Showing posts with label Secret History of Comics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Secret History of Comics. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Claude E. Toles exhibit at the Cosmos Club

Lieberman's favorite work by Toles (not exhibited)

by Mike Rhode

Randy Liebermann purchased a collection of Elmira, New York cartoonist Claude E. Toles a few years ago. A selection of the material is now on display at the Cosmos Club, which is only open to members and their guests. He kindly showed the exhibit to me last weekend and has agreed to let us feature it here.

Toles is barely known today. He worked for about 10 years from 1891-1901, before dying at age 26 of Bright's disease (ie kidney failure). In that time, he was stunningly prolific, doing over 6000 drawings, or 600 / year, or about 2 / day. Very few of these seem to have survived. The best source for information on Toles is John Adcock's article, A Remarkable Collection: C. E. Toles (1875-1901), and this link will take you to all of Adcock's articles on Toles, and more pictures. Alex Jay also did a fine job digging around on Tole's life, and Allan Holtz has another example on the same site. Liebermann had all of the pieces in this exhibit conserved, and they look very good indeed. The Library of Congress has a piece, described here.

The Cosmos Club's Art Committee chose Deja vu All Over Again: The Art of Claude E. Toles as the exhibit title because they felt that many of the political situations seen in Toles' 115-year-old cartoons were recurring now. Here's their exhibit text and Toles' editorial cartoons for the Elmira Telegram.



 

The first image a visitor sees is this one of a man who's too poor to have his shoes shined.



President Grover Cleveland and Congress were at odds over 
his Supreme Court nominees as the next four cartoons show. 


"David's Hornblower a Blasting Hoister for Grover's" depicts a modified Edison talking machine.
 

 
The President was at odds with Congress over his Supreme Court nominees.



 Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats were looking very good to voters.




Despair - Liebermann noted that there was a depression from 1893-1897 but no social net.



Liebermann usually collects material on technology, and Uncle Sam grasping this wet cell battery shows the electric shock of racism over the annexation of Hawaii.



Toles drew Congress as lost in a snowstorm


A standard end of year cartoon for 1893.


Like any other working cartoonist, Toles did a wide variety of work including sheet music,


gag cartoons,

original art, with tear sheet in lower right

tearsheet with 19th century style joke

magazine mastheads (Twain also lived in Elmira),


proto-comic strip pages,


...and illustration work which doubled as social commentary.

"A Varsity Crew. As It Isn't" ca. 1899. Women didn't row in college

His rowers were definitely influenced by Charles Dana Gibson's Gibson Girls...
But his babies preceded Rose O'Neill's Kewpies by a few years...

And what this art nouveau fairy coxswain means is anyone's guess.

The only known photograph of Toles

Besides being very prolific, and short-lived, Toles may confuse historians due to his multiple signatures...






...which he definitely did on purpose when he moved to Baltimore to set up The International Syndicate which would sell stock images to a newspaper or magazine.




Toles drew most, if not all of the cartoons and illustrations in this book, but signed a variety of names to cartoons of different styles as demonstrated in his scrapbook, which Liebermann brought in for us to see.

Photo by RL

Finally, one last piece also not in the exhibit is this unsigned painting, which Liebermann had extensively conserved. Randy thinks it's a one-off piece; I think it shows that Toles was considering moving into the newly-enlarged illustration market which was about to enter its golden age.





Monday, September 28, 2015

Pea Soup ephemera (UPDATED)


Here's a couple of post cards I bought a few weeks ago in Arlington's Civitan flea market, with a nice gag cartoon about making pea soup. The pea soup empire grew well - it still exists!

And here's Pea Soup Andesen's website since I'm posting their cartoon.Their website says about the cartoon: "In the early thirties a cartoon appeared in the old "Judge" magazine. It was one of a series by the famous cartoonist Forbell, under the heading of "Little Known Occupations." The cartoon showed the little known occupation of splitting peas for pea soup, with two comic chefs standing at a chopping table, one holding a huge chisel, splitting peas singly as they came down a chute."


Tuesday, September 01, 2015

World War II cartoons from the Navy's medical historian's office


The Navy's Bureau of Medicine and Surgery's historian's office holds a collection of newsletters and newspapers from various naval hospitals. U.S. Naval Hospital Aiea Heights had two issues and 2 fragments of an issue that are now online at the Medical Heritage Library. Here's the cartoons from them.

Robert Woodcock was one of the best of them and had two in the November 11, 1944 issue, and is featured in an article here.



Virgil Partch, aka VIP, was one of the best cartoonists and went on to a serious postwar career in cartooning. This is from December 15, 1945.


Al Santamauro (Nov. 11, 1943) and Bill Pietsch (Dec. 12, 1945) both seem to have disappeared from the cartooning world.


Monday, April 20, 2015

Look's Cartoonist Series - Charles Addams, Hilda Terry and Fred Neher


This doesn't have much to do with comics in the DC area except that I bought 3 old Look Magazine issues at Arlington's library sale this weekend because they had articles on cartoonists. The magazines themselves are going to Michigan State U's Comic Art Collection later this week, but here's scans of the articles (with a bonus Rollin Kirby editorial) and some of the ads by cartoonists will be online later this week. Does anyone know how many of these profiles Look did? Or have scans of other ones to share?

Charles Addams, Look's 5th Cartoonist Series, 12/15/1942


Fred Neher, Look's 8th Cartoonist Series, 2/23/1943

Hilda Terry, Look's 9th Cartoonist Series, 4/6/1943

Rollin Kirby's 5th editorial, 12/15/1942


Sunday, July 20, 2014

John Held, Jr. artwork on card game

I picked up this card game, Pit, in New Jersey last weekend. John Held Jr. did the artwork. It's copyrighted 1919, which I think may be for the game, not the artwork, but I also think the game may still be sold.
Add a footnote to the Secret History of Comics...