From the 1940 to the early 1960s, Caplan’s work appeared regularly in all the big ones: Collier’s, Liberty, The Saturday Evening Post (with his strip “Famous Last Words”), Parade, Life, the Sunday supplement This Week, and so forth. For my money, his early work is his finest, boasting a crisper line and more distinctive in style and substance.
Caplan was also a successful fine art painter, art director, advertising illustrator and graphic designer… which may have somewhat watered down his legacy. Nevertheless, what matters is the strength of his œuvre, and the fact that he had a varied and rewarding career.
Here’s an obituary from the Seattle Times (he was born in Washington and remained a lifelong resident of The Evergreen State) that provides a fuller account of this jovial man’s life and times.
As a bonus, a Caplan cartoon of undetermined vintage and publication history… but a timeless one, you’ll surely agree.