“For Defense”

“For Defense” (June 1941)
by Henry Boltinoff (1914-2001)
11 x 15 in., ink and wash on board
Coppola Collection

Born in New York City, he was in his teens when he started drawing pictures for the theatre section of The New York American, where his brother, Murray, was an assistant editor. He worked there from 1933 until the paper folded, in 1937. Then he freelanced for magazines, selling hundreds of cartoons to Esquire, The Saturday Evening Post, Ladies’ Home Journal etc. Two years after that, he called on Whitney Ellsworth, DC’s editor, whom he’d come to know while making the magazine rounds. His brother Murray ended up as a long-time editor at DC.

His most prominent creation for DC was “Dover & Clover” which debuted in More Fun Comics #94 (Nov. 1943). Dover & Clover ended in 1947, and the rest of Boltinoff’s longer work was gone soon after. But the fillers continued until the early 1970s.

The particular poster that these two guys are looking at was issued in 1941, during the first ‘defense bond’ campaign.

The first Series E bond was sold to President Franklin D. Roosevelt by Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau on May 1, 1941. These were marketed first as “Defense Bonds.” Then, in December 1941, following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. declared war on Japan. And Germany declared war on the U.S. shortly thereafter, bringing the country into World War II.

This required a great deal of financing; about $281 billion was spent for the war effort between 1941 and 1945. The Series E bonds became known as “war bonds” after Pearl Harbor.

This is an early magazine contribution by Boltinoff, who is so widely known for his sharp cartoon lines. The back of the cartoon notes it as a “Defense Bond” depiction, and it appears that the cartoon was sold, with the proceeds going to the Art Students League Scholarship Fund.

“Proper American Fashion for 1915”

“Proper American Fashion for 1915” (February 9, 1915)
by John Tinney McCutcheon (1870-1949)
13 x 22 in., ink on drawing board
Coppola Collection

On the Purdue campus, where he was a student, McCutcheon (class of 1889) is memorialized in a coeducational dormitory, John T. McCutcheon Hall. The lobby displays an original of one of his drawings, a nearly life-size drawing of a young man.

After college, McCutcheon moved to Chicago, Illinois, where he worked at the Chicago Morning News (later: Chicago Record) and then at the Chicago Tribune from 1903 until his retirement in 1946. McCutcheon received the Pulitzer Prize for Cartoons in 1932.

Immigration to North America has always been a hot topic. The first immigrants appear to have come in about 13,000 years ago, when settlers at the land bridge from Asia could begin to move when the ice retreated after the last Ice Age. The land bridge went under water and large civilizations flourished up and down the Americas until 500 years ago, when the Europeans arrived from the other direction. Waves of explorers, conquerors, and settlers exterminated and reshaped the culture in the “New World.”

The new United States (that start-up country) was a welcome destination. A large wave of Irish and German immigrants, in the early to mid-1800s, was followed by the Italians in the later part of the century. Once you have a clear “them” and “us,” though, things change.

The Immigration Restriction League supported literacy as a prerequisite for immigration from its formation in 1894.

In 1895, Henry Cabot Lodge had introduced a bill to the United States Senate to impose a mandate for literacy for immigrants, using a test requiring them to read five lines from the Constitution. Though the bill passed, it was vetoed by President Grover Cleveland in 1897. In 1901, President Theodore Roosevelt lent support for the idea in his first address, but the resulting proposal was defeated in 1903.

A literacy test was included in a US Senate immigration bill of 1906, but the House of Representatives did not agree to this, and the test was dropped in the conference committee finalizing what became the Immigration Act of 1907. Literacy was introduced again in 1912 and though it passed, it was vetoed by President William Howard Taft.  By 1915, yet another bill with a literacy requirement was passed. It was vetoed by President Wilson because he felt that literacy tests denied equal opportunity to those who had not been educated.

As World War I erupts in Europe, President Wilson formally proclaims the neutrality of the United States, a position that a vast majority of Americans favored, on August 4, 1914.

The loyalty of the Immigrant-Americans is addressed in this poignant cartoon.

We know, 36 years later, Japanese-Americans were interred after the attack on Pearl Harbor. I wonder if German-Americans and Italian-Americans would have gotten the same treatment if the Nazis had managed to attack New York City.

“Campaign Cigar”

“Campaign Cigar” (October 12, 1936)
by Hugh McMillen Hutton (1897-1976)
12 x 18 in., ink and crayon on heavy board
Coppola Collection

Hugh M. Hutton (1897-1976) was an American editorial cartoonist who worked at the Philadelphia Inquirer for over 30 years.

Hugh Hutton grew up with an artistic mother. After attending the University of Minnesota for two years, Hutton enlisted in the armed forces and served in World War I. Hutton pursued coursework in art through correspondence school, the Minneapolis School of Art and the Art Students League.

