Friday, 29 February 2008
86: Chic Jacob
“Sounds” by Chic Jacob in “Punch” 17 March 1968
Having scanned this one I’m now in two minds as to whether it’s a joke about gays at all. I think I have mislead myself because a couple of years later “Mad” magazine also ran a similar piece about comic strip noises being more representative. That “Mad” piece uses “swish” and is definitely gay with a leaping, limp ballet dancer. I think it comes down to the fact that, while in America “swish" usually means fey. In England, “swish” can also have a meaning of snobbish style. I think if this were truly a joke about homosexuals and dress, the character would not have such long hair, it would be either slight more flowing or else totally curly. Admittedly, the head thrown high, walking with almost closed eyes, and the slightly stylised kicked back heels, certainly makes him look hauty/queeny. But given the period in question, if it were really a gay man, I think the clothing would be more form fitting, slight and blousy.