Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Heeeeeeeeeeere's Hirsch!

Monday Cartoon Day.

It took me longer than I thought, but today I am ready to give you a post I am really proud of. I have always collected issues of Collier's (and other magazines of that period) to look for cartoons of my favorite artists, most importantle Hank Ketcham and Mort Walker. Ten years ago, when shipping wasn't as expensive as it is now (and there were really cheap ways to ship large and heavy lots) I often bought huge lots of magazines from all ages. That is how I came across some issues of Collier's from the midfifties. Not as interesting cartoonwise, until I found that Al Hirschfeld had done illustrations for John O'Hara's stage and screen gossip feature. I scanned what I had and shared them here. You can still find them (as well as a couple of solo illustrations he did) when you follow the link below.

A couple of years ago I found an online site that was scanning all issues of Collier's from which I started clipping all cartoons. I started with sharing everything I could find from Ketcham and Walker, but have periodically shared the others as well. The organisation is called Unz.org and you can find them here: http://www.unz.org/Pub/Colliers/. They deserve all the applause for what must be a huge undertaking. Unfortunately, they had not yet reached the mid fifties so I never looked for Hirschfeld material. Until someone told me they had now reached the late fifties in their scanning.

So I went back and indeed, I could pull all of the Hirschfeld illustrated O'Hare columns between early 1954 and late 1956. And since Collier's was a bi-weekly, we are talking about more than 50 columns, some with one, some with two cartoons. Many of these cartoons are rarely shared. It is as if this is a deliberately forgotten bit of Hirschfeld's well documented history. Among the people caricatured here are big names such as Hemingway, Liberace, Judy Garland, Steve Allen, Debby Reynolds, Gina Lolobrigida, Ernest Borgnine and shows such as I Love Lucy and the Honeymooners that I have never seen anywhere else. A quick look with those names on the internet shows that some people have found some and put them on Pinterest but on the whole we are talking about a forgotten treasure trove of carcatures. Even John Held Jr. the cartoonist is in there. Maybe these are not copyrighted the right way and in free domain and the Hirschfeld foundation is afraid people will use them as cover for their cd and dvd collections? I am sure they will tell me if they read this (as they have in the past).

This is all I could find now. It is not yet a complete set. The people of Unz.org do not have the last three months of 1955. Maybe someone can help them with those?


Frank M. Young said...

Finally--some Hirschfeld drawings of non-celebrities! I love his cartooning style, but have been curious to see some work that isn't hooked in to his caricature schtick. This sates my curiosity. Thank you!

comicstripfan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
comicstripfan said...

Hirschfeld had a wonderful inimitable style all his own.