Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Art Collection: "Indoor Sports" Drawing By "TAD" Dorgan, 1923

(Click for bigger.)

Isn't it amazing that commercial radio as we know it today still hasn't even reached its centennial? (Note: I'm not talking about the invention of radio, or even the first public broadcasts. I'm speaking of mainstream popularly-oriented radio broadcasting.) The popular art form launched, more or less, in 1920. In 1923, when Tad published this comic panel, the radio craze had reached a fever pitch. People didn't quite understand it, but they wanted it.

Love the gags in this one: "If this is the radio that plays the jazz I'll take it" and "She wanted two wave lengths in case one broke." Good stuff!

Applying the name "The Wiff" to "the best loud speaker" doesn't make sense unless you know that "wiff" is Dorgan's slang term for "wife". Oh, Tad.

"Dumb Dora" is sometimes credited to Tad, but apparently the phrase had been knocking around in vaudeville for some time before becoming hugely popular due to George Burns and Gracie Allen the very same year this cartoon was published. It's likely that Tad picked up the term from them.

And, finally, note the use of Cockney rhyming slang in the caption: Twist and Twirl = Girl.

This is a really nice drawing by Tad, much more careful and finished than the last one I featured here. I love the use of silhouettes in the background. The clothing is sharply observed, and as always, Dorgan has a flair for humorous faces and expressions.

Rather than posting details, I've uploaded a larger-than-usual scan of the drawing (click the small version above).

 Next: Nancy and Sluggo visit the zoo again, always fertile ground for gags.


Pieter said...

I really enjoy your cartoon postings. They've made me look at cartoons with new eyes. Thanks!

PhysioProffe said...

He really does fabric amazingly!