As ever, thanks for sharing your cartoony toys, and take it away, Dick!
Al Ross was born Abraham Roth. He was always referred to as “one of the cartooning Roth brothers.” The oldest brother was Ben Roth; the other two were Salo and Irv Roir. They attended the Art Students League and began cartooning in the 1930’s. Their cartoons appeared in the major magazines of the day, Colliers, Saturday Evening Post, This Week and many others. Their work also appeared in many of the pulp cartoon magazines which proliferated at the time. According to all reports, they were a wacky bunch of guys, the cartooning equivalent to the Marx Brothers. Al was considered the most talented draftsman of the brothers. Few would disagree.
In the early days of gag cartooning, most if not all cartoonists made preliminary sketches, and inked over the penciled work to obtain the finished product. Not Al. Al famously quickly sketched the whole shebang. Others did not adopt this approach until the 1960’s.
Over the years his work evolved, like an older jazz musician who play few notes and use space to achieve their sound, Ross utilized this same minimalist technique in his cartoons, becoming freer and increasing minimalist over time.
His gags were always solid, and even in the earliest days, tinged with an intellectual bent.
1. For Laughing Out Loud, 1963.
2. Judge. March, 1947
3. Collier’s. December 18, 1948
4. True. August, 1949
5. 1000 Jokes Magazine Summer, 1950 1953
6. Gags. February,1951
7. American Legion Magazine. December, 1953
8. Collier’s. August 20, 1954
9. Collier’s. July 8, 1955
10. For Laughing Out Loud. July-Sept. 1957
11. American Legion Magazine. December, 1958
12. 1000 Jokes Magazine Mar-May, 1959
13. 1000 Jokes Magazine. Mar-May, 1960
14. Look. June 18, 1963
15. 1000 Jokes Magazine. Sep-Nov, 1964
More of Dick Buchanan's great gag cartoon collection:
Dick Buchanan's Cartoon Files: New Yorker Cartoonists Abroad 1966-1968
Dick Buchanan's Cartoon File: 1945 - 1962
From the Dick Buchanan Files: "How I Create Humor" from 1950s - 60s Gag Cartoon Insider Journal "The Information Guide"
Dick Buchanan's Cartoon File: 1950s Color Magazine Gag Cartoons
Dick Buchanan's Cartoon File: Funny Vintage Magazine Gag Cartoons 1946 - 1963
Dick Buchanan's Cartoon File: Wordless Gag Cartoons 1944-1964
1953 George Booth Drawings for American Legion Magazine
Dick Buchanan: Winter/Christmas/Holiday Gag Cartoons 1940s-60s
Dick Buchanan: Some PUNCH Magazine Cartoons 1948-1963
Dick Buchanan: Gag Cartoon Clip File 1946-64
Dick Buchanan: Gag Cartoon Clip File 1947-62
Dick Buchanan: Some Favorite Magazine Gag Cartoons 1940-60s
Dick Buchanan: Gag Cartoon Clip File 1931-64