Wednesday, March 14, 2007

When smoking was fab.

When I was working a Acraforms back in the early and mid 1980s, it seemed like all of us smoked, or at least bummed smokes while trying to convince ourselves that we didn't really smoke anymore. This was also reflected in my cartoons of the era.

Here's about half of the Acraforms slide department:
Nancy, Chuck, me, and Pete. Chuck was the only nonsmoker. In the background is that famous photo of Jack Ruby killing Lee Harvey Oswald as Willard Scott looks on.

My version of Jack Ruby's mechanic (drawn about the same time as the group shot above) was also a smoker.

Another mechanic from the late 1970s. He looks alot like one of the characters on "King of the Hill" (also named "Dale", I believe).

Similarly, I think I did the original "Bad Santa" twenty five years prior to his arrival in theaters.

The human zippo has an FDR sophistication.

Some guys can make smoking look pretty glamorous.

A cartoon drawn for On-the-Town.

A large-format shriner who also looks quite a bit like...

this three-dimensional cartoon I did in Clay, called "Corporate Structure 1"

After years of normalizing smoking through my cartoons the big irony came along when I found myself doing gratis work for the American Lung Association. Like second-hand smoke; what goes around, comes around.

I've been smoke free for over twenty years now, nary a puff. I made a deal with a gal I was dating back then: I'd quit smoking if she'd start using her seatbelt. Twenty-some years later, I don't know if she stuck her end of the deal, I'm just glad that I stuck to mine.

By the way, for me, it was like throwing a switch. One moment I smoked, the next I didn't.

Here's this week's installment of Pembroke. This one's really dated. Tony Randall the actor had an equally high profile as an anti-smoking crusader. I guess you had to be there.

Smoke 'em if you got 'em, just not upwind of me, thanks.



Charles said...

The non-smoker is a picker. What does that say?

Voop said...

I drive thru Arkansas, Tennessee, Virginia (ah, sweet Virginia!), West Virginia and Maryland, on my way to Boston every week these days, since, as you may or may not know, I've been driving a truck for lo these last 15 years. Any chance of swinging by for a front porch quaff of Guinea Red and conversation? ---The Voop
ps love your blog. Those high scool pics are priceless.