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.

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