Friday, May 31, 2019

Good Omens Signed by Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman appeared at Town Hall on May 22 to talk about Good Omens. The 1990 book he wrote with Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) is being promoted again in conjunction with a new Prime original television series of which Gaiman is the screenwriter and showrunner. Tickets for the event included a paperback copy of the TV tie-in edition of the book signed in advance with a silver Sharpie.




http://thetownhall.org/event/neil-gaiman-talks-good-omens

In 2018 Chantrelle (@vampandora) tweeted her wonderful first edition signed by both authors:
https://twitter.com/neilhimself/status/1057281969850081280

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Thursday, May 30, 2019

Garrett Price: Two Faces Are Better Than One

At this point we can make a few generalizations about the cartoons used by advertising agency Young & Rubicam in its decades-long print campaign to promote its services to the industry. Although Y & R made use of many of the very best cartoonists in the business, that did not necessarily result in many of the very best cartoons. Instead the cartoons often slavishly served the advertising copy, which was often ponderous and strained.

"I wish that fellow were on our board[.]"
Garrett Price
Young & Rubicam advertisement
1933






A case in point is Garrett Price's 1933 cartoon featuring a corporate gentleman fitted out with derby, monocle, and walking stick. He stands in a museum or gallery admiring a bust of the Roman god Janus and wishing the two-faced god could serve on his board. For those not steeped in the beliefs of the ancient world, Price has helpfully labeled the base Janus: Roman god of all beginnings. That at least is clear, but the awkward copy struggles to explain why this god's services might be of value: "The planning of selling and advertising needs the Janus-like ability to see in two directions at once
—backward for mistakes  —forward for opportunities."

That's certainly not the most eloquent of arguments. The few cartoonists we've seen contribute to Y & R's campaign over the years—Price, Robert Day, William Steig, H. T. Webster—have not been used to their best advantage.


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Wednesday, May 29, 2019

The Cartoon Collections Caption Contest #25

This week the Cartoon Collections Caption Contest #25 gives its cartoon the file name Doctors Without Diplomas. The drawing is by Bob Eckstein.



"You can't be too careful about a sprained ankle."
"You won't be bothered any more by that splinter."
"Okay, that's a wrap."
"This time stay away from banana peels."
"You should have done that before we started."
"And does your insurance cover unwrapping?"



June 6, 2019 Update:  The Winner



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Bob Eckstein
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Tuesday, May 28, 2019

H. T. Webster: A Green Thumb

Advertising agency Young & Rubicam enlisted quite a few cartoonists in its long-running in-house print campaign promoting the company's own services. Potential clients were shown various means by which the agency brought its unique skills to marketing and branding. Along the way a variety of not-so-subtle analogies were made. Cartoonists, with their myriad creative approaches, were the ideal conveyors of this corporate message. For example, a 1951 cartoon by the superb H. T. Webster (1885-1952) is intended to imply that Y & R is the ad agency with a green thumb, one that will harvest a creative bounty. Why use anyone else?

What a whale of a difference a "green thumb" makes
H. T. Webster
Young & Rubicam advertisement
1951


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Monday, May 27, 2019

My Entry in The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #664

All rise for my entry in The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #664 of May 27, 2019. The drawing is by Pat Achilles.
"Any more misdirection and I'll misdirect the jury."


These captions weren't legally binding:

"'Man-about-town' is not a plea."
"In fact, close-up magic would NOT please the Court."
"I will not tolerate misdirection during redirect."
"Can you guess the sentence I'm thinking of?"


June 3, 2019 Update:  The Finalists



June 17, 2019 Update:
  I voted with Arden.


June 24, 2019 Update:  The Winner


Note:  Last week cartoonist Drew Panckeri
showed us what's inside the pizza box. Grab a slice of Contest #663.

This is the first appearance of Pat Achilles on Attempted Bloggery. So as of today she's the very first name in my blog index.

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Sunday, May 26, 2019

Robert Day: Dogs I've Known...

