December 4th, 2007

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Punch 17


[Click for pleasure]
By David L. Ghilchik (Romanian, 1892-1972)

Whatever happened to the "milquetoast?"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milquetoast

Once this character type could often be found in fiction and films. Think Wally Cox.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wally_Cox

A milquetoast is not a nerd or a dweeb or a doofus. As we see above, in the figure of Cuthbert--a milquetoast if ever there was one--such fellows are not cliched gay "pansies" either. They're just timid and ineffectual and mild-mannered. Yet they can exhibit surprising reservoirs of courage and heroism when pushed to extremes.

Think Droopy the Dog.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Droopy

Peter Parker was something of milquetoast before his transformation into Spider-Man. Clark Kent is one too.

Has the world grown too harsh and rough and demanding to permit milquetoasts to flourish? If so, a sad state of affairs.

Posted by Paul DiFi.
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Punch 18


[Change size at whim]
By Kenneth Beauchamp

By visiting the Punch Cartoon site, I was able to identify the artist of the image above.

http://www.punchcartoons.com/information.php?info_id=1

Yet even his full name did not serve to turn up any online biographical info.

As I mentioned before in this series, the lovely woman in state of undress accompanied by French maid is a core cartoon trope. Or used to be. You don't see it much anymore.

And of course such a trope bumps up right against John Willie territory.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Willie

Posted by Paul DiFi.
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Plumage from Pegasus

Did I ever mention that my humor column from F&SF is regularly posted online, at the F&SF homepage?

Here's the latest:

http://www.sfsite.com/fsf/2008/pdf0801.htm

And may I say that I consider this other recent piece to be a personal favorite, out of all the years I've been doing this series. Maybe it won't strike everyone as knee-slappingly funny, but it tickles me very much.

http://www.sfsite.com/fsf/2007/pdf0710.htm

Posted by Paul DiFi.