Wednesday, July 15, 2020

A Crowded Life in Comics –

That’s a Wrap.

By Rick Marschall

One of the unexpected, unintended, unmitigated joys, pleasures, and delights of being an editor, collector, and friend of cartoonists – besides occasionally getting away with using three words when one would do – is receiving mail.

Through the years I frequently have been surprised by letters and parcels that arrive with cartoonists’ drawings festooned on the envelopes and package-wraps. Cartoon Festoons is the category, and of course I have saved them; cherished them.

I have quite a few but have always secretly wondered how many were ripped off by postal clerks and mail deliverers who were also comics fans. (And they say that “philately will get you nowhere”…)

One never knows, do one? as Fats Waller would ask. Myself, I once sent a package to a special friend in France, and on the envelope I wrote jocular note, so I thought, in French – directions to the postal worker how to proceed from the CNBDI to the house in Angouleme, with a crazy street map (it was a large envelope). The clerk at the Abington PA post office, an oaf, looked at it, took a heavy marker, and traced his own path, smiling. Shmooshing great art, as Linus van Pelt would say.

That was a mere Marschall, so imagine what obstacles were overcome when famous cartoonists decorated their envelopes and wraps, and communications arrived unsullied, unmolested, and unshmooshed. Or didn’t; how would I know?
Here are a few that DID arrive, with stamps (so to speak) of approval.

A 26-inch long package arrived from my friend the great children’s book illustrator Eric Gurney. I was trying to develop a syndicated Sunday page with him at the time.


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