Sunday, May 21, 2017

William Von Riegen and Buford Tune in College Humor, May 1937

Two unsigned cartoons from the May 1937 issue of College Humor could be the work of William Von Riegen. The cartoons are reproduced in a horizontal orientation and the signatures may very well have been cropped out of the image. The first deals with a surefire humorous scenario: the shy man who encounters a sexually assertive woman.

"You're not the aggressive type, are you, Mr. Walters?"
William Von Riegen [?], College Humor, Vol. 5, No. 1, Ma
y 1937, page 57

The second, which may not be by Von Riegen, may be taken as a commentary on some of the Hollywood sex scandals of the era, particularly those that may have involved aging child stars who continued to take on roles considerably younger than their chronological ages. The depiction here of an infant having an affair with a young woman is clearly meant to be ridiculous, but today it is hard to view this gag as anything but tasteless in the extreme.
"Just how far has your romance with young Robbins gone?"
Buford Tune, College Humor, Vol. 5, No. 1, May 1937, page 59

May 23, 2017 Update: I am now attributing the second cartoon to Buford Tune.

Note:  This issue of College Humor is in the Steven Boss humor magazine collection at Columbia University. The Rare Book & Manuscript Library is home to some 5,600 humor magazines and Curator for Comics and Cartoons Karen Green knows where to find them all.

Are these unsigned cartoons truly the work of William Von Riegen? The first seems very likely to be, the second less so, but, by all means, tell me what you think.

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