoons in detail, and read their captions.
Below, more cartoons on the subject, by H.T. Webster, James R. Blessington and Doc Hirer Finch
Saturday, February 23, 2013
Here’s an interesting perspective on the recent, widely publicized revelations regarding Dr. Wertham’s shoddy research.
Here’s the four color debut of one of my favorite unknown superguys, the great Thunder Bunny!
Dave Cockrum’s wife, Paty Greer, did layouts for the great Bill Everett here on Marvel’s Cat!
Speaking of Everett, here he is twenty years earlier along with Joe Sinnott, Fred Kida and others.
Friday, February 22, 2013
WARNING: The below 19th century strip contains racist imagery and language.
The 1892 giveaway booklet Light and Shade, advertising Dreydoppel Soap, and containing the below 8-panel story, is (in my opinion) the most heinous piece of comic strip advertising I’ve ever seen. I debated myself over whether I could stomach scanning and posting this horrible, ugly story as part of this year’s African American History Month postings. And some of you may be asking, why the Hell am I showing it?
My feeling on running this — as well as other racist, misogynist, and/or discriminatory material from the past — is that this is our history. Cleaning up history to hide the ugliness that happened, to conceal what was at one time common place and wouldn’t have (at the time) caused a first thought let alone second, would be just as bad a “white washing” of the past, as is the below story involving the efforts of a black child to change the complexion of his skin to white. The theme of non-whites attempting to alter their skin color by literally “white washing” it, was not uncommon in jokes, children’s publications, and yes, advertising of the 19th century and early 20th. Soap companies were the most likely to use it in their advertising. What makes their use of such a theme particularly egregious, is the indirectly communicated implication that all non-whites are dirty and lazy people who, if they would merely take the time to wash themselves, would become white and clean. That their existence as (supposed) inferiors was entirely in their control – they have merely to wash themselves to rise as equals – therefore (white society was telling itself), the discrimination and injustices heaped upon non-whites, was (by this twisted logic) deserved.
Dreydoppel Soap, in its Light and Shade advertising booklet, takes this repulsive theme a further step. The crude interior art makes our protagonist look more like an object, a toy – a stereotype “tar baby” — than an actual human being. Add further the character’s self-hate, demonstrated by the lengths that he goes, to deny and change his racial identity. All these elements combine to make this a thoroughly disgusting booklet.
Next week, we’ll close on something more pleasant.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
WARNING: One of the below cartoons includes racist imagery.
We continue our African American History Month coverage, with a few images from Cartoons Magazine (above) and The Daily Worker (below).
Above, “This Judge’s Recall Favored” by John Campbell Cory, from the September 1912 edition of Cartoons Magazine. Beneath, “This is our State Right” by Fred Ellis, published in The Daily Worker, on January 18th, 1938 (and scanned from the book, Worker — 36 Years of Drawings).
Click on the below cartoons, to view the cartoons in greater detail.
Above, more by Fred Ellis, originally in The Daily Worker, 1946-47, via Worker — 36 Years of Drawings. Below, from the March 1913 issue of Cartoons Magazine, “Queen Cotton’s Fright” by Frank Michael Spangler, concerning a Boll Weevil Bill, showing the kind of cartoons the Alabama newspaper Montgomerey Advertiser was proud to run.
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