Wednesday, July 10, 2013


     "There are those among cartoonists who are tied grimly to causes.   

Pittsburgh (Steelworkers Strike), The Masses, August 1916.

     Their art has bite but little comedy. 


Child Labor, Daily Worker, December 22, 1924.

      So agitated over social injustice was Robert Minor, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and New York Evening Journal editorial cartoonist who helped pioneer the stark, lithographic look in newspaper cartoons, that he became more and more involved first in socialist and later communist causes, drawing only for radical organs, like The Masses and The Liberator, capping his career not only as a cartoonist, a calling for which he was eminently qualified, but as a worker for the Communist Party and an editor of The Daily Worker."

Cover, Mother Earth, October 1915.

NOTE:  This short description of the work of the great American cartoonist Robert Minor appears in the "Art On An Errand" chapter of Roy Paul Nelson's invaluable book Cartooning (Chicago, Henry Regnery Company, 1975) which, based on the fly-page inscription, I gave to Caroline as a Valentine's Day present in 1976 when we were living at 1273 Third Avenue in Manhattan.  It was a truly dreadful apartment and building,  a hellish premises whose lobby was often festooned with swastikas  and statements of ethnic disapprobation for the landlords, a journey’s end environment  that might have inspired Minor to artful action.  I still cruise by the address on occasion and shudder every time I do.  

For anyone interested in cartooning and 20th century American radical politics a fuller examination of Robert Minor's life and achievements, would be in order.  One could do worse than starting Here.

"Army Medical Examiner: 'At last — a perfect soldier”, from The Masses, July 1916.

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