Sunday, January 15, 2012
No Flies on Mother -- A Cartoon Puzzler
Here is a puzzle in need of solving. Ruta Snikeris has emailed these images of an original (approx. 16 by 20) unsigned 19c. Indian ink cartoon for identification. The image was purchased in the Boston area. I’m stumped -- don’t recognize the cartoonist, although the style is similar to that of Elmira NY cartoonists Zim and C. E. Toles (mutual influences on each other). Nor do I recognize the historical circumstances behind the cartoon. The caption is provocative -- “Children! There are no Flies on your Mother!! 1841 -- the WORLD IS MINE. -- 1891 AND you are “not in it.” The cartoon seems to have something to do with taxes and matrimony. The man with the tiny head (extreme left) is labeled “G. A. Crocker's boy”. The gambler (?) has collapsed with a copy of The Sun in hand -- a clue? And who is the Mother, who dominates the composition?