What The Cartoonists are Doing, September 1916 (Vol.10 No.3)

[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.]

K . L . Roberts in Puck

Mindful of her past experiences with rabbit burrows, Alice slipped down a woodchuck hole in the hope that she might obtain material for another book. Luck was with her; for in a commodious chamber at the bottom of the hole, the woodchuck awaited her with an electric torch in one hand and his Leghorn hat in the other.
“Right this way,” said he politely. And without more ado he led Alice through a small doorway labeled: ” Cartoonland.”

Alice clapped her hands joyously. ” Cartoonland!” she exclaimed. “How nice! I hope I sha’n’t hurt myself laughing!”

But before she could hear the woodchuck’s answer, her attention was distracted by two men who appeared to be having a violent altercation.

“What strange looking men!” said Alice. “Why do they have crosses in place of eyes?”

“That is very simple,” replied the woodchuck. “In Cartoonland, whenever you see a person with crosses where his eyes should be, you will immediately know that he has either been hit with a brick, a club, or some other blunt instrument, or that he has been overwhelmed with the originality or unexpectedness of something which has just been said by the person to whom he has been speaking.”

“How peculiar!” said Alice. “Is it only in Cartoonland that such actions may be observed?”

“I know of no other place,” said the woodchuck. “Cartoonland, too, is the only place where people are always throwing things at one another and never missing. Every day, hundreds of men throw bricks at other men; and invariably the bricks land on the exact centre of the rear of the assaulted person’s head. Organized baseball is losing some marvelous throwers by failing to sign up all of Cartoonland’s leading characters.”

Lost in thought, Alice strolled onward. In a short time she came to a small pond, from the middle of which were coming loud cries of “Blub! Blub!”

“What queer sounds!” cried Alice.

The woodchuck smiled. “In Cartoonland,” said he, “any person who falls or is pushed into any body of water sinks immediately and gives vent to loud shouts of ‘Blub! Blub!’ from beneath the water. Cartoonland is the only place where a person can make sounds under water, and be heard by persons above the water.”

Before Alice could comment on this strange state of affairs, she was passed by a small dog and a tiny beetle. The dog was carelessly remarking, apropos of nothing: “See what the boys in the back room will have!” while the beetle was ejaculating again and again: “It’s nothing in my young life!”

“Tell me!” said Alice, “How can these creatures talk, and why do they say such strange things?”

The woodchuck shrugged his shoulders. “In Cartoonland,” said he, “the animals and the insects have their mating calls and their hunting calls, just as they do in other countries. In your country a dog says ‘Bow wow!’ or words to that effect; but in Cartoonland he says ‘See what the boys in the back room will have?’ or ‘Who’s looney now?’ or something equally appropriate and doglike.”

“And do all of the men talk a trifle ungrammatically down here,” asked Alice. “The two men we passed a short time back were saying that they didn’t ‘wanna’ go somewhere, and that they weren’t ‘gonna’ do something. Is such language customary?”

“Oh, invariably,” replied the woodchuck, “or practically invariably. You see, the idea is that people in Cartoonland must talk down to the level of uneducated people, instead of helping to remedy their lack of education.”

“Really,” said Alice, “I don’t believe that Cartoonland is much of a place. I think that I’ll go home. I don’t feel that I could write a book about my experiences down here.”

“Oh, but you mustn’t go yet,” protested the woodchuck. “Why, you haven’t seen a tenth of Cartoonland.” And he attempted to hold Alice by the sleeve of her gown.

But Alice was too infuriated to stay longer .

 James J . Lynch has returned to his drawing board in the Rocky Mountain News office after a honeymoon. His bride, Marie Kaffer, was a member of the News staff, and out of their association in newspaper work developed the romance. Jimmy Lynch, as he is best known, is one of the most popular newspaper men in Denver.

A Series of Cartoons That Has Awakened Milford
(From the New York Evening Sun)

Far away – so far away that trains cannot carry you there – lies the village of Milford, Pa. It is in the wooded and mountainous region of Pike County, where there are craggy cliffs and waterfalls, two pound trout and pickereled lakes … But then , this isn’t meant to be a railroad circular!

Instead, it’s the story of Milford’s new trolley system, and of how this is being built by the unconscious aid of Fontaine Fox and The Evening Sun.

It is the daily Fontaine Fox cartoon that Milford’s eyes most hunger for, and Milford’s hearts most smile upon. Fontaine Fox has somehow found the funny bones of these staid, weather-browned old French woodsmen and farmers.

