Friday, July 06, 2012

Art Collection: "Indoor Sports" Panel By Tad Dorgan, 1922

(Click for bigger.)

This is the original drawing by "Tad" Dorgan for the "Indoor Sports" panel which ran on September 20, 1922 in the NY Evening Journal and elsewhere.The composition is typical Dorgan, with full-length characters arrayed across a shallow, stage-like space, almost as if their foibles are presented as theater, with the reader sitting in the front row. This drawing also shows Tad using his full arsenal of techniques: hatching, stippling, brushwork, and blue pencil to indicate dot screen placement. Also evident is the cartoonist's keen eye for wardrobe and keener eye for unforgettable faces.

One detail requires explanation: the "large ginger ale bottles" requested by the secretaries' bosses. Ginger ale became a popular mixer during the prohibition era for two reasons: first because its sharp flavor effectively cut the bad taste of bootleg hooch, and second because the empties could be re-used to disguise in plain sight any number of illegal amber-colored liquids.


Angry Parakeet said...

I was confused at first by the "secretary" reference. Cultural note: were females not secretaries in 1922? Interesting that the subordinate role of the secretaries were so similar once females worked those positions, too.

Peteykins said...

I think these guys are executive secretaries (rather than just, for instance, stenographers), which would have been more of a male role back then.