Friday, May 31, 2013


Above: a detail of a Wesley Morse-drawn letter to former Ziegfeld Girl Avonne Taylor.

Wesley Morse, a fellow who did illustrations for the Ziegfeld Follies, drew some Tijuana Bibles, but is most famous for creating the iconic Bazooka Joe, is the focus of Kirk Taylor.

Well, Mr. Morse isn't exactly famous. Bazooka Joe is, but Morse is pretty unknown, even though he was a busy cartoonist in the early days of this century.

Kirk Taylor, an Ohio writer, cartoonist and historian, recently visited the Cartoon Library to give them a copy of his new book that he co-authored with Nancy Morse from AbramsArts BAZOOKA JOE AND HIS GANG. He was interviewed about his Morse connection by Caitlin McGurk.

The Morse connection starts with a series of eighty love letters.

My great aunt Avonne Taylor passed away in 1992, and hidden away in her storage locker in California my family discovered a series of 80 illustrated love letters of, and for, her by Wesley Morse. They were on his personal stationary, with his address listed at the Hotel Des Artistes, a noted artists cooperative on 67th street in Manhattan. At the time I discovered these, nothing was published about Morse, so I held on to them for years before I understood the history. In 1996, “Tijuana Bibles: Art and Wit in America’s Forbidden Funnies” came out, with an introduction written by Art Spiegelman. In it, Spiegelman mentions that he could recognize the hand of a cartoonist named Wesley Morse as one of the artists in the old Tijuana Bibles, and that was where I first made the connection with who this man was from my great aunt’s letters. Based on the drawing style in the book, I knew it had to be him.

The entire interview is here.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Batman Laughs

Animated GIF via thatlizardkid.

Saul Bass' PSYCHO Storyboards

The Potrzebie blog shows us the Saul Bass storyboards for Alfred Hitchcock's PSYCHO.

Video: Roz Chast: Using Art to Bear Witness to Death

Roz Chast talks about the death of her mother, art's role in witnessing and her personal message to her daughter. Thoughtful words from this recent National Cartoonists Society Gag Cartooning Award winner.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Video: 67th Annual NCS Reuben Awards: Kirkman and Crane Receive Reubens

Video: 67th Annual NCS Reuben Awards: Lee Salem Receives Golden T-Square

Video: 67th Annual NCS Reuben Awards: Opening

Here's a few minutes of Jason Chatfield hosting the 2013 Reubens. This opens with a short film by Tom Gammill.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

National Cartoonists Society Reubens Weekend 2013

This is just my sliver of what I saw at the 2013 National Cartoonists Society Reubens Weekend in Pittsburgh. It was a whirlwind! List of winners here.

Here are a few photos. WARNING: There are photos of the Toonseum toilet!

Test click: walking to the hotel room. Why do all older hotel hallways look like THE SHINING?

 Terry THE PAJAMA DIARIES Liebenson and her husband, Michael Davis:

My Berndt Toast Gang pals: gag cartoonist Don Orehek and childrens book illustrator/Berndt Toast Gang chapter chair Adrian Sinnott:

Kimberly and her husband, the local legendary illustrator Wayno:

The Bill Holbrook family -- with Bunny THE LOCKHORNS Hoest (second from left) at the Friday night reception at the August Wilson Center:

From Britain, "The Surreal McCoy" (she brought the cartoon tablecloth -- see below) and from Long Island, Stan ARCHIE Goldberg:

Jeff Parker and John Lotshaw in the gorgeus lobby of the Omni William Penn:

My friends Andrew Farago of the Cartoon Art Museum and Shaenon Garrity, who creates (among many things) the Web comic SKIN HORSE:

Milling around between presentations ... that's Sandy Boynton and Mo Willems:

Chris Sparks and Patrick McDonnell:

Pat and Adrian Sinnott with Sandra Boynton:

Brad Anderson sits, and cartoonists come to him:

Mike Lynch and Drew WARTS AND ALL Friedman. What a guy! 

My family meets THE LOCKHORNS: Linda Klena, Dr. Dennis Lynch (dear old Dad) and Bunny Hoest:

Linda Klena, Dennis Lynch and editorial cartoonists Clay Bennett and Rob Rogers:

Sophie Miller-Chatfield, Jason Chatfield (GINGER MEGGS, and out 2013 Reubens evening host) Stan and Pauline Goldberg:

MAD MAGAZINE's Sam Viviano with Maria Notarile Scriven: 

ARCTIC CIRCLE's Alex Hallatt and, moments after winning her NCS Editorial Cartooning Division Award, Jen Sorenson:

OK, let's look at some of the cartoons created during the weekend!

The Friday night cocktail time was held at the Toonseum, where curator Joe Wos had put together a one-of-a-kind exhibit of every Reuben Award winner's art. going back the 66 years of the National Cartoonists Society. It was stunning.

He also had some boards set up for cartoonists to draw on. Here are a few shots:

And here are a few shots of the Toosnseum toilet. Warner Brothers Loony Tunes characters greet you when you come in. And then you see that the cartoonists have busied themselves with one of a kind graffiti drawings. This was Friday night, and I bet many more drawings have been added since then.

Jim Borgman:

Reuben Award winner Rick Kirkman:

Stephan Pastis:

Lynn Johnston:

Here are a few more angles on the boards, later during the weekend, when more and more cartoonists were adding to them:

Our inky brothers in the UK presented the NCS with an incredible tablecloth full of cartoon drawings. This is just one tiny part it:

The NCS reciprocated:

Sam Norkin: The Jerry Lewis Mural

My fellow Berndt Toast Gang member Sam Norkin (1917-2011) is featured in Drew Friedman's blog.

Sam, best known for his theatrical caricatures for The New York Herald Tribune (1940-56) and The New York Daily News (1956-96), was called upon to create a large mural of Jerry Lewis for Brown's Hotel in the Catskills in 1957. Drew has the details here.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Here is MURRAY THE BIRD to keep you company!

I'll be away for the annual Reubens weekend, so I will have to leave you with this insufferable bird for a short time. Please consider ordering a book of MURRAY! It's 72 pages of funny cartoons at an affordable rate. Plus, you're supporting the arts (me).

End of preview!

See you soon!

There is, of course, much more MURRAY! Order a copy of MURRAY THE BIRD here!