Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Video: Cartoonist's Tour of Hamburg

Let me start out in New York. We'll get to Hamburg shortly.

This was in the early '90s; I remember looking up at a bunch of caricatures, all originals, all hand-drawn on 11" x 14" bristol, hanging along a wall of the Horseheads, NY Town Hall.

"If you knew them, you would know how much the drawings look like them." The woman who told me was a member of the local historical society. The caricatures, from the 1920s, were of local people: a mayor, a barber, etc. She had met the man who drew them, the cartoonist ZIM, when she was a little girl. The well preserved drawings were a point of pride, even if most people did not now recall the subjects.

Horseheads was the home of Eugene "ZIM" Zimmerman (1862-1935), a cartoonist whose name was synonymous with Puck and Judge magazines. He retired there, built a home (the ZIM house, which you may tour if you make an appointment) and became part of the community.

Wouldn't it be nice if every town had a resident cartoonist? Here's one who gives you a tour of where he lives:

German cartoonist Calle Claus, whose THE SCHANZEN BABES series is set where he lives, in Hamburg, may be in that mold. In this short Deutsche Welle segment, he shows us

"the more unconventional side of Hamburg. He recommends a visit to the Schanze neighborhood, the"Saal II"bar and the Millerntor Soccer Stadium."

So nice to see a TV show include a cartoonist in its program. It made me wish for more like this in the future.Who wouldn't want to see Mark Anderson's Chicago, Richard Thompson's Washington, DC, Al Jaffee's New York or Rina Piccolo's Toronto?

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