Episode 7: C.J. Taylor’s 1881-82 Comic Strips Featuring William Vanderbilt: Wall Street Frauds Make Wonderful Cartoons, Part 60
In artist Charles Jay Taylor‘s seventh sequential comic strip starring monopolist & railroad baron William H. Vanderbilt, Taylor once again used an actual newspaper interview with Vanderbilt (in this case, with the New York Tribune) as his means of taking shots at Vanderbilt. In Mr. Vanderbilt’s Views, appearing on the front page of the March 25, 1882 (New York) Daily Graphic, Taylor focused on one line from the Tribune interview, ”He (Vanderbilt) was glancing over the letters received by the afternoon mails when the reporter was admitted to his library,” as the means for his satire, following each type-faced quote with an imagined hand-written line from the aforementioned letters.
For the most part, this approach doesn’t work. (Not only because Taylor doesn’t let the readers in on what he’s doing until near the end; but mainly because the retorts aren’t funny.) Slightly amusing though, are some of the hand-written letters shown at Vanderbilt’s feet and on his table, in the large, bottom-left panel. These include a letter from fellow stock-market manipulator, Russell Sage:
|I have been working off some more philanthropy.|
plus, a note referring to Vanderbilt’s alleged illegitimate child:
|Can’t forget that baby. Rufus|
Click on picture, to open a large enough version to read.
Episode Eight will appear next week. Click here to find the previous 1881-82 William Vanderbilt comic strip episodes.
And, click here to find prior Wall Street Frauds Make Wonderful Cartoons entries, and related I.T.C.H. posts. This series will continue, so long as the debate on Wall Street/financial reforms continues in Congress (except Mondays and holidays, during which I already had other material planned).
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