Monday, November 6, 2017

The Most Famous Cartoonist in the World

1907 [1] September 30.
‘The Most Famous Cartoonist in the World,’ 
by George Ade, 
Fitchburg Daily Sentinel, 
March 29, 1910

1915 [2] October advert.
1904 [3] John Tinney McCutceon.
IN THESE DAYS of factory journalism with the Archimedean lever being worked by motors and the ‘department’ displacing the old time editor, it means something when a regular day-to-day newspaper worker attaches to himself a real following of faithful believers. Many a brash young specialist can do the mushroom act. He bounds into the Sunday supplement with a brand-new conception entitled ‘Tikey the Tuff,’ or possibly ‘The Brutal Twins,’ (the ones that fire buckshot into their grandmother) and for a few weeks he is a vogue, then he dwindles from a necessary evil to an unmistakable pest and winds up as an unpleasant reminiscence.
1934 [4] January 7.
Most of the geniuses who make pictures for the newspapers are so funny they cannot last. Furthermore, they seem to think that the cranial angle of the regular subscriber corresponds to that of the African ant-eater. It is a relief to find a newspaper artist who is not straining to be irresistibly comical — who is content to catch the tableaux from the passing show and submit them to us in a mood that is simple, kindly and human. 
1915 [5] July 25, ‘Father and Son,’ Chicago Tribune.
John McCutcheon began making cartoons for Chicago newspapers about fifteen years ago. He has taken long jumps into all parts of the world since then, but whenever he can be strapped down in Chicago he is good for a daily contribution to the first page of the Tribune. Some say that he is a habit; others that he is an institution, the same as Hull-house or the Board of Trade. There is no denying that his work is immensely popular and that his sermonizing, although genial and apologetic, is most effective. Politicians sigh for the favoring stroke of his crow-quill pen, and the faithful who are working to lift up and cleanse and beautify Chicago hail him as their most valuable ally. He has the courage to find his topics among the little events that make up existence instead of hammering away at huge issues or fussing with public men who are already advertised beyond their merits. He never loses his temper and he has the rare gift of directing a cartoon against an opponent without tacking on a personal insult.
ca. 1900 [6] George Ade (b. 1866) & John T. McCutcheon (b. 1870).
1915 [7] June 5, ‘Moloch,’ Chicago Tribune.

A good many thousands of people in the Middle west wait every day for McCutcheon’s cartoon and miss him when he goes traipsing off to Africa to hunt big game. No cartoonist since Nast has had such a steadfast and loyal following. His salary, as newspaper salaries go in Chicago, is so large that many people refuse to believe it.
1915 [8] Wartime Comic Valentine, WWI.
2016 [9] Cover of the new 284-page book on McCutcheon and his work, Slow Ball Cartoonist, by Tony Garel-Frantzen, published by Purdue University Press, see HERE.

See more of McCutcheon’s World War I Comic Valentines, HERE.