Thursday, August 10, 2006

THIS INKING LIFE: State of the Gallery Show

Here is the state of the show of original cartoons at the Great Neck Arts Center as of yesterday! This week the show, THIS INKING LIFE, will be hung. The exhibit opens August 12th, and runs through October 1st.

All of the framed artwork, mailed in from all over the country, is stacked against each other in a small cubicle. You can just make out some of Tony Murphy's "It's All About You" comic strip in the top photo. Tony mounted the originals next to the printed version. He dropped the work off at my place first thing Wednesday morning since he lives in nearby Park Slope.

Above are some of the Six Chix cartoon work of my pal Stephanie Piro, who mailed her work in from her New Hampshire studio.

Now, before I got to the gallery yesterday, I met with a couple of cartoonists throughout the morning. The phone rang before 8am. That was Tony. An hour later he had dropped off his originals and the contract. I called Robert Leighton. We had been trying to meet the past couple days. We arranged to meet at the newsstand at Grand Central between the 4 and 5 trains and the Times Square shuttle at 10am. This meeting went off without a hitch. He then got the uptown train, and I went back home. The home phone was ringing. A couple more cartoonists were calling with questions about the show. Then I walked to Nick Downes' place, and grabbed his cartoons.

I collected all of these one-of-a-kind framed originals, put them in the trunk of my Nissan, and drove down Atlantic Avenue, becoming the NYC to Long Island original cartoon art shuttle bus.

And here is one of my favorite cartoons of recent years. This cartoon travelled from Manhattan's East Side to Long Island yesterday. I took this photo of the original at the gallery (and you can see a bit of a reflection in the glass).

Georgia Vahue, one of the curators of the show, picked up this framed original, laughed very loudly, and, walking from colleague to colleague, showing it to everyone. My friend Robert Leighton drew it. The cartoon appeared in the New Yorker magazine a while back.

The funny thing is that a year ago I was visiting Stephanie Piro and she had this cartoon up next to her desk. I told her, "Hey, I know the guy who drew that!" And She and I talked about what a good cartoon it is.

Cartoonists are the nicest people, says Georgia, from behind a mass of original cartoons -- for it is HER cubicle where everything has been stored.

The nice thing about the show is seeing all the art work from all my colleagues and friends. These photos are the result of my calling them and asking if they'd like to do this. Some of them live on the West Coast (Hi Brian!) or the Midwest (Hi Dave!) or way Upstate (Hi John!) or the South (Hi Kim!) -- and they will not be able to make it to the reception or either one of the panels. But they want to be part of the show, and, gosh, that's swell! (Cartoonists are not only nice, they gush geekily.)

The Great Neck Arts Center is located just a couple of short blocks form the Great Neck LIRR stop. The streets are lined with shops and restaurants. And there's a Starbucks between the train station and the gallery, so you can get a pick-me-up if you're pooped from the ride in from Penn Station.

Finally, here is Emilio Squeglio's fresh color homage to Captain Marvel. He was taken under C.C. Beck's wing and worked on the Big Red Cheese for Fawcett for a time. Then the DC/Fawcett case came to a boil, taking Captain Marvel away. He worked in the magazine section of Fawcett. And he worked on the staff of True Magazine and, then, with American Artist magazine and the Watson Guptill art book people. You know those Burne Hogarth drawing books (Dynamic Figure Drawing, etc.)? Emilio designed those books!

You think this looks impressive lying on its side, wait until it's mounted with a key light on it, baby!

And I almost forgot: the Great Neck Arts Center is free. $0.00 admission, baby!

It's gonna be a good show!


Mark Anderson said...

I can't wait to come and see this stuff, Mike! What a treasure trove of cartoon art! Hoo-boy!!!

Bill Alger said...

Looks like great stuff!

I want to see the "Shazam" piece close-up!