What The Cartoonists Are Doing, June 1915 (Vol.7 No.6) … Part I

[Cartoons Magazine, debuting in 1912, was a monthly magazine devoted primarily to reprinting editorial cartoons from U.S. and foreign newspapers. Articles about cartooning and cartoonists often supplemented the discussion of current events.

In November 1913 the magazine began to offer a monthly round-up of news about cartoonists and cartooning, eventually titled “What The Cartoonist Are Doing.” There are lots of interesting historical nuggets in these sections, and this Stripper’s Guide feature will  reprint one issue’s worth each week.]

Note: Owing to the extreme length of this particular installment of What the Cartoonists are Doing, it will be serialized in two parts; second half appearing next Saturday.

J.H. Donahey

On his return from the far west, J. H. Donahey, cartoonist of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, stopped in Chicago long enough to assure the editor of “Cartoons” that the “Donny goose,” the pride of his hillside farm, is flourishing. Just what the Donny goose is is best explained by Francis Arthur Jones in a recent article about the cartoonist in the Strand Magazine. When Donahey went abroad last summer—his trip included Egypt and the orient—he found a handsome Toulouse goose awaiting him in his stateroom. A letter of introduction tied around the bird’s neck, read:

With ardour greet your feathered friend—
 In you her heart delights;
Be with her to the journey’s end
And show her all the sights.

As faithful as was Mary’s pet
She waddles in your path;
Nor fears the vast and heaving wet,
Nor dreads the tempest’s wrath.

Oh, tell to her by Tiber’s foam
The tale so often told,
Of how the geese awakened Rome
 In those brave days of old.

And on the bosom of the Nile,
Where Time draws out his links,
Let Goosie hiss the crocodile
And quack-quack at the Sphinx.

Protect with ever-ready hand
This web-foot friend of thine.
Oh, lead her to the Promised Land
And feed her corn and wine.

Where Dead Sea waters thickly flow,
Where Nebo’s paths ascend,
On Jordan’s banks ’tis well to know
A sympathetic friend.

Then bring her safely home with thee
From land of fig and cruse,
That thousands may come miles to see
The travelled Donny goose.

“The victim of friendly solicitude,” says Mr. Jones, “accepted the situation without a murmur. He named the goose Cleopatra, and sketched her in countless poses and numerous climes. He says she did the grand tour with no omission. The goose says nothing. She’s back in her hillside pen as pert and sassy as a goose can be, and the plotting friends who go out now and then to look at her and count her hotel labels, and stare at the Cleopatra sketches, must feel at times as if the ruse of the Toulouse had proved a boomerang.”

The original drawings of the cartoons by Oscar Cesare that have appeared in the New York Sun, and which have been on exhibition in the Hahlo Galleries on Fifth avenue, have met with both kinds of success. That is, they have received the praise of Mr. Cesare’s fellow artists and connoisseurs have annexed them for their collections.

Says the Sun’s art critic:

“The drawings gain by being shown together. In spite of the speed with which a modern caricaturist is required to work—and the Sun’s readers demand a drawing from Mr. Cesare every day—there is no hint of carelessness nor even fatigue in his work. In the originals the careful drawing and breadth of treatment are more evident than in the reductions.

“The breadth of treatment is due to the fact, no doubt, that the artist began life as a painter and became a caricaturist only after a thorough apprenticeship with the brush. For that reason a tour of the rooms where his drawings are now to be seen suggests comparisons with the caricature work of Europe, where thoroughness of workmanship is insisted upon.

“The best known caricaturists of America in the past, such as Tom Nast and Homer Davenport, have relied almost exclusively upon the wit of their ideas to carry the drawings, and to admire the “style” of the satirist, as the French admire the ‘style’ of their Forain, is something we are only now beginning to arrive at.

“One of the most effective of these drawings is the burlesque of the diplomats, awaiting their turn in an ante-room, with imploring eyes turned toward the door that leads to power. It is very well done, indeed. Then there’s the long series, that Sun readers know already, of Mars ploughing “The Furrow’ in Civilization and turning up Hatred and Famine; the ‘Guide of To-morrow’ showing tourists the work of the wreckers of this year, and the ‘Cartographers, 1915,’ with Death and Cupid consulting the maps.

