Saturday, November 25, 2017

Otto Soglow: V for Victory


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k64nOQ7zAMw


On July 19, 1941, the "V for Victory" campaign was embraced by Winston Churchill. It rapidly took hold in the United States as well, even before Pearl Harbor. In the pages of The New Yorker, cartoonist Otto Soglow's pushcart vendor knew just how to put his marketing skills to work and do the V sign one better. The original artwork to the cartoon has a different letter on the back: New Yorker founding editor Harold Ross's initial R, indicating that Ross personally approved this cartoon for publication.



Otto Soglow, original art
The New Yorker, September 6, 1941, page 12

Scan courtesy of Jerome Wrinkle

Otto Soglow, original art, verso
Ross's R at upper left
The New Yorker, September 6, 1941, page 12

Scan courtesy of Jerome Wrinkle


Cartoons by Otto Soglow and Richard Taylor

Otto Soglow
The New Yorker, September 6, 1941, page 12

Otto Soglow, original art
The New Yorker, September 6, 1941, page
12
Scan courtesy of Jerome Wrinkle


Almanac:  "V for Victory" Sign
"CBS Sunday Morning"
July 19, 2015



Note:  Thanks to Jerome Wrinkle for providing these fascinating scans.

Michael Maslin found a New Yorker wartime pamphlet initialed in red by Harold Ross with his R. It's on Ink Spill here.

Otto Soglow doesn't get a lot of attention these days, but we don't shy away from obscure subject matter here at Attempted Bloggery. So in the spirit of Winston Churchill urging the world to adopt the symbol "V for Victory," I repeat once again my request for readers to forward high-quality scans or photographs of original cartoon art by Otto Soglow. Please also send me examples of extremely rare or uncollected published work. Peace. I mean Victory.


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Attempted Bloggery's Victorious Index


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Friday, November 24, 2017

Mind Control: Otto Soglow in College Humor, February 1938


In Otto Soglow's four-panel gag cartoon from the February 1938 issue of College Humor, it's all about mind over matter. The cartoon suffers from devoting the right two-thirds of each panel to an unchanging poster of Alfo the Lion Tamer. Soglow tries to compensate for this monotony by shifting his point of view very slightly to the left with each successive panel, so that the poster moves imperceptably off to the right. This helps a little bit, but it's simply not satisfactory to limit all the action to the left side of each panel.

Otto Soglow
College Humor, Vol 7, No. 2, February 1938, page 29


Note:  Last year I had the privilege of photographing this cartoon in a copy of the February 1938 number of College Humor, just one full magazine page out of some 5,600 publications housed in the Steven Boss humor magazine collection. It is kept in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library of Columbia University and the collection is accessible to the general public. For information, contact Curator for Comics and Cartoons Karen Green who was a big help to me.

It's almost time for me to move on from Otto Soglow to other extraordinary artists, but from time to time I'd like to keep his work in the public eye here on Attempted Bloggery. Therefore, in the spirit of Mr. Soglow dutifully drawing Alfo the Lion Tamer over and over, I repeat once again my request for high-quality scans or photographs of original cartoon art by Otto Soglow. Please also send me examples of rare or forgotten published work so we can all stay as mentally-focused as Mr. Soglow's carnival barker.


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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Today's Walk in the Woods


It's autumn in the woods.

Someone's been decorating:

What's this?


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Bil Baird's College Humor Covers


The balloons in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade were originally created by puppeteer and illustrator Tony Sarg (1880-1942). The young puppeteer Bil Baird (1904-1987) went to work for him in 1928, constructing the balloons that Sarg designed. Baird can be seen atop a ladder painting the Sultan balloon for the parade in a vintage photograph while Sarg, center, supervises from the ground. 



Five years later, Baird struck off on his own. He formed Baird Marionettes in 1934. He used his puppet modeling skills to produce a series of magazine covers for College Humor in 1937. The magazine referred to them as "sculptures" and the color photographs, seemingly a novelty at the time, were credited to Dudley Lee. The women wear heavy eye makeup in all of these covers. The January cover avoids all that heavy winter clothing your mother thinks you're wearing.
Sculpture by Bill Baird (?)
Photo by Dudley Lee (?)
College Humor, January1937


Today accusations of sexual harassment against prominent, powerful men are a major subject in the news. For decades, though, sexual harassment has been depicted in male-oriented humor magazines as a nothing more serious than a knowing, sexy joke. Wink wink. Get it?
Sculpture by Bill Baird
Photo by Dudley Lee
College Humor, Vol. 5, No. 1, May 1937







Our blonde hero has fallen for a redhead, but she seems to have other ideas.