The proof of the popularity is in the pasting. Fontaine Fox is literally pasted all over the village. The barber shop, of course, is covered with Fontaine Fox cartoons, which regale the lathered ones, the unshaven and unshorn, who wait their turn. The bazaar has its windows full of Fontaine Fox. So has the tobacco shop. And so, even, has the wall of the post office, itself. Fontaine Fox, clipped from The Evening Sun, is Milford’s mountebank as well as its tutor in art.

Milford is soon to have a trolley line. And Milford, realizing the benefits which will accrue unto itself from the improvement, is correspondingly impatient for the trolley line’s perfection. But trolley lines, like pretty girls, are slow in making up their minds. And this particular line though arranged and subscribed for many months ago, has not yet begun to build. Milford, having given its money, was reluctant to give time, too. And Milford grew cross and cranky and gave vent to pessimistic views about the crops and the possibilities of war.

Then, one day, old John the Barber gave a copy of The Evening Sun to a waiting customer. And in that particular day’s paper was one of the Toonerville Trolley series.

The waiting customer was French – as, indeed, most of Milford is. He could not understand the caption altogether; but the caption didn’t matter. He needed no full knowledge of the English language to appreciate the picture itself. The humor of it, of the old, tumbled-down car, of the leisurely, white-whiskered conductor, of the disgruntled passengers – hit hard upon the waiting woodsman.

That particular cartoon, cut out of the page with a pair of John’s hair scissors, went the rounds of Milford in an hour. Everybody looked at it, laughed at it, found in it something to remind him of his own trolley troubles. That one cartoon put the entire village in good humor. Fontaine Fox had taught Milford how to wait, how to laugh at the waiting — and how to regard trolleys!


Jack Cory, formerly cartoonist of the New York World, and one of the veterans, is now rusticating at Wadsworth, Ill., while drawing cartoons for his feature service. The sketch is by Perce Pearce of Waukegan.

H. T. Webster, author of “Our Boyhood Thrills,” has been in his day something of a traveler. While in Egypt a few years ago, he was greatly impressed by the universal demands made on him for “baksheesh.” At villages along the Nile hundreds of naked children followed him yelling for “baksheesh.”

“I can imagine,” he says, “the joyful scene in an Egyptian family when the baby first gurgles ‘baksheesh.’ The first tooth or the first step must be tame in comparison.”


R. M. Brinkerhoff is back at the New York Evening Mail after a two weeks’ visit and tour with the Sells-Floto circus. Brink went out on the sawdust trail to pick up some local color and is back with a lot of sketches of b’gosh types. Harold Webster planned to accompany Brink but at the last minute he found the lure of his new automobile too strong.


That the soul of a big cartoon idea knows no decay and has no death is shown in the continued receipt of print royalties by Mark Fenderson for his famous rooster cartoon with the caption “What’s the Use – Yesterday an egg — tomorrow a feather duster.” This drawing, made more than 10 years ago, has been reproduced millions of times and is still bringing laughs all over the world.


Charles Winner , who prior to 1914 was political cartoonist for the Pittsburgh Post, is now drawing cartoons for the woman’s suffrage cause .


The arrival of the German U-boat, “Deutschland,” was the inspiration of a notable cartoon in Ruy Blas, the satirical journal of the Paris boulevards. The cartoon shows an American mother gazing at a  German submarine lying safe in an American harbor. The mother says: “Look! That may be the same submarine that sank the boat papa was on!”

By Russell Henderson

Boardman Robinson might well be styled the premier exponent of impressionistic art in cartooning. I asked him one day when his work was attracting wide attention through the pages of the New York Tribune, by what authority he commanded a slap of shadow black to represent a nose. He looked up from his drawing  board, and said: “Do you observe?”

I thought I did. Whereupon he proceeded to demonstrate to me how little I actually did observe. He turned on an electric light that hung over his board, and told me to notice closely just what constituted a nose in light and shade as far as the black – and white art of the cartoonist went. I was amazed to find that the nose was thrown out in relief by a smack of shadow black.

The artist then told me how observant he was. He always carried a sketch book and pencils, he said, and never overlooked an opportunity to get a striking position or expression, no matter how embarrassing the experience might prove . He told me that he had several thousand sketches, and that he found them invaluable in his cartoon work, as he referred to them daily for poses, expressions, and even compositions. The constant use of a sketch book, he declared, was the best art instructor.


