HomeCartoonBerge's Cartoon Weblog: Meet the Dingbats

Berge’s Cartoon Weblog: Meet the Dingbats

Berge’s Cartoon Weblog: Meet the Dingbats

Final Saturday’s publish appeared again on my abortive try so as to add a little bit character in my editorial cartoons giving postscriptive commentary on the subject of the day. Though I did not stick with it, such characters are a longstanding custom that dates again a minimum of to the marginalia in medieval manuscripts, if to not work on cave partitions.

In editorial cartooning, they’re referred to as dingbats, after the typesetters’ time period for non-alphanumeric characters used for every thing from bullet factors to paragraph dividers to house filler.

One of the best identified of those within the current day was Puck, the little penguin Pat Oliphant drew on the backside of his editorial cartoons from his early days Down Beneath with the Adelaide Advertiser till his retirement in 2015.

“Right here I Am, the Final Livin’ Individual in Eire…” by Pat Oliphant in Denver Put up, ca. Feb. 18, 1973

Puck got here into being after a colleague on the Adelaide Advertiser introduced a penguin in a paper sack to the newspaper workplace. The 20-something Oliphant, whose political leanings had been properly to the left of his editors and the writer on the Advertiser, started including Puck to his cartoons as a manner of sneaking his true opinions previous these editors. By the point they caught onto this system, Puck’s recognition with readers ensured that the penguin would proceed whether or not the editors appreciated it or not.

“Now Is the Time to Save Fuel” by Fred Seibel in Richmond Instances Dispatch, Feb. 18, 1943

I additionally talked about Fred O. Seibel and his crow final week. The crow additionally had a reputation, however sources disagree whether or not it’s Moses or Jim. Since I’ve not been in a position to observe down an origin story for him, I am going to go away each names right here with the caveat that I discovered him named Jim in a up to date supply, Moses in an article written lengthy after Seibel had died.

“Alas Poor Yorick” by Fred Seibel in Richmond Instances Dispatch, Feb. 18, 1933

Getting his begin in upstate New York in 1908, Seibel was the editorial cartoonist on the Richmond (Virginia) Instances Dispatch 1926 to 1968. Representing oneself with a crow named Jim would hardly elevate an eyebrow firstly of his profession; by 1968, and definitely by 2021 when the above-linked article was written, there was nothing quaint or cute about “Jim Crow.”

“No Trespassing” by Bob Satterfield for Satterfield Cartoon Service, ca. November, 1914

Invoice Rowell may need confused Seibel’s crow with Bob Satterfield’s bear, whose identify was Moses in response to Cartoons Journal. 

The bear’s identify may additionally have been Bizzy, nevertheless. Satterfield additionally drew comedian strips, together with one beginning in 1903 starring a bear named Bizzy. A typical episode of the strip, titled “Oh, Thunder,” consisted of 4 sq. panels exhibiting the bear and maybe one other cartoon animal with a four-line poem. It ran till a minimum of 1933.

Sat’s Bear (one more of its names) was impressed by the favored story about Teddy Roosevelt declining to kill a bear cub delivered to him to shoot at. The incident impressed a well-known cartoon by Clifford Berryman, and the extra enduring teddy bear dolls. Berryman’s bear reappeared from time to time, whereas Satterfield’s bruin was a day by day fixed.

“Recommendation from One Who Is aware of” by Bob Satterfield in Detroit Instances, ca. July, 1916


In 1914, one other cartoonist we have featured right here on occasion, John Baer, provided Satterfield $1,000 for the rights to make use of the bear in his cartoons. Satterfield turned down the supply, writing, “He has change into an indispensable and extremely honored member of our agency, and I guarantee you that his place couldn’t be efficiently stuffed by anyone else.”

“When Docs Disagree” by R.C. Bowman in Minneapolis Tribune, Dec. 27, 1898

Should you’ve been following my weblog lengthy sufficient, you might be conversant in the work of Minneapolis Tribune cartoonist Rowland C. Bowman, and his little canine. 

When Bowman died in 1903 on the age of 32, the Tribune article eulogizing him defined that the canine had initially appeared as considered one of many characters in a Bowman cartoon celebrating a Minneapolis baseball group profitable a pennant. One thing in regards to the canine appealed to readers, so Bowman saved bringing it again repeatedly.

“Castro Thinks the Venezuelan Hassle Is a Fuse” by R.C. Bowman in Minneapolis Tribune, Feb. 5, 1903

The canine by no means had a reputation so far as I have been in a position to verify, and by no means spoke a phrase of dialogue. Often, he could be hidden within the cartoon, peering out from behind a fence as an illustration, leading to letters to the editor from readers who could not discover him, or had been pleased with themselves that they might.

“Willie Bryan Begins in Early” by R.C. Bowman in Minneapolis Tribune, Feb. 18, 1903

A dingbat we met simply final month was William Okay. Patrick’s wise-quacking duck.

Patrick’s duck originated within the New Orleans Instances-Democrat, and when the Instances-Democrat merged with the New Orleans Day by day Picayune in 1914, the duck took over because the dingbat accountable for reporting the climate. This put the Picayune‘s weatherfrog out of labor after 20 years of devoted service to the Large Simple.

“In the meantime, the Worth of the Eggs” by William Okay. Patrick in Fort Value Star Telegram, Feb. 1, 1923

After Patrick left New Orleans for Fort Value, taking his duck with him, New Orleanians had been left with no weathercritter telling them whether or not to carry an umbrella to work. That’s, till 1952, when Instances-Picayune editors enlisted Walt Kelly’s Pogo to take the job.

The paper’s readers, nevertheless, would have not one of the out-of-state Okeefenokian marsupial, and voted to provide the job again to the outdated frog, who continues his frognostications to this very day.

“What Does His Birthday Imply to You” by Wm. Okay. Patrick in Fort Value Star Telegram, Feb. 22, 1923

All of which is a round-about manner of telling you that I haven’t got any fascinating tidbits to cross alongside in regards to the duck itself, save {that a} whimsical 1918 article in Cartoons Journal solid Patrick’s duck because the colonel accountable for a convocation of cartoon dingbats assembled to pledge their assist to the struggle effort.

in Cartoons Journal, Chicago, August, 1918

Alas, none of us are together with these beloved dingbats in our editorial cartoons any extra. (Until you depend Stan Kelly.)

Maybe that what’s ailing our occupation today…



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