Selling Power, September 1990


sell0990.JPG This is the first of more than 75 cartoons that Selling Power magazine purchased from me. The publication started out as Personal Selling Power, a trade magazine for professional salespeople, shortened its name after a few years, and is very much still around. Unfortunately, however, about five years ago Selling Power completely stopped using cartoons as part of its editorial mix.

Not too long ago I cornered Selling Power's founder and publisher, Gerhard Gschwandtner, at a trade show (he was manning the Selling Power booth) and asked him why no more cartoons. He gave me what I considered a pretty wimpy answer, to the effect that while he personally loved the cartoons, the "design boys" decided they had to go, and he went along with that decision.

Bad thinking. If ever a publication needed cartoons and humor to supplement its hard-hitting editorial content, it's Selling Power.

A strange contradiction: Selling Power has an ongoing website, sellingpower.com, on which there is a "Cartoon of the Day" feature, using cartoons from past issues. My cartoons appear there on a regular basis. An even stranger contradiction: in 2005, Selling Power came out with a cartoon collection, "The Sunny Side of Selling", containing 200 cartoons from past issues (18 of them are mine). So Selling Power is obviously still very much cartoon-oriented.

C'mon, Mr. Gschwandtner, it's time to speak up! Bring cartoons back to Selling Power!




Me and Tom


x.jpg I met pop artist Tom Wesselmann in the army in 1953, and we remained friends until his untimely death in December 2004. What bound us together were 1) our similar senses of humor, 2) our love of "classic" country music and 3) our ambitions to be New Yorker cartoonists. Tom was from Cincinnati, Ohio, and after his two years of army service, he and his wife moved to NYC, more specifically to Brooklyn, where I was still living with my parents. The above photo, taken in my bedroom/studio in Brooklyn around 1956, shows me (left) with Tom sitting in my seat at the drawing table. We were either discussing gags, cartooning or country music.

Tom went on to become one of the pioneer "Pop Artists" in America and his work now sells at auction for about a million dollars apiece. But the desire to be a New Yorker cartoonist never left him. Over the years, he submitted many, many batches to The New Yorker (in the later years under a nom de plume), with no success. A couple of times in the fifties or sixties the editor offered to buy his gag only (they did that at The New Yorker in the good old days, but don't do it any more). The editor said he would assign the gag to one of their "regulars". Tom didn't like the idea, but caved in, thinking it might help his cause. It didn't. I remember that one of the gags was eventually drawn by Otto Soglow. I kind of lost track of the other one, but can probably track it down somewhere.

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Living Cartoon -- 1954


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This photo I took of PFC Tom Wesselmann, in 1954, was set up as a "living cartoon". The caption was something like "What makes you think I'm bucking to make Sergeant?" (It looked better on paper, with the Sergeant's stripes drawn over and under the soldier's eyes.) We posed a few of these "cartoons", and they helped pass the time during our 2-year hitches as draftees in the army.

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The Wall Street Journal, July 23, 1958


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Ha! Check out those parking rates from 1958.




Nutrition Health Review, Spring 1980


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In case you can't see it clearly, there's a big wide grin on the patient's face.




The Wall Street Journal, July 26, 1968





The Wall Street Journal, July 6, 1971


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CAPTION: "You're fired!"




Rough Notes, July 1987





The Wall Street Journal, August 23, 1974





The Wall Street Journal, July 1, 1959





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