Monday, February 23, 2009

Cartoon Observations

Monday Cartoon Day.

I have always loved Gluyas Williams. From the first time I saw one of his clearly drawn cartoons, I have taken. Whenever I see one, I am immediately drawn to it. Problem is, I don't see them that much. He has always been there, but in my mind he is mostly associated with Robert Benchley, some of who's books he illustrated. But apart from that, he is not often mentioned or shown. Part of the problem is, that as good as his work is, there just didn't seem to be too much around. There have been collections, but they do not turn up at seconds hand book stores nearly as much as those by other cartoonists. Even though he lived quite a long time (he didn't die until 1982) he doesn't seem to have left much of a legacy. Part of the problem could be that he produced a daily cartoon series for the best years of his productive life. His daily panel started in 1927 and continued at least until 1946. When I came across some samples of it last month, I was surprised. I shouldn't be, because Alan Holtz had already written about it (and shown a few samples) on his Stripper's Guide blog (which I follow religiously) and there is also a website devoted to his work, which showcases samples from almost every year. Still, I couldn't resist showing you more of his remarkable work. These samples are from the first two weks of 1934, right in the middle of his twenty year run. Of course not every day is as good as the next, but there are several I would not mind to include in a book, if ever one was to be made. Seriously, there is twenty years of this stuff. I'd say it's a book waiting to be made. And not a small one, either. I would like a big one, so we can all see and enjoy the art at the size it was drawn. I used to call this blog The Fabulous Fifties, because I am a big fan of the modern cartooning style of the late fifties and early sixties. Stylisticly Gluyas Williams was as modern as they get. His humor may not be as biting and sarcastic as the best of the 'new' post-war cartoonists, but his observational cartooning is up their with the best.


Kane76 said...

I love those cartoons. I am a big fan of Williams'. Yes, as you pointed out, he's best known for the Benchley books and that's where I got to know about his work. Thanks for posting those.

bzak said...


Thanks. Read the Benchley books as well.
Appreciate these very much.

Brian James Riedel

MangMade said...

These are outstanding. The writing is hilarious and the pace of the artwork accents its contours wonderfully.

Thanks for showing these.