Friday, November 12, 2021

Football obsession, 60 years ago

This editorial cartoon by Frank Miller, poking fun at the obsession over football, appeared on the front page, above the fold, of the Sunday, November 12, 1961 edition of the Des Moines Sunday Register. Exactly 60 years ago today.

At three columns wide, the cartoon is the main art on the front page, with a two-column-wide head shot of Jean Seberg serving as the only other prominent artistic element. ("Otto got rid of me like a used Kleenex," Seberg states in the article, speaking of director Otto Preminger. Seberg died at age 40 in 1979; her short life with was beset by tragedy and she was the target of viciously unfair treatment.)

This was amid the long heyday of American newspapers. The Register billed itself as "The Newspaper Iowa Depends Upon." Its Sunday edition featured 202 pages spread over 11 sections, for a cost of 20 cents. (The advertising revenue was surely tremendous.)

Miller was a staff cartoonist for the Register from 1953 to 1983 and won a Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning in 1963, for his cartoon about the futility of nuclear warfare.

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