Monday, June 7, 2010

Sneak Peek for the Week

It's Cliché Tribute Week here at Bergetoons. The first cartoon featuring a desert island with a single palm tree was drawn by Honoré Daumier in 1837, satirizing French society through the person of a shipwrecked homme bourgeois who is elated when a bottle of fine champagne washes up on the island, but then waits day after day for a champagne flute to wash up as well.

The cartoon premise was so popular, that soon every cartoonist from Moscow to St. Louis was churning out desert island cartoons. No matter who was on the desert island, or what predicament that character was facing, the one constant in each cartoon, as homage to the French master, was the lone palm tree. Once, New Yorker cartoonist Carl Rose added a second palm tree in a cartoon involving a hammock. He was forced to publicly apologize to the American Cartoonist Guild to avoid being drummed out of the ACG for violating the Prime Directive of Desert Island Cartoons.

Not many people know this, but the 1960's TV show "Gilligan's Island" was based on a series of desert island cartoons by Virgil Partch. Partch disowned the project after television executives insisted upon adding a sexy movie star and a jungle full of palm trees, however.

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