Saturday, January 17, 2009

HR 7927: National Cartoonist Society Goes Before The United States Senate Committee on Post Office and Civil Services

In 1962 the National Cartoonist Society, NY -- including many of America's top cartoonists such as Rube Goldberg and Milt Caniff -- went in front of the U.S. Senate to protest the proposed raise in postal rates for 2nd and 3rd class mail. Their argument was that "small magazines and newpapers either will be forced out of business or will curtail their budgets for art.", affecting the livlihood of cartoonists, and that these "...are vital to the growth of cartooning. It is here that the nonconformist idea can be published...that the young cartoonist can develop."

But reading this is oh so much more: it's the American way, which you'll realize after you've read Jerry Robinson's testimony. In fact, those above quotes are as dry as it gets. I've posted it all in the original double-spaced easy and breezy manner, not just to fill up blog space. If you read nothing else, check out Rube Goldberg's wonderful 3-page testimony, and Jerry Robinson's 19 pages are quickest, coolest and most informative history of comics in America you'll ever read. I guarantee it. I've broken it all down into headings and sub-sections so you can pick what you want.

Bill Holman introduces Rube Goldberg. Calls him 150 years old!

Rube Goldberg

"What's the difference if comic art shrivels on the vine?
We still have pinball and television"

Milt Caniff

Jerry Robinson, Secretary of the NCS

(Skip the introduction if you must,
but you might get hooked starting on page 3)

Benjamin Franklin, Father of Cartooning

Era of Thomas Nast
Beginning of Regular Newspaper Cartoons

Early Comic Strips

Favorites 1930 to Current (1962)

Panel Gag Cartoons

America Grew Up With The Funnies

Serve America Abroad Too

HR 7927 Effect On Free Press

Our Society Serves The Country

Closing - Formal Action of the Cartoonist Society

Aftermath: Postal rates went up anyway, and here we are still.


J.V. (AKA "White Pongo") said...

Wow, this is a fascinating post, Paul! Think I've got 'lunch break' reading material for a week!

p spector said...

Thanks John -- I was hoping it wasn't just me who found it that way. They seem like the most intelligent and articulate people I'd ever want to meet.

Tony said...

The Al Jaffee cartoon makes its point. In MAD #86, April '64, he would create the MAD Fold-In. He has crafted illustrations for nearly every MAD issue ever since. But in the early 60s his work for MAD consisted only of occasional writer credits. It was fun to spot his spiral-J signature as written almost two years before he drew for MAD again.

p spector said...

Tony, those MAD fold-ins used to fascinate me. Thanks for the info, and for coming inside!