Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Bernard Wiseman's gags

Bernard Wiseman was born in The Bronx, New York, 1922.  He is best remembered as the author and illustrator of over 40 picture books for children.  A few of the most well known ones are the Morris the Moose series including Morris the Moose (1959), Morris Goes to School (1970) and numerous others.  He also collaborated with Frank Asch on his first book George's Store, originally published in 1969.

Wiseman is less remembered as a gag cartoonist even though his contributions to the field were significant.  His cartoons appeared in True, Look, This Week, the New Yorker, Cosmopolitan and other highly regarded magazines of the time.  He also created a number of advertisements for clients such as American Airlines, New York Transit Authority and Woolite.

Ballantine was the first to publish a book by Wiseman.  It was a space themed collection called Cartoon Countdown, and rather ahead of it's time for 1959. Dell published several collections of his gag cartoons.  Irwin the Intern (1962) featured a shy doctor who constantly found himself in uncomfortably sexual situations.  The Boatniks (1962) and Sex-Ed (1971) followed and were also adult in nature. 

My personal preference for Wiseman's work lies in his largely forgotten full color gags for men's magazine such as
Playboy and Rogue.  He also occasionally both wrote and illustrated stories for Joe Weider's magazines Monsieur and Jem, mostly from the late 1960s and early 1970s.  You can see some samples below:

Wiseman was also a contributor to Boys' Life Magazine around this time.  He was friendly with the editor and named his son Andrew after him.  The stories in Boys' Life were both written and drawn by Wiseman.  Samples below:

Wiseman passed away in 1995 in Florida.  He served in the Coast Guard as a young man (1941-46), was married twice and had three children.

Buck Brown, cartoonist

Robert "Buck" Brown (1936 - 2007) was a cartoonist best known for his work in Playboy magazine.  While I was always aware of these cartoons, his "Granny" character never much appealed to me, so I didn't pay too much attention to his art.  That changed completely when I began seeing the other side of his career: his illustrations and cartoons for children!

(Brown in his late 50s, working for Playboy, and Brown at Ebony Jr. in the early 1970s)

Brown was born in Tennessee and went to college in Chicago.  As a young man he served in the Air force and worked as a bus driver.  He sold his first cartoon to Playboy in 1962, marking his debut as a professional.  He ended up selling over 600 cartoons to the famous men's magazine.

Concurrently, Brown was a frequent contributor to Ebony, Esquire and Jet magazine.   He also was a cartoonist for nearly every issue of Ebony Jr., an African-American focused kids magazine that ran from 1973 through 1985.  His comic strip Sunny and Honey was a staple of the magazine. He also illustrated several children's books for educational publishers around this time.

Below are some examples from this great cartoonist's oeuvre:

(painted cover for Ebony Jr. Magazine)


(a fine example of the Sunny and Honey comic strip from Ebony Jr.)

(pages from the children's book Catch that Frog illustrated by Brown, 1976)

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Gags by Earl Engleman

Earl  Engleman was born in Pittston, PA on February 25, 1927. He was a professional cartoonist who began his career in an advertising agency after serving in World War II; his gag cartoons, which featured the humorous side of everyday life, have appeared in a number of magazines and newspapers, including Good Housekeeping, Saturday Evening Post, Better Homes and Gardens, The Wall St. Journal, Woman's World, The National Enquirer and USA Weekend.  While Engleman was a prolific cartoonist there was never a solo collection of his work published.  That is why I thought I'd share some of my collection here:

Since the late 1950s, Engleman was also creating risque humor cartoons for the adult market.  Engleman's most significant output was for magazines such as Zowie, Laff Time, Sex to Sexty and various Humorama publications; as well as 150 Cartoons, Good Humor, Cartoon Carnival and other Charlton Publications cartoon magazines.  By the 1970s his cartoons got significantly raunchier and outrageous.  Some examples are shown below:

Earl Engleman passed away in Florida in 2012 at the age of 85.