A 1947 ad for Gro-Pup dog food, a product made by Kellogg's, is illustrated by cartoonist Robert Day. Entitled Dogs I've Known..., the ad features three general types of dog: finicky eater, lazybones, and contented playmate. It should be no surprise for the contemporary reader to learn that each would do well on a diet of Gro-Pup. The tag line is "Dogs go for Gro-Pup." Ads for Gro-Pup were common from the 1930s to the 1960s.
Dogs I've Known...
Robert Day
Gro-Pup advertisement
1947



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Saturday, May 25, 2019

Robert Day: Rescue Options

Robert Day's original New Yorker cartoon of April 2, 1932 depicts a crew fighting a fire and staging a rescue in a high-rise apartment building. The scene is handled with considerable skill, visually setting off the busy fire crew on the ground from the pair of figures all the way up at the top of the ladder. Large billows of dark smoke provide a dramatic contrast to the sprays of water. In print, the cartoon cuts a bold diagonal across the page accentuated by having the magazine's type set in two stepped columns. The original drawing was inscribed by Day to comics artist Morris Weiss (1915-2014). When it was sold framed and matted for just $131.45 by Heritage Auctions in 2015, no mention was made of its New Yorker history. It seems Weiss's heirs didn't know what they had—and neither did Heritage.
"Malcolm! She wants you!"
Robert Day

Original art
Inscribed "To Morris Weiss
with best wishes
Robt. Day"
The New Yorker, April 2, 1932, page 11


"Malcolm! She wants you!"
Robert Day

Framed original art
Inscribed "To Morris Weiss
with best wishes
Robt. Day"
The New Yorker, April 2, 1932, page 11





Robert Day
Heritage Auctions June 14, 2015

"Malcolm! She wants you!"
Robert Day

The New Yorker, April 2, 1932, page 11

"Malcolm! She wants you!"
Robert Day

Original art
Inscribed "To Morris Weiss
with best wishes
Robt. Day"
The New Yorker, April 2, 1932, page 11
https://archives.newyorker.com/?i=1932-04-02#folio=010




Note:  Attempted Bloggery seeks additional examples of outstanding original art by Robert Day. And by Malcolm.


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Robert Day

Original New Yorker Cartoon Art


Attempted Bloggery's Slow-Burning Index
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Friday, May 24, 2019

William Steig: The Art of Storytelling

Advertising agency Young & Rubicam published a print ad in 1935 using New Yorker cartoonist William Steig to illustrate the art of telling a story. We see that one speaker can be engaging while another is boring. Which of these two conversations would you rather listen to? Y & R's copy draws the obvious conclusion that a successful ad is one that tells a compelling story. Noted.
"Did you ever hear the one about—"                               
                                "As I was saying—"

William Steig
Young & Rubicam advertisement
1935


Note:  It's a big world. Where in it exactly was this 1935 ad published?


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Thursday, May 23, 2019

License Plate for What Should Never Be Cooked?

This license plate was seen today but not cooked.
"MYGOOSE"
New York State License Plate

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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The Cartoon Collections Caption Contest #24

This week the Cartoon Collections Caption Contest #24 illustrates some of banking's best practices. The drawing is by Drew Dernavich.

"No, not Penn. Teller."
"I fall for this every time."
"Define what you mean by 'obvious.'"
"I have just one follower."
"Mind your own life savings."
"One man's diabolical scam is another man's more convenient cash machine."
"Funny, it won't take any of my credit cards."
"It just so happens I never repeat a pin."
"Sorry, but it's agreed to come home with me."
"Don't say your pin out loud. The walls have ears."
"Mark my words—this technology has legs."
"I've sorted it all out. He's a kidnapped Nigerian prince."
"A thousand dollars for your thoughts."

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Robert Day: Saga of the Bronx Mink

For the advertising agency Young & Rubicam, cartoonist Robert Day provided an elaborate illustration of a Bronx Street scene in 1940. The one disparate element, reportedly true according to the text of the ad, is the presence of a local mink trapper. The copy goes on to concoct a mock quote by Confucius relating the Bronx mink to creativity in advertising.

