Thursday, March 23, 2017

Dorothy McKay in College Humor, May 1937

The first of Dorothy McKay's cartoons in the May 1937 issue of College Humor is set at a burlesque show featuring a striptease. Such shows were still extremely familiar, presumably, even during the Great Depression. In any event, the audience as depicted by Ms. McKay consists strictly of older male patrons, not college-age students, and the joke is made at their expense. Clearly, these middle-aged men don't even remember what they're supposed to be looking at.

"Look, Marcus! Isn't that one of our dresses?"
Dorothy McKay, College Humor, May 1937, page 44


Not bad! This predates by more than two years a classic Peter Arno New Yorker cartoon with a similar, but perhaps not identical, take:
Peter Arno, The New Yorker, December 10, 1938


Some nefarious criminal plot is being hatched in this next one, but just exactly what? One thing is certain: Helen, whoever she is, had better watch out! (Could this be perhaps a bad Helen Keller joke?)

"Hello—Helen?"
Dorothy McKay, College Humor, May 1937, page 50



Note:  The May 1937 number of College Humor can be found in the Steven Boss humor magazine collection at Columbia University tucked away in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, naturally. My thanks to Karen Green, the—ahem!—Curator for Comics and Cartoons, for her able assistance in guiding me to it.

If anyone can shed some light on the "Hello—Helen?" gag, please go ahead and shed.


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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Dorothy McKay in College Humor, July 1936

Cartoonist Dorothy McKay typically published two full-page cartoons in those issues of College Humor which included her work. In the July 1936 number, she depicts two encounters between young adults and the older generation. In each, she offers a laugh to her readers who, despite their relative youth and inexperience, can feel confident they are more sexually sophisticated than the speakers in the cartoons. The first is set at a wedding and reinforces a young person's stereotypical view of how the older generation just doesn't get it, particularly regarding the facts of life. Note the obvious innocence of the question being asked.

"And what are you planning to do on your honeymoon, my dear children?"
Dorothy McCay, College Humor, Vol. 2, No. 2, July 1936, page 29

Another cartoon brings another over-the-top question. In this second cartoon, though, it's the young, attractive woman who proves sexually naive:

"Sure, Sally Jones gets all the fellows—She's rich—What have I got to offer them?"
Dorothy McCay, College Humor, Vol. 2, No. 2, July 1936, page 35


Note:  The July 1936 issue of College Humor is one of 5,600 pieces in the Steven Boss humor magazine collection at Columbia University located in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Thanks to Karen Green, Curator for Comics and Cartoons, for her assistance. Yes, that's her new title. Could anything be more awesome?


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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Doris Matthews: They're Playing Our Song

Cartoonist Doris Matthews gives it the old college try:


"They're playing our song."
Doris Matthews, original cartoon art


Huh? April 12? August 12?

The Shadow knows

Doris Matthews's signature and caption




Detail 



Doris Matthews
eBay Listing as of March 16, 2017

eBay Item Description


Note:  Original cartoon art by Doris Matthews and other New Yorker cartoonists is a highly sought-after commodity here on the blog. Just saying...

Like it or not, this blog post is likely to remain an authoritative source for information on this obscure cartoon for some time to come. So if you have any inkling as to when or where it was published, please tell me what you know.


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Other cartoons and illustrations from the blog with uncertain publication history

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Monday, March 20, 2017

My Entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #561

Beg and I just may show you my entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #561 for March 20, 2017. The drawing is by Will McPhail.

"So we scratch each other's backs, euphemistically speaking?"


Note:  Last week, cartoonist Mick Stevens failed to invite us into his cave. I in turn failed to submit my caption. Does that explains the success of Contest #560?

Consult the blog archives for more caption contests from Will McPhail.

This blog has quite a few posts about man's best friend too.

It's that time of year again. Don't miss out on my remembrance of springs past!

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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Doris Matthews: Signs of Spring

How do we know when spring is finally here? Cartoonist Doris Matthews has an unusual answer.

"The signs are about right for spring planting. I saw two poets in the lower pasture this morning."
Doris Matthews, original cartoon art

Detail

Detail

Verso

Verso stamp

Doris Matthews
eBay Listing Ended November 7, 2015

Doris Matthews
eBay Item Description




"The signs are about right for spring planting. I saw two poets in the lower pasture this morning."
Doris Matthews, original cartoon art


Note:  Surely someone knows when and where this was published. If it's you, step forward, please. If not, never mind.

This is the first time original art by Doris Matthews has appeared on this blog. Anyone with access to other drawings who would like to share them here should get in touch.


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Has it sprung yet?

02128

Saturday, March 18, 2017

A Tip of the Hat from Jean-Jacques Sempé

A copy of Jean-Jacques Sempé's De Bon Matin [Early in the Morning] (1983) is inscribed to one Donatello with a drawing of a man raising his plumed hat. The inscription dates from 1999. The book was found at a second-hand bookstore in Manhattan last year for $50.

