Wednesday, April 30, 2014

"Jolly Cholly's Tearoom: Act I, Scene 1"

I love this amazing cartoon from Milwaukee Sentinel artist Lou Grant, which was published for 1944's Opening Day.


Jolly Cholly's Tearoom is the locale of a cartoon series depicting the fate of Joe Brewer and his amorous desires toward Polly Pennant, a glamorous gal, who, although she fell for him a year ago, seems to be casting covetous eyes around the league. Villain no. 1 is Sylvester Saint who will be the first to attempt to break up Joe's life of bliss with Polly starting Wednesday afternoon. From time to time as new rivals appear upon the scene they will be shown by Grant's talented pen—as will the fate of some swains upon other occassions.
And then we meet the regulars:
The Cast

JOLLY CHOLLY GRIMM—Owner, emcee and the poor man's Frank Sinatra.

POLLY PENNANT—Tearoom hostess and a fickle femme who is always making eyes at other swains around the circuit.

JOE BREWER—Bartender and bouncer who has terrific crush on Polly.

MILWAUKEE GUS—Just a Joe Phann who seems to be getting a big wham out of the whole thing.

Sundry other characters casting ogle eyes at Polly, who, right now, is once again playing the field.
There's an awful lot going on in Grant's composition. I love the blue star service flag for Bill Veeck, serving somewhere in the Pacific. The brass band is perhaps a reflection of the motley musical assortment Charlie Grimm and Veeck brought to entertain the Borchert Field crowds. And then there's Joe's dialogue: "It's just like I wuz telling' ya honey... stick with me an' you'll be wearin' baseball diamonds..." Brilliant.

It'll be interesting to read the continuing adventures of Joe, Polly and all the rest as the 1944 season unfolds.

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