Monday, April 09, 2012

Bookshelf: "Indoor Sports" Collection By "TAD" Dorgan, Ca. 1915, Part Two

(Click any for bigger.)

Continuing onward with scans from the collected Indoor Sports comics by "Tad" Dorgan from the New York Evening Journal, ca. 1914. What's interesting about these earlier drawings to me is that Tad's pen technique is so good, totally refined and in-control, but his figure drawings are still occasionally terrible, like the man on the right seen above. Five years later, all the awkwardness was totally gone.

All the same, Tad was really getting to be a master of body language, and came up with some wonderful figural compositions, like this hilarious retail scene:

Caveat emptor:

Just look at Dorgan's amazing hatching/crosshatching. I'm guessing that he only resorted to dot screens when he was up against a deadline:

More  mayhem in the workplace:

And always, always lots of newspaper and journalism gags. Below, on the right, is a caricature of legendary editor Arthur Brisbane:

The battle of the sexes never wanes in Tad's world:

Another newsroom scene:

I love this one, a superb scene of religious awkwardness and hypocrisy:

The impossibility of privacy in a modern urban middle class family household:

And the unlikelihood of escaping that environment:

Classic "bullpen" scene showing Dorgan himself behind the drawing board. Some of these guys are obviously caricatures, but of whom I do not know. Note the reference to Tad's pal George Herriman of Krazy Kat fame:

Itinerant salesmen in a second-rate hotel:

The battle of the sexes, suffused with delusion and deception, rages on:

Baby's caterwauling threatens to interfere with some old-fashioned air duct eavesdropping:

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the newspaper offices:

Literally counting their chickens before they're hatched. And speaking of hatching, this one looks unfinished on the right, and notice the ugly dot screens used to finish the characters:

Tad got lazy! Not in this drawing, though:

Part one is here, part three is here, and part four is here.


Anonymous said...

These posts are really enjoyable and I find the history fascinating but it is so jarring to see the ridiculous racist stereotypes. I know, 1915, but it is still so incredible to think that talented, intelligent people actually saw black people that way. I guess it's worth taking comfort in the fact that nobody but the most hardcore, mentally ill white supremacists would try that stuff nowadays; all serious contemporary racial issues aside.

Peteykins said...

If you're looking for intolerance and bigotry in 1915 NYC, you can do a lot better than Tad Dorgan.

Tad was best buddies with George Herriman, who was Creole, and mentored Milt Gross, who was about as Jewish as you can get. He and his wife adopted two Chinese children and raised them to adulthood.

As a sports journalist, Tad was noteworthy for his support of African American boxers, and stuck his neck out for the hated Jack Johnson in particular.

hooverific said...

Fantastic as history and as comics! Thanks very much.

dianegsocialist said...

I have been absorbing these slowly -- coming back every so often and looking at one or two. So far, my favorite is the one with the guy letting his boss beat him at pool. It makes me wish I could draw.