July 25th, 2006


More Anne Cleveland and Jean Anderson

Okay, I've got another set of cartoons from Vassar duo Anne Cleveland and Jean Anderson. These scans are from the booklet Vassar: A Second Glance, copyright 1942. Again, I have no information on when or where these cartoons originally appeared, or if they ever appeared outside these booklets.

Tom Spurgeon understandably took issue with my jokey oversimplification of his take on Anne Cleveland in my previous post. He writes:

I like Anne Cleveland and Jean Anderson's work, and plan to write about Cleveland in the next year. It wasn't that the two weren't "all that," they're both obviously talented, it's that they weren't so overwhelmingly talented when compared to the male cartoonists of their time that their lack of name recognition proves a bias on the basis of gender. Or, to flip it around, there are a ton of male cartoonists who suffer from not being remembered just like those two aren't remembered.

Most cartoonists of that era that enjoy name recognition have either really long careers, are aligned with a popular strip, or did a significant amount of work for the New Yorker. I don't think it's a gender thing.

For the record, I agree with Spurge's general point. Within comics fandom, especially, the "name recognition" cartoonists are usually those who worked for many years on popular characters, mostly superhero characters. Magazine cartooning gets particularly short shrift, considering the extremely high quality of such cartooning during its heyday (and, to an extent, even today). And I don't think Cleveland and Anderson are great undiscovered talents whose existence will rock the world of cartooning. They didn't do enough work, for one thing, which is a problem that comes up again and again with gifted female cartoonists (and which I do think is tied to gender issues).

But I still think these cartoons are super rad, so I'm posting some more of them here.

Collapse )