(Above: Robert Weber's first New Yorker cartoon in the July 14, 1962 issue.)
New Yorker cartoonist Robert Weber has passed away at the age of 92.
My friend Michael Maslin has this remembrance. Let me pull just a few quotes, but then run to Michael's Inkspill site to read all:
"His drawings featured well-defined characters imbedded within an exuberantly sketched environment, whether it was a parking garage or the Manhattan skyline. Like fellow New Yorker artists Charles Saxon and Peter Arno, he handled the full page with ease."
"The point of view he chooses– from out in the river looking at the waterfront as if he were in a low riding boat–gives the skyscrapers an overwhelming presence in the drawing. And into this stage set, he draws, on an exaggerated , foreshortened pier, a tiny couple and their bicycles, sharply accented by a white space he’s carved out of the grey buildings. They have taken a pause in their ride, and she is lounging on the pier, while he is sitting on its edge, turning to her–the body language saying what he is articulating: 'The thing I like about New York, Claudia, is you.'
"A quiet, deeply understood , sweetly funny masterpiece—Bob himself."
"He once told me that he began with a blank sheet of paper and drew from the left side to the right to complete the drawing without it getting smudged. In other words, he had the image in his head and just proceeded to put it on paper."
"Bob drew directly, with ulta-soft, difficult-to-find Swiss charcoal sticks that were extremely responsive to his delicate touch. He usually worked on smooth ledger paper, producing fuzzy strokes that could smudge effortlessly, to form lush, flat grays.
"In fact, the soft charcoal smeared so easily that Bob would often draw his characters and backgrounds from top to bottom, starting on the left and then drawing vertical areas, moving right across the sheet, completing the picture in one sweep, to avoid re-touching any part of it.
"Then he’d spray the drawing with fixative, to give it permanence. He wore a surgical mask when he sprayed and would go outside or open a window, to avoid inhaling fixative fumes."
Much more at Michael Maslin's Inkspill blog.
Note: THERE ARE THREE BOB WEBERS
Yes. There are three Bob Weber cartoonists. There's this Robert Weber, New Yorker cartoonist. There is also Bob Weber, who draws the Moose and Molly feature for King Features, and there is his son, Bob Weber, Jr., creator of Slylock Fox. We are talking, obviously, about the Bob Weber who drew cartoons for The New Yorker.