Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Video: Meet Top British Cartoonist Royston Robertson

Here's a short video of magazine cartoonist Royston Robertson, talking about how he started and we get a good glimpse of how he draws his cartoons.

Monday, April 06, 2020

From the Dick Buchanan Files: New Yorker Cartoonists 1935 - 1962

Dick Buchanan has a twist. Here are some of the great, classic New Yorker cartoonists with some gag cartoons that you never saw. Well ,to be more to the point, these were NEVER seen in The New Yorker, despite all of these cartoonists' association with the magazine.

If all of these cartoonists were under contract to The New Yorker at this time (some may have been, some not), then one of the caveats in the contract is that the Magazine gets "first look" at their cartoons. So, my guess is that these were looked at but then rejected. They then were shopped around and found a home at another publication.

So here are some virtually unseen cartoons by Addams, Hokinson, Shermund, Steig, Steinberg, Wilson and others from publications OTHER than The New Yorker. Take it away, Dick!



Some of the Cartoon Clip File’s favorite cartoonists are those who worked for The New Yorker. It was in the pages of The New Yorker in the 1930’s when the modern cartoon was crafted and perfected. Here, clipped from a variety of mid-century magazine, are some gag cartoons by some of our favorite New Yorker cartoonists . . .

1. CHARLES ADDAMS. True Magazine March 1946.

2. WHITNEY DARROW, Jr. Collier’s October 11, 1941.

3. CHON DAY. This Week Magazine November 26, 1961.

4. RICHARD DECKER. Look Magazine December 31, 1962.

5. ELDON DEDINI. Baseball Yearbook 1953

6. SYDNEY HOFF. 1000 Jokes Magazine Spring, 1953.

7. HELEN HOKINSON. Collier’s March 15, 1941.

8. GEORGE PRICE. Life Magazine January, 1935.

9. GARDNER REA. Look Magazine May 15, 1956.

10. AL ROSS. For Laughing Out Loud October – December, 1957.

11. BARBARA SHERMUND. Collier’s September 2, 1939.

12. WILLIAM STEIG. Collier’s February 4, 1941.

13. SAUL STEINBERG. Collier’s June 20, 1942.

14. RICHARD TAYLOR. March 15, 1941.

 15. GAHAN WILSON. Collier’s August 19, 1955.

Friday, April 03, 2020

Remembering Sam Cobean

I was reading a book whose name I forget. It was a history of comics kinda book. Oh, wait a minute. It's here in this messy studio somewhere ...

Rummage, rummage, rummage.

OK, found it. It's Stephen Becker's COMIC ART IN AMERICA. You may know it. I know I read it years ago when I was a kid. It was probably one of those books I checked out of library over and over way back when. I just bought it for myself last year. Anyway, it's a good book and a lot of fun. I did not remember this book when I was teaching my History of Comics class. I wish I had. (I will this fall, since I've been asked back by the college to teach it again.)

One problem: it was published in 1959. It's dated, but that's OK. Anyway, the thing I did not recall was an absolute love letter to Sam Cobean in the midst of the book. Becker goes on for a while about Cobean, reprints a loving forward by Addams from the posthumous collection of Cobean's. And then there are several pages of "unwed mother" gags. Yeah. Unwed mother gags! All by Cobean. Um ... OK, but where's the men undressing women in their thought balloons? (Becker cites these as trademark Cobean gags and there are some below.) I counted and there are FIVE unwed mother gags, one after another, including an eight panel wordless sequence. I'm scratching my head over this.

And those unwed mother gags are really OVER. Up there in gag cartoon heaven with the boss chases secretary cartoons, etc.

Someone asked me "What are unwed mother gags?" and I better clarify. FYI: unwed mothers gags -- It's a creaky old meme. The daughter has had a child out of wedlock and wants to live at home. Angry and full of shame, dear old Dad turns daughter and child out (preferably in the snow) to fend for themselves. Here they are:

Let's delve more into the short and influential life of cartoonist Sam Cobean.

Here's a quote from Playboy/New Yorker gag cartoonist Brian Savage on Sam Cobean:

"I was living in San Francisco when I definitely made up my mind I was going to become a cartoonist. I was really at loose ends. I had gone to school, college, army, and I was in San Francisco just because a friend of mine was going to the University of California. We were sharing a place together, and he went on to get his Ph.D. I saw a book and it turned me on. It sounds dramatic, but this really happened. It's a book by Cobean. I fell in love with it. It just gave me an electric shock. It really was sort of like love. I said, This is what I want to do."

- Cartoonist Brian Savage in JUMPING UP AND DOWN ON THE ROOF AND THROWING BAGS OF WATER ON PEOPLE, CARTOONS & INTERVIEWS FROM SIX OF AMERICA'S FAVORITE CARTOONISTS, Introduction and Interviews by Mark Jacobs, copyright 1980 Mark Jacobs.

Below are just a few samples of Sam Cobean's work. These were from the comprehensive Sam Cobean site which appears to now have been vacated and replaced by a sumo wrestling site or something.

