October 06, 2007


Neatocoolville just beat me to this one, but one look at that skeleton using a skeletal umbrella should make it clear that this book deserves at least one more mention in cyberspace if not fourteen or fifteen more. Ghostly Ghastly Cartoons by Marvin Townsend was probably the best 1971 had to offer in the way of spook related single-panel gags. Yet the humor and illustration style (which I really do admire) look like they were at least twenty years outdated the moment these babies rolled off the press over at Xerox Educational publications. (That's actually a compliment. The '50s buried the '70s in terms of cartooning.) And now I shall present a handful of choice selections. Please hold on to your sides, lest they split in a disgusting fashion.

Well, there you have it folks, an hilarious riff on torture, a poignant commentary on racism, and two jokes featuring ghosts being treated as laundry. You're welcome!


Sparkle Plenty said...

Ooooh. I love this. Charles Addams meets Scholastic Books. I sped to google to look up Marvin Townsend. Have you ever seen the "Treasure Chest of Fun and Fact"? Looks like he was published in there.

Devlin Thompson said...

I can't tell you much about Marvin Townsend, but this work is from the tail end of a career spanning at least 30 years, with little success as near as I can tell. He pops up here and there in various low-budget magazines of all sorts through the mid-20th century, but ultimately the handful of Xerox Book Club books from the early '70s are his most well-remembered work. I've had a tiny pocket-sized collection of his early 1940s cartoons for a consumer-protection magazine formatted and ready to go for a couple of years, but I never finished it because I was trying to find SOMETHING out about him for a bio, but thus far, no dice.

John Rozum said...

A lot of great posts here, Kirk. These cartoons are great, and I really enjoyed your post about the use of the artificial spider webs. The bit about the two dogs fighting over a pillow had me lol. Thank you for not pulling the image from my recent post on my Halloween display for Shaman Drum as a negative example.

Monster-Maniac said...

Brilliant! Saw it in my Flickr contacts and it's now on my desktop. I'm burning with jealousy over your witty foreword. I love this sort of comic. Simple, one panel. Like Ney Yorker. Thanks so much for posting!

Kirk D. said...

sparkle- just looked 'em up and those look pretty cool. I'll keep my eyes open. good tip.

devlin- Thanks for the info. I remember seeing this book on your flickr page so you should get credit for introducing the internet to Mr. Townsend's work :)
Forget the bio, go, go! That sounds very cool.

thanks Rozum. ha! your store display is beyond acceptable.

thanks monster maniac. Though I'm curious how you saw it in your flickr contacts?

Dave said...

I just got one of these off Amazon.com for 99 cents.

Monster-Maniac said...


Dunno how I doez it, I just doez it.