Wednesday, July 15, 2015

American Sports Cartoonists

Sports cartoons were once the centerpiece of the American daily newspaper's sports page. These clever drawings conveyed a story or highlighted a sports star in a compact, simple illustration. Lucky sports fans had one person who could synthesize, inform, and visually illustrate a game and players for them – the sports cartoonist! During the first two-thirds of the Twentieth Century most daily newspapers featured a cartoonist who did sport (and political) cartoons on a regular basis. In the days of competitive journalism, a city like New York with its dozen-plus daily newspapers had an equal number of competing sports cartoonists. It was not unusual to have “yesterday’s game” portrayed with a cartoon in the morning paper. Unfortunately this form of entertainment is now becoming a dying art with the decline of print journalism. But in it heyday, sports cartoonists drew action-packed pieces with a brief storyline summarizing (and often commenting on) a person, team, or a sport itself. Many sport cartoonists rendered striking portraits of star athletes as part of their drawings. These originals not only capture a piece of history, but are incredible works of art as well. Below are shown original sports cartoons about athletes, teams and events during the American "golden age of sports" a half-century ago. Here is a short list of America's top sports cartoonists and the papers they worked for: Willard Mullin, N.Y. World Telegram and Sun ("The Rembrandt of the Sports Page") Lou Darvas, Cleveland Press, Karl Hubenthal, Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, Bill O'Brien, Chicago Tribune, Dick Mayer, Detroit Free Press, Dick Dugan, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Murray Olderman, NEA News Service and Palm Springs Life Magazine, and Burris Jenkins, New York Journal-American and Hearst newspaper chain. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Good Girl Art of Humorama

Publisher Martin Goodman's Humorama was a line of digest-sized magazines produced under at least twenty different titles (Breezy, Cartoon Parade, Comedy, Eyeful of Fun, Fun House, Gaze, Gee-Whiz, Humorama, Instant Laughs, Jest, Joker, Laugh Circus, Laugh Digest, Laugh Riot, Popular Cartoons, Popular Jokes, Romp, Stare, Snappy and Zip) featuring single panel girlie cartoons and black-and-white cheesecake photos of pin-up models. Bettie Page, Eve Meyer and stripper Lili St. Cyr, plus actresses, Joi Lansing, Tina Louise, Irish McCalla and Julie Newmar all graced the pages of this popular men's magazine over its ten long run. The line was published from at least the mid-1950s to mid-1960s using some of the best pretty girl artist's in the business at the time including Bill Ward, Bill Wenzel, Dan DeCarlo, Jack Cole and many others. Run by family member Abe Goodman, these titles were profitable for the company because the contents were inexpensive and production costs were minimal in comparison to the more complex full-size magazines published by the company.


Friday, May 15, 2015

A Few Modern Political Cartoons...

Modern editorial cartoon, also know as a political cartoon, is an illustration containing a commentary that usually relates to current events or personalities. Editorial cartoonist typically combine artistic skill, hyperbole and satire in order to question authority and draw attention to corruption and other social ills. Political cartoons can usually be found on the editorial page of many newspapers, but are sometimes placed on the regular comic strip page. Most of these cartoonists use visual metaphors and caricatures to address complicated political situations, and thus sum up a current event with a humorous or emotional picture. In modern political cartooning, two styles have begun to emerge. The traditional style uses visual metaphors and symbols like Uncle Sam, the Democratic donkey and the Republican elephant; or the more recent text-heavy style, as seen in Doonesbury, tells a linear story, usually in comic strip format. Regardless of style, editorial cartoons are a way for artists to express their thoughts about current events in a comical manner. A political cartoon commonly draws on two unrelated events and brings them together incongruously for a humorous effect. The humor can reduce people's political anger and so serves a useful purpose. Such a cartoon also reflects real life and politics, where a deal is often done on unrelated proposals beyond public scrutiny.



Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Rafael Lopez Espi Gallery

Self taught artist Rafael Lopez Espi began his long career in 1953, initially drawing war stories for the Symbol Publishing House. His work also appeared in The Press doing portraits, and in comic stories Atlantis and The Drums Bruc for the daily National Solidarity. Soon afterwards, he went to work for Josep Toutain's agency, where the artist started out doing comics for the colored supplement of La Prensa.  Later on, Espi drew romance comics for the British girl magazine Glamour, followed by various Western strips. During the 1960s  his work increased in the foreign market drawing for both Bardon Art and Luis Ferraz, with whom he created the adventure series Don Starr. Other successful Westerns followed including Rex Raven, Billy McGregor and Riffle, as well as several war and romance stories for the British publisher Fleetway such as Air Ace, Battle, Roxy, Marilyn, Valentine. After his military service in 1964, Espi collaborated with the Spanish publisher Toray on Sioux, Tales of the West, Robot 76, and Galaor Editions drawing Lawrence of Arabia. But the creator perhaps is best remembered for his sixteen year run with Vertex Editions painting hundreds of covers based on the original Marvel Comics creations as well as his comic series Mytek. Rafael left the comics scene for several years to concentrate on book covers for German publishers and various toy advertisements until in 1992 when he then collaborated with the Swedish agency Dalger Press, creating the girl's comic Conny which appeared in the Swedish magazine Häst Min, and was reprinted by the German comic Bastei Verlag. The artist then returned to expand on his extensive portfolio of illustration work.