Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Lee Lorenz Original Cartoon "Any of you know about locomotives?"

"Any of you know about locomotives?" 

I was fortunate to find this original framed cartoon at a second-hand store in Arundel, Maine on Saturday. Lee Lorenz drew it.

On Monday, I took it to my local framers, Lee and Fran of Timeless Framing. Lee carefully took the backing off and we were able to take the original out of its frame. I saw "The New Yorker" stamp on the back.

Now, OK, I knew it was by Lee Lorenz, but the style was not his later all-brush technique. This was an early cartoon of his, and maybe it was from the Saturday Evening Post or Collier's or another top market of the 1950s or 60s.

Lee Lorenz sold his first cartoon to the major market Collier's in 1956. He had become a contract cartoonist at The New Yorker just two years later. The magazine would publish over 1,600 cartoons of his. He was the Cartoon Editor from 1973 to 1993. As of this date, he is still working and still contributing his cartoons -- so it's really at 1,600 cartoons sold and counting.

So I knew who drew it and where it appeared, but I couldn't figure out the "when" part.

OK, I posted this on Facebook on Monday:

"Any of you know about locomotives?"  
This cartoon is by Lee Lorenz and appeared in the New Yorker mag. Can anyone tell me what issue/year it saw print? 
If you have The Complete New Yorker on CD-ROM then maybe you have a way to find it. My web searches turn up nothing.

My friend and New Yorker cartoonist Michael Maslin to the rescue! He wrote back within minutes, telling me the cartoon appeared in the January 16, 1960 issue. Thanks, Michael!

Here are some photos of the original, taken at close angles so you can see the paste-up of the conductor and the white paint and other wonderful details. Is that charcoal over the ink wash? Take a look/ The text is meticulously hand-drawn lettering.

This cartoon is copyright The New Yorker.


Gerry said...

That's quite a find Mike!

Marfie said...

If you had not told me that was a Lee Lorenz drawing, I would never have guessed - and as his daughter, I should know. Really is quite different from most of his efforts. Very nice find for you, then - a rarity!