Thursday, January 16, 2014

Judge, March 15th 1924 / Musical Comedy Number

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Judge 2211 (1924-03-15.Leslie-Judge) (Darwination).cbr
Get the full hi-res scan here.

Aloha, scanlovers, hot off the press, a hula-dancing beauty painted by Sam Brown shimmies across a cover here at Darwin's digital newsstand today on a classic issue of Judge, a long-running humor magazine that had a fertile period in the 20s and featured many of the great artists and writers of the day. Published by the Leslie-Judge company, Judge had outlasted its progenitor, Puck, and had moved away from scathing political satire towards maybe something more similar to the first incarnation of Life magazine. I haven't researched any numbers regarding circulation in the 20s, but, judging from the number of existing issues I see on eBay, I think it sold fairly well. Jack over on the Enoch Bolles writes that Judge was a sinking ship and had trouble paying its contributors, but I think that regardless of how they paid the help (stiffing writers and artists and juggling debts was simply a way of doing business for some unscrupulous publishers and editors), Judge still managed to publish and move a lot of copies of an excellent mag. But enough of these generalities - on with the show! This Musical Comedy Number features many great artists like James Montgomery Flagg, Milt Gross, Robert Patterson, John Held, Jr., and Ralph Barton and as well as other figures from the worlds of comedy, music, and literature such as George M. Cohan, Irving Berlin, W.C. Fields, Al Jolsen, and Fanny Brice.

The Program:

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Adam and Eve, Yes We Have No Bananas, James Montgomery Flagg. So much material for comedy in that Garden. And nekkidness -

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Held's Follies - Disclosing the American Girl. A fun illustration from John Held, Jr.. I'll be putting up more of his mid to late 20s work when I get into the meat of my ever-continuing series on the birth of the girlie pulp. He could really capture something about flapper girls.

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An intricate cartoon from Jack Farr. Love the complexity of the architectural lines as well as his faces.

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Lazy by Irving Berlin, sketch by James Trembath.

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A regular artist in Judge, Milt Gross always exudes energy and exasperation in his art. His fantastic He Done Her Wrong was reprinted by Fantagraphics and is an early example of the graphic novel after the woodcut novels of Lynd Ward and Frans Masereel.

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Logo and editorship for the ish

The centerfold from Ralph Barton. A Short History of the Chorus Girl. I've always wanted to see the edition he illustrated of Anita Loos' Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Barton drew for Judge and Life and would go on to become an advisory editor shortly after this issue at The New Yorker for Harold Ross (who worked at Judge briefly in this period before deciding to start his own, more urbane magazine).

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Gertie has a lapse of memory. By Robert Patterson

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An Irishman's Petting Party by Donald McKee. Oh, us Irish...

W.C. Fields yuks it up on the following two pages
Shooting Big Game in Nebraska Pg 1
Shooting Big Game in Nebraska Pg 2

At Donny Brook Fair, Donald McKee, again in a violent mood.

A few of the ads. Purportedly the magazine was having a hard time generating advertising revenue. With ads for companies like these, it's no wonder. I really like the graphics that can be found in some of these little classified-sized ads.

One last cartoon, Judge spreading chaos per usual, Art Helfant.

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Enjoy the magazine!

I'm still working through and replacing all my dead links but should hopefully be caught up soon. I've got a follow-up post planned that came out of this one and have some other fresh scans to get to as soon as I have the gumption as well. Back with more toe-tapping scans next time...


Yocitrus said...

Thanks Beau,
this is my first look at a Judge.

Keep up the great work!


darwination said...

Hey Yoc!

You're very welcome. I scanned a 1925 issue last night with a great cover that I hope to put up this weekend after I edit it. I've got a couple of previous scans of later issues I'll put up as well in a post on Dr. Seuss in the magazine.

I've been enjoying the Hillman comics spotlight over at the Digital Comics Museum. It's so fun to see new scans from the JVJ collection and the LOC (and from longtime scanners) come in from a single publisher in these spotlights. Thanks for all your work on the comics and the site!