Friday, July 22, 2011

Larry's Cartoon Vault: David Rand's Cartoonists' Exchange Course in Cartooning

David Rand

In earlier installments of the Cartoon Vault I’ve covered the vogue of cartooning correspondence courses of the first half of the 20th century such as the Landon School of Illustration and Cartooning (see our February archives for more posts).
This time I’m highlighting David Rand’s Cartoonists' Exchange Course.

The Cartoonists' Exchange of Pleasant Hill, Ohio was the Cadillac of cartoon correspondence courses. Rand’s course offered seven books covering 34 lessons along with arts supplies, paper and a drawing board.

Cartoonists' Exchange was also home of the “marionette method” of cartooning and a few patented teaching aids never seen before (or since):  The Position Finder, The Comic Character Creator and the Laugh Finder.

Here are some sample lessons:

Hey kids!  Let's all draw Hitler and Stalin!

The “Marionette Method” was a big part of the curriculum.

Plus an incredible selection of cool stuff:

The Comic Character Creator

The Laugh Finder

Dan A. Runyan-creator of the Laugh Finder

The "Art-Full" Wonder Box

                                                                                                                              (As always click on thumbnails to enlarge)


  1. My grand mother took this course in 1947. She gave it to me in the late 70's.

  2. Excellent blog! I like the old-school-way cartoons. Is there a chance to get a copy of the Cartoonists' Exchange Cartooning Course? My email is:

    1. I have the complete set of Cartoonist Exchange books, plus the laugh finder and letters trying to get me to sign up. Great stuff, very nostalgic. My friend took the course with me, then he did the Famous Cartoonists Course and wound up working for Hanna-Barbera and Warner Bros. Me? I became a magazine editor/art director and photographer.

  3. My Mom purchased this course in 1947 for $10.
    I had been born the previous year. Being a mother to three boys took up her time and energy and when I was seven I discovered the course in her sewing room. I went through the books over some years and learned to draw, a lifelong passion. I have great affection for this set of books. Glad to see mention of it here.
    They were lost in a fire at my Mothers home in 2006.

  4. took this course in 1955 for a very young person, it was great, but you had to understand form and anatomy to be any kind of artist...the marionette
    do it, but it was a fun course, anyway.

  5. Wouldn't mind getting a copy of this as well, but I'd rather be notified first than to hand out my email address.

  6. I took this course back in the early 1970's. Wanted to Perdue this type of career but military and life commitments over shadowed my dreams