Sunday, January 16, 2011

Did He Have Anything To Do With It?

Monday Cartoon Day.

In the 17th issue of Tom Heintjes excellent yearly magazine Hogan's Alley (which also has an article on Jack Cole by someone called Ger Appeldoorn) I read a nice article about cartoonist Jimmy Hatlo, who deviced and drew the They'll Do It Every Time panel. It mentions his start as a staff cartoonist, drawing mainly sports cartoons. I went to NewspaperArchive to find a few samples, but mostly found political cartoons. Well, I am not choosy, so here they are. Most are from 1932, which would suggest he later switched to sports cartoons primarily. Three more interesting items follow.

First, there is a mention of a sportsman 'not accepting' the old 'tip of the Hatlo hat' in a recent sports cartoon. This is something he did in They'll Do It Every Time as well, but apparently he originated it in his earlier work.

Secondly, there is a gag cartoon featuring Hatlo's trademark 'before and after' style of telling a gag. In fact, but for the title, this is a sort of precursor to the later feature, suggesting that the often told anacdote that he thought of the feature on the spot, when he had a gap to fill may have been an exaggeration. It is much more likely, he sort of drifted towards the idea over a couple of years.

The third item latches on to one of the most tantelizing aspects of the article. The writer mentions both the mysterious disappearance of Htalo's first wife on a ocan crossing and his 'famous temper' but doen not try to link the two together. Maybe I am just an old gossip monger, but those two things togther make me think (and must have made some people think): Did He Do It?

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