Chon Day’s Misguided Missiles – 1955

Chon Day's 1955 Misguided Missiles Cover

Chon Day is one of my favorite cartoonists. His seemingly effortless line, his economic composition, and his gently funny writing are things I aspire to every time I sit down at my desk. So when I ran across this odd little Travelers Insurance booklet with his cartoons peppered throughout, I knew it was something I had to get and share.

While the tables of data opposite each cartoon (types of accidents, weather conditions, sex of driver) are interesting in a historically kitschy way, the cartoon genius of Chon Day is timeless. Enjoy:

Chon Day's 1955 Misguided Missiles 1
Chon Day's 1955 Misguided Missiles 2

That’s not an easy scene to compose or draw, but Day pulls it off with ease.

Chon Day's 1955 Misguided Missiles 3

I love how blasé the passengers are. So much funnier than a wild reaction.

Chon Day's 1955 Misguided Missiles 4

Look at how little of the car is drawn. Look at the pose on the guy on the hood. Good heavens!

Chon Day's 1955 Misguided Missiles 5

A really nice visual gag, and I love the building in the background.

Chon Day's 1955 Misguided Missiles 6

Love that motorcycle. Wow!

Chon Day's 1955 Misguided Missiles 7

Cows and cars are both on my list of things I’d rather not draw, but Day makes it look easy.

Chon Day's 1955 Misguided Missiles 8

A nice quiet gag, and a beautiful wash.

Chon Day's 1955 Misguided Missiles 9

The expressions on everyone’s faces are just right. And the sense of action!

Chon Day's 1955 Misguided Missiles 10

That’s a great joke.

Chon Day's 1955 Misguided Missiles 11

Not a gag you could do today.

Chon Day's 1955 Misguided Missiles 12

I think this is my favorite cartoon in the book. Amazing art and such a terrific gag!

Chon Day's 1955 Misguided Missiles 13

This one takes a minute to get, but it’s worth it. And, again, look at the city implied by just a few lines.

Chon Day's 1955 Misguided Missiles 14

Look at her shoes – that’s not an easy angle to get right. And the way the cars contours are shown with wash. And the beautifully quiet gag. Wow. Just wow.

I hope you enjoyed those as much as I do. If you want to see some more, check out my appreciation of Chon Day here.

Cartoon Close-up – Leadership+

Cartoon Close-Up is a recurring feature where I highlight Andertoons cartoon subscribers, custom cartoon clients, and customers who just buy the occasional cartoon.

Cartoon Close-Up 1

This edition’s answers come from subscriber, Geraldine D’Arcy.

1) Tell me a little about yourself and your job.

I manage the research and publications side of things for the Irish Primary Principals’ Network – a professional body for Irish primary school leaders – and have been editing our member magazine Leadership+ for nearly 10 years now.  

2) How do you use the cartoons from your Andertoons subscription?

We use Andertoons on our ‘And Finally!’ page – to introduce some light-heartedness into what can be a very serious publication. It highlights the everyday humour in our primary schools in a lovely tongue-in-cheek way that reflects IPPN’s in-house ‘style.’

Cartoon Close-Up 1

 3) Please give me an example of how someone has responded to a cartoon.

Members tell us they love a quiet chuckle over a quick cuppa and that the cartoons resonate with them – all principals have stories like those reflected in the cartoons. Perhaps it’s because they are so true but also a little on the edge of what people might be comfortable admitting…

 4) Which cartoon is your personal favorite?

Cartoon #6883 – 

Cartoon 6883

Also #7012 – 

Cartoon 7012

 5) Where online can people find out more about you? Most content is restricted to members but all our publications, submissions and press releases are open to the public.

 6) Do you have any questions for me?

How do you decide what to feature, and what to leave out? What inspires the stories you tell in your cartoons – were you/your parents in the teaching profession?

Cartoons actually go through a lot of editing. I try to boil the art and captions down as much as possible to use only what’s absolutely necessary to get the idea across. That being said, I do get a little wordy and draw meaningless but fun details occasionally.

As for teaching, my wife is a teacher (1st/2nd dual-language), so I get plenty of inspiration and material from her.  My mom also taught piano lessons for more than 30 years.

Thanks so much to Geraldine for her time and terrific answers!

If you use Andertoons cartoons and would like to be featured here on the blog and in our monthly newsletter, drop me a line!