“There’s the husbandman watering the field that has been planted thickly with bayonets, pictorial comments on Wall Street and satiric sidelights upon our relations with Mexico. Upon the whole a graphic summary of one of the world’s most tragic years can be read in this gallery of caricatures.”

The art of the cave man was the subject of a lecture delivered recently by Prof. George Grant MacCurdy, of Yale University, at a meeting of the Archaeological Institute at Washington, D. C. The talk was illustrated with remarkable views of the handiwork in art of the skin-clad Europeans who lived on the edge of the ice age about 50,000 years ago. Many of the pictures were reproductions of the troglodyte paintings on the walls of the Altamira caverns, and were shown in their original colorings, red, brown and black. Wooly elephants, reindeer, and three-toed horses figured in these rude designs, which were to the cave man what the comic strip is to newspaper readers of today.

Scarcely any of the cave pictures are of human beings. Later attempts at drawing the human figure, the speaker said, were as crude as the masterpieces of children.

In closing, Professor MacCurdy said:

“Man was artist before he was the maker of even hieroglyphs; he tamed his imagination and his hand to produce at will the objects of his thought long ages before he tamed the first wild beast or made the plant world to do his bidding. The artist’s tools were primitive. Flint scrapers and gravers were employed in preparing the surface and tracing outlines. The colors used by the quaternary artist were oxide of iron and manganese. These minerals were pulverized, mixed with grease or other medium and applied with a brush. Crayons whittled from chunks of ochre or oxide of manganese were likewise employed. That paleolithic man made at least a beginning in the modeling of vases is attested by the recent discovery of two bison figures modeled in clay.”


One cartoonist pictures three kings taking a straight. But it can’t be done according to Hoyle.—McKeesport (Pa.) News.


Walker O’Loughlin, cartoonist of the Portland (Ore.) Evening Telegram, met Warren Gilbert, the Denver artist, in the coast city recently, and allowed the latter to make a caricature of him. “Gil” expressed deep regret over the fact that O’Loughlin didn’t have long white whiskers as he had often supposed. He remarked, also, that the Irishman “had a funny nose.” O’Loughlin retaliated by drawing a cartoon of Gilbert. Each finally admitted that he was satisfied.

More than 20,000 answers were received in the recent “Duck ditty” contest conducted by W. K. Patrick, cartoonist of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, in that newspaper. The duck is Mr. Patrick’s cartoon mascot. Prizes were awarded for the best jingles on the advantages of the “Times Pic” want ads. As an indication of the duck’s popularity, it is worth mentioning that replies came from Central America, Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Illinois, New Mexico, California, Arizona, Oklahoma, Ohio, Kentucky, New York, and even from Canada.

One very interesting feature of the contest was the development of a novel attitude of mind on the part of Times-Picayune readers toward the little duck. Far and near, they seem to regard him as a half elfin, half human personality with whose humor and philosophy they are in complete accord. All through the thousands of cards and letters received there was indicated a feeling of personal intimacy and affection, as for a precocious child whose prattle is fraught with impish conceptions of grown-up ideals, likes and dislikes.

Elbert Hubbard, on his last visit to New Orleans, pronounced the duck the best thing of its kind in America.


“Spy-scare toys,” a group of cartoon figures, are the latest innovation in London. Among the characters represented are King Albert of Belgium, Sir John French, General Joffre, Admiral Jellicoe, German spies, and policemen. Like the “Willie-wogs,” the first cartoon toys, these other dolls seem to have attained considerable vogue in the nursery.


“We hope we didn’t convey the impression,” remarks the New York Mail, “that the Herald’s European edition reprints nothing but editorials from the New York Herald in its efforts to mirror faithfully American sentiment on the war. . . . Occasionally it reprints the Herald’s cartoons, too.”


