Sunday, November 1, 2009

John Stanley's New Yorker Cartoon, 3/15/1947

Thanks to Jeet Heer and James Gill for helping me locate this one-off shot at the Big Time for our hero, John Stanley.

Alas, it's from the well-intentioned CD-ROM within The Complete Cartoons of the New Yorker.

I suppose that, with such a draconian project, it wasn't possible to include every cartoon and have them in large, hi-rez images. For a browser, one just perusing the cartoons for reading pleasure, it's fine, but for us more OCD comix/cartooning devotees, the end result is frustrating.

All that said, I think this is a charming cartoon. Its drawing style completely ties in with the "Little Lulu," "Woody Woodpecker" and "Jigger" stories Stanley drew around this time.

It's rumored that Stanley continued to write cartoons for other New Yorker artists. Apparently, correspondence exists in the magazine's files. When next I get to NYC, I'd love to spend a day (or two) researching this, and seeing if I can find out exactly how long Stanley's connection to this high-status magazine lasted--and why HE didn't continue as a cartoonist there.

This is just as good, if not better than, some severe competition in the March 15, 1947 issue. Stanley is up against Charles Addams, Sam Cobean, R. Taylor and other big-leaguers.

This cartoon has a strong thematic link to his contemporary comix--the theme of rich vs. poor, and of the underprivileged yearning for the creature comforts of the well-off.

I wish this was a better-quality image, but it's the best the book's CD-ROM offers. I hope to find an original copy of this issue soon. I'll scan the cartoon and post it here if/when.


Paul C.Tumey said...

Great to fonally see this charming cartoon in any form. Inetresting that Stanley's humor is tinged with melancholy here. Thanks for sharing it!

Gabriel said...

Absolutely agree with you, Paul. Your deep insight strikes again :)
Stanley always seems to be dragging a primeval melancholy with him, even in his more comic moments. As if he couldn't think of a bright moment without sprinkles some drops of gloominess.
I think that is this feature what turns him into a different cartoonist (and perhaps he's my favorite one on account of that) I mean-- you can really trail this melancholy (not sadness) from the beginning. I'm bearing in mind Peterkin Pottle, for instance --yes, I know, Peterkin Pottle, again! Such a pest! :)
Good luck with your search, Frank!

Paul C.Tumey said...

Building on Gabriel's comment (thanks for the compliment!) about the melancholic aspect of Stanley's work (I know you've written a lot about this, Frank)... perhaps that's why his Lulu and Tubby ghost and Halloween stories are my favorites of his work. They seem to be extremely captivating and present for both the creator and the audience. I still can't get over how it was that "Guest in the Ghost Hotel" got reprinted in Art Speigelman's and Francois Mouley's recent great TOON TREASURY. Thank you Frank, for sharing the recent Hefty bag of autumnal goodies on this here bodacious blog!