Danny Shanahan has been exceptionally generous to Ink Spill’s archives over the years, donating cartoon books and objects d’cartoons. This afternoon, while he and I sat in a coffee shop talking shop, he handed over a pile of paperbacks (pictured at the bottom of this post). There are several gems in that pile, but the one I’ve focused on is Laughing on the Inside, published by Dell in 1954, compiled by Bill Yates. Mischa Richter’s work is on the cover; according to the credits within the book, the drawing first appeared in 1,000 Jokes. Whenever I see 1,000 Jokes mentioned I’m reminded of hearing Lee Lorenz (the former long-time Art/Cartoon Editor of The New Yorker) describe “look day” way back when cartoonists would make the rounds of magazines based in Manhattan. They’d go to The New Yorker first, then on to other publications, eventually ending up at 1,000 Jokes to unload whatever was left of their batches (my memory is that Mr. Lorenz said that 1,000 Jokes paid cartoonists $10.00 for each cartoon).
There’s not a lot one can say about Mr. Richter’s un-pc drawing on the cover of Laughing On the Inside other than it’s typical fare for the 1950s. On the back cover is a drawing by John Ruge that originally appeared in Collier’s, a publication higher up on the food chain than 1000 Jokes. Mr. Ruge may best be remembered for contributing the caption for Peter Arno’s iconic New Yorker drawing, “Well, back to the old drawing board.”
This paperback is filled with cartoons that originally appeared in magazines other then The New Yorker. I’ve shown the page crediting those publications as well as listing all the cartoonists appearing in the book.
Besides Mr. Richter and Mr. Ruge, many of the contributors were also New Yorker cartoonists: Bob Barnes, Mike Berry, Chon Day, Rodney de Sarro, Walter Goldstein, Ned Hilton, Stan Hunt, Al Kaufman, Jeff Keate, Hank Ketchum, Jerry Marcus, Virgil Partch, Gardner Rea, and Burr Shafer. Bob Barnes and Burr Shafer are members of Ink Spill‘s One Club (identified on the New Yorker Cartoonists A-Z listing with this icon:
You may note some familiar names on the Acknowledgements page below: Hank Ketchum, who went on to “Dennis the Menace” fame; Ted Key, who created “Hazel”; Alan Stamaty, whose son, Mark Alan Stamaty is a New Yorker contributor. And one more New Yorker connection: Ben Roth and Salo Roth were part of a unique quartet of cartooning brothers. The other two were Irving and Al. Al, who changed his surname to Ross, was the sole Roth brother to break into The New Yorker.