Ben Hur, Col. Joseph C. Miller’s famous Arabian stallion, attracted much attention recently at the Exposition horse show at San Francisco. The horse, which has taken prizes in every part of the United States, was brought from Arabia by Homer Davenport, the cartoonist, and presented by him to Colonel Miller.


Manuel Rosenberg, formerly of the New York Call, is now cartoonist of the Toledo News-Bee. During his connection with the Call he contributed cartoons, mostly of a political nature, to the New York Greek, Russian and Yiddish newspapers.

Frank Hammond, of the Wichita Eagle. received a letter from Australia recently. It was from “Wops,” a little cartoon “critter” employed by Allan C. Walker, of Sydney. The letter, which was really meant for “Hoots,” Mr. Hammond’s owl bird, expressed the former’s disappointment at not having been invited to the jungle stew given by “Hoots” some time ago in the pages of Cartoons Magazine. “Wops,” says the writer, wasn’t satisfied until he, too, was perched on a stool at the big table

the jungle stew given by “Hoots” some time ago in the pages of Cartoons Magazine. “Wops,” says the writer, wasn’t satisfied until he, too, was perched on a stool at the big table

Fontaine Fox, circa 1950s

Announcement was made recently of the marriage in Chicago of Miss Edith Elizabeth Hinz to Fontaine F. Fox, Jr., formerly cartoonist of the Chicago Evening Post, now of New York. Miss Hinz was widely known in Chicago as a dancer, pianist, swimmer, and tennis player. For a time she had charge of the afternoon dances at the Blackstone hotel. Mr. and Mrs. Fox left immediately after the wedding for New York.


The Punch cartoon depicting a battered Turk limping toward a German sentry, and answering his challenge with “A friend — curse you,” calls forth the following editorial comment from the New York Herald: “The sentiment is one that will become prevalent throughout Turkey when it becomes generally known that Djavid Bey’s visit to Berlin, where he went in search of financial and military aid, has been unsuccessful.”


Bushnell’s cartoon, “Christmas in Scarborough,” was seen by a traveler in England recently posted up in a shop window in Falmouth. The cartoon is in Bushnell’s best vein, and represents a father and mother, whose baby has been killed by Zeppelins, decorating a tiny grave with Christmas wreaths and toys.


Nine cartoons by Russell Henderson, who is working in the interests of the Anti-Saloon League, have been hung in that organization’s booth at the Panama-Pacific Exposition. The cartoons are 30 by 40 inches in dimension, and are done in watercolors and tints.


A cartoon that went right to the heart of the southerners was one by Kenneth Whitsett in the Charlotte (N. C.) Observer, in commemoration of the death of Mrs. Stonewall Jackson.


Karl Kae Knecht, cartoonist of the Evansville Courier, helped stage the local press club’s annual show recently.

“Cory’s Kids,” who are first cousins to Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, are now appearing in the Omaha World-Herald. Concerning these youngsters, J. Campbell Cory, their originator, says:

“I have always wanted some kids of my own to play with, and I anticipate a lot of fun in devising this bunch of youngsters which I am putting into this page. It is my ambition to make them as real as possible, because real kids actually do funnier things every day than the impossible, slap-stick youngsters of the funny and rapidly declining comic page type of the present day.
“I don’t believe it is necessary to degrade juvenility in order to give humor to its natural vagaries, and I do think the ruffianly antics of the gruesome monstrosities of the comic kid type of the past decade are regarded as humor only because of the lack of something better. Their pictured antics are surely more outrageous than funny, and their effect more demoralizing than amusing.”

Mr. Cory has promised that these “kids” will be a shining example to youth everywhere.

Like “brillig,” “gimble,” and other “Jabberwocky” words, “Mitchelbocker” is a composite, so you are not to be blamed if you don’t recognize him. He is a combination of Father Knickerbocker and John Purroy Mitchel, mayor of Greater New York, and he is the work of five New York cartoonists.
He was made on the steps of the Woolworth building as a sort of preliminary function to the annual dinner of the newspaper artists at the famous Castle Cave. A movie man made a record of the performance as each of the cartoonists in turn put his individual touch to the drawing.

