1. Frank and Fran were making their way through the early evening shadows when I spotted them in this “life-size” paste-up on N. Mississippi Ave. Jim Woodring’s book Fran was one of the bright spots of 2013. I met Jim earlier this year and heard straight from the horse’s mouth that he’s working on a sequel to Fran. *whinny!*

  2. "In the 1920s, indoor fireworks served as parlor entertainment to celebrate the 4th. Such examples included large crackers shaped like people, buildings, cannons, clowns, top hats and boots. Each caused an explosion of gifts when lit. … Laughing Uncle, shaped like a man`s head wearing a top hat, exploded a quantity of entertaining parlor jokes. Others threw out coins, cones, riddles, fortunes, colored balls, dice, flags, cotton balls and everything else from love letters to butterflies." (Anita Gold)

  3. Actress Loretta Young, aged 17, photographed by Edward Steichen for Vanity Fair, 1930. His technique in the 1920s and ’30s was unsurpassed in the world of commercial photography. From the book In High Fashion.

  4. Gary Cooper, photographed by Edward Steichen for Vanity Fair, in 1930, shortly after he became a major star. From the Steichen book In High Fashion.

  5. Jeanne Jacqueline Harper in a costume by William Weaver for the Persian FĂȘte at the Plaza Hotel, 1924 (a benefit for the Big Sisters charity). Photo by Edward Steichen for Vogue. She was barely 16 here. She would later marry, becoming Mrs. Fal de Saint Phalle and the mother of the sculptor/painter Niki de Saint Phalle, who was born in 1930 shortly after the family was wiped out financially by the Stock Market Crash of 1929.

  6. Nina Simone, aka Eunice Waymon, a musician beyond category. This is a version of a photo by David Redfern that appeared in the UK magazine The Wire.

  7. 1979 ad featuring Muhammad Ali selling “beautiful” roach traps. Ali also appeared in a TV commercial for d-CON in which he points at the viewer and says, “I told you, I don’t want you living with roaches!”

    This is from Taschen’s All American Ads books.

  8. A 1978 ad for Gay Bob, “the world’s first gay doll for everyone.” It is anatomically correct. “Take me to the office, your boss will love me.” I like the use of Tango font.

    An angry guy named Al wrote to Ann Landers to protest the “pollution of the mind” that this doll represented, predicting that it would open the door for other dolls such as “Priscilla the Prostitute” or “Danny the Dope Pusher.” Ann Landers’s reply: “Dear Al. ‘Gay Bob’? I’ll believe it when I see it. And I can’t believe I’ll see it in the kind of respectable stores I like to do business with.”

  9. Peanuts panel on vintage newsprint, from Peanuts: The Art of Charles M. Schulz

  10. Charles Schulz’s drawing tools on his drawing table as he left it after he drew the final Peanuts comic in 1999. The pen seen on the left side is an Esterbrook 914 Radio pen. When Schulz learned that Esterbrook was going out of business, he bought their whole remaining stock of these nibs, the many boxes of which lasted him all the remaining years of drawing the strip.

  11. Compare panels 2 and 5 of this portion of The Crab with the Golden Claws for an example of changes made for Tintin’s American publishers: we don’t see Haddock drinking rum out of the bottle. Kids still understood that he drank the bottle, but the second version was less explicit in showing it.

  12. Madison Square Press ad, 1927

  13. National Association of Book Publishers ad by Jon O. Brubaker to promote “Book Week,” ca. 1927

  14. Russian cigarette pack designs. The top right one is by the Constructivist artist Alexander Rodchenko; others unknown. “Miss Mend” was a 1923 novel by Marietta Shaginyan about reporters trying to stop Western businessmen from carrying out a biological attack on the USSR. The 1926 film adaptation of the same name can be found on DVD.

  15. Wrapper from a novelty fake ink-spill made of tin, Germany, ca. 1890. Collection Redstone Press, from the book ABZ, Rothenstein & Gooding, eds.