Recently, Heidi MacDonald over at the Beat posted a series of five photos of classic cartoonists who have gathered to do what cartoonists do best, get all liquored up and then draw on the bikinis of a bevy of beautiful ladies.
Pictured: Artist's tools.
I couldn’t let those photos go by without further research, so I followed links to Life magazine and found a wealth of other photos chronicling this very strange event. Now, let me say, I’m all the damn sure for this. True, I’m a writer, so I can’t draw, but I could certainly drink a few cocktails and hell, I don’t see why I couldn’t write a paragraph or two on the bikini.
The important thing is, when you’re downing booze by the pitcher and are drawing cartoons on the body of a swimsuit model, you’re walking a fine line between burlesque fun and the downright seedy. So, let’s just take a walk down that path, and see which way many of our most beloved cartoonists (like Alfred Andriola, Otto Soglow, Milton Caniff and others) fell.
Ready to walk the path? Good. It's a long hike.
Okay, this is just going to be a bit of fun, but... trust me ladies, get some drinks down the hatch.
And, huddle up. Remember that cartoonists, like dogs, can smell fear.
Okay... let's meet the cartoonists. You boys aren't going to be creepy, right?
Mingle. Mingle. Mingle.
Okay! Let's get this party started. Girls! Line up for the cartoonists to draw on your.... bodies. Hmm, "creepiness" meter is already rising.
Why does it sound like wolves baying in here?
Well, they're off. And the cartoonists certainly don't seem very shy about where to draw. Strained smiles, everyone!
The 1950's were a kindlier, gentler time, right? Shouldn't we take that into account on ye ol' "creepy" meter?
Where did that rascally cartoonist go? Ahhh, there he is. On your rump. Smiles everyone!
Well, it's a toss up. Is it creepier that he's drawing on her breasts, or that someone has written, "Mason Dixon Line" on the bottom of her swimsuit?
Exactly. More booze, please.
If you look closely, you can see Alfred Andriola doesn't think signing his name is enough. He also seems to be signing his phone number. Hmmm, what's that buzzing? Is that my creepy meter?
Happiness and "put-up-with-this-shit-ness" have collided.
You know, all in all, we're not doing too bad. It's hard to really complain about---
Oh well, hell. Here we go. And I'm going to need a new creepy meter, because the old one just topped off.
Now we're getting out of control. Who decided to draw that on her butt? C'mon guys. We're in the fifties, here, and drawing eyeballs on model's rumps is something only a dang commie would do.
And.... we've lost all semblance of reason and the creepy meter just grew legs and started walking around the room, slapping people. C'mon, people, let's try to remain civilized here. We've gone from civilized, to burlesque, to the downright tawdry. We're only one small step from dousing these girls in water in some sort of ill-advised "Girls Gone Wild Meet the Cartoonists" bacchanal.
Okay, so now the men have drawn all over the ladies, covering them in cartoon characters and phone numbers, and they've done so in the most intimate areas, and for some reason a number of the men (see last photo) are wearing fireman's hats, but that's IT, right? I mean, we won't be following these ladies back to their rooms and watching them disrobe, will we?