Robert Carter of the New York Evening Sun laid the foundations. It was he who made the outlines of the nose and the forehead. Then “Bunny” Schultze of the Press added a “Foxy Grandpa.” expression to the mouth, and suggested with a sweep of the crayon the contour of the chin. Claire Briggs of the Tribune inserted the eyebrow and a cigar, tilted at a sporty angle.

Edwin Marcus of the Times sketched in a braid of hair and a Sunday-go-to-meeting bow of ribbon. George Rehse of the World added the finishing touches, and Abe Wiel of the Tribune art department christened the result.

Mr. Punch of London occasionally prints a cartoon which would add bitterness to the bitter, but its general tone is one which merits an admiring comment. The low class English periodicals are marvels of inept rancor, but Punch is unruffled. The British, not the foreign, foible remains, in spite of war, the target for its cartoonists.

Cartooning in Europe is frequently an instrument, directed or undirected, for the forming and maintenance of public policy. At present public policy demands that hatred of the enemy shall be alive and uncompromising. Nations in tremendous struggle must be kept in great exaltation. Ordinary moods will not do for extraordinary events. Hatred of the enemy and devotion to the native land will transform the placid citizen into the unhesitating soldier.

Punch performs this service with its occasional embittered cartoon, but predominant is the note of raillery, and most conspicuous is the satiric touch which reaches the weakness of the Englishman himself. If there be any profit in keeping a nation good natured even in war, Mr. Punch is helping to perform the service. He does not permit the Englishman to forget his glass houses.—Chicago Tribune.

Charles R. Macauley, cartoonist, and formerly president of the New York Press Club, obtained a verdict for $11,700 in the Supreme Court against the New York World, on April 15, for breach of contract. Mr. Macauley, who was for several years the cartoonist of the World, was discharged when his contract had about a year to run. He was receiving $250 a week at this time. Ralph Pulitzer, president of the defendant corporation, testified that one of the chief reasons for Mr. Macauley’s discharge was his connection with the campaign fund collected for John Purroy Mitchel, when he was running for mayor. The World is opposed to all secret campaign funds, and it was claimed that in acting in an official capacity in the collection of a fund, Mr. Macauley violated one of the policies of his employer.


Australia is admittedly jealous of the United States for availing herself of the trade opportunities presented by the war. The accompanying cartoon by Sykes in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, has been circulated widely throughout Australia as “the best characterization of this country’s attitude toward the belligerent nations, and, indeed, to the very cause of humanity.” It is republished in a Sydney booklet entitled “Confidence,” together with some verses by George A. Taylor, cartoonist and editor of the booklet, appealing to Uncle Sam for sympathy, and beginning thus:

I saw in New York harbor—it was facing out to sea—
A statue great and glorious—you call it ‘Liberty.’
I’m thinking now its title is a mock’ry and a sham.
Why don’t you stand for what it means?
Now tell us, Uncle Sam.”

Mr. Sykes’ cartoon, it might be added, appeared in Cartoons Magazine for October, 1914.


Bud Fisher, it is reported, has planned to leave the Hearst newspapers to join the Wheeler syndicate.

Animated cartoons that are not “comics” but which satirize some event or situation, are the latest device of J. R. Bray, creator of the famous Colonel Heeza Liar. One of his latest movie cartoons is directed against Uncle Sam’s unpreparedness for war. The action in the drawing is said greatly to increase its effectiveness.

Mr. Bray keeps four trained artists busy inking in his outline drawings, of which 5,000 are required for a 1,000-foot film. His Colonel Heeza Liar has been entertaining cinema audiences with such exploits as lion hunting in Africa, and outwitting cannibals. Mr. Bray was born in Detroit, but has lived in New York since 1901, where for several years he was a contributor of Life, Puck, and Judge.


A cartoon by A. B. Chapin, of the St. Louis Republic, depicting Mr. Grouch stubbing his toe on a “brick of gloom,” has been used by the City Club of St. Louis in a campaign for business optimism.

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