Friday, March 2, 2018

Vintage Esquire Cartoons: Shall We Join the Ladies?

It is missing its cover, so there is no date and no title—even the staples are missing—but the cartoons in a small cartoon sampler from Esquire presented on eBay are thankfully intact. The pamphlet features cartoons by Howard Baer, E. Simms Campbell, Irwin Caplan, Abner Dean, Eldon Dedini, Syd Hoff, Robert Holley, Dorothy McKay, Garrett Price, Irving Roir, Barbara Shermund, Raeburn Van Buren, and Alex Young. There are also two racy images of The Esquire Girl, a photograph by Ronnie Jacques and a pinup painting by Al Moore.

We start with a beautiful drawing by Barbara Shermund set at a soda fountain. Here we get an important civics lesson regarding different forms of government. A pair of images both titled The Esquire Girl reveal what is on readers' minds besides civics.
Barbara Shermund
"I'm not sure, but I think in a dictatorship you have to have
children, but in a democracy they leave it up to you."
Ronnie Jacques
The Esquire Girl
Al Moore
The Esquire Girl

The image by Al Moore from the pamphlet was published in Esquire in 1949 according to a post on Pinterest, which may provide an earliest possible date for the booklet.
Al Moore
The Esquire Girl:  Mis-Adventure, 1949
Image added March 3, 2018

The Al Moore pin-up image, now tilted slightly, also appeared in a 1950 calendar:
Al Moore
April 1950

Image added March 3, 2018

Two color cartoons by E. Simms Campbell are from his popular "Harem Girls" series. Both seek their humor in the transactional nature of the harem.
E. Simms Campbell
"Come, come, let's not quibble about price—she's not only a dancer!"
E. Simms Campbell
"Sometimes I feel just like selling out."

With Shall We Join the Ladies? cartoonist Eldon Dedini takes us on a tour of the bar. Of course we shall.
Eldon Dedini
Shall We Join the Ladies?
Raising our spirits high by Eldon Dedini
You finish it!
Ooo! What's in this!
I don't care, mix me anything!
The "manly" drinker
May I have your olive?
The usual, Sam
Just a "teeny" bit

A stolen kiss is the subject of an absolutely gorgeous drawing by Dorothy McKay. Note the sweeping diagonal lines and the transformation of the mundane to the romantic. Syd Hoff's card player holds a winning pair.
Dorothy McKay
[A stolen kiss]
Syd Hoff

"Stop looking at my cards!"

Five in black and white:
Irving Roir
"I hope you don't mind, but we just couldn't get a chaperon."

Alex Young
"Now in this round, lead with your left, feint with the right, jab
with the left, cross with the right—get up at the nine count."
E. Simms Campbell
"O.K. buddy, break it up."
Eldon Dedini

"I've discovered more movie stars this way."
Irwin Caplan
"...and this one has everything."

It's mind-boggling how many cartoons there are from this time period--I'm guessing the 1940s--about the casting couch. It's impossible to view this today as the sort of knowing, light-hearted gag it was meant to be: This is the way the world works, nudge, nudge. These days it's hard to get beyond the implied sexual harassment, and rightly so.
Howard Baer
"There are two ways of becoming a star, Miss Tulare—one is by industry,
concentration and perseverance—the other I think might interest you."

Robert Holley
"I got fed up with the same old grind."
Raeburn Van Buren
"I've got a surprise for you—I'm going to be your mother!"
Howard Baer
"All right, so I'm dumb—so what would you do with a cultured woman[?]"
Eldon Dedini
"He was just about the most unforgettable character I've ever met."

Abner Dean's cartoon is about an important lesson learned too late. E. Simms Campbell's churchgoer pulls rank when the collection plate comes around.
Abner Dean
"She said her husband was out of town and I was
fool enough to believe her."

(March 29, 2018 Update:  Published in Esquire, September 1935)
E. Simms Campbell

[Church collection]

Five color cartoons are led by a beauty from Barbara Shermund:
Barbara Shermund
"He was a perfect gentleman—but we ran into that wildcat wife of his."
Abner Dean
"Stand back! All I want is a little gasoline."
Garrett Price
"I thought you said there were three girls to every man in this town."
Jaro Fabry
"We thought we'd never get here."
Barbara Shermund
"It's Mr. Aldrich, Mother. I dampened his ardor."

The cartoon by Jaro Fabry was published as a full page in the January 1941 issue:
Jaro Fabry
"We thought we'd never get here[.]"
January 1941, page 46
Imaged added March 3, 2018

This was all found on eBay:
Vintage Cartoons from Esquire
eBay Listing Retrieved April 5, 2015

Vintage Cartoons from Esquire
eBay Item Description

Note:  Can anyone furnish the title, date, and cover images of this Esquire cartoon sampler?

Attempted Bloggery would appreciate receiving scans and photographs of original art or forgotten published work by any of these artists.

Attempted Bloggery supports net neutrality.


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