Duck Soup

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Thu Sep 5 22:27:39 UTC 2002

 Ron Butters asks:

> In a message dated 9/5/02 3:37:31 PM, george.thompson at NYU.EDU writes:
> << According to Leonard Zwilling, A TAD Lexicon, (publ. by Gerry
> Cohen in
> 1993,) it illustrated a cartoon captioned "In the Police Court",
> showing a
> man "juggling a bottle, pitcher, plate and salt shaker" with the
> words "Duck
> soup".  Original source was the Sazn Francisco Bulletin, July 5,
> 1902. >>
> What in the world did this cartoon mean? What is the difference
> between"illustrated" and "captioned"?

Be danged if I know what the cartoon means.  Perhaps looking at the Bulletin for that month to see what the preceeding or following cartoons dealt with might clarify it, but probably not.  I know that some cartoonists had themes running sporadically though their daily or weekly cartoons.  I bought a collection of H. T. Webster's cartoons a year or so ago, and it seems he kept several themes running within his "Timid Soul" cartoons and his cartooons of boyhood.   These themes were announced as captions across the head of the drawing.  Perhaps TAD kept coming back to the Police Court as a setting.

The complier of the TAD Lexicon said in his explanatory matter that he cited the date and name of the paper he found the cartoon in, then "the header to the column, strip or panel follows in round brackets.  [In this case "In The Police Court"]   I had paraphrased his entry, with the thought that I was clarifying it.  The word "illustrated" was badly choses, certainly.  I assume that "Duck Soup" appeared at the bottom of the drawing.  The original entry was:

duck soup  [OEDS 1912]
1902 Jul 5 SFB 5 (In The Police Court)   {Picture of man juggling a bottle, pitcher, plate and salt shaker:}  Duck soup.

This is on p. 34.


George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern Univ. Pr., 1998.

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