Isn’t it amazing how certain items can evoke a whirl of memories? I recently checked out ” The Original Art of Basil Wolverton”(759.13 WOL) and I experienced a flashback to a very particular time of my youth.
I love the humor and the wit Wolverton can give you with just one black and white cartoon of his. They are so grotesquely silly. The book made me reflect on my old paper route I had when I was 10– it was a love hate relationship I had with my “route” . I had 26 customers on a two street circuit, Morningside Avenue and Maynard Drive. Morningside was a very steep hill on which I zig zagged down– delivering papers to where ever my customers desired the paper.( a luxury that is not allowed in today’s deliveries) On collection day I would go into the local Drugstore(yes, we called the pharmacy a drug store–) and buy the latest issue of Mad Magazine. I would hide the magazine in my dirty canvas newspaper carrier bag, knowing my mother would never look in it and find my stash. I would run with great speed and diligence to shave time off of my normal routine to squirrel some secret time away mid route.Often it entailed climbing three flights of stairs in mutli-family houses–however, I was pretty good at angling my throw from the base of the first floor and landing it in front of the third floor’s door! Off I would go running and flying to get to the my secret spot, the “city steps” which joined the two hilly streets. For those of you that do not know what “city steps” are– they are these long cement stair cases that the city built into the steep inclines to join the “neighborhood blocks or streets” . The steps are usually secluded wooded and sandwiched between the last houses at the bottom of the giant hill. It was here that I would climb half way– and pull my delightful read out of my bag. I could sit there in peace and read the newspaper and the magazine. A few stolen moments of happiness, laughter and quiet! Mad Magazine packed with its humor and satire. Spy vs Spy by Antonio Prohia, The Lighter Side by Dave Berg and who is better than Al Jaffe and the classic Fold in Page?– remember Wacky Packy cards? The spoofs painted by Norman Suanders were influenced by Basil Wolverton’s art– I still have a few of my old stickers.(most likely the stick of pink bubble gum too and I bet it still would taste the same 🙂
The book brought me back to a wonderful memory that had been packed away. Even the smell of the new thick ink from the book brought me instantly back to that paper route.
If you enjoy the lighter side of life and enjoy a comic or two– here are few chuckles on me:
The Original Art of Basil Wolverton From the Collection of Glenn Bray.(759.13 WOL) enjoy Lena the Hyena, Powerhouse Pepper and many other hilarious illustrations
The New Yorker Album of Drawings 1925-1975 (741.5 New) If you ever have just browsed the New Yorker Magazine for the cartoons then this book is made for you.
Hell of A Way to Run a Railroad by Peter Arno(741.5 ARN) more comedic art from the New Yorker
Theories of Everything by Roz Chast (741.569 CHA) Roz once wrote,”When a cartoon makes me laugh, or when anything makes me laugh, to me it’s magic.”
Hirschfeld. On Line by Al Hirschfeld(741.597) This book is packed with amazing and satirical caricatures.