Monday, March 29, 2010

Alaska-Yukon Magazine (1909)

"Uncle Sam throws the searchlight on Alaska" - A cartoon by W. J. Harris, a Juneau boy"
Over one-hundred years old and still applicable to modern issues: not only does the topic hold up but so does the craftsmanship of rendered crosshatching. The stylistic conventions of many contemporary editorial cartoonists are nothing new, and one is reminded at how hard it is to arrive at anything that's original. 
From a 1909 issue of Alaska-Yukon magazine that I dug up while rummaging around the underground archives in the Alaska & Polar Regions Collections at the Rasmuson Library on UAF campus. The wealth of historical and rare documents, manuscripts, photographs, films, book and periodicals they have is an amazing resource, and I try to spend half a day each month just browsing random items. Never fails that I always run out of time, and always learn something interesting through pure accidental rediscovery. Folks tend to forget just how much information isn't on-line, and one's sense of place in time becomes tangible surrounded by so much history: turning the musty and brittle pages of a book is infinitely more exciting to me than anything offered on TV.

“People will remember cartoons that they saw 10 years ago but try and ask them to remember what was in the editorial next to it.” - Bill Leak 


  1. Thanks for this post! (I research Alaska cartoons and this one's quite relevant to my dissertation!)

    1. Thanks for reading + commenting - there's so much info out there... the library is such a great resource. And good luck on your research!

  2. Interesting in the Native Political cartoonist Harris. There is a big writeup about him in the Oregonian newspaper if anyone wants this contact me