Monday, December 5, 2016

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Cartoons of the Week

For these Saturday posts, I usually try to tie things together with some unifying theme, but this week's is a pretty thin thread. Some time ago (long enough that I've forgotten how), I came into possession of three issues of The Outlook magazine from November and December, 1916. A regular feature was their two-page "Cartoons of the Week."

To be honest, the 1910's are not generally thought of as the heyday of editorial cartooning. Thomas Nast and Johannes Keppler were gone, and while there were such well-regarded cartoonists as John Darling, Rollin Kirby, John McCutcheon. Boardman Robinson, Art Young and Robert Minor coming into their own, most ink-slingers (and grease-slingers) traded in didactic, derivative fare: hapless Common Men, imperious European royalty, harridan suffragettes, and other images that had already become cliché.

So how did magazine editors of the day decide what the best Cartoons of the Week were?
"The Man Who Is Out in the Wet" by Rollin Kirby in New York World, November, 1916
In the three issues that I have, all the American cartoonists drew for publications in New York, where The Outlook was also published. We can suspect that inclement weather on the way to work inspired at least two New York cartoonists and at least one sympathetic magazine editor.
"Poor Shelter" by Bell in New York Evening Post, November, 1916
The Outlook editors didn't seem to mind running redundant cartoons alongside each other, such as the two above. Last week, I included a cartoon by Nelson Harding of the Kaiser whipping a Belgian farmer to force him to labor for Germany, smoke rising from the farmer's home in the background. This cartoon ran alongside it.
"For His Own Good" by Robert Carter in New York Evening Sun, November, 1916
I don't believe the editors at The Outlook were trying to show up the cartoonists; the cartoons that used the same similes they would have used in a 500-word editorial are simply the ones that appealed to them. Given two cartoons of Kaiser Wilhelm whipping a Belgian, why not use both? Drives the point home, right?

Nor do I think that American editorial cartoons of the period are any worse than my own. I'll wrap this post up with a pretty decent holiday-themed cartoon that expressed a cartoonist's feelings on the topic of child labor laws — drawn, it should be noted, for a magazine. Not a newspaper.
"Gee, I Wish I Was a Kid Again" by Calvert H. Smith (?) in Harper's Magazine, December, 1916
I'm close, but not 100% sure that I'm correctly crediting Calvert H. Smith for this cartoon. Smith's reputation is for photorealism (see samples here and here, both signed "Calvert"), whereas this cartoon strikes me as more impressionistic. Wikimedia has a pen-and-ink cartoon from Life magazine with the same "Calvert" signature (here), but credits the cartoon only to "Calvert." The same signature appears in this cartoon, in a style closer to the one above, and credited by the blogger to Calvert H. Smith.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Q Toon: The Reason

Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
✍Dec 1, 2016

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Access Equity Rights Now."
Access Equity Rights Now  is a call to action to work together and reach the people who still lack access to comprehensive treatment, prevention, care and support services.
Access Equity Rights Now  is a call to action to strengthen the commitment to HIV research evidence-based interventions.
Access Equity Rights Now  is a call to action to all HIV stakeholders to unite and overcome injustices caused by violence and the exclusion of people on the basis of gender, class, race, nationality, age, geographic location, sexual orientation and HIV status.
Access Equity Rights Now  is a call to action to repeal laws that infringe on people’s human rights and deny communities the ability to participate in the world as equals.
Access Equity Rights Now  reminds us that all our gains will be lost if we do not continue to push forward and build a strong global movement to change the course of the epidemic.
On the positive side, 18 million people now have access to life-saving treatment for HIV/AIDS, and new infections were down 58%. But reading between the lines of  Executive Director for UNAIDS Michel Sidibé's message this year, that reduction is largely because there are fewer transmissions of the disease from mother to child.
We are winning against the AIDS epidemic, but we are not seeing progress everywhere. The number of new HIV infections is not declining among adults, with young women particularly at risk of becoming infected with HIV.
We know that for girls in sub-Saharan Africa, the transition to adulthood is a particularly dangerous time. Young women are facing a triple threat: a high risk of HIV infection, low rates of HIV testing and poor adherence to HIV treatment.
Because HIV+ patients are living longer, we are also encountering the new challenges of treating HIV/AIDS  in older patients, who are at increased risk of age-related illnesses compared to the general population. The United Nations is calling for a "life-cycle approach" to meet these challenges in the years ahead.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Thanksgiving Leftovers

For Stuffingback Saturday today, we have Thanksgiving leftovers of a sort, with hopes that your fourth Thursday of November was a pleasant one, with plenty of inspiration for the giving of thanks.

