Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Art Collection: "Indoor Sports" Drawing By Tad Dorgan, Ca. 1924

(Click for LOTS bigger.)

I just picked up two more Tad drawings, and both of them are stellar. This one is so highly detailed, with such exuberant pen work and detailing, that I uploaded a larger scan than usual, rather than posting details. I believe this is one of the best drawings in my collection.

And, refreshingly, the idea isn't dated at all: the overworked peon is getting his courage up to ask the bosses for a raise. It's a classic scene of income inequality: the sweating* worker is harried and exhausted, while the nattily dressed upper-class discusses their labor-free moneymaking wheeling and dealing.

And, again, what other cartoonist devoted this much time to clothing? I can't think of a single one.

Again, we've got the "What - No Spinach" gag, which I explained here, and another one of Tad's funny little made-up songs as secondary (or even tertiary) jokes. This is Dorgan at his absolute best.

*It's worth pointing out that Tad never used iconic comic strip shorthand in his Indoor/Outdoor Sports panels. Note that the sweat on the worker is portrayed naturalistically, not  flying off his head. He didn't use motion lines or other gimmicks, either. He did, however, use these in his Judge Rummy slapstick strips.


nixiebunny said...

The boss on the right appears to have put on his wife's coat by mistake.

PietB said...

I've always thought he had an instinctive appreciation of what clothing meant in terms of class. That sprigged shirt on Addison, and the crumpling of his trouser leg as though he'd worn a bicycle clip that morning, contrasted with the Persian lamb on one plutocrat and the fresh flower in the middle fellow's buttonhole are priceless.

Diane Griffin said...

Note to readers: That one "here" link leads to an awesome Tad Dorgan rabbit hole.

I find it hard to say "best cartoonist of all time," but I won't argue if someone else says it, and I would go there because of you describing and posting his work here, Peteykins.

Wow, I'm just praising you right and left today, aren't I? I promise I'm not being stalkerish intentionally. There are perfectly legitimate reasons for all of my lavishing today.

Peteykins said...

Oh, I definitely don't think Tad was the best cartoonist of all time. Far from it! I can't think of any other cartoonist of the era, however, who spent so much time accurately describing attire.