Magazine Cover Comics: The Jump-Ups

The New York Herald produced some lovely magazine cover comic series in the teens, in an era before the form became ubiquitous. Here’s one of the most visually striking of them all, The Jump-Ups. It ran from February 4 to August 11 1912.

William H. Loomis produced several of these Herald series, but this is his best in my opinion, though another one, The Widow Wise, was more widely appreciated at the time. The above example should be enough to prove that Loomis’ facility for both comedy and drama in a drawing was amazing. Unfortunately Loomis didn’t get a chance to produce as much of his delightful work as we would like, as he died at age 46 in 1917.

Doggerel verse for this series was provided by Paul West, whose naive cartooning we were thankfully spared. Unfortunately his versifying is, in my opinion, just as grating as his art. The subject of a nouveau riche family trying to make a splash socially could have been fun, but slogging through West’s versification is enough to tax anyone’s patience. Just look at the delightful pictures, that’s my suggestion.

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