"It was 1964," Bob begins, "and I was working at Cooper's. One of the salesmen came to me and said, "Exxon wants a tiger."
"This was on a Friday... and they needed it on Monday. I said, "Oh, god, I can't do that - I'm working on another job." ( I was doing a paperback cover). But he said, "Come on, just give it a try." So I went home and I made this sketch of a tiger, and I gave it to the salesman on Monday... and for, like, 4 or 5 weeks we didn't hear anything."
"Finally, we get a call to go down to McCann-Erikson... and I go into this room and there's this room full of tiger drawings pinned to the wall! Every artist in the city (or, I dunno, the country) tried out for this... anyway... they picked mine!"
He chuckles, "And I said, "wow, to think I almost didn't do it!"
"Well, I was kind of with Chuck at the time (when I did the initial sketch)... and then we didn't hear anything... and then I had left Chuck, because work had really fallen off at the studio. And then all of a sudden the Exxon stuff started pouring in."
"One day it occurred to me... I had started this when I was with Chuck, and it was advertising work. So I said, "I owe Chuck some money." So I went to him... and I can't remember what it was exactly but in a couple of months I made something like 8 thousand bucks. And I went to give Chuck half of it... and he wouldn't take it."
"He said, "Bob, you keep it"... and then he took me out to lunch."
"Chuck was a helluva guy. He was like a father to us."
* My Bob Jones Flickr set.
* Thanks to Nick Meglin for allowing me to excerpt the b/w sketches above from his book, The Art of Humorous Illustration. A revised edition, Humorous Illustration, is available and contains much more about Bob Jones, including sections on Bob's materials and techniques!