 If one were to speak of Mr . William Ireland in Columbus he might not be understood; but if he spoke the name of Billy Ireland, he would evoke a smile. There is a curious something that makes people like to speak of celebrities in intimate and familiar terms. But that is not the case in Columbus — everybody there loves Billy Ireland, and Billy is only short for “My dear.” His “Passing Show” page in the Sunday Dispatch is given up wholly to local whims, and the people like it. Bill Nye once said that Columbus may or may not have discovered America, but he would have to give Chris the credit since he had the best press agent. And thus it is with Columbus, Ohio . She has a good press agent, too.


Cassel of the New York Evening World was once a pupil of Frank Beard, who in his day was the dean of the temperance cartoonists. They were both connected with the old Chicago Ram’s Horn. Cassel later entered the illustrating field, and from there entered his present position as cartoonist. Speaking about temperance cartoons, May, of the Detroit Times, is drawing a series of 100 for the Michigan branch of the Anti-Saloon League. His services were bid for by the wet element, but the drys secured them.


Here is a wild story about the rise of Ed Mack from a position at nothing a week to one paying $200 a week on Hearst’s art staff. Prior to the Jeffries Johnson fight the Chicago Examiner was featuring the various offers from promoters. One day there came into the hands of the sporting editor a telegram offering $50,000 for the fight, and signed by the Sibley Athletic Club. The Examiner immediately got out an extra announcing the “scoop.” Soon after, however, hair was flying in every editorial sanctum of the paper. Some prying soul had discovered that Sibley was a town in Illinois boasting of 98 inhabitants. The editor looked into the matter and found that one Ed Mack, a gentleman of humor and ability to draw comics, had sent the telegram just to get it out of his system.

Whether the editor intended to bribe Mack to keep the secret to himself, or admired the originality of the young man, I know not. At any rate, the Sibley humorist was given a position as sporting cartoonist on the Examiner, and from Chicago he went to New York to draw the Katzenjammer Kids for Hearst. He is now putting out a new creation entitled “Life in Lonesomehurst.”


Brewerton, of the Atlanta Journal, took a vacation to Atlanta once about a score of years ago while working on the New York Herald. He fell so in love with Dixie Land that he immediately accepted the Journal position when it was offered, and wired his resignation to the Herald. He has not been north of the Mason and Dixon line since.

Two important events happened in the life of Oscar Cesare last month. The first was his jump from the New York Sun to the New York Evening Post when the former paper was purchased by Frank A. Munsey. The second was his marriage on July 15 to Miss Margaret Porter, daughter of the late Sidney Porter, known to the literary world as 0. Henry. The ceremony took place at the Church of the Transfiguration. The bride is a successful fiction writer, and was until recently the editor of Short Stories. She is now contemplating a series of articles on the life of her father. Mr. Cesare was born in Sweden, and did his earlier newspaper work as dramatic artist of the Chicago Tribune.

Incidentally, “One Hundred Cartoons by Cesare” is announced for early publication by Small, Maynard and Co., of Boston.

The happy couple


Reub. Goldberg, the New York Evening Mail’s “comicker,” and the originator of the “Foolish Questions” series, has at last asked a foolish question himself. It was favorably answered, according to report, by Miss Irma Seeman, with the result that Cupid has rung the bell again .


Nate Collier has left the Chicago Journal .


E. A. Bushnell has received an invitation from the minister of foreign affairs of France to contribute to an official sketch book of the best anti-German cartoons the original of his cartoon on the “Lusitania” disaster, entitled “Making War Frightful.” This drawing, which was reproduced last year in Cartoons Magazine, credited to the Cincinnati Times-Star, shows Death with huge, overshadowing wings, grasping the ill-fated steamship in his bony hands. The French book will include cartoons by the master satirists of all neutral countries.

The wedding of Mrs. Irene Louise Lauder-Milch, daughter of Mrs. Mary Evans, of New York, to Sidney Greene, cartoonist of the New York Evening Telegram, took place early in July at the Church of the Transfiguration. A breakfast and reception followed at the Claridge Hotel. The bride is the widow of Mr. William Lauder-Milch of Pennsylvania.

Friends of “Mutt and Jeff,” who missed those little fellows for a short time recently from the back pages of their favorite newspapers, found the explanation in the motor accident to their originator, Bud Fisher. Mr. Fisher was rather seriously injured when his automobile which he was driving along the Glenn Falls road near Saratoga, skidded and turned completely over. Mr. Fisher suffered a fractured rib, and with his companion, who was also injured, was taken to a hospital by a passing motorist. The artist and his friend were on their way from New York to a summer resort in the Adirondacks.

