Saturday, May 20, 2017

William Von Riegen in College Humor, July 1936

A trio of cartoons by William Von Riegen in the July 1936 issue of College Humor are set in a theatre, in a restaurant, and in a tattoo parlor. Nevertheless, they do have one thing in common: in each of these disparate settings, the young woman knows how to leave the man speechless. Two of these men even have similar stunned facial expressions, while the gent in the theatre is left with his mouth fully agape. It's mildly surprising that, in a magazine catering to the college-age crowd, there is a disturbing age difference between the young woman and the considerably older man in two of these cartoons, yet it is the woman who is rather obviously playing the seductress in this pair of gags, and indeed perhaps less obviously in the tattoo parlor gag as well. The appeal of this genre then seems to be young, attractive women making themselves sexually available to either younger men like the sailor or even more aggressively to older men of doubtful physical appeal, provided of course that they're well off financially.

"What do you suggest we do now, Mr. Bromley."
William Von Riegen,
 College Humor, Vol. 2, No. 2, July 1936

"Let's go, Mr. Fenton—I want to show you my etchings."
William Von Riegen,
 College Humor, Vol. 2, No. 2, July 1936, page 47

"A fellow on the U.S.S. Lexington has my picture on his chest."
William Von Riegen,
 College Humor, Vol. 2, No. 2, July 1936, page 49

A fourth cartoon by Von Riegen mocks those soft, flabby types lacking in athletic prowess.
"And this is called the head-lock."
William Von Riegen,
 College Humor, Vol. 2, No. 2, July 1936, page 48

Note:  This issue of College Humor, indeed all the issues of College Humor which have appeared on this blog, may be found in the Steven Boss humor magazine collection at Columbia University. I spent an afternoon in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library over a year ago and I've been blogging about it ever since. Thanks as ever to Curator for Comics and Cartoons Karen Green.

William Von Riegen has been hiding in plain sight for years. His cartoons and illustrations appeared in many publications over some four decades. Today he's not very well-known. I'd be happy to review scans of published cartoons or original artwork in the interest of publicizing the work of this talented yet obscure cartoonist.

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