Tuesday, March 17, 2009

National Cartoonist Society

I ate, lived and breathed cartooning in my teens. I didn't just clip and collect, I wanted to BE a cartoonist. I drew and drew, created strips and samples, paid for and participated in the Famous Artists Cartoon Correspondence School. It's a wonder I didn't become a cartoonist. I DID learn to cartoon, but other interests, from theater to journalism and finally the Draft Board itself dragged me to other pursuits. Oh, I cartooned hear and there, for the Army and different advertising gigs. But I never did a strip and I heave a heavy sigh when I say that. But I love the strips, well, that is, the old strips. Comic strips today leave me cold.

In the packet was a photocopy of a 1959 cover of one of their publications, drawn by a guy named Wood.  Yeah, yeah, Wally Wood. It's got all these caricatures of cartoonists in a banquet room with a bar. I recognize some of the faces in there, including Rube Goldberg back next to the Rube award he designed. And it's funny how Wood made some of the cartoonists meld with their characters, like Hank Ketchum with Dennis the Menace, Ernie Bushmiller with Sluggo, Bill Mauldin with Willie (or is it Joe?), Dave Breger with his character. Charlie Schulz is just plain Charlie Brown. And the caricature of Walt Kelly blended with Pogo is perfection! I thought that was Woody himself back there talking with Al Capp, but if you look 4 figures to his left that REALLY is Wood. Maybe he's in there twice? Didn't Woody win an NCS award?

I love the roll call of all these cartoonists on the letterhead. I only just now see that Gil Kane was once the official Historian.

And hey, Mort, I want to talk to you about that Album that I paid for and never got...


Booksteve said...

That's an amzing and rare piece of art. Might I display it at my Wood blog?

Thomas Haller Buchanan said...

Yes you may. I was hoping you would be interested.