He worked at the New York World from 1930 to 1932 and with the United Features Syndicate in 1932 and 1933, drawing illustrations and comic strips. Hutton relocated to Philadelphia and worked as the cartoonist at the Public Ledger in 1933 and 1934. He became the Philadelphia Inquirer’s editorial cartoonist in April 1934, where he stayed throughout his career, retiring in 1969.

In April 1935, still struggling with the Great Depression, the US dramatically increased funds for helping the unemployed by creating the Works Progress Administration (WPA), an agency to employ 3.5 million people nationally with a budget of almost $5 billion. The federal government ended direct relief or handouts (states would do that) and focused on providing jobs in federal agencies like the WPA. Roosevelt insisted that WPA wages exceed levels for handouts but not wages in the private sector.

During the 1936 Democratic gubernatorial primaries, promises by local WPA leadership in exchange for political support surfaced. In North Carolina, $25,000 was given to the local WPA chief to distribute, in exchange for lists of key WPA personnel in the state. The incumbent Senator used lists of WPA personnel in his 1936 reelection campaign. The relief agency, with thousands of employees, had a significant influence in close Democratic primaries.

In 1939 Congress passed the Hatch Act, which limited political activities of federal employees, such as those in the WPA.  Damn those quid-pro-quo laws, anyhow!

“Yes, It’s About Time to Cut Down on Baby’s Vitamins”

“Yes, It’s About Time to Cut Down on Baby’s Vitamins” (April 21, 1937)
by Hugh McMillen Hutton (1897-1976)
12 x 18 in., ink and crayon on heavy board
Coppola Collection

Hugh M. Hutton (1897-1976) was an American editorial cartoonist who worked at the Philadelphia Inquirer for over 30 years.

Hugh Hutton grew up with an artistic mother. After attending the University of Minnesota for two years, Hutton enlisted in the armed forces and served in World War I. Hutton pursued coursework in art through correspondence school, the Minneapolis School of Art and the Art Students League.

He worked at the New York World from 1930 to 1932 and with the United Features Syndicate in 1932 and 1933, drawing illustrations and comic strips. Hutton relocated to Philadelphia and worked as the cartoonist at the Public Ledger in 1933 and 1934. He became the Philadelphia Inquirer’s editorial cartoonist in April 1934, where he stayed throughout his career, retiring in 1969.

A mistake was about to happen in 1937 that would be repeated.

In 1937, after five years of sustained economic growth and a steadily declining unemployment rate, the Roosevelt Administration began to worry more about possible inflation and the size of the federal deficit than the ability of the economy to sustain the recovery. Thus, the concern expressed in this cartoon.

As a consequence, in the fall of 1937, FDR supported those in his administration who advocated a reduction in federal expenditures (i.e. stimulus spending) and a balanced budget. The results — which included a massive reduction in the number of people employed by such programs as the WPA — were catastrophic. From the fall of 1937 to the summer of 1938, industrial production declined by 33 percent; wages by 35 percent; national income by 13 percent; and not surprisingly, the unemployment rate rose by roughly 5 percentage points, with an estimated 4 million workers losing their jobs.

The economic downturn caused by the decline in federal spending was commonly referred to as the “Roosevelt recession.” To counter it, FDR asked Congress in April of 1938 to support a substantial increase in federal spending and lending.

In July 2010, coming out of the Great Recession, there was a real danger that the reluctance of Congress to pass even the modest measures of new spending called for by the Obama administration to stall the recovery. The bail-outs, although successful in the end, let the banking leadership off pretty easily, and likely contributed to the right-shift and rise of populism in US politics.

“At Nearly Every Country Crossroad”

“At Nearly Every Country Crossroad” (March 12, 1941)
by Burris A. Jenkins, Jr. (1897-1966)
12 x 18 in, ink wash and crayon on board
Coppola Collection

Burris Jenkins Jr. was the son of a prominent Kansas City minister, war correspondent and newspaper editor. Jenkins Jr. was a popular sports cartoonist, whose work appeared in the New York Journal-American from 1931. His humorous published verses were also popular. Although best known for his sports themes, Jenkins was also a skilled courtroom illustrator and editorial cartoonist.

Jenkins was not afraid to provoke, and he has some strong WW2 examples, including one of the rare direct commentaries on concentration (death) camps. Among his best-remembered cartoons are his angry piece on the discovery of the dead Lindbergh baby, and his sentimental image of Babe Ruth’s farewell to Yankee Stadium.

He was fired from his first job at the Kansas City Post for a series of pessimistic Christmas cartoons, a firing that prompted his father’s resignation from the same newspaper.