Saga of the Bronx Mink
Robert Day
Young & Rubicam advertisement
1940



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Monday, May 20, 2019

My Entry in The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #663

Grab a slice of my entry in The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #663 for May 20, 2019. The drawing is by Drew Panckeri.
"There's your mistake:  it's a piazza."


These captions seemed to have the wrong sauce:      
"I'm afraid we've stepped on your pie."
"Are one of you finally going to take our order?"


May 27, 2019 Update:
  The Finalists




June 3, 2019 Update:  I voted with Guelph, and not just because of the connection to Seth.


June 17, 2019 Update:  The Winner



Note:  Last week cartoonist John Klossner invited us to a Viking wedding. Grab your ceremonial helmet and visit Contest #662.



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Saturday, May 18, 2019

Robert Day: The Coolest Horses

Not everyone gets to have air conditioning. A cartoon by Robert Day published in Sports Illustrated during the summer of 1957 explains which horses get to be the coolest.
"Only when their earnings top the half million mark."
Robert Day
Sports Illustrated, July 8, 1957, page 28


Note:  Sports Illustrated now has an online archive.


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Robert Day for Pepsi-Cola

In the 1940s as America entered the postwar period, Pepsi-Cola's advertising included radio jingles, skywriting, and a vigorous print campaign using a number of popular cartoonists. There was an extended series of print ads by New Yorker cartoonist Robert Day which echoed Pepsi's radio and skywriting promotions while also reflecting many of the extensive social and political changes taking place in the world. These ads appeared in Time, The New Yorker, and no doubt other publications. But first off, here are two examples of the jingle, which is referenced in more than one print ad:

"Pepsi-Cola Hits the Spot"
Radio ads from 1939 and 1950 with the jingle


American troops liberating a European village are greeted with the unlikely news that the populace is familiar with the Pepsi-Cola jingle.
"They want to know if we've got any Pepsi-Cola. Seems they heard the Pepsi-Cola jingle on the underground radio."
Robert Day
Pepsi-Cola advertisement
1944


Postwar inflation was a real concern, but Pepsi could boast that its price was a stable five cents.
"No doubt about his ceiling prices being posted."
Robert Day
Pepsi-Cola advertisement
1944


Victory Gardens allowed citizens to grow extra produce locally. Robert Day's ad suggests vegetables could be bartered for ice cold Pepsi-Cola. 

"Since Joe put up his stand, the Victory Gardens are booming."
Robert Day
Pepsi-Cola advertisement
1944

Detail


When caddies are in short supply, golf clubs are expendable but Pepsi-Cola is not.

"They could only get 4 boys—so J.V. said the heck with his golf clubs."
Robert Day
Pepsi-Cola advertisement
1944



The 1944 Presidential election pitted incumbent Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt against Republican Thomas E. Dewey, both New Yorkers. The words to Pepsi's jingle may be spotted on a convention sign. Was either convention this unconventional?
"...It was his postwar plank of plenty of Pepsi-Cola for everybody, that touched off the demonstration."
Robert Day
Pepsi-Cola advertisement
1944

A 1945 wartime ad, no doubt meant for national consumption, suggests a midnight curfew in New York City. But Sam Roberts, writing in 1995 for the Times, noted, "The national curfew was midnight, but Mayor La Guardia insisted that New Yorkers be allowed to drink, legally, until 1 A.M."
"Have we time for a couple of Pepsis before the curfew?"
Robert Day
Pepsi-Cola advertisement
1945

Image added May 19, 2019

Enough Pepsi could calm the populace, although one shipload might not be enough:
"If we only had two shiploads of Pepsi-Cola we could stop all this unrest."
Robert Day
Pepsi-Cola advertisement
1945
Image added May 19, 2019