Sam Cobean (1913-1951) was attending the University of Oklahoma when he entered a contest sponsored by Walt Disney. After winning the contest, Sam quit school and moved to Hollywood to work as an in-betweener on Disney's SNOW WHITE for $16 a week.

In 1942, he participated in the Screen Cartoonists Guild strike against Disney, and left the studio soon after that. He married fellow U of O student Anne McCool that same year.

Above: an illustration by Cobean. Just look at the motion in those lines.

Cobean applied for the army and the navy, but was classified 4F on account of his flat feet. He was, the following year, drafted into the army. There, Cobean worked on Army training films in New York City alongside fellow soldier Charles Addams. Addams introduced Cobean to The New Yorker magazine cartoon editor James Geraghty. Cobean began to sell to the magazine.

While still in the Army, Cobean shared a New Yorker office with Addams.

Above: another cartoon from the site. That touch of grey on the ski instructor's sweater effortlessly gives us our point of interest in the cartoon. I like the details here: the bear skin rug, the beams, the luggage, the skis leaning against a wooden pillar, the circles that Cobean's drawn to denote a big stone fireplace. It all tells us we're in a lodge.

In 1946, he was discharged and he and Anne bought a summer home in Watkins Glen, NY. Sam would be involved in the Watkins Glen Grand Prix races there. Cobean began doing a lot of work for advertising, in addition to his cartooning.

In 1950, COBEAN'S NAKED EYE, the first collection of Cobean cartoons (titled by Anne) was published.

Above: a concept sketch for the cover.

Here's the next entry from the Sam Cobean chronology page (unfortunately not there as of this writing):

1951 On Monday, July 2, Sam drove his shiny red Jaguar into Watkins Glen to mail some cartoons to The New Yorker for the regular art meeting the following day. While there, he met a friend, Cameron Argetsinger, who was having car trouble. He offered him a ride home. On the return trip they were involved in an automobile accident. Cobean swerved to avoid hitting another car, lost control and hit a tree. Cobean was killed instantly. His friend survived the crash.

Sam Cobean would be a major name -- as well known as Addams -- if his career wasn't cut short by that accident. He was a wonderful cartoonist.


Michael Maslin has some of Cobean's advertising work reproduced here.

The Hairy Green Eyeball blog has a good number of Cobean's "Naked Eye" cartoons here and  here.

Thursday, April 02, 2020

From the Illustrators Partnership: Summary of Relief for Visual Artists available under CARES Act

From Cynthia Turner and Brad Holland of the American Society of Illustrators Partnership:


At our request, Bruce Lehman Esq.,of Lehman Nilon & Associates has analyzed available relief to illustrators and artists under the CARES Act. We are grateful to Mr. Lehman for his quick action and expertise to decipher some dense material and give guidance to visual artists.

Mr. Lehman is Pro Bono Advisor to the American Society of Illustrators Partnership (ASIP), Legislative Advisor to Association of Medical Illustrators (AMI), and Legislative Advisor to Artists Rights Society (ARS).

As the economic disruption continues and extends these resources may be helpful, or even vital, to visual artists.


Cynthia Turner and Brad Holland
Co-Chairs, American Society of Illustrators Partnership



Summary of Relief Provided to Small Businesses, the Self-Employed and Non-for-Profits under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act
The emergency economic relief legislation signed into law last week contains several provisions that can provide support for artists who either are self employed or work in small businesses.  Illustrators and fine artists can avail themselves of three separate programs under the new law:  
* Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation; 
* Emergency Injury Disaster (EIDL) Loans, and
* The Paycheck Protection Program.  
In addition, Quarterly Estimated Tax Payments can be deferred until the end of the calendar year without penalty.
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation
Normally, self-employed individuals are not covered under state-operated unemployment compensation programs as the premium for unemployment compensation insurance is paid by an employer. However, the emergency legislation covers self-employed persons who lose their income. The new legislation expands eligibility to include anyone who is:  
"self-employed, is seeking part-time employment, does not have sufficient work history, or otherwise would not qualify for regular unemployment under State or Federal law...."   
Under this provision of the CARES Act, a self-employed person will receive the weekly payment that their state normally provides under unemployment compensation insurance plus $600. The benefit lasts for up to 39 weeks. The applicant for unemployment compensation may self-certify that he or she is otherwise able to work and available to work except for their unemployment or because they have been diagnosed with the Covid-19 virus, are unable to reach their place of employment because of the Covid-19 virus or are caring for someone with the virus. 
To participate in this program a freelancer or self-employed artist needs to apply through their state's unemployment office. In most cases this can be done online. The following URL from the U.S. Department of Labor contains information and has a menu option that will link you to your state office. 
Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)
EIDL loans are normally used in the case of natural disasters such as a hurricane. Small businesses with fewer than 500 employees may borrow up to $2 million under the program. However, the CARES Act extends the EIDL program to self-employed individuals and non-profits with fewer than 500 employees who have suffered economic loss as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.  
The program is administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA). Anyone falling into these categories may apply for loan "advance" of up to $10,000 for the purpose of maintaining payroll, meeting increased costs to obtain materials, or making mortgage or rent payments. There is little paperwork and the applicant can self-certify that he or she meets the criteria. The SBA is supposed to provide the loan advance within three days of application.  
While these advances are called loans, repayment is waived if the applicant uses the money for the enumerated purposes.  Information about applying for an EIDL advance, including a link to an online application, may be found on the SBA website at https://www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance/coronavirus-covid-19.
If an applicant also applies for a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program, separately provided in the CARES Act, the $10,000 advance will be deducted from any loan under that program.  
The Paycheck Protection Program