Sculpture by Bill Baird
Photo by Dudley Lee
College Humor, Vol 5, No. 2, June 1937





Our hero understandably wants to get closer to his athletic redhead, but it's important to stay out of the line of fire.
Sculpture by Bill Baird
Photo by Dudley Lee
College Humor, Vol 5, No. 3, July 1937




It's summertime, and three's a crowd!
Sculpture by Bill Baird
Photo by Dudley Lee
College Humor, Vol. 5, No. 4, August 1937
Scan by Dick Buchanan



Well, well. The new academic year brings success! Even the carousel horses know what's going on!
Sculpture by Bill Baird
Photo by Dudley Lee
College Humor, Vol. 6, No. 1, September 1937

From "Working with the Photo-Puppets" by Gray Strider
Popular Photography, April 1938, page 23
https://books.google.com/books?id=RVwzAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA22&lpg=PA22&dq=Bil+Baird+College+Humor&source=bl&ots=kUL_EA_XDR&sig=1-xlT19a4esin98feFWXPxyICjc&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjPqMzZzNTXAhVryoMKHTWACs0Q6AEILjAB#v=onepage&q=Bil%20Baird%20College%20Humor&f=false


Our hero has gained new confidence! Yet he is wearing a freshman beanie. That detail doesn't seem right. Didn't his sweater on the July cover put him in the Class of '40? That would make him a sophomore. Still, he seems to be doing better with his romantic interest. There must be hope for all of us!
Sculpture by Bill Baird
Photo by Dudley Lee
College Humor, Vol. 6, No. 2, October 1937




I'm not sure of the date of this one:


In the 1965 film version of "The Sound of Music," Bil Baird and his marionettes are at the top of their game in "The Lonely Goatherd."
"The Lonely Goatherd"
Maria—Julie Andrews
Marionettes by Bil Baird
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
"The Sound of Music" (1965 film)



Note: The July, September, and October 1937 covers of College Humor photographed here are from the Steven Boss humor magazine collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library of Columbia University. Contact Curator for Comics and Cartoons Karen Green for information on the collection.

Thanks to Dick Buchanan for scanning the August cover. Dick is a regular contributor to Mike Lynch Cartoons, most recently a post entitled, "Dick Buchanan's Cartoon Files: More Cops and Robbers Gag Cartoons 1947 - 1968."

Two of the smaller cover scans are from eBay. I would love to receive higher-resolution scans of these. I'd also like to hear from anyone with other covers from the series or, better still, the original puppets or photographs.

There are lovely scans of three of these covers on Illostribute.

Happy Thanksgiving! I will not personally be taking any pictures of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons this year, but I probably could be persuaded to accept photographs submitted by readers of the balloon inflation or of the parade. Try me.


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A Turkey for Macy's


On the eve of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, a turkey balloon sits perched on the 34th Street entrance of Macy's Herald Square.

Macy's flagship New York store
November 22, 2017
Photograph courtesy of my wife


The 91st Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade poster
Image added November 24, 2017


Note:  Happy Thanksgiving. I will not personally be taking any pictures of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons this year, but I probably could be persuaded to accept photographs submitted by readers of the balloon inflation or of the parade. Try me.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Society Pages: Otto Soglow in College Humor, October 1937


Otto Soglow's satirical cartoon from the October 1937 issue of College Humor shows us high society at play. All the "photographed" couples are having an absolutely fabulous time—with one notable exception. And perhaps only in a Soglow cartoon could we have to ask ourselves how many t's are in Butt.

Otto Soglow
College Humor, Vol. 6, No. 2, October 1937, page 21

Note:  I found this cartoon in a copy of the October 1937 issue of College Humor, just one wonderful page out of some 5,600 publications housed in the Steven Boss humor magazine collection. It is in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library of Columbia University and the collection is accessible to the general public. Just contact Curator for Comics and Cartoons Karen Green. She'll make sure you're ready for your closeup.

Help me keep Otto Soglow's art in the public eye here on Attempted Bloggery. I seek high-quality scans or photographs of original cartoon art by Soglow and his contemporaries whose work appeared in magazines like College Humor or The New Yorker. Please send along examples of rare or overlooked published work like this photorealistic cartoon.



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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

A Powerful Dream: Otto Soglow in College Humor, September 1937


A man asleep in bed dreams up some increasingly incredible feats of strength. But how will he feel by the morning? In this full-page cartoon from the September 1937 issue of College Humor, cartoonist Otto Soglow gives us six clean panels with no shading and no speech. Note that Soglow has drawn male characters with a straight nose, a hooked nose, and an upturned nose. In 1937, this constituted diversity.


