How prevalent in the world of cartooning is the subject of fencing today? I’ve recently seen more television ads and print ads featuring my favorite sport, but the classic humor or editorial cartoon? Maybe I read the wrong magazines. That’s certainly a plausible answer. The New Yorker seems to still print cartoons in the way they always have and I really don’t see it very often these days. And, really, newspapers? I confess, my wife has us subscribed to the Sunday NY Times, but I seldom read it with any conviction and never hunt through it for editorial cartoons. Maybe I’m missing a resurgence of cartoons that reference fencing in a more (or less) humorous tone.
What I can do to get my fencing cartoon entertainment value maximized is return to the pages of the Halberstadt Scrapbooks. I was fortunate to be given the opportunity to lend a hand to the Halberstadt Fencers Club, taking on the task of scanning every page of the four volumes that were started by Hans Halberstadt in the 1940’s and salvaged from water damage in the early 1980’s. Just under 1,300 individual scans. The heart of the collection goes from about 1948 until just before Hans passed away in 1966, so almost 20 years of tournament programs, flyers, news clippings, photos, obituaries and cartoons. I don’t know the number of how many newspapers Hans subscribed to, but it must have been quite a few. Also possible is that his students would find something and bring it to him, giving Hans the opportunity to preserve it in his own scrapbook. However the collection was amassed, it’s impressive. There are a LOT of cartoons scattered throughout the scrapbooks.
The handful I’ve selected for today’s post are not advertisements, although Hans certainly collected a lot of those as well. These are humorous cartoons for the sake of humor. They won’t sell you anything, but they might give you a chuckle. I thought that might be a fun diversion for all of us. I can’t effectively credit these, as I don’t know from what newspaper or magazine they were cut out from. Some contain the signature of the artist, some don’t – or at least, the signature didn’t make it into the scrapbook. I hope no one gets angry at me putting them up here for personal enjoyment. These are all well into their middle age; they’re even older than me!