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John Shevchik Cartoons

An inventory of his cartoons at Syracuse University


Finding aid created by: –
Date: 1971



Biographical History

John Shevchik (1915-1994) was an American editorial cartoonist for the Beaver Falls (Pa.) News-Tribune.

John Shevchik was born on August 23, 1915 in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. His father was a carpenter and Shevchik had no formal art training. However, he was friends with and influenced by cartoonist Cy Hungerford of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette . In the 1930s, Shevchik worked at the Pittsburgh Post Gazette and left for World War II service with the 816th Engineering Unit of the United States Army where he gained drawing experience. Following the war, Shevchik worked in the capacities of artist and cartoonist for several greater Pittsburgh area newspapers including the Daily Citizen in Ambridge, Pennsylvania.

In 1954, Shevchik became editorial cartoonist for the Beaver Falls News Tribune where he worked until 1979 when the paper was purchased by the Beaver County Times. Then Shevchik began drawing weekly cartoons for the Valley Tribune, serving portions of Beaver County, Pennsylvania.

Shevchik was a member of the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists and was also known as “Shevy”. He received over a dozen Freedoms Foundation awards and his work in promoting highway safety was recognized by the National Safety Council who presented him with their first place award in 1954 and also an honorable mention in 1961. His work appeared in the Best Editorial Cartoons of the Year series and he also edited an anthology of Cy Hungerford's World War II cartoons (1985).

John Shevchik died in 1994.


Scope and Contents of the Collection

The John Shevchik Cartoons contains 1,203 original editorial cartoons published in the Beaver Falls (Pa.) News-Tribune from approximately 1959-1971.

Most of Shevchik’s cartoons address national and international events. Several involving coal mining and the steel industry would have had possible implications for his local audience.

Like other cartoonists during this period, Shevchik’s subject matter was frequently dominated by the Vietnam War as President Lyndon Johnson escalated the war. However, Shevchik regularly commented on the increasing number of war casualties and framed the casualties in comparison to the number of highway traffic fatalities and also noted how many of the soldiers lacked voting rights because they were under the age of 21 (for example, see “He’s Not Old Enough to Vote”).

Regular themes and imagery include skeletons representing casualties (from the war, automobile accidents and nuclear fallout), leaders focusing on solving jigsaw puzzles comprised of world problems, leaders as fishermen, Lyndon Johnson as a struggling soldier in Vietnam, giant metaphorical smoldering bombs and U. Thant looking out of the United Nations building at various world problems.

Several of the cartoons in the collection bear the same caption. Shevchik also produced cartoons about different subjects but with very similar visual imagery and variations of the same theme. Some of these appear to be close versions of the same cartoon while others feature the same composition but with different figures or labels. An example of the latter are cartoons about John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Lyndon Johnson’s presidential inaugurations. The cartoon entitled, “JFK's Top Hat” depicts John F. Kennedy’s inauguration top hat as a replacement for the dome of the U.S Capitol. After Johnson's inauguration, a similar cartoon appeared with his cowboy hat atop the Capitol.

Heavily covered subject matter includes the escalation and cost of the Vietnam War and Richard Nixon’s effort to scale down the war, problems between the U.N. and Nikita Khrushchev who failed to pay U.N. dues, the rejection of China in the U.N. and the Berlin Wall. Shevchik also often evoked the statements of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln to comment on civil rights and the United States' intervention and alliances in foreign affairs.

Shevchik made extensive use of labels to annotate his cartoons which rarely contained dialogue. These labels often identified people and visual representations of issues. At times he also mentioned specific news items or statistics, such as those involving Vietnam war casualties.

None of the cartoons are dated. Shevchik drew the cartoons on paper primarily with ink with some crayon shading. Traces of pencil are visible. Captions appear in pencil at the top. Dimensions listed in the inventory are approximate.


Arrangement of the Collection

Cartoons are arranged alphabetically by caption. Please note that the cartoons are not dated, so the time period covered by the cartoons was estimated from subject material.


Restrictions

Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.


Related Material

Special Collections Research Center has collections of over one hundred cartoonists. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.


Subject Headings

Persons

Ho Chi Minh, 1890-1969 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Khrushchev, Nikita Sergeevich, 1894-1971 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Shevchik, John

Corporate Bodies

United States. Congress -- Caricatures and cartoons.

Subjects

American wit and humor, Pictorial.
Caricatures and cartoons -- United States.
Cartoonists -- Pennsylvania.
Cartoonists -- United States.
Civil rights movements -- United States -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Cold War -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Editorial cartoons -- Pennsylvania.
Editorial cartoons -- United States.
Inflation -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Space Exploration -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Strikes and lockouts -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Taxation -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Traffic Fatalities -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
War casualties -- Caricatures and cartoons.
World politics -- 1945-1989 -- Caricatures and cartoons.

Places

China -- Politics and government -- 1949-1976 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Soviet Union--Politics and government--1945-1991.
United States -- Politics and government -- 1945-1989 -- Caricatures and cartoons.

Genres and Forms

Cartoons (humorous images)
Editorial cartoons.

Occupations

Cartoonists.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

John Shevchik Cartoons,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of John Shevchik, 1970.


Table of Contents

Cartoons undated


Inventory