There is nothing minor about Goldberg’s designs, however. In a way, he had become an inventor. Of course, those who built life-sized versions of the drawings would mainly be doing it out of jest or as a way to honor one of the greatest cartoonists of all time – Rube Goldberg. After all, who would really seriously build an invention that could involve trained animals? Well, they could be seriously paying homage to Rube Goldberg although giving life to his invention cartoons can be pretty tough.
If you are still unfamiliar about how Professor Butts, and indirectly Goldberg, designed his inventions then we could look at his garage door opener. Today, garage doors could open at a flick of a switch or any sort of control. The creative inventor went with a bathtub, a bumblebee, an athlete and a flower. Who actually thinks of parts such as these? The bumblebee would have been difficult to control in real life to produce the wanted results. The design was made to elicit laughs from newspaper readers. It was also chosen for their logical results. If one would manage to find an obedient bumblebee, the setup would really result into an effective though not efficient garage door opener.
Much that can be said about Rube Goldberg would be about his invention comics. After all, he spent 55 years of his life drawing all sorts of funny but logically set up contraptions. These inventions were considered his life’s best works. So even today, people still remember him as the guy behind the machine drawings. Collectively, because they demonstrated the same basic goal of performing a simple task using complicated methods, the machines made up a type of invention called the Rube Goldberg Machine.
One of the best things about Rube Goldberg’s career was that he was able to enjoy both acceptances within the geek culture society and by the critics and award-giving bodies. Despite the fact that he was well-loved by modern geeks, he was also recognized by award-giving bodies, even by no less than the Pulitzer. He was not solely an underground hero.
Remember though that Goldberg was working for newspapers. His cartoons were hilarious but diverse. He also contributed political cartoons that made more direct statements about his times. In 1948, he won the Pulitzer for a political drawing that depicted a world that was about to devastated by nuclear weapons. He had proven then that he was truly socially conscious but was able to fully express that consciousness through art that was backed up with scientific knowledge. Goldberg was true not just to his cartoonist self but also to his journalistic roots. There was that smell of newspapers once again as the nuclear weapon drawing was published and made waves.
In 1955, less than a decade later, he won the Gold T-Square Award and in 1959, he was handed the Banshee’s Silver Lady Award, which was given to artists who were able to create the most outstanding original cartoon art for the year. The Gold T-Square Award is given to those who have served fifty years as a professional cartoonist. Goldberg definitely qualified for such a prestigious recognition even if he had only devoted his time on invention comics, which he had worked on for 55 years.
Goldberg was also inducted into the National Artists Society Hall of Fame in 1980 and was then handed the Gold Key Award. The induction was post-humous. He did enjoy the privilege of personally receiving the highest honor that could ever be given to a cartoonist, The Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year Award of The Reuben back in 1967. Rube Goldberg’s Reuben award was given for his use of Humor in Sculpture. He was a truly diverse artist that managed to excel in most of the things that he became involved in. While his sculpture was not really well-known in popular culture at least, fellow cartoonists and artists in general knew the value of his sculptures.
Certainly, the reaping of awards meant that Rube Goldberg was not just a guy who was much-appreciated by those who found him funny or those who thought it great that he was able to express his political and societal views through the cartoon media. This was a guy who really had talent as a cartoonist.
The awards were definitely highlights of Rube Goldberg’s career, as they would be in any other person’s career. It does feel good to be recognized for doing something that you already love doing anyway. This is what happened to the Renaissance man, Reuben Lucius Goldberg.
Rube Goldberg had a great impact in the cartooning industry not just because of his works but also because he was the co-founder of the National Cartoonists Society. This organization was a statement for the importance of cartoons and cartoonists. Cartoonists, at least in the United States, were given a place to share and appreciate each other’s works. This society had also become a venue for the cartoonists’ other goals and missions, such as charitable causes.
The society was founded in 1946 by cartoonists who had come together to provide entertainment to the troops. It was not just made up of pure cartoonists, as in illustrators, inkers, pencillers and sketchers. It also included those who worked under several other branches of the profession, such as those who worked for advertising, greeting cards, graphic novels, books, animation and more. It was a true coming together of those who had worked with color, form and visuals as a whole.
The National Cartoonists Society, however, is neither a labor union nor a guild. It has been formed to provide cartoonists of all kinds a venue for improving the quality and standards of their art form.
Rube Goldberg and other cartoonists’ founding of the National Cartoonists Society was a true career highlight because it was the birth of an organization that cares for other cartoonists’ careers. Goldberg was not just a lone wolf caring about what he would be able to produce on his own. He was also concerned about the future of cartoonists and cartooning, as well as other forms of visual arts. Continue to next page.