Monday, March 15, 2010

15 for 51

Monday Cartoon Day

Today I am 51 and in honor of my birthday I am sharing with you all of the original Mort Walker cartoons I bought last month. I had already show to of them and copies of five the seller didn't want to let go at first, but he releted and I ended up with all of them. Two of them are up on the staircase wall leading up to my office and with their clear lay-out and excellent black spotting they haven't ceased to attract my eye yet.

What amazes me the most when I look at these originals, is the fact that Mort Walker didn't use any white-out on them. I a quite convinced they are presentation pieces (since the editor okayed them on the front in red), but I still don't know if they were published. If any of you recognize any of them from your collection (and I am especially looking at visitors such as Shane Glines and Alex Chun), I would love to know. In the meantime I take the fact that one of them has a note saying the tricycle should be changed into a bicycle as a sign the published pieces might be drawn again - but still, why don't I recognize any of these excellent gags?

I have put them in order of the numbers on the back, which seem to be actual numbers of the cartoons as they left Mort Walker's home. This would mean he produced at least 1850 cartoons in the three year period between leaving college and starting Betle Bailey. If these are the presentation pieces, the numbering would include the upublished ones. Which might even still be in Mr. Walker's files.
















These are five more I found for sale on the web or on auction sites. Since I can't see the back, I don't know the cartoon numbers or even if they were presentation pieces or sold and used versions. The ones with the typed gaglines seem to be the earlier ones, though.


Unca Jeffy said...

Happy Birthday!

The Fabulous Fifties guy is finally fabulously 50!

Unknown said...

Happy Birthday. I hope it's a good one.

vauben said...

A real morning treat to see all these. My fav? "How's that for comfort?" Shoes are my biggest beef with fashion...moo?

Ger Apeldoorn said...

Now that TJC has newsly linked to this post, it might be appropriate to tell you that since buying these cartoons (I noe have 21), I have found out that they are not real 'originals' but rather Mort's very elaborate 'samples', which were left in the desk of the Saturday Evening Post editor John Bailey (after whom Beetle was named). I found out when I was invited to the Walker residence as was shown a couple of roriginals that apparently were exactly the same as mine! It seems Mort, who had learned that he sold more acrtoons if he did he roughs in fnished style, worked from pencils that have not been saved. He did his roughs fom those and when they were sold he did a new one from the same pencils. Sometimes with tiny differences, but often not. Since then I have been working with the family and Bill Janocha on scanning, describing and ordering whatever originals and paperwork they have of Mort's five year period as a cartoonist. We made quite a few discoveries, because Mort saved a lot! I even got to meet him again this summer. You can follow the link to see my travel notes.

Unknown said...

I just found an original Harry Lampert. Numbered on the back and stamped "Harry Lambert and a Nyc Broadway address" signed and OKed by editor

Ger Apeldoorn said...

Nice, Erik. Can you tell me the name of the editor?