This cartoon is all about those Victorian images we see where people are very serious in the photographs. It seems like every single image at that time was a serious thing.
I came across some images online the other day, where people were actually laughing and smiling in the old photos, and this cartoon came to mind – what if they were able to smile and the photographer just told them not to, like in the cartoon here?
Supposedly it took up to 15 minutes at the time for the shutter speed to work correctly and it was easier not to smile. Also, many people had only one, two or three photos taken during their whole lifetime and I guess it was a serious matter.
People also had their photos taken after they were dead – they were propped up with the living and that was a remembrance of a person who may not have had their photos ever taken when they were alive. I’m serious. Look here. It’s called, “Death Photography.”
The cartoon above was done two ways, a part black and white image of the subjects, to mimic the photo being taken and a full color cartoon. If you slide the thingy back and forth you can see what I mean.
Below are a few Victorian photos, some smiling, some not. And I’m wondering the smiling ones look like spur of the moment, and not posed, especially these girls jumping and smiling and laughing in a photo from 1880, so I think that blows the 15 minute time constraint theory. But who knows.
My goal has always been to sell ephemeral items. I’ve done that in the past with Flintstone cartoon cels and old magazines and magazine advertisements, too.
This Hazel cartoon is from an estate collection of original art.
This early Ted Key ink and watercolor cartoon is done on paper that has been mounted to a board. This would have been done to give to an executive for their wall or even a retirement or going away gift. The cartoon has a hand written caption that reads “You’ll Have To Speak Up” with OK RUN written in blue pencil.
Overall paper that art is on measures 11″ x 8 1/2 inches. It’s not easy to find any hand colored Ted Key originals, so this is extra special.
Yesterday’s cartoon is an homage to an old Maxell ad. I came up with the idea of the guy sitting in his chair at home being bored due to economic issues of the day and the ad came to mind as I started drawing the cartoon.
One thing though – to get a photo as a reference, I googled “Memorex” and the photo came up – but the crazy part is that it’s an ad for Maxell! And I noticed people who commented on the cartoon mentioned Memorex, which is interesting because this iconic “Blown Away” ad is not serving its purpose – directing people to the correct product, it’s literally sending people to its competitor. But of course it’s one of the best photographs ever. It’s by photographer Steve Steigman.
Even the google search sends the Memorex reference to the Maxell ad. It’s sort of like those ads that we love but we don’t remember what the product is for.
Speaking of Memorex, I remember something from high school. We had a class called Rock Poetry and it was all based on current rock music. We studied the lyrics as poetry, which is what they were. We all had to bring in a record or cassette tape (yes, it was back then) and the teacher would pull out a random record or cassette and we would listen to a song and discuss it.
One time she reached into the box and pulled out a cassette and said, “Ok, the next one is Memorex.” And of course we all cracked up. We had to explain to her that Memorex was the cassette tape company, not the name of the recording or band.
I’ve been reading a lot of old Bringing Up Father comic strips on Facebook, they pop up daily. If you click on these, they will open larger.
What gets me is the detail. I can’t understand how George McManus, the cartoonist, drew the same characters day after day, multiple times in each strip with such precise detail. His linework is amazing.
Brining Up Father featured Maggie and Jiggs, the two main characters. It ran in newspapers for 87 yeras, from 1913 to 2000.
Jiggs is an immigrant from Ireland who comes to the U.S. and wins $1 million in a sweepstakes. So now he is up in the world but prefers his working class life. His favorite food is Corned Beef and Cabbage, which he gets often at his friend Dinty Moore’s restaurant.
The art has an Art Nouveau/Art Deco design, which makes it stand out. When McManus passed away in 1954, other artists took over the strip until its ending in 2000.
I came across this picture online. It’s Coney Island, one day in 1906. It’s crazy, seeing all these people crammed in together at the beach, and so many of them in black suits.
My favorite part is these little guys at the left, if you look to the left of the guys walking, there is a smaller guy digging in the sand. He’s very intent on doing what he’s doing. Does he have to go back to a labor shop the next day, was he a newsboy working 6 days a week selling newspapers? Kids didn’t have it easy back then, but these three looked happy on this day.
I wonder what the two kids that are walking are talking about? They seem deep in conversation.
The one guy at the very bottom, where his head is partly cut off looks like a time traveler – but I always see some sort of time traveler in old pictures, that probably aren’t. I guess it’s his haircut that looks very modern.
I colorized this image below. Makes you feel like you’re almost there, doesn’t it? If you click oh the two large images above and below, they will open much larger.