Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Jerry Marcus: The First Thanksgiving

Dick Buchanan has gone into his Cartoon Clip Files again in search of long-neglected holiday humor. He has found an old Saturday Evening Post cartoon by Jerry Marcus depicting the first Thanksgiving. It's a delightful gem of a drawing by a cartoonist we don't hear much about. Dick writes:
Jerry Marcus had 4 New Yorker sales. He was a regular for the Post and appeared in most major magazines. A lot of his work featured smart alecky kids, etc.
"We ought to do this again, next year."
Jerry Marcus
The Saturday Evening Post, November 29, 1958, page 71
Scan by Dick Buchanan

This is quite a complex scene evoking much of how we have come to envision the first Thanksgiving. It's not a family gathering, of course, but a friendly meeting of sometimes antagonistic cultures. The women doing the serving appear just as pleased as the men being served, something not uncommon in imagery of the 1950s. And just look at that dog eying the turkey, completely unnecessary to the gag and completely marvelous! Also unnecessary, and not nearly so marvelous, is the comma in the caption. Still, this gag is a clever imagining of how a tradition we take almost for granted might have got its first spark.

Note:  Some of the many things I am thankful for especially at this time of year are the contributions of Dick Buchanan from his voluminous Cartoon Clip Files. Dick contributes regularly to the blog Mike Lynch Cartoons, most recently part of a post remembering the great "Gahan WIlson 1930 - 2019."

This post marks Jerry Marcus's first appearance on this blog.

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