Thursday, April 26, 2018

WEBSTER'S POKER BOOK by H.T. Webster (Plus: Gaar WIlliams and Jimmy Hatlo)

Above: November 26. 1945: H.T. Webster was the Time Magazine cover subject. On the upper right: his "Timid Soul" character, Caspar Milquetoast.

H.T. Webster (1885-1952) was a nobody from West Virginia who took up two hobbies when he was seven years old: cartooning and smoking (according to his Editor and Publisher obituary, September 27, 1952 as reprinted in Stripper's Guide).

He took a cartooning correspondence course when he was a teenager. By 1905, he was drawing sports cartoons for the Denver Post. Stints at the Chicago News, the Chicago Inter-Ocean and the Cincinnati Post followed. By 1812, he landed a position at the New York Tribune. Despite a brief period at the New York World, Webster (or "Webby" as his friends called him) returned to the Tribune where he would stay for the rest of his professional life.

He was a prolific newspaper mainstay. He created many popular features (now forgotten). Regardless, they had great titles, like:
  • Poker Portraits
  • Life's Darkest Moment
  • The Thrill of a Lifetime
  • How to Torture Your Wife
  • The Man in the Brown Derby
  • The Timid Soul
  • Bridge
  • Nothing Can Be Done About It

When he died on the commuter train the day after his 67th birthday, he left 7 months worth of cartoons for the paper to run.

Here are a few cartoons and other items from WEBSTER'S POKER BOOK by H.T. Webster, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1925.

They, like all of Webster's cartoons, concentrate on human nature that still read true now. 

I believe the book belonged at one time to Bil Dwyer, a cartoonist (he took over Dumb Dora) and a friend of Milton Caniff's. This is the signature on an interior page:

You see? And you thought Bil Keane was the first "Bil" with one L. And Bil had put a couple of other cartoons in the book. I assumes these were a few favorites that caught his eye. Here's a wonderfully drawn Gaar Williams panel clipped from the September 25, 1927 Chicago Tribune:

Also inserted in the book from the same year: a page from a Jimmy Hatlo They'll Do It Every Time 1927 page-a-day calendar:

And here's the back of that same calendar page, with some math in pencil. Figuring out the winnings from a poker game? I don't know.


Yesterday's Papers
Lambiek bio

-- Edited from a previous January 9, 2012 blog entry.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Dick Buchanan Files: Gag Cartoons in Glorious Color 1949 - 52

In the media of the mid-20th century, color was a big deal. Heck, back in the day, the Sunday night NBC Walt Disney TV show was NOT originally called "The Wonderful World of Disney." It was called "Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color." And, by God, if you didn't HAVE a TV that was COLOR the implication was YOU WERE MISSING OUT. Never mind that NBC was owned by RCA and RCA was in the business of selling color TVs.

Color in any media was a rarity. Here is Dick Buchanan with some unique color gag cartoons. Color being more expensive to produce, these cartoons are not the usual gray-tone vintage gag cartoon oeuvre, gang. So, sit back and let Dick take you on a color-filled single panel cartoon romp.

Take it away, Dick -- and thanks!



1949 – 1952

Collier’s began publishing color gag cartoons in the mid-forties and continued the practice until the magazine folded in 1957. Most issues contained several, always by their best cartoonists. The Saturday Evening Post published fewer cartoons in color but had some great ones as well.

Are traditional black and white cartoons funnier than the ones in color? The debate rages but one thing is certain, often the gag is secondary to the illustration--as clearly demonstrated by John Ruge’s superb illustration in this group.

In any event, it is always a treat to see the great work these great cartoonists turn out when given the opportunity to work with color.