Otto Soglow
College Humor, Vol. 6, No. 1, September 1937, page 27



Note:  I photographed this cartoon in a copy of the September 1937 issue of College Humor, just one delightful page out of some 5,600 publications in the Steven Boss humor magazine collection. I found it, as you might very well guess, in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library of Columbia University. The comic art collection is always growing and is accessible to the general public. Just contact Curator for Comics and Cartoons Karen Green. She'll make sure you find what you're looking for and don't fall asleep in the stacks.

Does Otto Soglow's work leave you weak at the knees? Help me keep his art in the public eye right here on Attempted Bloggery. I am looking for high-quality scans or photographs of original cartoon art by Soglow and other artists of his ilk whose work appeared in magazines like College Humor or The New Yorker. Please send along examples of rare or even forgotten published work like this beautiful dreamer cartoon.



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Monday, November 20, 2017

My Entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #593


I took a stab at entering The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #593 for November 20, 2017. The drawing is by Tom Cheney.

"I did receive your demands but I haven't
gotten around to them."


These captions weren't sharp enough:
"He's a cross between Martin Luther and Lex Luthor."
"What else do you want?"
"When did Pin the Amendment on the Lawyer become a game?"



Note:  Last week cartoonist Mick Stevens had all his ducks in a row. Line up for Contest #592.

This blogger has been stabbed in the back by Tom Cheney's caption contests before.

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Sunday, November 19, 2017

Follow the Fold: Otto Soglow in College Humor, July 1937


Cartoonist Otto Soglow's bank teller gets religion in four panels as seen in the July 1937 issue of College Humor. We know quite a lot about this teller: his name is Mr. Macintosh, he works for the Bean Exchange(!), and he sports a mustache that is about to go out of style forever.

Otto Soglow
College Humor, Vol 5, No. 3, July 1937, page 13


Note:  This cartoon was photographed in the July 1937 issue of College Humor, just one page out of some 5,600 publications in the Steven Boss humor magazine collection. You can find it in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia University. A blogger could get lost in this collection for a very long time. I imagine someone without a blog could get lost too, but then who would know? The collection is accessible by the general public. Just contact Curator for Comics and Cartoons Karen Green. Be sure to blog about what you find, or send me a few pictures and I'll blog about them for you.  Really, how hard can it be?

Why isn't Otto Soglow better known? He was pretty popular in his day. Help me keep his work in the public eye on Attempted Bloggery. I am looking for high-quality scans or photographs of original cartoon art by Soglow and other artists whose work appeared in magazines like College Humor or The New Yorker. Examples of rare or forgotten published work like this bank teller cartoon are always desired.



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Saturday, November 18, 2017

A Chicken in Almost Every Pot: Otto Soglow's New Deal


A series of magazine covers done by cartoonist Otto Soglow for Judge in 1938 offers some insights on how Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal was embraced by the press. The covers are all intensely colorful economic parables of the Great Depression executed against a plain white background. The four recurring characters are second-term Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt, a farmer, a worker, and a capitalist, each trying to cope with the dire economic situation. Many an American president might be depicted as the advocate of agriculture, of labor, or of business, but it's unusual even during hard times for a president of either party to be depicted as the champion of all three.

On the April 1938 Judge cover, FDR is drawn as an acrobat on the flying trapeze executing a breathtaking midair catch of the farmer while immobile business and labor look on aghast. The May cover shows the three branches of the economy tangled around the maypole, with the capable President clearly taking charge of the awkward situation. The June cover alludes to the famous political promise of a chicken in every pot, one often incorrectly attributed to Herbert Hoover and embraced by the Republican party back in 1928 during more prosperous times. Note also that each cover depicts the President as physically vigorous and able-bodied, with no reference to the braces he required to stand or the wheelchair he required for mobility.

Otto Soglow
Judge, April 1938
Otto Soglow
Judge, May 1938
Scan by Dick Buchanan
Otto Soglow
Judge, June 1938
Scan by Dick Buchanan



Note:  Once again I offer my thanks to Dick Buchanan for providing Attempted Bloggery with two Judge cover scans from the legendary Dick Buchanan Cartoon Clip Files. The April cover comes from Mike Lynch Cartoons to which Dick regularly contributes, most recently a post entitled, "Dick Buchanan's Favorite Gag Cartoons 1946 - 1964." See what magazine readers were laughing at during the postwar years with the Depression long behind them.

Otto Soglow was a prolific cartoonist who was especially at home with the wordless gag. Readers are encouraged to contribute scans or photos of original art or of rare published cartoons. I am especially eager to know whether there are any more Judge covers in this FDR series.


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