In 1916, Thanksgiving fell on the last Thursday in November, not necessarily the fourth one; so 100 years ago today, Thanksgiving hadn't happened yet. Here's John McCutcheon's Thanksgiving Day cartoon of November 30, 1916:
"The Face at the Window" by John McCutcheon for Chicago Tribune,  November 30, 1916.
The Face at the Window, of course, being war-torn Europe, where French cartoonist Abel Faivre had drawn this next pathos-laden cartoon not for the American Thanksgiving holiday, but for All Saints' Day at the beginning of the month.
"Where Must I Pray for Papa?" by Abel Faivre in l'Echo, Paris, November 1, 1916
The issue consuming the cartoonists with allied sympathies was Germany's deporting of Belgian citizens to replace German soldiers in the factories and farm fields.
"Are You Ready to Make Munitions for Germany?" by Louis Raemaekers for De Telegraaf, Amsterdam, November, 1916
Use of a whip, rather than a gun, was a leitmotif of American cartoons on the subject.
"To the Step-Fatherland" by Nelson Harding for Brooklyn Eagle, November, 1916
On the other side of the trenches, the German press played up the Allies' lack of significant progress in the war. And, true enough, the Western Front was still well West of die Vaterland.
"Shall We Soon Be on the Rhine?" unsigned for Lustige Blaetter, Berlin, November, 1916
As far as whipping up sentiment against Allied behavior toward neutral countries was concerned, however, German criticism here lacks the punch of Raemaekers's and Harding's work.
"So You Don't Like My Blacklist?" by E.N. for Meggendorfer Blaetter, Munich, November, 1916
Further south, Serbian, French and Russian forces captured Monastir (present-day Bitola, Macedonia) from Bulgaria on November 19. 130,000 allied fighters died in the fighting or from disease while Germans and Bulgarian losses numbered about 61,000. The Monastir Offensive did not prove a decisive defeat of Germany's Balkan allies, and shelling of the city continued throughout the war.
"Back Home" by Clive Weed for Philadelphia Public Ledger, November, 1916
Returning to this side of the pond, we find that Pancho Villa was still pestering the U.S. Army. I've run this cartoon before, and now that we've passed by its 100th birthday, here it is again. More leftovers.
"Breaking In Again" by Sidney Greene for New York Evening Telegram, November, 1916
That's all, folks!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Q Toon: Broadway Has Its Eyes On You

Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
🦃 Nov 23, 2016

This kerfuffle over the cast of Hamilton addressing Vice President-elect Mike Pence in their audience over the weekend has served to distract national attention from a number of important stories about the incoming administration. Sure, some media reported that Donald Berzilius Trump settled the lawsuit over his Trump University Scam for $25 million; and the appointment of a racist Attorney General and a fascist Chief of Staff. But since a growing percentage of Americans get their news from late-night comedians, there is a danger of those of us in the Humor Biz aiding and abetting Trump's efforts to redirect the nation's attention toward issues of his choosing.

The curtain call speech was pretty mild stuff, especially if you compare it to the organized shout-downs of any attempt to discuss the Affordable Care Act in 2009. You'd never know it from the howls of indignation from the Tweeter-in-Chief, however.

What Brandon Victor Dixon (Vice President Aaron Burr in the play) actually said was:
“You know, we have a guest in the audience this evening — Vice President-elect Pence, I see you walking out but I hope you hear just a few more moments. Sir, we hope that you will hear us out.
“We, sir, are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us — our planet, our children, our parents — or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights, sir. But we truly hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us. All of us.”
To Trump's base, this was one more case of librul ayleets lookin' down there nozes at Middla Murkan Valews — because that's a one-way speedway, ain't it? — so Trump is delighted to divert their righteous indignation in the direction of the Great White Way.

So where do I get off calling Jefferson Beauregard Sessions the IIIrd a racist, antigay bigot?
  • Testifying before the Senate as it considered Sessions's 1986 nomination for a judgeship on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Figures testified that Sessions said he thought the Ku Klux Klan was "OK until I found out they smoked pot." Sessions passed the comment off as a joke.
  • Concerning another allegation, Sessions testified, "I may have said something about the NAACP being un-American or Communist, but I meant no harm by it."
  • As Attorney General of Alabama, Sessions worked to deny funding to student Gay-Straight Alliances at The University of Alabama, Auburn University and The University of South Alabama, stating "an organization that professes to be comprised of homosexuals and/or lesbians may not receive state funding or use state-supported facilities to foster or promote those illegal, sexually deviate activities defined in the sodomy and sexual misconduct laws."
  • He is on the record against hate crime protections, marriage equality, and open military service by LGBT persons, calling gay rights "a threat to Western Civilization."
Well, I could be wrong about him.

He could, perhaps, be a complete misanthrope. My first cartoon about him, was back in 2009. A Filipino woman was testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the "Uniting American Families Act," which would have granted the partners of same-sex binational couples the same protections different-sex couples have, when her 12-year-old son started crying over the prospect of one of his mothers being deported. Sessions reportedly muttered to his aides, "Enough with the histrionics!"