Saturday, April 14, 2018

E. Simms Campbell: A Wartime Sacrifice

A wartime "Harem Girls" gatefold cartoon from Esquire shows the ease with which artist E. Simms Campbell could populate his large color cartoons with some two dozen figures, including even three colorful men. The old warrior has been called to fight in the Second World War. Naturally, he seeks help in looking after the home front. The women themselves seldom react to what is transpiring; their role, after all, is to lounge about and look desirable. Still, they don't seem overly upset by the news. It is the sultan whom we get to see overreact in an old-fashioned and exaggerated style of cartooning that seems all too obvious today.
"I've been called to the front, my friend—do you mind taking care of my family?"
E. Simms Campbell
Esquire, 1940s

The fruit doesn't look bad either.

The sultan overreacts

The "Harem Girls" play it close to the vest.

E. Simms Campbell's signature

Of the three men, only the man in the background has an idealized form, whereas all the women share one.

Artist Unknown

Note:  E. Simms Campbell (1906-1971) created an awful lot of cartoons like this. Attempted Bloggery will continue to survey the work of this artist for the next two weeks or so. Readers with access to original Campbell art or to little-known published cartoons such as this one may submit high-resolution scans or photographs to the blog.

This cartoon was published in Esquire presumably between 1941 and 1945. Write if you know precisely when. 

Who is the mystery cartoonist? What is the caption?

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