Sherman, please set the WABAC machine to 1962 and let’s look in on ten-year-old Jimbo Page, who’s family is spending that summer in Apalachicola, Florida.
His dad, who is a stern and unfriendly person, loves airplanes and little Jimbo decides that since his dad’s favorite magazine, Trade-A-Plane, publishes a little one-panel cartoon in the upper-right corner of every cover, he’ll draw something and submit it for their consideration and– maybe– they’ll publish it. They did!
As a fourth-grader, I was amazed to see something I drew in print in a national– if decidedly niche– publication!!! Trade-A-Plane is still being published, though I’m not certain if they still are a tabloid pub printed on canary-yellow newsprint, and I’m not certain they’re still published in Crossville, Tennessee.
My dad seemed astonished when the magazine came in the mail and my cartoon was on the cover. He soon got over that, I suppose.
A very gracious person at Trade-A-Plane was nice enough to find and scan my cartoon and send it to me this afternoon (thanks, Linda!!!). She’s even sending me a collection they published a few years ago of their best cartoons, and mine was one of the ones in the collection.
As I look at this effort now, I see stuff I didn’t see when I drew it. Being a kid, I didn’t realize that printers needed an inked, not pencilled, piece for printing (notice the signature of the person who kindly inked it at the publication for me in the bottom right of the cartoon). Also, I misspelled “Apalachicola.” The two people are drawn (from a World Book photo of Wright and a comic-book drawing as references) in two different styles. The microphone and reporter’s hand are awful. Most absurd is that I accidentally drew Wilbur instead of Orville Wright, which messes up the gag; Orville sported a mustache.
I guess I was just too excited and eager to mail it in to care about niceties, and I was just a ten-year-old kid.
As Conan Doyle once said, when someone pointed out a few mistakes in one of his best-loved Sherlock Holmes stories, “Sometimes one has to be masterful regarding details.”
Anyway, here’s the cartoon: