Saturday, September 23, 2017

The Rube Goldberg Plan for the Post-War World

After World War II, the United States provided massive aid to Western Europe through the Marshall Plan. Perhaps you've heard of it. But have you heard of an earlier plan, specifically The Rube Goldberg Plan for the Post-War World? Did you know the cartoonist Rube Goldberg had devised schemes to rid us of race track losses and late-staying guests? What would you say to no more divorces? He even had a plan to control Sinatra-Squealers, a major scourge of the time.

Rube Goldberg, The Rube Goldberg Plan for the Post-War World
New York:  Franklin Watts, Inc., 1944




Rube Goldberg, The Rube Goldberg Plan for the Post-War World, New York:  Franklin Watts, Inc., 1944
Title page

Acceptable mainstream humor in 1944:  "You can't tell whether a midget is standing up or sitting down."

 J. R. Crumcake says:                                          No More Fishing Around in Handbags

No More Crowded Dance Floors                                       No More Divorces  

No More Unlucky Fisherman                                      Control of Sinatra-Squealers

No More Clogging of Bus Entrances                                   Asparagus de Lumbago says:


  Rumford M. Ashtray says:                                        No More Gasoline Problems


       No More Summer Bugs                                       No More Parking Troubles

Rube Goldberg
eBay Listing Ended June 14, 2017
Rube Goldberg
eBay Item Description

Rube Goldberg
eBay Bid History
Two ruthless bidders battle it out to the bitter end.




Note:  Now you know. Cartoon art by Rube Goldberg is full of ideas that can make this a better world. Got an example? Send it this way.


Quick Links to the Attempted Bloggery Archives:

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Friday, September 22, 2017

Country Signs of Autumn: Barbara Shermund Proposed New Yorker Cover Art

Tourists flock to the country every autumn to experience the abundance of fall colors. Barbara Shermund's undated cover proposal for the New Yorker celebrates these colors and some of the signs that await tourists in their travels. But these are not your ordinary country road signs; instead they seem to have multiplied out of control. No fewer than three different signs welcome tourists, and written labels have been applied by the artist to just about everything in sight. The resulting artwork is sumptuous but very busy indeed—perhaps a bit too unfocused for use by the editors of the New Yorker.

Barbara Shermund proposed New Yorker cover art


Barbara Shermund
James Cummins, Bookseller
Listing as of July 16, 2017



Note:  Attempted Bloggery is a blog for all seasons. I seek scans or photos of high-quality original art by Barbara Shermund and other New Yorker artists. I'm also looking for proposed cover art like this that didn't quite make the cut. Think of me winter, spring, summer, or fall.


Quick Links to the Attempted Bloggery Archives:

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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Books Signed by Abner Dean and Peter Arno

Two books signed by New Yorker cartoonists were sold together on eBay in June. Come As You Are: A book about people at parties is a 1952 first edition inscribed by Abner Dean. Dean is not so well remembered today although he was a master at rendering busy crowd scenes. Peter Arno's Man in the Shower is a classic 1944 collection named for one of Arno's most outrageously funny cartoons. The book is signed Peter with an inscription, but it has some serious condition issues.




The book is marred by separation of the spine.

Inscribed "To Anyse/with love/Peter"








Abner Dean and Peter Arno
eBay Listing Ended June 14, 2017

Abner Dean and Peter Arno
eBay Item Description

Abner Dean and Peter Arno
eBay Bid History
One bid



Note:  Whoops. I failed to record this seller's eBay auction of the rare cartoon book signed by cartoonist Mary Petty. By chance, did any reader succeed in copying the photographs?

I'm in the market for scans and photographs of rare and unusual books by the likes of Abner Dean, Peter Arno, Mary Petty, and other New Yorker artists. What's in your library?


Quick Links to the Attempted Bloggery Archives

Peter Arno

Abner Dean

Signed Books


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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Books Signed by Peter Arno, William Steig, and Chris Jensen

A somewhat unlikely trio of signed cartoon books were sold together—nearly given away—on eBay in June. Two are by classic New Yorker artists Peter Arno and William Steig, and one is by Chris Jensen. Whoops Dearie! (1927) is a novel based on Arno's raucous Whoops Sisters who were wildly popular in the New Yorker's early years. It is ghost written by Philip Wylie. Signed copies are not very hard to come by. The real find here is William Steig's Small Fry (1944), not at all common with the artist's signature. The signed copy of Chris Jensen's Sheepherder Sam Cartoons (1972) seems out of place in this group. Five copies are available on Abe Books right now, with prices ranging widely from $9.00 to $93.21. None of them are signed.

Peter Arno, Whoops Dearie! (1927), William Steig, Small Fry (1944), and Chris Jensen, Sheepherder Sam Cartoons (1972)
Note the eBay seller's footwear.

Peter Arno, Whoops Dearie! (1927)
Signed on front free endpaper with book plate

William Steig, Small Fry (1944)
Signed on front free endpaper

William Steig's signature

Peter Arno's signature

Chris Jensen, Sheepherder Sam Cartoons (1972)
Signed and inscribed on front free endpaper

Inscribed and signed by Chris Jensen

"It's my old college sweater...'Ewe of Ewe!'"                                                              
Chris Jensen, Sheepherder Sam Cartoons (1972)
Title page

William Steig, Small Fry (1944)
Title page

"Maybe we ought to change his analyst"                         
William Steig, Small Fry (1944)

Peter Arno, Whoops Dearie! (1927)
Title page


Peter Arno, William Steig, and Chris Jensen
eBay Listing Ended June 14, 2017


Peter Arno, William Steig, and Chris Jensen
eBay Item Description

Peter Arno, William Steig, and Chris Jensen
eBay Bid History
One and only one bid



Note:  Alas, I failed to record this seller's eBay auction of the rare book signed by cartoonist Mary Petty. Did any reader succeed in copying the photographs?

By the way, I'm in the market for scans and photographs of rare and unusual books by the likes of William Steig, Peter Arno, Mary Petty, and other New Yorker artists. What's in your library?

Cartoonist Chris Jensen is new to the blog today. Can't say I know much about him.


Quick Links to the Attempted Bloggery Archives

Peter Arno

William Steig

Signed Books


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