Friday, January 24, 2014

Judge, September 5th 1925 / Haven't You a Size Smaller?

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Get the cover to cover hi-res scan here.

A gorgeous watercolor by Sidney Delevante - this poor centaur can't quite find the right shoes. "Haven't You a Size Smaller?" My otherwise-sensible wife (and who am I to point fingers with boxes of old magazines about) loves shoes, so I never tire of jokes about girls and their footwear.

I couldn't find much information about Delevante. He did a number of covers for Judge in this period and would go on to become an art professor at Cooper Union. I've seen his illustrations in Life a bit earlier than this issue as well as some adwork he did for French's Mustard in the late 20s.

I hadn't planned on scanning this issue for you all but happened to have it out along with the Musical Number from last post, so, adoring the cover, I went ahead and did a quick scan. I'll write a short post on Dr. Seuss and his work for the magazine in the late 20s and early 30s next time, but for now I'm just going to put up some of the highlights from today's ish. There's no use of color printing on the interior pages that helped to make the last issue so charming, but there's still all sorts of fun cartoons and content.

R.B. Fuller, Who Says Figures Don't Lie? ha

Prarie Papa. I can't quite make out the artist's signature.

Flapper with dog from Carl Anderson.

Milt Gross' Bringing Home the Bacon

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I love this. It's funny what people will ask of certain professions they won't ask of others. From a fantastic artist, Jefferson Machamer. I've got a nice cover he did for College Humor I'll post when I get to that title.

More Machamer. Illustrating theater reviews by George Jean Nathan, more famous for his work with H.L. Mencken on one of the most notorious magazines of the day, The American Mercury.

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Like those New York World FUN sections I posted recently, Judge invites you to scribble in their magazine and finish a Milt Gross cartoon in a contest. I love when magazines invite the reader to doodle. The previous week's answers (an ad on the same page announces the beginning a weekly crossword puzzle starting with the next issue):

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Advertising spotlight - before the behemoth that is Amazon, there was the Sears catalog which was hugely influential in creating a national retail market, especially in rural America.

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I recall a few of the more famous delta bluesmen got their first guitars from this catalog. Harry Crews (RIP) even credits the catalog as wellspring for his imagination. From an interesting documentary from 2003, Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus, here's Crews (who I plan to write a bit about in an upcoming post on cockfighting magazines) elucidating his interaction with the Sears Roebuck catalog:

Enjoy the issue! Back next time with a post on Dr. Seuss in Judge, a post likely to surprise those unfamiliar with Seuss' early work as well perhaps my personal take on Seuss' overwhelming popularity in school and library programs.

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...