Cartoon Ghosts


Bob Flicker

July 2014


The discovery was made by my daughter, Lauren, while browsing though our “hold everything” closet in the fall of 2008. It was a large, manila envelope buried beneath a huge, pile of stuff far back in the closet. Curiosity got the best of her and she managed to retrieve the manila envelope with contents I thought I had disposed of more than fifty years ago.


Between 1950 and 1960 I was, among other things, a cartoonist. Inside of that manila envelope were dozens of scraps of paper (envelopes, napkins, stained slips of paper of varying sizes, rejected typed-upon paper and a paper triangle that could have been a paper cup. They all had one thing in common. Each had a roughly sketched cartoon drawn upon it. When a cartoon idea came to me I would use whatever was at hand to put it down as a reminder for a finished cartoon at a later date. I had forgotten all about them and had no idea they existed until Lauren recovered them and turned them into the best 80th birthday present. She had those various sized scraps of cartoons scanned and sized into a memory book of my cartoons with a photo of me on the cover page. (Thank you my darling daughter.)


The year was 1955 when I somehow found myself the cartoonist for the Young Democratic Club in New York City. There are three surviving YDC cartoons that came out of the manila envelope. Two of them are a matched set and rather than appear political they picture a problem that Democrats, Republicans and other organizations face—even today. I present them as the first and second of my Cartoonist’s Ghosts with more to come.


The majority of my cartoons were non-political. An idea for a cartoon would pop into my head in the strangest places. It could be in a movie theater, in a restaurant, walking in the park, at a concert and almost anywhere else. When that happened I would search, frantically, for a piece of paper (any piece of paper) and something to draw with; anything! That would include my wife’s eyebrow pencil or lipstick (not my favorite drawing instrument). I include one of those rough, inspirational sketches for one of my cartoons.






to be continued..

 © robert 2014