Robert Minor, cartoonist of the New York Call, has been on the Mexican border making sketches of the militiamen who have been called out to defend Uncle Sam against the Greasers. This is his second war assignment, and though he has no use for war as an institution, he cannot resist it. He recently returned from the battle fronts of Europe, where he was sent to “rip the buttons and gold lace” from Mars.

“I was much amused in El Paso,” he says, “by hearing some very well-meaning and well-informed men burst out with hatred toward the Mexicans, whom they believe to be the sole cause of the friction. They do not realize that some of these very Mexicans are their best friends, while some of the Americans they are lauding are a great part of the contributing cause of the trouble. They do not seem to know that it is oil and copper and all the natural resources of Mexico that form the underlying reasons of it all.”

After visiting in Juarez, “the place where they throw the dead and wounded soldiers,” he says he sensed a feeling of horror and revulsion, and left as soon as possible. Similar sights, he declares, hastened his return from Europe.

 Although Clare Briggs lived during his boyhood days in Lincoln, Nebraska, and Dixon, Illinois, the boys that he portrays seem to be universal. Thus, one admirer writes: “You must have lived in Oregon,” and another, “You must have lived in Tennessee.” Briggs is convinced that boys are much the same the world over.

When the battleships carrying their citizen sailors put out to sea from New York recently, one of them carried Herb Roth of the World. Herb decided to be patriotic and give his vacation to his country, incidentally enjoying a cruise. In taking examinations he stated that he had had “small boat” experience, which seemed to satisfy the naval examiners. If they had questioned him further Herb would have had to admit that his small boat experience, to be painfully exact, was limited to an open canoe. Following the cruise, which lasts a month, Herb will make a three weeks’ visit to his home in San Francisco.


John T. McCutcheon of the Chicago Tribune heads a list of 150 applicants for instruction in aviation and enlistment in the First Squadron U. S. Central Aviation Reserve. He also subscribed $100 toward the $20,000 fund required to equip the squadron and the school of instruction.


“Why is it,” asks a gentleman from Topeka, “that cartoonist Hammond of the Wichita Eagle, persists in representing Wichita as a man with whiskers?” A more careful cartoonist, he adds, would take cognizance of the fact that the Wichita winds preclude whiskers.


Cliff Berryman, inventor of the Teddy Bear, and cartoonist of the Washington Star, claims that his father should share in his fame as a likeness getter. The elder Berryman was a crossroads merchant, and spent his spare time caricaturing his customers on wrapping paper. He encouraged his son to study cartooning. Cliff has been on the Washington newspapers for twenty years now, and knows personally more celebrities than any other cartoonist in the country.


Charles Graham Baker, formerly cartoonist of the New York Times, was married recently to Miss Beryl Hilburn.

 Some take their golf seriously, others frivolously, while some don’t care for the game at all. It makes no difference, however, whether you are a scoffer, a duffer, or a golfer, Briggs’ new book of golf cartoons is dedicated to you, and you will like it, in whatever class you are. It is described by the publisher, P. F. Volland & Co., as “the book of a thousand chuckles,” but one might go a bit farther and say a thousand and one chuckles.

The cartoons have appeared from time to time in the columns of the New York Tribune. Tinted, and in book form, they make a collection rich in humor and human interest. Briggs knows his golfers, and portrays them with all their faults and virtues.

In his dedication to “the scoffers, the duffers, and the golfers,” he says: “It is to these three classes that I am indebted for the material contained in this book. Of these three classes I might say the greatest is the duffer. He is the salt and substance of the golf course. He is the source of more cartoons than any other class. He is funny. He makes my business good. He is the inspiration. I was once a scoffer myself and I believe I understand the emotions and feelings of him. Now I am with the great and unsilent majority, the duffer, where I expect to remain for some time to come. Some day I hope to be a golfer, but that is not important. I prefer the association of duffers. I prefer the thoughts of a duffer, because I believe in my cartoons of him I can reach the majority who make up the golf world. I do not have to exaggerate, I do not have to imagine. One need only to observe and draw the real happenings, repeat the actual sayings, and depict true expressions. Hence the golf cartoon.”


Russell Henderson, cartoonist of the American Issue, the prohibition organ, has been spending his vacation at Gordonville, Va., where he owns a farm so large that he has to ride across it on horseback.

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