Jean-Jacques Sempé, De Bon Matin, Denoël, 1983

Inscribed "Pour Donatello, Sempé 1999" with a drawing of a man raising his plumed hat.

Note:  Do you have anything unique to share about the uniquely-talented Jean-Jacques Sempé? Send what you've got this way and I will raise my hat to you. Well, my baseball cap.


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Friday, March 17, 2017

Jean-Jacques Sempé's Sauve Qui Peut Signed with a Musical Drawing

A copy of Jean-Jacques Sempé's Sauve Qui Peut [Every Man for Himself] (1964) is inscribed to pianist John Philips. It has an original 1966 drawing of a harp duet of sorts. The book was sold on eBay for $104.50 on September 25, 2007 by Dunaway Books of St. Louis.

Jean-Jacques Sempé, Sauve Qui Peut,  Denoël, 1964

Signed "Pour John Philips, Sempé, 1966" with a drawing of a woman and man playing either side of a harp in concert while busts of the great composers are mounted high above them.



Note:  Really, who's better than Sempé? Collectors with original works by Jean-Jacques Sempé who want to see them on a stranger's blog should send scans or photos. It's every man for himself.

I'd also love to hear from anyone with knowledge of the pianist John Philips, his friendship with Sempé, and his recordings.

Sauve Qui Peut is an idiomatic expression that roughly translates as Rush to Escape. I chose to translate it as Every Man for Himself, which it has come to mean, but it also has the sense of Get Out While You Can. 


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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Jean-Jacques Sempé's Tout se Complique Signed with a Musical Drawing

A copy of Jean-Jacques Sempé's Tout se Complique [Eveerything is Complicated] is inscribed to pianist John Philips. It has an original drawing of a pianist playing, if not the Moonlight Sonata, then a sonata in the moonlight. It was sold on eBay by Dunaway Books of St. Louis in September of 2007 for $135.50.

Jean-Jacques Sempé, Tout se Complique, Denoël, 1964

Inscribed "Pour John Phlips, Sempé" with a drawing of a pianist playing in the moonlight



Note:  Cartoons books with original drawings by Jean-Jacques Sempé (and others) are a specialty of the house here at Attempted Bloggery. Please send scans or photos of your own examples of the house special and we'll what we can put on the menu.

Information about the pianist John Philips, likely a longtime friend of Sempé, would be welcome as well. Did he have a prosperous concert career? Did he record more than the Milhaud piano and ondes Martenot sonata?


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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Jean-Jacques Sempé's La Grande Panique Signed with a Musical Drawing

La Grande Panique [The Great Panic] is a 1966 cartoon collection by Jean-Jacques Sempé. A copy inscribed to pianist John Philips includes a drawing of a pianist and a harpist preparing for a performance by—what else?—tying back their hair. The unique book was sold on eBay by Dunaway Books in St. Louis for $129.26 in November of 2007.

Jean-Jacques Sempé, La Grande Panique, Denoël, 1966

Inscribed "For John Philips, Sempé" with a drawing of a pianist and harpist tying back their hair on a concert stage


Note:  Cartoons books with original drawings by Jean-Jacques Sempé (and others) are a specialty of the house here at Attempted Bloggery. Please send scans or photos of your own examples of the house special and I'll see what we can put on the menu.

Pianist John Philips, as we have seen, recorded at least one piece by Darius Milhaud in France. His library contained Sempé first editions personalized by the artist over at least two decades. So how did his book collection get to a bookseller in St. Louis? Anyone?


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Beware the Ides of March. And that longhair music.

02124

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Jean-Jacques Sempé's Vaguement Compétitif Signed with a Musical Drawing

Jean-Jacques Sempé's Vaguement Compétitif [Vaguely Competitive] was published by Denoël in 1985. In the year of publication, Sempé inscribed a copy to musician John Philips with a drawing of a concert pianist approaching his instrument. The book was sold by Dunaway Books of St. Louis, MO on September 25, 2007 for $90 on eBay.


Jean-Jacques Sempé, Vaguement Compétitif, Denoël, 1985

Inscribed "Pour John Philips, J. J. Sempé 1985" with a drawing of a man walking to a piano
Jean-Jacques Sempé,
 Vaguement Compétitif, Denoël, 1985


Book recipient John Philips performed in the suite by Darius Milhaud on a 1962 recording.
Messiaen:  Fete des Belles Eaux
Milhaud:  Suite pour Piano et ondes Martenot
J. Charpentier Lalita (pour Martenot et percussion)
Jeanne Loriod, ondes Martenot and musical direction
John Philips, piano
Didier Duclos, percussion
France, 1962

Inscribed "Pour John Philips, J. J. Sempé 1985" with a drawing of a musician walking to a concert piano
Jean-Jacques Sempé,
 Vaguement Compétitif, Denoël, 1985



Note:  I'm the first to admit that original works by Jean-Jacques Sempé don't appear enough on this blog, so who has something good to share here?


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