In November 1950 the LION ran a small cartoon, buried in the bottom corner of a back page. The black-and-white drawing depicted a classic husband-and-wife confrontation in the living room. For the next 58 years with a few exceptions, until November 2008, the LION ran a cartoon in every issue. The humor of the Lion’ clubhouse was echoed in their monthly magazine. Be forewarned: the cartoons are a product of their times. Wives nag and clean the house and husbands work and golf when not at work. No doubt, the LION was published from a male point of view; for a time its cover even bore the tagline “a magazine for service-minded men.” But at least Lions often were man enough to make fun of themselves in the cartoons. The illustrations typically were placed on a page with corny jokes. But more than just humor was at play here. From the staid ’50s to the swinging ’60s and through the twists and turns of subsequent decades the cartoons again and again zeroed in on a few themes: the friction between husbands and wives, the annoyances of children and the frustrations of new technology and changing times. Life was not always easy, but at least you could laugh in the face of difficulties. True to their magnanimous spirit, Lions took life and its predictable challenges with a comforting dose of humor. —Jay Copp Lions took life and its predicitable challenges with a comforting dose of humor.
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