Thursday, January 07, 2021

From the Dick Buchanan Files: Barney Tobey Gag Cartoons 1938 - 1966

Longtime New Yorker cartoonist Barney Tobey is the focus of today's entry by Dick Buchanan. Dick tells us about Mr. Tobey and shares a great collection of his non-New Yorker (and seldom ever seen) cartoons. Thanks and take it away, Dick!


Gag Cartoons 1938 - 1966

Self-portrait by Sgt. Barney Tobey from his Army days. Best Cartoons of the Year 1945, Crown Publishing Co.

Cartoonist Barney Tobey lived his entire life in New York City and his drawings reflected his love and understanding of New York City life. Naturally, he became one of the New Yorker’s leading cartoonists.
After high school Tobey won a scholarship to the New York School of Fine and Applied Arts. He left after a year to work in the art department of Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn, a top advertising agency. While toiling in the advertising world by day he studied at night at the Art Students League and he began submitting cartoons to magazines. His first New Yorker cartoon was published in 1929. After six years in advertising he left his secure job to explore the carefree life of a freelance artist and cartoonist. Over the next 60 years Mr. Tobey contributed more than 1200 drawings and 4 covers to The New Yorker. 

While Mr. Tobey is best remembered for his New Yorker work, he contributed many hundreds of cartoons and covers to Collier’s, This Week, The Saturday Evening Post and other major magazines as well. He also illustrated Broadway show posters, children’s books, and book covers.

Mr. Tobey's work was exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of the City of New York, the Grolier Society and Princeton University. A collection of his drawings, B. Tobey of the New Yorker, was published in 1983 by Dodd Mead & Co.

Here is a sampling of Mr. Tobey’s cartoons which did not appear in The New Yorker but are, nonetheless, really good stuff. Take a look . . .

1. BARNEY TOBEY. Collier’s September 10, 1938.


2. BARNEY TOBEY. Collier’s September 2, 1939.

3. BARNEY TOBEY. Collier’s May 24, 1941.

4. BARNEY TOBEY. 1000 Jokes Magazine Autumn, 1943.

5. BARNEY TOBEY. Liberty Magazine July 21, 1945.


6. BARNEY TOBEY. Collier’s October 20, 1945.

7. BARNEY TOBEY. Collier’s March 23, 1946.

8. BARNEY TOBEY. The Saturday Evening Post December 13, 1947.

9. BARNEY TOBEY. Collier’s December 13, 1947.


10. BARNEY TOBEY. The Saturday Evening Post. April 23, 1949.


11. BARNEY TOBEY. Collier’s September 9, 1950.


12. BARNEY TOBEY. The Saturday Evening Post. January 6, 1951.


13. BARNEY TOBEY. Collier’s August 9, 1952.


14. BARNEY TOBEY. Collier’s January 17, 1953.


15. BARNEY TOBEY. The Saturday Evening Post January 26, 1957.


16. BARNEY TOBEY. Look Magazine April 16, 1957.


17. BARNEY TOBEY. Look Magazine June 9, 1959.


18. BARNEY TOBEY. The Saturday Evening Post January 31, 1959.


19. BARNEY TOBEY. The Saturday Evening Post September 29, 1962.


20. BARNEY TOBEY. Look Magazine February 11, 1964.


20. BARNEY TOBEY. True Magazine April, 1966.




Mr. Tobey (1906-1989) shares his sketchbook with us

American Can Company: "Miracle of the Can" Booklet Drawings by Barney Tobey


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