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. (And labels, labels everywhere!)
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|
|"Poor Shelter" by Bell in New York Evening Post, November, 1916|
|"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.