The Courier-Journal from Louisville, Kentucky on May 7, 1911 · Page 15
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The Courier-Journal from Louisville, Kentucky · Page 15

Louisville, Kentucky
Issue Date:
Sunday, May 7, 1911
Page 15
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ILLUSTRATED SUNDAY MAGAZINE. 7 WHY IS A COMIC ARTIST? HY is a comic artist? Well with me it was a plain case of inheritance. 1' o r my grandfather's cousin was a sign painter. Mother first realized the awful truth that r liad a taste for art when, at the early use of six I licked all the paint off a half finished water color. Even then she did not ship me off to Paris to the School of Boozarts, or the IVre la Chais e, or whatever the-name of that place is where they turn out the -neat artists. Instead, she put a mustard plaster on my tun. my and sent me to bed. Not until several years later did fresh i symptoms of The art .. malady begin o show ' i i up in me. After a four years' course in yitv of Nebraska I grew too showed that the art hook-mv svstem. Iv refused t get my hair cut i anally, when I adopted the is (or Hd -Mother Hubbard) sha ve, et mi b my ha ir a nd evidence was complete; Fate l.e an arli.-t. weeks- lessons from Cartoon-oit a bunch of rot to the a day to this my collection i:is increased by leaps and l Academy of Fine Arts and ot Jirooklyn both tried to hrandt out of me, but some-i tuler their inlluence I did .rk oi art. When the critics must have been under the -'11 let that pass. They were tins masterpiece was the I s Cabin, "Eliza Crossing : mat picture was a wonder! r tnc hounds bark, and even was so realistic. I sent it off Miit-v magazines, suggesting it .:iti'e. 1 hen I spent the money and when I came to I was n trie editor. Here's the very he wrote: Idankety-Blank regrets he 1. 1 our comic contribution, g the Delaware,' etc. etc." i-.'itiif home to me that I was artist. A new ambition seized the neck and yanked me up a editor. Ah, the wisdom of nli! have made Solomon look know I was a cartoonist" 1 here was no evidence I Xke Confessions of a Cartoonist By HY GAGE, of PHILADELPHIA Illustrated ty tke Autkors Own Cartoons A cartoonist ! Ah, that is moulder of public opinion at Mr . RjjTj-nirf;. thi Bargain Fiend." Who Buys Anything That She Thinks is a Bargain the fact in the sample drawings I submit ted to him. He said so. It must have been his intuitive powers of perception. Either that or he had just dined well, and was feeling philanthropic. Anyway, he gave me a job. what I would be. A so much per mould. Ever draw a cartoon? Probably not. Well just keep your seat a few minutes until I step out and have this stuff copyrighted (so the "Ieam-to-be-a-cartoonist-by-mail-in-fifteen-minutes" enrres-pondence art schools can't appropriate my system) and I'll confess the inside facts of the game. You are supposed to get down to the olHee about nine A. M. If the boss is due at one P. M. it is advisable for you to arrive not later than l.f)5. This just gives you time to yank off your coat and collar, muss up your hair, smear ink on your nose. light a cigarette joss stick to Billiken (the god of cartoonists) and look busy, before the boss sends for you. And now it is high time you v ere thinking about your idea for a carto o n. Perhaps t i m e s are d u 1 1 a n d news is scarce, and your paper has been hammering the local political gang so long that the public is wearied. It's up to you to change your tune. While walking up to the boss sanctum you conclude you will have to fall back on the T rusts for a subject for the day. Dear old Trusts; What would the poor jaded cartoonist do without you? When there is nothing else doing, he can hammer the life out of you to his heart's content. There is no harm done. The trust gets a little more free advertising, the dear public say "Ah! That's the stuff! Hit 'im again!" and everything is lovely. Mentally you skip hurriedly over the list of trusts in which your father-in-law and your rich relatives hold stock. These are allowed to escape unharmed. Then you recall those that are owned by your friends. For them the "Hands Off" sign is up. Next you exonerate ail the trusts in which von hold stock on vour own account (hearty laughter!) Now let's see we'll try the brass wire Trust. No. that won't d o. Y o u r sheet buys its pins from them. H o w-about the Peanut Trust? No. Your wife's s i s t e r-in-law's hus-b a n d is president of that. How about the G u g g e n -h e i m s ? They're getting pretty busy up there in Alaska. They'll do. w,Vsl I KrTTT- A 11 rZf -4 it A Moulder of Public Opinion at so "Much Per Mould They have no friends in your family or on the paper that you know of. So you walk into the august presence of the editor with an idea for the day's cartoon. You will pound to a jelly the would-be grubbers of Alaska's coai pile. . If the idea is timely, the editor quickly runs through the same mental process that you did, decided that he has no embarrassing relationship or financial connection with that particular trust, and tells you to retire into the soul calm and get busy. A dozen different methods for "doping out" the picture present themselves, but you carefully eiiminate all but the simplest. If you can make a pair of hands do in place of drawing the whole figure, y o u c a n get back to that pool game so much the quicker. So you decide to let a biff pair of hands r e p r e sent the grasping Grab-enheimers. Then comes the "C o m m o n People." How would the overworked, underfed moulder of opinion survive without his old f r i e n d. the "Common People V" X e x t y o u decide just how you will have the big hands squeeze the Alaska mineral wealth out of the poor, abused "Common Peo ple." You sketch out a few preliminary scrawls put the victim in a lemon squeezer, and label the lemon juice have one hand grab hi:n by the throat, while the other picks his pocket or better still, have the one big hand snatch the poor victim up by the leg and ruthlessly and fearlessly shake the daylights out of him, and incidentally his wealth, which you will label appropriately, "Alaska Coal Lands," ".Mineral Rights," "Water Power Rights," etc. The other hand rakes in the boodle, as usual, and your idea is complete almost. You must not forget to have Congress the policeman looking on this cheerful scene, and enjoying the joke, without lifting a hand to interfere. As to the actual drawing, that is a mere detail! Any nine with fifteen or twenty years of hard study and constant practice can block the thing in Vith a iiencil, and slap on the lines with pen and ink! It's so easy it's a shame to take real money for it! Cartoonists ought to be paid in stage money, and Confederate bills. There's nothing to it except to put the lines exactly in the right place! I divulge this secret with fear and trembling, for I know when it is made public that the country will be overrun with a swarm of cartoonists that will make the plague of locusts in Egypt lose its place in history! And then where would I be? I might have to get a real job and soil my lily-white bands with actual work! And now comes the saddest part of this mournful confession of a repentant sinner. Pause, 0 reader, for you are about to embark on a voyage into the depths of degradation, with a lost soul! It is hard to write these things about one's self, but having once put my hand to the plow, 1 refuse to heave the ship to and go back to the garage! If, by these awful revelations, I can keep some brother artist from plunging into the abyss of the Comic Supplement, this story will not be in vain (and it may leave more of the business to me.) As I look back on it all T can scarce

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