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Drawing Power: A Compendium of Cartoon Advertising Paperback – August 31, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

Review

“The best thing about the book is the art, which shows classic characters like Little Nemo and the Yellow Kid hawking all manner of suspect gee-gaws.... Plus, there’s a nice selection of Mr. Coffee Nerves strips at the back, and I’m always a sucker for that guy.” (Chris Mautner - Robot 6)

“Now a good-looking, large-format book shows much of the history of advertising cartoons… Many of the cartoons in this colorful collection are handsome, and in hindsight, many are… silly… It is, however, all part of the enormous fun of this volume.” (Rob Hardy - The Dispatch)

“Herein you’ll find Peter Arno, the sophisticated New Yorker cartoonist, endorsing Rheingold Extra Dry Beer; Mickey Mouse and pals flogging just about everything under the sun except, maybe, mousetraps; and Krazy Kat selling Gulfsteel Nails. They are all Joe Camel’s ancestors.” (Dana Jennings - The New York Times)

“Rick Marschall and Warren Bernard’s Drawing Power is a provocative visual examination of the wonderful world of cartoon advertising.... Marschall and Bernard have mixed an unusual batch of artistic and economic history. After reading this book, you’ll never look at comic strips and capitalism the same way again.” (Michael Taube - The Washington Post)

“Popeye hawking newspapers? Donald Duck selling gasoline? You'll find them and a whole cavalcade of comic strip characters in Drawing Power: A Compendium of Cartoon Advertising… A great treat for fans of comic strips, Americana, and ephemera.” (The Christian Science Monitor)

Drawing Power: A Compendium of Cartoon Advertising is a book that will surely pique the interest of those involved in the communication sector, but also all who are drawn to pop culture.” (Lida Tsene, Comicdom (translated from Greek))

About the Author

Rick Marschall, called by Bostonia Magazine “perhaps America’s foremost authority on popular culture,” has written or edited more than 60 books. He co-founded Nemo: The Classic Comics Library and Hogan’s Alley magazines and is President of Rosebud Archives. He has taught comics history at the School of Visual Arts and Rutgers University. His biography of Johann Sebastian Bach will be published by Thomas Nelson in 2010.

Warren Bernard is Executive Director of the Small Press Expo (SPX) independent sequential art festival, and is a comics-focused writer and historian. He co-authored the Eisner Award-nominated book Drawing Power, and has extensively researched and written about the 1950s Juvenile Delinquency / Senate Comic Book Hearings. A contributor to more than a dozen books, he often provides rare materials from his own extensive collection. Both the Library of Congress and the Center for Cartoon Studies (CCS) have hosted his lectures. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Marschall Books; 1st edition (August 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606993992
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606993996
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 0.1 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #806,062 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. Hardy HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on October 14, 2011
Format: Paperback
Comic strips, as printed in American papers, have been linked to advertising since their very inception, and have been a constant staple of ad campaigns. Now a good-looking, large-format book shows much of the history of advertising cartoons: _Drawing Power: A Compendium of Cartoon Advertising 1870s - 1940s_ (Fantagraphics Books), edited and with explanations by Rick Marschall and Warren Bernard. There is a wealth of information and graphic excellence here, as well as a social history of American enthusiasms and emphases during the period covered. An initial essay by Marschall, "Cartoons and the Selling of America," is followed by sections devoted to particular artists or commercial products, or themes like the use of celebrities in the funnies to sell certain brands. The graphics are good, even if within the large pages some of the illustrations have been shrunk to get them all in. And even when the cartoons are beautifully rendered, some of the pitches and the products are amazingly stupid, subversively calling into question the principles of commercialization and the judgement of the American masses.

The Yellow Kid, right from the beginning in the 1890s, was a pitchman. A jug-eared urchin in a yellow garment like a nightgown, the Yellow Kid was a sensation, inspiring a musical, buttons, and a magazine. Especially he sponsored products; he had his own chewing gum, which makes sense for a kid, but he also had Yellow Kid cigarettes and cigars, and countless other products. The same artist created Buster Brown. Sometimes a product was an integral part of a cartoon.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Wilson Trivino on May 9, 2013
Format: Paperback
With all the pop ads and competing signs that strive to get our attention, we can't but help to feel overwhelmed. This book takes you a bit old school to the start. Ads for toys, candies, cigarettes and such are timeless.
The book also has some interesting cartoons and is broken down in eras. From a war torn world to the boom of prosperity. There are portfolios, tidbits and beautifully illustrated of a bi-gone era.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By James D. Crabtree VINE VOICE on January 2, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I do love good books on cartooning and this one certainly does much of the material justice with its large-size format but as far as actual cartoon characters in advertising there are better books out there. This one does have a unique chapter on how cartoonists themselves were directly involved in advertising and it has some examples of left-wing art that you won't see any where else, but it seems over-priced for what it brings to the table.
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