Monday, October 20, 2008

Not so undercover assignment

Monday Cartoon Day

Continuing my look at the history of cartoon journalism, nest up is a rare gem.

For Help #9 Harvey Kurtzman sent his staffer Gloria Steinem to a New York Women only Turkish Bath (apparently before they became a favorite spot for homosexuals and Bette Midler). She was accompanied by a female cartoonist I have not seen before or ever since. Remember, this was before Steinem went undercover to a Playboy Club as a Bunny and made a name for herself.

I have two more samples from this period before jumping to the nineties. Is anyone has some suggestions for cartoon journalism (preferably in the popular media), I'd love to hear them. I have a big run of Entertainment Weekly magazines with stuff by Harvey Pekar, Chris ware and others... but am I missing something in between?


Mark Mayerson said...

Susan Perl was an illustrator who did an ad campaign for Health-Tex children's clothing. Her style was used in a series of animated TV ads in the 1970's for Health-Tex, some of them done at Zander's Animation Parlour and Ovation Films in New York City. I worked on two of them as an inbetweener.

If you google her, you can see other examples of her work. She died in 1983, and the N.Y. Times obituary is available online.

Mike Rhode said...


I've got a bibliography of some cartoon journalism, although I hadn't found the items that you have. It's got a bunch of later stuff. Email me at mrhode at and I'll send it over to you.

Mike Rhode said...

These are great, btw.

Leela said...

Wow, this is fantastic. That last page, especially, is priceless. The spa they visit reminds me of the one in "The Women" (the original, of course, with Rosalind Russell et al), where the idle rich ladies go to get pounded, kneaded, steamed, and waxed.

By the way, there are still traditional bathhouses in New York; they are neither Turkish nor used for sex/Bette Midler performances. If you come from Russia this is just a fun way to spend a winter day. But they're nowhere near as fancy as these spas. However, if you want that kind of treatment, there are a bunch of really fancy traditional Korean spas in New York that will knead, pound, steam and wax you, at great price. Ha. Maybe I ought to give Juvenex the Perl treatment!

Bhob said...

The Susan Perl obit