Thursday, December 21, 2006

Cartoon Limbo

Sometimes cartoons go into limbo. Some are forever there, others get a reprieve.

Below are a few cartoons that I'm putting together for the Cartoon Limbo gallery exhibit in NYC. It's at the Venu Gallery, and runs from January 5, 2007 to Ground Hog's Day. Curated by Lewis Matheney, this is going to be a fun show!

The exhibit is all about cartoons and cartoon art projects that got rejected. Well, some got rejected, and then published. Some did not. A partial list of cartoon artists:

Jon Agee, Carl Barks, Dick Briefer, Art Cumings, Jeff Danziger, Stan Goldberg, Woody Guthrie, Bunny Hoest, Crockett Johnson, Mike Lynch, Ruth Marcus, Lewis Matheney, John Reiner, Charles Schulz, Jay Stephens, Maurice Sendak, Dr. Seuss, James Thurber, Mort Walker

And, below, are a couple of my cartoons that may be in the show. (It's up to Lewis to pick what gets in and what doesn't.)

"Ahh! The arbitration team is here."

Ink on typing paper. Originally appeared in Reader's Digest.

Sometimes, I doodle a strange picture in my sketchbook and try to come up with a gag line for it. It's a little like painting yourself into a corner. That's what I was doing when I drew a rock, a piece of paper, and a pair of scissors walking into a conference room. It took some time for the words to come. When the anthropomorphic rock, paper and scissors became "arbitrators," it all came together.

This cartoon was submitted and rejected 13 times, before the 14th market, Reader's Digest, picked it up.

"If there's a lucite award thingie at the end of the job, I'm your man."

Pen and ink on paper. Originally appeared in Barron's

Rejected by 13 markets. Barron's bought it. A professional magazine cartoonist is considered successful when he or she is able to sell consistently one cartoon out of a batch of ten. Yeah, for real. So, rejection is a way of life.

Most of the business awards I've seen look alike; a bit of wood, acrylic, a plate with a name and something like "4th Annual Mergers and Acquisitions Most Merged and Acquired Person of the Year Award." I wondered why some people decorate their offices with them. And then I remembered that an individual is motivated by different things: money, power, fear, love and ... well ... some can be prodded by lucite award thingies.

"How the hell am I going to spin THIS?"

Ink and wash on paper. Originally appeared in Reader's Digest (UK edition)

"What kind of cartoons do you do?" is a question I get asked. "Editorial cartoons?" No, not editorial cartoons. My cartoons may comment on cultural trends, but they are not topical. This is because my clients put out magazines every month, and there is significant lag time. Rejected by 25 markets, some high profile (like The New Yorker and Barron's), some not so (The Spectator (UK), Counterpunch). It finally saw print in the UK version of Reader's Digest magazine. It has not been published in the US.

1 comment:

Mark Anderson said...

I know I've seen #1 and #3 before, and they're wonderful, but the #2 Lucite cartoon... Good lord man, that's a beaut!

One of those that makes you go "I wish I'd thought of that! But I probably couldn't have. Damn!"

Also, the hair on the king is drop dead funny.

I hate you this morning.