Monday, April 16, 2012

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

The joys of DIY home repair. Click all for bigger.

OK, you've all been very patient. What can I say? Callista Gingrich hasn't been shot by a wire photographer for weeks, so what am I to write about? What this blog needs is a new spectacular hairdo to follow.

But here is the rest of the collected first year of "Tad" Dorgan's Indoor Sports cartoons from 1914. I love looking at these early ones, because the figure drawings are so much more crude than his slick 1920s IS panels, but it only makes the really successful figures seem all that more impressive.

Below is one of the few sympathetic portrayals of an attractive woman I seen in Tad's work, unlike the nattering dummies shown above. I don't know if I'd call him misogynist; he was reportedly devoted to his wife. Basically, I think he simply lived in a man's man's world, palling around with Damon Runyon, gamblers, boxers, etc.

The ubiquitous "little white terrier" finally becomes the center of a gag:

The battle of the spouses rages on. I love the complex dynamics of the social interactions shown in this one:

I've never read anything about Dorgan's attitude towards religion, but comics like this make me think he thought of it as just another theater for cynicism and pettiness:

Silly young salesgirls:

And more church-centric squabbling:

A lot of these scenes of domestic woe, such as the two below, have the unmistakeable aroma of gripe sessions over poker games:

And, finally, more office hijinks:

I have more original "Tad" drawings in my collection, including a book illustration, a boxing gag strip, another 20s Indoor Sports panel, and a significant "funny dogs" strip from considerably earlier, so more to come!

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


MrsTarquinBiscuitbarrel said...

Sir! It is, nay, your DUTY to your readers to describe how Calista's Hairdo(tm), a wholly owned subsidiary of GingRICHCo., reacted to her husband's bite by a penguin in St. Louis.

I'd love to toss an extra helping of herring to the unnamed perp.

Breathlessly hitting REFRESH, Mrs. B.

samael7 said...

Flivver, stenog (do people even call that job "stenography" anymore?), "more x than carter's has pills" (both sides of my family were fond of that one), a divvy, pipe (another "look at" synonym) . . .

Both sides of my family lived in the northeast and talked like this. Even when my dad's side moved to Miami Beach in the 30s/40s, they mostly moved down there with people just like them; on top of that, the snowbirds who'd winter in S. Florida probably kept them all up on the freshest slang, as well as the funny pages.

Peteykins said...

What's really interesting is Tad's role in the spreading and establishment of these slang terms.

Tad is often crediting for coining long lists of slang words and phrases, but I think he's better understood as a "meme spreader," and an intentional one, in that he made it a big part of his writing on purpose, and the popularity of his work and its widespread dissemination (Indoor Sports was a big hit, running in every major American city) resulted in these phrases "going viral" in much the same way we understand the process these days.

That said, he certainly seems to have coined plenty of popular phrases all by himself, and some of them are still with us, like "for crying out loud" and "the cat's pajamas", among many others.