Saturday, May 12, 2018

E. Simms Campbell: In the Harem Maternity Ward

As we prepare for tomorrow's celebration of Mother's Day, let's first take a look back at one depiction of new mothers in the popular "Harem Girls" series by cartoonist E. Simms Campbell. This gag was published in Esquire magazine sometime in the year 1939 and is an over-the-top male fantasy view of female availability, not to mention male stamina. The harem hospital ward, we here learn, serves almost exclusively as a maternity ward. The sultan has proved to be not only exceptionally fertile, but he somehow has been responsible for a prodigious number of concurrent multiple births—and this in the era before fertility drugs, not to mention Viagra!

"This one was appendicitis[.]"
E. Simms Campbell
Esquire, 1939

Note:  Attempted Bloggery seeks your scans and photographs of obscure published gag cartoons by E. Simms Campbell (1906-1971) and by other New Yorker artists. Make Mom proud.

This cartoon was published in Esquire in the year 1939, but in what issue and on what pages? Obstetrical science needs to know. 

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