Pepsi worked hard to get its name displayed in the air and the print ads reflect this major aspect of the soft drink's promotion. The source for this ad says it appeared in Ebony, which would date it to the end of 1945 or later. More concerning, the ad contains racial caricatures, yet it was deliberately marketed to the black community. That seems seriously misguided at best.
"That means mission successful—ice the Pepsi-Cola."
Robert Day
Pepsi-Cola advertisement

Ebony, 1945 or later



Day's art allows us to envision the mass-caffeination of an entire factory.
"Now watch our production jump."
Robert Day
Pepsi-Cola advertisement
1945





The postwar housing shortage was serious, but perhaps it could have a cola-infused bright side. The bishop's crook lamppost leaves  no doubt that we are looking at New York City. (It's visible in the ceiling prices and curfew drawings above as well.) Pepsi was based in Long Island City.
"What do we care if we have to move in with four or five
other families[?] Look how convenient it is."
Robert Day
Pepsi-Cola advertisement
Time, June 3, 1946, page 37


"Many cities vied for the honor of hosting the UN Headquarters site, prior to the selection of New York City. The selection of the East River site came after over a year of protracted study and consideration of many sites in the United States."


"Come, come, gentlemen! At this rate we'll never find a U.N. site."
Robert Day
Pepsi-Cola advertisement
Time, November 18, 1946, page 39



The jingle "Pepsi-Cola Hits the Spot" features prominently in this Time magazine ad. Readers presumably would have been familiar with it.
"Henry says that's the only good news on the radio these days."
Robert Day
Pepsi-Cola advertisement

Time, January 20, 1947, page 39


Jingle diplomacy:
"Then it was my turn, and since my repertoire was completely exhausted, the only genuinely American song I could think of was 'Pepsi-Cola Hits the Spot!' which they applauded as loudly as the others, although they said such a wine was unknown in Kazakstan, and inquired from what grape it was made."
Robert Day
Pepsi-Cola advertisement

Text from W. L. White, Report on the Russians, Harcourt, Brace and Company, page 211.


Skywriting diplomacy:
"Look, Ivanovitch, the American Delegation is arriving!"
Robert Day
Pepsi-Cola advertisement

Time, March 10, 1947, page 35


Luxury travel requires a luxury beverage.
"The railroads are certainly going after business these days."
Robert Day
Pepsi-Cola advertisement

Time, August 4, 1947, page 25

The skywriter up close:
"...she's jet propelled—does 604 an hour and writes Pepsi-Cola in eight foreign languages."
Robert Day
Pepsi-Cola advertisement
Time, October 27, 1947, page 41


The Queen Mary stocks up on high-end goods:
"Now I know why they say everyone travels first class on her."
Robert Day
Pepsi-Cola advertisement

Time, November 24, 1947, page 41

Trains, cruise ships, airplanes, and now helicopters feature in these Pepsi ads. Curiously, Day's bold inking gives unusual prominence to an onlooker's bald spot. It's not an accident; he does something similar in the following three ads as well.
"That's what I call smart merchandising."
Robert Day
Pepsi-Cola advertisement

1947
in Bryan Holmes, Advertising: Reflections of a Century
(London:  William Heinemann, Ltd., 1982)


In 1947, there was a new angle to the office Christmas bonus.
"...and in addition to your bonus checks, on account of the many deductions for taxes, social security, etc., etc."
Robert Day
Pepsi-Cola advertisement

Time, December 22, 1947


Round table diplomacy:
"The Ambassador says his country will settle for 12 cases of Pepsi-Cola."
Robert Day
Pepsi-Cola advertisement
c. 1954





"...he's the editor of 'Gourmet Magazine'."
Robert Day
Pepsi-Cola advertisement

The New Yorker, 1950s


Note:  There could easily be dozens of other Pepsi ads by Robert Day. Readers with access to any of these, or with better scans of the ones shown here, may send them in for inclusion in this post. Needless to say, original advertising art from this campaign would also be welcome.


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