Friday, May 26, 2017

William Von Riegen in College Humor, February 1938

In the uncomplicated world view of College Humor magazine back in the winter of 1938, Mr. Strinch and Mr. Blair are the generic names of successful men who quite naturally find themselves on the receiving end of the attentions of young women. After all, why wouldn't they be? The reader doesn't even need to see Mr. Strinch; it's enough to get an eyeful of his barely-dressed girlfriend. She may be lounging about informally, but she still addresses him formally ... as Mr. Strinch. The joke is that the young woman's mother knows she and Mr. Strinch are going to a show but she's ignorant of their level of intimacy, something that we can glean from her lack of proper evening wear. Still, it's strictly a physical intimacy, and that's probably just fine with the collegiate crowd. But maybe it shouldn't be.

Mr. Blair, on the other hand, owner and chief executive of the family industry, seems somewhat befuddled by his secretary's willingness to offer her services after five o'clock for time-and-a-half. Depression or no, both the women in these cartoons seem to have greatly undervalued themselves.

The artist for both drawings is William Von Riegen, who has drawn the fully-clothed woman more alluringly.

"Mother says to bring me home right after the show, Mr. Strinch."
William Von Riegen, College Humor, Volume 7, No. 2, February 1938, page 23

"Do I get time and a half if I stay after five o'clock, Mr. Blair?"
William Von Riegen, College Humor, Volume 7, No. 2, February 1938, page 35

Note:  This copy of College Humor is part of the Steven Boss humor magazine collection at Columbia University. I went into the Rare Book & Manuscript Library more than a year ago looking for Peter Arno cartoons and I came away with a lot more than I bargained for. Librarian Karen Green, the Curator for Comics and Cartoons at Columbia, oversees the collection of some 5,600 humor magazines. Word is she does a lot of other things too.

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