Synopses & Reviews
Fantagraphics' new imprint Marschall Books presents , a lively collection of mass market print advertising from the 1890s to the recent past, starring both cartoonists and cartoon characters. While critics debate whether comics is high art or low art, the fact is that the comic strip was born as a commercial medium and was nurtured by competition, commerce, and advertising. will be the first book-length examination (and celebration) of the nexus of art and cartoons. It will focus on the commercial roots of newspaper strips; the cross-promotions of artists, their characters, and retail products; and of the superb artwork that cartoonists invested in their lucrative freelance work in advertising. is cultural history, chronicling a time in popular culture when cartoonists were celebrities and their strips and characters competed with the movies for the attention of a mass audience. The book will examine cartoonists as public personalities, and their advertising efforts from the first heartbeat of the comic strip as an art form. Here are surprising and familiar examples of products, accounts, memorable ad campaigns, and examples of widely known catch-phrases. Examples of individual cartoon ads through the years include: A special section will showcase ads that featured cartoonists themselves as hucksters; can you believe 's urbane Peter Arno selling, not nightclub cocktails, but working-class beer? Walt () Kelly selling cement?
"The best thing about the book is the art, which shows classic characters like Little Nemo and the Yellow Kid hawking all manner of suspect gee-gaws.... Plus, there's a nice selection of Mr. Coffee Nerves strips at the back, and I'm always a sucker for that guy." Michael Taube The Washington Post
"Popeye hawking newspapers? Donald Duck selling gasoline? You'll find them and a whole cavalcade of comic strip characters in ... A great treat for fans of comic strips, Americana, and ephemera." Michael Taube The Washington Post
" is a book that will surely pique the interest of those involved in the communication sector, but also all who are drawn to pop culture." Rob Hardy The Dispatch
"Now a good-looking, large-format book shows much of the history of advertising cartoons... Many of the cartoons in this colorful collection are handsome, and in hindsight, many are... silly... It is, however, all part of the of this volume." Chris Mautner Robot 6
"Herein you'll find Peter Arno, the sophisticated cartoonist, endorsing Rheingold Extra Dry Beer; Mickey Mouse and pals flogging just about everything under the sun except, maybe, mousetraps; and Krazy Kat selling Gulfsteel Nails. They are all Joe Camel's ancestors." Dana Jennings
"Rick Marschall and Warren Bernard's is a provocative visual examination of the wonderful world of cartoon advertising.... Marschall and Bernard have mixed an unusual batch of artistic and economic history. After reading this book, ." The New York Times
A unique mix of comics, pop culture and Americana.
About the Author
Rick Marschall, called by Bostonia Magazine "perhaps America's foremost authority on popular culture," has written or edited more than 60 books. He co-founded Nemo: The Classic Comics Library and Hogan's Alley magazines and is President of Rosebud Archives. He has taught comics history at the School of Visual Arts and Rutgers University. His biography of Johann Sebastian Bach will be published by Thomas Nelson in 2010.Warren Bernard is Executive Director of the Small Press Expo (SPX) independent sequential art festival, and is a comics-focused writer and historian. He co-authored the Eisner Award-nominated book Drawing Power, and has extensively researched and written about the 1950s Juvenile Delinquency / Senate Comic Book Hearings. A contributor to more than a dozen books, he often provides rare materials from his own extensive collection. Both the Library of Congress and the Center for Cartoon Studies (CCS) have hosted his lectures. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland.