News of Yore: Association of Cartoonists and Caricaturists Formed

From Art & Life, January 1927

Cartoonists Take Notice
Having taken care of the record­ing of the foibles and fancies of the world for thousands of years, the cartoonists and caricaturists laid off long enough on June 30, this year, to organize an association of their very own—the American Association of Cartoonists and Caricaturists— possibly the first of its kind in the history of mankind.

Eugene Zimmerman, dean of the profession in this country and one of the most powerful political cartoonists of his time, was elected president without a dissenting voice; Bud Fisher, first vice-president; Rube Goldberg, second vice-president; Ed­ward McCullough, third vice-presi­dent; and Freeman H. Hubbard, secretary and editor of the official or­gan, Cartoons Magazine.

In appreciation of the fact that she is the most prominent woman making a comic strip today, and the second to have entered the profession in this country, Albertine Randall, (“In Rabbitboro”) was chosen head of the Advisory Board of the new organiza­tion.

Other members of the Board are: Clare A. Briggs, (“Mr. and Mrs.”) ; M. M. Branner, (“Winnie Winkle”) ; Winsor McCay, (“Little Nemo”) ; Eddie McBride, sport cartoonist and art manager of The New York Herald-Tribune syndi­cate; Milt Gross, (“Gross Exaggera­tions”) ; Pat Sullivan, (“Felix, the Cat”); Ed Whelan (“Minute Movies”) ; Bill Steinke, editorial car­toonist, Newark Evening News; C. H. Wellington, (“Pa’s Son-in-Law”) ; Paul A. Broady, cartoonist and official photographer A. A. C. C., and Manuel Rosenberg, art edit­or of the Cincinnati Post.

The genesis of the organization came with the spread of the desire on the part of so many young men and young women to enter into the comic field and the pitiful dearth of ideas the majority of them exhibited. The older and wiser people in the game realized that something must be done to stem the tide – not of genius which is always sought – but of wasted time and energy by countless young people.

The flood of youngsters became so great in the big cities that they became an annoyance in every news­paper art department and syndicate office. Thousands and thousands of valuable hours were spent by car­toonists and art managers explaining to them that drawing is simply the means by which the cartoon or comic idea is carried to paper — that draw­ing without new ideas was folly and a supreme waste of time.

During the past couple of years syndicate heads have had to surround themselves with all the secrecy that surrounds foreign potentates in order to conserve their time for the bene­fit of their employers. The big-time cartoonists and strip-makers — men like Bud Fisher, Rube Goldberg, Clare Briggs, George McManus, and J. N. Darling—have had to live the most secluded sort of lives in order to avoid the thousands of calls on their time. Some of them refuse to see anyone, experience having taught them that their well-meaning advice was too often ignored by those who sought it.

The principal purpose of the new organization is to act as a clearing­house for the beginners and would-be beginners in the game—some of them having real talent but fumbling for want of proper direction. The Association headquarters, 244-248 West 49th Street, New York City, under the personal direction of Free­man H. Hubbard, will furnish mem­bers with all information and when possible connect them with oppor­tunities to get their chances.

Other reasons for the formation of the organization are to raise the prestige of this ancient and most use­ful profession—to pool the experience of old and young for the benefit of all—to encourage talent—to head off those lacking ability—to investigate reports of fraud or injustice in con­nection with the employment and discharge of cartoonists—to investi­gate fake correspondence schools and mis-branded art supplies and to at­tend to all other matters vital to the best interests of the membership.

2 comments on “News of Yore: Association of Cartoonists and Caricaturists Formed

  1. Randall (In rabbitboro) is stated on different sources (including lambiek's Comiclopedia) to have been syndicated 1927-29 only. This article from early 1927 seems to contradict this, and I have found an example of March 14, 1924 for this comic strip ( Do you have any info on when this comic strip really debuted?

  2. Hi Fram —
    Albertine Randall's Dumbunnies (later In Rabbitboro) began in May 1922 and I believe ended its original run in 1927. It was distributed in reprints well into the 1930s.


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