Whether it’s work, weltschmerz, or worm farming woes, we all experience insomnia about something at some point in our lives. Here are some of our favorite covers of the things that keep us up at night.
Checklist for Summer Camp
Ben Kimberly Prins
June 24, 1961
While our young camper dreams of fires and “bug juice” (that favorite beverage of camp mess halls), mom is willing to forego a few hours of sleep in exchange for four weeks of boylessness. Tomorrow morning mom will be informed by her son that, while most of the paraphernalia assembled here by artist Ben Prins is okay, a camper has not more use for washcloths and a pincushion than he was for silk pajamas and an arithmetic book. Why, with the space they occupy her could make room for important stuff such as candy bars, a whittling knife, and, for a little fun after lights-out, his rubber snake and a package or two of sneezing powder.
M. Coburn Whitmore
March 22, 1958
Of course, the children haven’t been frightened by Papa’s snoring, but by the awful sounds of Nature on an electrical rampage. So mother will gather them in her arms and love away their fear—mustn’t it be wonderful to be a mother? If that lightning is bedeviling a far-north state, it should signify the breaking up of a winter which certainly needed breaking up; and yet not long ago some northern areas had thunderstorms followed by the blankety-blankest descent of snow for thirty-something years. Let’s leave forecasting to the weatherman, who is welcome to it. Coby Whitmore’s man of the house, buried there in the bed, must be the deepest sleeper this side of the proverbial log. How does mother get him up mornings—rap on his head with the book?
Late Night Hat Check
April 13, 1957
We see by the cover that Mlle. Rosalie de Paris has unloaded on madam a chapeau avec beaucoup de flower garden topside. It is darling, madam is fully convinced. And if you think it is a malformed nightmare whose logical repository is the ash-can, you must be just a puritanical old fogy, for it is also regarded as a masterpiece by that great American designer, Monsieur Alajalov de New York. As for the character in the other bed, for once in his life he is noticing that his wife has a new hat.
December 20, 1947
Some years ago, Frank Kilker, an associate art editor, heard artists complaining about a fellow named Jack Welch, of Valhalla, New York, who worked for an advertising agency. Welch did sketches of proposed illustrations, for the guidance of the artists who would do the finished job. But the rough sketches were so good that it was tough for the artists to better them. Kilker looked Welch up, and Welch started doing illustrations for the Post, including this one—his first cover. In painting his picture of a father’s Sunday reveille, Welch was drawing on experience with his two daughters.
M. Coburn Whitmore
January 21, 1950
Nighttime Fly Fight
July 23, 1938
We’ve all been there at 3 a.m. when a fly dive bombs your head or that invisible mosquito whines in your ear. Much has changed since 1938, but two things haven’t: that fly swatter and the fact that this guy isn’t going back to bed anytime soon.