Sunday, November 05, 2006

Life Drawing Sunday 14: Alice Harvey

Yes, there actually were women cartoonists who contributed to Life. The list is a short one, and most of the contributions came in the 1920s. Until that time, apparently, women weren't considered capable of being funny. Hysterical, sure, but not funny.

Alice Harvey came to New York from Chicago with her friend Helen Hokinson in the early 1920's. Both had studied at the Art Institute, shared a studio on N. Michigan Ave. and worked as fashion illustrators for Marshall Fields. In New York they found work immediately in the comic art department of the Daily Mirror, where they created the short-lived strip "Sylvia in the Big City". They continued studying art at Parsons and Harvey found early success submitting to Life, Judge and other magazines. Her appearances in Life seem to have been as frequent as those of almost any other contributor.

In February of 1925 The New Yorker was launched and both Harvey and Hokinson soon found a home there. This isn't surprising since Harvey had pretty much been doing New Yorkerish cartoons for years before it existed, something Harold Ross seemed aware of in a letter he wrote to Harvey:

I judge from your letter that you apparently don't realize that you are one of the three or four pathfinders in what is called the new school of American humor. Your stuff in Life before The New Yorker started might well be considered the first notes of the new humor. I remember seeing it and being encouraged by it when I was thinking of starting The New Yorker. It had a lot to do with convincing me that there was a new talent around for a magazine like this.

Ross was right in another regard: "This kid's got stuff, this kid can draw!" *

*These quotes and much of the biographical information here have been unrepentently cribbed from Funny Ladies: The New Yorker's Greatest Women Cartoonists And Their Cartoons by Liza Donnelly.

July 27, 1922

December 14, 1922

December 28, 1922

January 4, 1923

February 22, 1923

February 15, 1923

April 12, 1923

May 31, 1923

June 28, 1923

June 28, 1923

September 6, 1923

November 8, 1923

August 21, 1924

October 2, 1924

July 22, 1926

September 16, 1926

September 23, 1926

November 18, 1926

December 2, 1926

October 27, 1927

1 comment:

samacleod said...

These are GORGEOUS! Just amazing. Wow, i love these.