Louisiana and South Mississippi: Fabulous Wonderland
Humorous Pictorial Map by Gus Levy, 1951
Louisiana and South Mississippi: Fabulous Wonderland
Louisiana and South Mississippi: Fabulous Wonderland Louisiana and South Mississippi: Fabulous Wonderland
Louisiana and South Mississippi: Fabulous Wonderland Louisiana and South Mississippi: Fabulous Wonderland
Louisiana and South Mississippi: Fabulous Wonderland Louisiana and South Mississippi: Fabulous Wonderland
Gus Daniel Levy (1923-2012)
Louisiana and South Mississippi: Fabulous Wonderland of America
American: 1951
Color process print
Signed and dated in matrix, upper right
16 x 21 inches, image
17 x 22.5 inches, overall
$1,200

Humorous pictorial map of Louisiana and South Mississippi depicting the region's history and culture in a lively cartoon style. The map includes the entire state of Louisiana and the contiguous part of Mississippi eastward to Biloxi. Geography is simple, showing major rivers and general locations of Louisiana's Hill Country and Bayou Country and major cities. New Orleans is illustrated with a jazz player, Mardi Gras King, the Sugar Bowl, etc. Throughout the map are numerous whimsical depictions of local animals, recreational activities and cultural traditions, such as "Gumbo Jambalaya" and a Mississippi River steamboat "trying to beat the record of the Robert E. Lee."  U.S. military bases are indicated by tents with American flags. Also depicted or noted are a few historic buildings; state industries such as gas, oil and agricultural products; and some historical events.  Many illustrations have cheeky captions such as "U.S. Grant cooled his heels besieging forts here 1863." A jocular sign along the Rio Grande points east to "U.S.A." and west to "Texas." The map is surrounded by a border depicting figures from area history: Native Americans, Spanish explorers, fur traders, a pirate, duelers, the Confederate flag, a riverboat gambler, a jazz musician and an African-American dancer.

Gus Levy was a cartoonist, illustrator, graphic designer, art director and advertising executive. He began studying journalism and art at Louisiana State University in 1940, and finished in 1947 after serving three years in the U.S. Army during World War II. At LSU Levy studied under Ralph Wickiser. After the war, he served in the Amphibious, Transportation and Public Affairs units in the Army Reserve, retiring in 1966 with the rank of major. He also worked as a retoucher, cartoonist and magazine art director at the New Orleans Times Picayune, and produced art for television station WDSU. After a stint at the Godwin Advertising Agency as art director, he opened his own advertising and graphic design studio, Creative Services, among the first in New Orleans. Levy also drew the comic strip Crakbak for The Dallas Cowboys Magazine and Gridweek. His sense of humor is evident in a biography accompanying his contribution to Upton's Series of New Orleans Places and Things by New Orleans Graphic Artists (1968) that concludes, "He is a water color hobbyist and a fisherman so awful that the only time he sees a redfish is when he paints one."

Condition: Recently professionally cleaned, deacidified, with original folds flattened as backed on Japanese tissue, now very good with only minor remaining toning, soft creases, handling.

References:

Degg, D.D. "2012 Newspaper Comics -- Debuts, Departures and the Dearly Departed." Rec.arts.comic.strips discussion group. 31 December 2012. https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/rec.arts.comics.strips/j6E8yxfBDuY (27 February 2014).

"Gus Daniel Levy, art director and advertising executive: Obituaries today." New Orleans Times-Picayune. 12 March 2012. http://www.nola.com/news/index.ssf/2012/03/gus_daniel_levy_art_director_a.html (27 February 2014).

"The Upton Series Gus Levy." History of Graphic Design in Southern Louisiana. http://www.louisianadesignhistory.com/_STUDENTS/HGDSL/adda/Upton_Series_Gus_Levy.html (27 February 2014).