Wednesday, February 21, 2018

E. Simm's Campbell: No Credit at the Harem

Cartoonist E. Simms Campbell created his famous "Harem Girls" for the first issue of Esquire  in 1933 and over the years they remained very popular with readers. Later he brought the concept over to Hugh Hefner's Playboy magazine. In January 1962, we learn why it's important to keep one's account at the harem in good standing. It perhaps isn't terribly funny, but the sultan's financial situation may be relatable to anyone who has ever fallen behind on payments for more mundane items, and very likely the gag is meant to be more looked at than laughed at anyway. The strategically-placed flowers tell us that in 1962 Playboy was still leaving something to the imagination, although perhaps less than Esquire.

E. Simms Campbell
"I'm terribly sorry, your majesty—but you haven't paid for those last girls."

Original art
Playboy, January 1962, page 141

E. Simms Campbell
Christie's Sale 2367, The Year of the Rabbit:  The Playboy Collection, Lot 26

New York, December 8, 2010

Note:  Now comes the reckoning! Attempted Bloggery is looking at the work of cartoonist E. Simms Campbell (1906-1971). I seek scans or photographs from readers of original Campbell art or rare published works not already available on internet.

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