Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum
From the buzz of excitement in the days leading up, to the conflicting vacationing preferences of family, the thrill of travel or a forthcoming holiday is a feeling that many have missed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Good cartooning can capture the human experience and remind us of our own lives. While we continue to be stuck at home, the cartoons featured here highlight some of those missed moments, even if they must remain in our imagination like the Kin-der-Kids sailing the seas in their family bathtub.
“You’re better off in New York — Paris is full of Americans”
Likely an unpublished cartoon submission for The New Yorker, this Barbara Shermund piece epitomizes her best work: metropolitan, cheeky, breezy and energetic. A haughty, well-travelled New Yorker ironically discourages a young woman from traveling to a place with American tourists.
Edwina Dumm’s daily comic strip Cap Stubbs and Tippie ran for nearly 50 years in newspapers across America, and it traced the family life and adventures of a boy and his dog. In this strip, the titular characters embrace the glee of an upcoming vacation.
Best known for her flapper-themed cartoons, Ethel Hays also enjoyed a prolific career as an illustrator. Images like the one displayed above highlight her proficiency at fashion illustration, as shown in the garments and magazine pages held by the young woman packing for a trip.
Lyonel Feininger is best known as a German expressionist painter, however, his experience in American newspaper comic strips gave him the freedom to experiment with interesting layouts, designs and storytelling techniques. Feininger’s surreal Kin-der-Kids featured a group of children traveling around the world in the family bathtub.
Modern Romance by Lynda Barry ran in Esquire magazine from 1984–1989. It captured the trials and tribulations of dating and universal experiences that many couples could relate to. Barry excels at exploring distinct personality types, such as the vacation over-planner.
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