Tuesday, April 25, 2006

A Washington Lobbyist Hawking His Wares?

This is an example of Sullivant's political cartooning, published in 1904. Most of the political cartoons I've seen by Sullivant seem pretty general and easy to understand (even 100 years later). But I wonder if that lack of specificity made them less powerful to the readers of the time. Maybe that's why he isn't really remembered for his political cartooning. Of course, the volume of political cartoons he produced is tiny in comparison to his humor cartoons. I can only confirm 1904 and 1905 as years when he drew political cartoons for Hearst's New York American. He also worked for Hearst in the late 1890s at the New York Journal, but I haven't seen much from that period.

Monday, April 24, 2006

The cartoon above (published in Judge around 1901 or 1902) is a more representative example of Sullivant's work. Sullivant was a master at distorting anatomy in a way that made his drawings strange and interesting, yet somehow right.

Friday, April 21, 2006

T.S. Sullivant

T.S. Sullivant was another amazing cartoonist. His comic art was mostly found in weekly magazines such as Life, Judge, and Puck, but he did do some newspaper cartooning as well. At the same time as Herriman drew the sports cartoons for the New York American, Sullivant produced political cartoons for the paper. Sullivant's artwork also appeared on the Sunday comic supplements--though rarely. The above is an example of a "topper," which is, to state the obvious, a comic or illustration put at the top of a Sunday comics page.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Boxing, Part II

Herriman imagines Jeffries' challenger's practice regimen. I don't think he likes his chances...

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Boxing Cartoons

In addition to drawing cartoons about baseball, Herriman drew many about boxing. With the busy schedule of baseball games, it seems that Herriman was expected to report on the actual games. A single boxing event, on the other hand, might be planned months in advance. When Herriman was expected to make a boxing match-up the subject of his cartoon, it looks like he often had to rely on his imagination when there weren't any new developments.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

This is one of my favorites. It shows the frustration a fan feels when confronted by the unpredictability of baseball. But it also shows the fan's drive to find a formula that will explain it. I wonder what Herriman would think about the huge amount of reporting, analysis, and statistics gathering that goes on today in an attempt to understand the game better.

Also, I wonder if that black cat sitting by the chair could be Krazy making his first appearance...

Monday, April 17, 2006

Herriman's cartoons not only contain funny drawings,

but they also give us a glimpse into the time period in which he was cartooning. Below is a drawing of a primitive pitching machine, referred to as a "pitching cannon" in an article published the same day.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

George Herriman, Sports Cartoonist

Most people think of George Herriman only as the cartoonist of Krazy Kat, but he has a large body of other work. In the early 20th century Herriman participated in the development of the newspaper comic strip, but he also drew magazine cartoons, political cartoons, and sports cartoons. One of his first major cartooning jobs was with Hearst's New York American, for which he began drawing a daily sports cartoon in April of 1904. These huge cartoons spanned the width of a newspaper page, giving Herriman plenty of room to draw many different gags. The example above is only a piece of a cartoon Herriman created for the New York American, showing that even in the early days of baseball, players could be very superstitious (replacing Selbach with Garciaparra would be the only change necessary to update it).