Thursday, November 05, 2009


Jacob Covey notes on the Fantagraphics blog about what a nice fellow Gahan Wilson is, and he details some of the work behind the cover of the new collection. The publisher has just put out a glorious series of photos of their slipcased hardcover book GAHAN WILSON: FIFTY YEARS OF PLAYBOY CARTOONS. Go drool.

My Gahan Wilson story:

Back when we lived in Brooklyn, when I would take the subway to the Conde Nast building for the New Yorker's cartoon look day (every Tuesday), I would hang out in the waiting room, chatting with some other New Yorker cartoonists. Everyone was waiting for their turn to go in and sit down with cartoon editor Bob Mankoff. The New Yorker is the last place where cartoonists show up in person once a week to pitch their cartoons in person, one on one, with an editor. (More about "look day" history here.)

Back to my little story. I don't know how it came up. I must have had a Rapunzel cartoon submission that day; part of my usual batch of 10-12 cartoons. So, I'm talking about how Rapunzel can be endless fodder for gags. Rapunzel can say all sorts of things.

"I can't hear you. Try texting me!"

"Sorry, mister -- you want Rapunzel. Two towers over."

And so on.

The one and only Gahan Wilson happened to be listening in. This is easy to do since the waiting room is dinky. I was saying that maybe next week, I was going to bring in all Rapunzel gag cartoons and drive Bob nuts.

Gahan thought this to be a wonderful idea! He added that Rapunzel cartoons are easy to draw; just a guy, a girl and a tower. Easy! He said he would do all Rapunzel gag cartoons next week if all of the assembled cartoonists (who were now all listening to Gahan) would do it too.

This became a topic for maybe 5-10 minutes, with Gahan repeating the ease of drawing all of the cartoons and all of the variations for gag potential. Another plus: it was a form of cartoony civil disobedience!

Well, of course cartoonists do not get organized and it didn't happen. A darn shame.


James Grasdal said... Best news ever.

I may have to purchase two copies... One to wear out and another to sit on the shelf... Maybe a third copy to sacrifice to The Dark Lord of Otherworldly Evil and Horror....

Mark Anderson said...

Oh mommy, I have to get this ordered...