1. FRANK BEAVEN. Collier’s November 4, 1950.

2. STANLEY & JANICE BERENSTAIN. Collier’s December 9, 1950. 

3. KATHERINE (KATE) OSANN. Collier’s May 17, 1952.

4. CORKA. (Jon Cornin & Zena Kavin) Collier’s October 14, 1950. 

5. JEFFERSON MACHAMER. Colllier’s May 13, 1950. 

6. JACK MARKOW. The Saturday Evening Post December 8, 1951. 

7. MARY GIBSON. Collier’s May 7, 1949. 

8. BARNEY TOBEY. Collier’s April 1, 1950. 

9. TED KEY. Collier’s July 2, 1949. 

10. GREGORY d’ALESSIO. Collier’s October 13, 1951. 

11. WILLIAM von Riegen. Collier’s December 9, 1950.

12. JOHN RUGE. Collier’s April 26, 1952. 

13. HARRY MACE. American Magazine September, 1951. 

14. JANE SPEAR KING. Collier’s April 21, 1951. 

15. LAFE LOCKE. Collier’s April 26, 1952.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Me In the Sordoni Collection of American Illustration & Comic Art Catalog

Just got an email from my friend Adrian Sinnott who shared these photos with me. The first pic is of the Sordoni Collection gallery show catalog cover (above), and the next is a page with my cartoon original (below), which is part of the Sordoni Collection of American Illustration & Comic Art show going on now. There I am, on the same page with Bringing Up Father and Moon Mullins. I am very honored.

And a public thanks to Andrew Sordoni III who sent me my own catalog as well.

A better view of the cartoon. This is the color version as published in Reader's Digest:

Monday, April 23, 2018

My Cartoons on Display at the Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival

Very "chuffed" to announce that three of my cartoons are on display at the UK's fifteenth annual Shrewsbury Festival this year.  The theme is "transport."

I posted all of cartoons I had sent them last week, asking you to take a look and pick one that you would think was best. I did this because, at that time, I didn't know which one they had picked -- and now I am happy to say that they picked THREE. Wow.

These are the ones that they picked. Thanks to the Surreal McCoy for letting me know! These are her photos from the exhibit, followed by a JPEG file of the image.


Friday, April 20, 2018

Help Us Kickstart Maine Cartoon Book LOBSTER THERAPY

So happy to finally announce this book of cartoons is out. It's called LOBSTER THERAPY AND MOOSE PICK-UP LINES and has almost 200 great cartoons by me, John Klossner, David Jacobson, Jeff Pert and the one and only Bill Woodman. 

We have started a Kickstarter to help cover expenses to promote the book. This helps with traveling to the Book Expo in NYC, and doing conventions and so on. Your money goes to us, the cartoonists. You get signed books and originals and other one-of-a-kind items. Take a look. 

Here's the background:

Last year, I was in Portland, Maine, visiting Bill Woodman. Bill's drawn cartoons for Playboy and The New Yorker for years and years. My friend, the New Yorker cartoonist John Klossner, was also with us. As usual, we ended up talking shop - mostly about magazine cartoons.

I said that we should put together a proposal for a cartoon book about Maine since we all lived in Maine. Well. OK, except for me. I actually live in New Hampshire, a mile from the Maine border. So … as penalty, they put me in charge.

I asked two other Maine cartoonists, David Jacobson and the late, great Jeff Pert (thru his brother, Jon Pert), to join us. The proposal went out to about a dozen publishers.

We were fortunate to reach an agreement with Down East publishing to print and distribute the book. LOBSTER THERAPY AND MOOSE PICK-UP LINES is set to be published soon.

But, as you probably know, there's not a lot of money in publishing these days unless your name is Kardashian or you're writing a political tell-all. This Kickstarter is our attempt to get some additional funds to promote the book and maybe give a little extra to the cartoonists. If you want an opportunity to buy something special, please take a look at what we are offering.

Thanks for your time. And thanks for supporting the arts – and supporting great cartoonists who live in Maine – and one who lives just across the border.

"Lobster Therapy" Maine Cartoon Book by Maine Cartoonists

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Mike Lynch Transport Cartoons

I'm pleased to have a cartoon of mine on display at the Shrewsbury Festival this year. It's on the theme of transport. So, I sent on a bunch of cartoons. But, I still don't know which one of the batch of my "transport" themed cartoons they picked. I sent a bunch. I'm looking forward to my friend Surreal McCoy telling me which one made it when she's there this weekend.

In the meantime, here is everything I sent. If you want, tell me which one you would include in your gallery show.