The Press: This Little Gag Went...

Among Manhattan's magazine cartoon editors, Wednesday is gag day. How it began, nobody remembers for sure. Every Wednesday morning, a dogged little army of free-lance cartoonists trudges the rounds of magazine offices in midtown Manhattan to hawk their wares. They are the funnymen who draw the little back-of-the-book panels that have put millions of readers into the habit of leafing through the ad pages. Grateful advertising men call them "stoppers."

The peddling process has become as ritualized as transactions in a Bagdad bazaar. The artist 1) mopes in a waiting room, 2) is waved in to see the cartoon editor, 3) unzips...

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