His father was an interesting guy. Jenkins, Sr (1968-1945) was ordained in 1891 and served as a pastor in Indianapolis. He received advanced degrees from Harvard and went on to serve as a professor and president of the University of Indianapolis and president of Kentucky University. He left Kentucky to return to Kansas City as pastor of the Linwood Boulevard Christian Church. The church burned in 1939, and Jenkins chose Frank Lloyd Wright as the architect for the church’s new home overlooking the Country Club Plaza.

Jenkins served as editor of the Kansas City Post from 1919 to 1921, hoping to fight for the establishment of the League of Nations. The Jenkins, Sr., biography tells the story about his leaving the Post slightly differently that for the son: “After two years, it became necessary for him to choose between the newspaper and his pulpit and, without hesitation, he resigned from the Post.”

“Live dangerously!” Jenkins would thunder from the pulpit, embracing his own philosophy against all adversaries. Unconventional in nearly every aspect of his chosen field, Jenkins often preached from non-Biblical texts, such as the latest book or his travels abroad. The church frequently hosted motion pictures, dances, card games, and fundraising boxing matches. These activities led to opposition to Jenkins and his Community Church from other churches in the city.

The War Office did not treat the threat of invasion seriously until the collapse of France in May 1940.

After the evacuation of Dunkirk (May/June 1940), people believed that the threatened invasion could come at almost any time.

The British anti-invasion preparations ramped up fast, and entailed a large-scale division of military and civilian mobilization in response to the threat of invasion by German armed forces. The rapid construction of field fortifications transformed much of the United Kingdom, especially southern England, into a prepared battlefield.

By early 1941, in towns and villages, invasion committees were formed to cooperate with the military and plan for the worst should their communities be isolated or occupied.

When Germany invaded the Soviet Union, in June 1941, it came to be seen as unlikely that there would be any attempted landing as long as that conflict was undecided. In July 1941, construction of field fortifications was greatly reduced and concentration given to the possibility of a raid in force rather than a full-scale invasion.

And as it turned out, the German invasion plan, Operation Sea Lion, was never taken beyond the preliminary assembly of forces.


“Another Case of Mental Derangement”

“Another Case of Mental Derangement” (June 16, 1941)
by Ty Mahon (1896-?)
20 x 20 in., ink on board
Coppola Collection

Mahon was the editorial cartoonist for the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin as well as a general illustrator Esquire during the 1930s and 1940s. He is a bit of a ghost. The 1940 census lists him as living in Philadelphia and being born in 1896.

Appointed Deputy Führer to Adolf Hitler in 1933, Hess served in that position until 1941, when he flew solo to Scotland in an attempt to negotiate peace with the United Kingdom during World War II. He was taken prisoner and eventually convicted of crimes against peace, serving a life sentence until his suicide.

Hitler decreed in 1939 that Hermann Goering was his official successor, and named Hess as next in line. In addition to appearing on Hitler’s behalf at speaking engagements and rallies, Hess signed into law much of the government’s legislation, including the Nuremberg Laws of 1935, which stripped the Jews of Germany of their rights in the lead-up to the Holocaust.

Concerned that Germany would face a war on two fronts as plans progressed for Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union scheduled to take place in 1941, Hess decided to attempt to bring Britain to the negotiating table by travelling there himself to seek meetings with the British government.

Before his departure from Germany, Hess had given his adjutant a letter addressed to Hitler that detailed his intentions to open peace negotiations with the British. He delivered the letter to Hitler at the Berghof around noon on May 11. After reading the letter, Hitler let loose an outcry heard throughout the entire Berghof and sent for a number of his inner circle, concerned that a putsch might be underway.

Hitler worried that his allies, Italy and Japan, would perceive Hess’s act as an attempt by Hitler to secretly open peace negotiations with the British. Hitler contacted Mussolini specifically to reassure him otherwise. For this reason, Hitler ordered that the German press should characterize Hess as a madman who made the decision to fly to Scotland entirely on his own, without Hitler’s knowledge or authority.

The official press bulletin said that Hess had become “a deluded, deranged and muddled idealist, ridden with hallucinations traceable to World War injuries“… hence the cartoon’s title of “another case” of derangement.

Hitler stripped Hess of all of his party and state offices, and secretly ordered him shot on sight if he ever returned to Germany. He abolished the post of Deputy Führer.

Hess was already in a deteriorated mental state by the Nuremburg Trials, where he was sentenced to life imprisonment. Forty years later, while in custody in Spandau, he died by hanging himself in 1987 at the age of 93.

After his death, the prison was demolished to prevent it from becoming a neo-Nazi shrine.

“Now Watch ‘Honorable’ Birdie”

“Now Watch ‘Honorable’ Birdie” (May 28, 1942)
by Paul Frederick Berdanier (1879-1961)
14 x 22 in., ink on paper
Coppola Collection

Berdanier was an illustrator for the Post Dispatch in Saint Louis, Missouri from 1902 until 1918. During the summer of 1923 he taught a vocational class at Washington University. He was a United Features Syndicate cartoonist until 1957, when he retired.

In April 1942, Japan was bombed for the first time in the Doolittle Raid. In May 1942, failure to decisively defeat the Allies at the Battle of the Coral Sea (May 4-8), in spite of Japanese numerical superiority, equated to a strategic defeat for Imperial Japan. This setback was followed in June 1942 by the catastrophic loss of four fleet carriers at the Battle of Midway, the first decisive defeat for the Imperial Japanese Navy.

Premiere of Japan Hideki Tojo addressed the Imperial Diet on May 27, 1942.

“At the present time, India is in confusion and in an unsettled state, Chungking is about to collapse, and Australia is isolated. As I review Shonan, Hongkong, and other important bases, peace and order being restored are steadily becoming the (foundation) of Greater East Asia establishment and are making great strides in its rebirth. Our sea power in the Pacific and the Indian Ocean is expanding day by day. Contrary to this, Britain has lost their overseas possessions and the route by which natural resources have been obtained has been taken control of by our forces. As a result it has added a great strain on the British domestic politics, and at the present time, Britain has reached a point of collapse. On the other hand, America that is suffering. repeated defeats is trying to cover its mortal blow by relying on vicious propaganda and is in a desperate condition trying to cover the rising criticism within the country and to preserve the right of neutral countries.”

“Triple Axis”

“Triple Axis” (October 31, 1940)
by Unknown
9 x 10 in., ink on paper
Coppola Collection

While this drawing is an unsigned sketch, it is a nonetheless clever use of representations and commentary.

Russia was a metastable ally with Germany and Italy, at best, prior to the Nazi invasion of Russia in 1941. Russia had a non-aggression pact with Italy that dated back to the 1920s, but through the 1930s, Italy’s wars with Ethiopia and Spain were against Russia’s interests. Russia’s pact with Germany came in late 1939, just before the invasion of Poland.

Stalin sits upon the Hammer and Sickle… Hitler on the Swastika… and Mussolini on the Fasces (an ancient symbol of power from the Roman Empire, used by the Italian fascists on their flag)… strike their uneasy truce as they move toward the invasion of the Balkans, which began with the Italian invasion of Greece.

Stalin was a known drinker, and often referred to diluted wines as “fruit juice,” which is about as close as I can get to that part.

“Anyone Seen a German ‘Band’?”

“Anyone Seen a German ‘Band’?” (March 1945)
by Samuel (Sammy) Garnet Smith Wells (1885-1972)
17 x 21 in., ink on board
Coppola Collection

Samuel Garnet Smith Wells was born in North Sydney, New South Wales.

The earliest evidence of Wells’ capacity for artistic drawing was in 1911 when he was a Bombardier member of the Royal Australian Garrison Artillery at the Queenscliff Fort. He joined the staff of Melbourne Punch (1922) after the First World War and later he worked for the Melbourne Herald drawing sporting cartoons. In about 1923 he put out a book of cartoons based on his work at the Herald called Wells Cartoons. Wells left the Herald in 1933 to work in England on the Manchester Daily Dispatch. In 1939, fearing Britain would lose the war against Nazi Germany, he returned to Australia to take on the job of principal political cartoonist at the Melbourne Herald, a position he held until 1950 (compulsory retirement age). Wells then took a job drawing sporting cartoons for The Age until 1967. Richard Berry purchased the majority of Wells’ original works at a Melbourne estate auction in the mid 1980s.

The US Army crossed the Rhine on March 22, and the British (Operation Plunder) carried out their invasion the next day.

Diary entries from the German leadership, seen years later, would affirm the handwriting-on-the-wall fear that the end was near. Within 5 days, the Operation was over, and as the historical accounting puts at least 30,000 German POWs taken by the Allies.

Here we have a take on an old German folk song, part of which goes like this:

“Come and hear the German band, German band, German band!

Oh, the weather is so grand for the big parade!”

In the first panel, Hitler, Goering, and Goebbels are trumpeting their victories throughout 1940. By the second panel, Germany is worse for wear and there is nothing coming out of the leadership after the British invasion.

The song is famously parodied by Mel Brooks in “The Producers” in the number “Haben Sie Gehört Das Deutsches Band?”

“The Willing Slaves”

“The Willing Slaves” (June 21, 1941)
by Unknown
9 x 10 in., ink on paper
Coppola Collection

This drawing is an unsigned sketch, and although undated, I’m assigning it nonetheless.

On June 21, 1941, Winston Churchill made a radio address in which he spoke of “the Nazi war machine, with its clanking, heel-clicking, dandified Prussian officers … [and] the dull, drilled, docile, brutish masses of the Hun soldiery plodding on like a swarm of crawling locusts.”

Close enough.