Phil Interlandi Cartoons (1971) Magazine |
TABLE OF CONTENTSPhil Interlandi says, "The cartoonist is a writer-director-producer, all
in one. He writes the script, casts the parts, designs the sets and costumes,
plans the camera angles. It's capsule theater, a one-frame movie."
As for his work habits, Interlandi adds, "Would you believe I've actually
dreamed many of my ideas? It's true. When you've trained your mind to think in
terms of cartoons, virtually every experience is filed away in the unconscious
for future use."
He says that his is "a realistic kind of drawing. That may sound crazy, calling
a drawing style realistic, but that's about all I can think to call it. I mean,
mine is not a highly stylized approach like that, say, of Steinberg. My humor
also tends to be realistic rather than far-out–that is, more or less real
people in more or less real situations–unlike Partch, let's say, who is
wonderful but whose philosophy of humor is completely different-from mine. He'll
have a guy maybe hanging on a wall and another guy saying, 'What's Harry hanging
around for?'–something like that–and it's great when he does it, it
cracks you up, but for me it
wouldn't be right."
Interlandi, the son of Sicilian immigrants, was born in Chicago and attended John
Marshall High School. His art training took place at the Chicago Academy of Fine
Arts. A stretch in the army figures among his experiences, as does a five-year
stint in advertising. "Working in an ad agency was interesting while it lasted,
but it was like quicksand. It sucks you down, slowly, pleasantly, and you don't
dare struggle. Much too much time is wasted in office bull sessions. I once suggested
to the boss that I could come in just three days a week and still get everything
one– provided I could lock my door and stay out of all that. He said he
knew I could, but if he let me do it my way, the rest of the office would revolt.
So I quit and moved out here to Laguna, where I've been for something like eighteen
His work has been enjoyed by millions, but Interlandi is especially fond of the
time Barnaby Conrad wrote a letter to PLAYBOY commenting on one of his cartoons.
This particular drawing (you'll find it on the back over of this book) depicted
a young man and woman in a rocky glen: They have obviously just finished enjoying
each other's company to the fullest extent, and he is sentimentally inscribing
their initials on a nearby rock, plus a detailed artistic rendering in the nude
of their recent amorous activity. The girl is saying, "Couldn't you just
let it go at initials?" Conrad wrote, "I immediately spotted the initials
'B. C.' and, endowed as I am with lightning reasoning, I figured out who that
could be (although the possibilities of Bennett Cerf or Bing Crosby are not to
be discounted). But the other initials–'M. S.'–who did they represent?
I ran through every girl I've known over the past three decades. Couldn't think
of a single one who fit. It was only an hour later, when my gorgeous wife called
me to dinner, I remembered that when I married her, her name was Mary Slater.
I intend to sue Interlandi, if I can stop laughing long enough."
Interlandi's first PLAYBOY cartoon appeared in the October1955 issue, and he has
been drawing steadily for the magazine ever since. Before PLAYBOY, he says, "cartoonists
had to deal with those other magazines, the big slicks with their hang-ups and
taboos and sacred cows. We were forced to turn out cartoons on about the ten-year-old
"Then along came PLAYBOY and opened up the whole thing. It was a revolution
for the cartoonists. We finally got to work with humor on an adult level. We were
challenged to exercise our minds, stretch our talents, reach for the best that
was in us.
"Another thing about PLAYBOY is that it gives cartoons the emphasis they
deserve. Before PLAYBOY, cartoons had been mostly relegated to the back pages
of magazines, just little postage-stamp-size fillers. PLAYBOY gives them prominence–size,
Here now are some of the best of PLAYBOY cartoons–all of them by Phil Interlandi.
–the editors of PLAYBOY