The CARES Act provides $ 349 billion in 

forgivable loans for small businesses and non-profits of fewer than 500 employees as well as self-employed individuals. The loans can be used for salaries and other payroll expenses, rent and utilities, mortgage interest and interest on other debts incurred before February 15, 2020.
Applicants can seek amounts that are two and a half times monthly payroll expenses for full-time employees. The limit is $10 million with repayment within ten years at a 4% interest rate. However, the loan in effect converts to a grant if the recipient keeps all employees on the payroll through June 30, 2020 and uses the money for allowable expenses. Allowable expenses are: (1) payroll costs; (2) continuation of employee health care benefits; (3) employee salaries, commissions and similar compensation, (4) mortgage interest; (5) rent; (6) utilities; (7) interest on pre-existing debt.
The loan program will be administered by banks and credit unions that that have agreed to participate. As of this writing the program is not up and running, but cooperating banks and credit unions should be able to begin processing applications in the very near future. Since the loans will be processed on a first come, first serve basis until the $349 billion limit is reached, it is important to move quickly if there is a desire to participate in this program. If you have a bank with which you normally do business, you may wish to contact them as soon as possible to get in the que for this program.  

Some related links: 

How to get a small business loan under the $349 billion aid bill

American Artists' Petition to Congress - US artists need a federal bailout now: Congress needs to protect this country’s creative workforce
 A Way to Help Local Comics Shops Stay in Business: ComicHub announces plan to distribute digital comics via comics shops

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

CovidComics: How Life Has Changed by My Sister-in-Law

My sister-in-law wrote about how her life has changed in unexpected little ways due to #covid19. I asked if I could draw up what she had written, and she said OK. Thanks, Jenny! #coronacomics #CoronavirusUSA #covidlife

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Sketchbook: True Covid-19 Stories Late March 2020

Or, if you prefer, Covid Comics! Shelter-in-Place Stories!

Here are some drawings I did. They are mostly true. All drawn freehand in a little sketchbook, and then photographed on the arm of the couch under a decent lamp.

Staying fit at home:

Going to the grocery store:

Now that all of the talking heads on the TV news shows are skyping/facetiming from their homes, I get hung up on looking behind then and seeing what the room looks like. Do they have books? Art on the wall? One anchor had some crazy wallpaper. Anyway, this is a quick comic I did.


True Covid-19 Stories

Monday, March 30, 2020

From the Dick Buchanan Files: Random Favorite Gag Cartoons 1932 - 1961

We are starting off this week withe (what else) a collection of musty, old gag cartoons from magazines long gone. Dick Buchanan has bravely gone into his massive files and unearthed sixteen of his favorite single panel cartoons for our edification and amusement. Thanks so much, and take it away, Dick!


(1932 – 1961)

No one practices social isolation better than your old crackpot Cartoon Clip File curator. So, rest assured, it is business as usual at Cartoon Clip File Headquarters, located somewhere in New York’s scenic Greenwich Village. Our motto is “We doze but we never close.”

So, here is a collection of gag cartoons from the era of the great magazines, created by some of the best cartoonists of their time.

1. AL JOHNS. Some good advice from Al Johns, cartoonist and sage. The Saturday Evening Post April 16, 1960.

2. CHON DAY. Collier’s November 26, 1932.

3. DAVID PASCAL. Collier’s March 4, 1955.

4. JOE ZEIS. The Saturday Evening Post June 15, 1957.

5. JEFF KEATE. For Laughing Out Loud January – March, 1959.

6. LEW FOLLETTE. The Saturday Evening Post November 29, 1949.

7. MARTHA BLANCHARD. Look Magazine February 14, 1961.

8. DICK CAVALLI. This Week Magazine April 13, 1957.

9. VIRP. Even Virgil Partch’s signature is amusing. Collier’s May 24, 1947.

10. BILL YATES. The Saturday Evening Post December 21, 1957.

11. JACK TIPPIT. The Saturday Evening Post March 16, 1947.

12. JOHN GALLAGHER. The Saturday Evening Post August 8, 1953.

13. RAY HELLE. The Saturday Evening Post May 28, 1949.

14. JOHN RUGE. Look Magazine June 9, 1959.

15. HANK KETCHAM. 1000 Jokes Magazine Fall, 1952.

16. IRWIN CAPLAN. The Saturday Evening Post June 12, 1949.