Wednesday, November 30, 2016

J.W. Taylor Cartoons 1943 - 1974

Here is a selection of cartoons from one of my favorite Punch magazine cartoonists, J.W. Taylor. I'm grateful to Dick Buchanan for pulling these cartoons which represent Taylor's career span.

"Quite a span with both the earliest and latest being wash drawings. Not usual for Punch or Taylor." adds Dick.

True. Most of the cartoons have Taylor's bold line. You can see how he boils visuals down to their essence. And he's a funny cartoonist too.

Thanks very much, Dick!

More J.W. Taylor cartoons here.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Luchow's Restaurant Cookbook Illustrations by Ludwig Bemelmans

I scored this terrific little cookbook from the famous Luchow's German restaurant this past weekend. LUCHOW'S GERMAN COOKBOOK was by Jan Mitchell and published by Doubleday and Company, 1952

Luchow's was a NYC German restaurant. When it was first opened, in 1882, it was L├╝chow's; named after the Bavarian waiter who saved his money and bought it in the 19th century. But the place decided to omit the umlaut between 1917 and 1950. ("The absence of the umlaut had led many new customers to believe that the place was a Chinese restaurant,"-- New York Times.)

The famous eating establishment was originally located on 14th Street, encompassing the entire block to 13th Street. It was a good location. Business was good. It was close to the opera hose, the Academy of Music, Steinway Hall, as well as Tammany Hall.

In 1982, due to the decline in the neighborhood, it was relocated to the theater district. The restaurant failed there, closing within two years. The original building on 14th Street was torn down after a fire ravaged the site in 1995.

Ludwig Bemelmans, a writer, artist and traveler, enjoyed the good life. His illustrations were the reason I bought the book. Best known for his Madeline series of kids books, Bemelmans had a steady stream of his own adult books and travel articles. I adore his work and am slowly amassing his non-Madeline output.

Made some good goulash from the book that night!

Monday, November 28, 2016

SUPERMAN (1978) Movie Trailers

An artist is only as good as his or her tools! I love that saying. It's not true, you know.

Amazing things can be done on a piece of typing paper with a pencil. We all know that. We've all seen it.

Same thing with movies. 

Case in point: the Superman trailer. Superman was a BIG movie with BIG names and was making news for years before it came out. The whole "You'll Believe a Man Can Fly" tagline was exciting and it was a promise to people that they wouldn't see the blue lines around the actor (like George Reeves in the 1950s TV show). It would look real and believable. The only problem was that it was a long trial and error process to make it work.

So when it was time for the first promo teaser spots to come out, there was no footage of a man flying. Matter of fact, most of the film had not yet been shot.

Take a look at the second trailer here in this batch of SUPERMAN previews (one minute in -- uh, I tried to make it start automatically at that point, but I may have not been savvy enough to do that for you): so, you got the great John Williams music, the BIG swooshing names of the cast, the clouds, some footage of a figure standing on the horizon in a Kansas field. No actual Superman, no flying, no Metropolis, no Krypton exploding. But it works, despite not having ANY of the goods that the other trailers have (like actual footage from the movie).

Superman: The Movie (Rare Theatrical Trailers) by NakedBrotha2007

The story of the editor who got stuck with the sow's ear pile of clips and made the silk purse trailer is one I have known for years. I had thought I had heard from my Dad, who heard it from the editor himself. Or so I remember. Contacting dear old Dad this weekend, he couldn't confirm the story. Regardless, it's an example of an artist surpassing the sum of original material to work with, isn't it? 

Monday, November 21, 2016

See You Soon

I'm away from the blog for a time.

Friday, November 18, 2016

DOLLY DIMPLES by Grace G. Drayton

DOLLY DIMPLES by Grace G. Drayton (1877-1936) was an oh-so-cute little girl comic strip syndicated in the Hearst newspapers from 1908 to 1911. Its follow up was DIMPLES, which was the same kind of strip cute-kid-gets-into-scrapes stories, and lasted for four years beginning in 1914.

She continued to do magazine work and advertising, as well as a few more strips. Mrs. Drayton is perhaps best known for creating the apple-cheeked Campbell Kids advertising icon.

She was the first woman cartoonist to be syndicated by Hearst.

Here is a Sunday DIMPLES titled "Everybody Gets It But the Kitty." I picked this up at the Arundel, ME flea market. It had been cut and pasted together like a little book. The fellow selling it had a boxful of them and told me that he thought some little girl fan of the comic strip did this about 100 years ago.

It's very, very cute and wonderfully preserved for being about 100 years old.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Inkvember 2016

Sometimes, when you draw, you draw the most mundane things. Here is a sketch of some people at a grocery store because I had, of course, just come back from the grocery store. Boring? Ah well.

Sketches from the sketchbook for November, or #Inkvember or #Novinkber or whatever the social media deciders are calling this. Let's just call it a "SketchOfTheDay and be done with it.

These are all drawn in ink and sometime some watercolors for the wash or the color treatment. Created with no pencil foundation, just ink on paper and just for fun.

Below is a drawing of people I do not know nicked from a Facebook page.

I worked from left to right on this, first drawing the dude playing and then the woman and then the fellow trying to read.

One for Friday:

Another days of the week idea for a gag:

A page of spooky drawings for the Monster Mash drawing class:

I drew these figures thru one morning. I would draw one and then go do something else, then come back and draw another.

Another drawing of people I do not know that I nicked from a Facebook profile. I have to say I am really drawing these for myself and don't really consider these at all finished or polished. Just an exercise I find interesting. I used to draw the "Just Married" couples' headshot photos from the Sunday Times social section. This is better since these are real middle class people.

A hairy ukelele-playing dude:

Upset chicken drawn on a diner placemat:

Angry dude in the grocery. Real men don't shop!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Video: Michael E. Mann, Tom Toles, and Kevin Kallaugher at the Politics and Prose Bookstore

Published on November 12, 2016. From the description:

In this inspired partnership, Mann, Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at Penn State and one of the nation’s leading experts on climate change, and Toles, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post editorial cartoonist, expose the true folly of arguments against global warming. With dynamic, compelling graphics that illuminate the science, the book shows both the irrefutable evidence of human-generated environmental damage and the pretzel logic that skeptics and vested interests use to try to counter the inconvenient facts.

The award-winning and internationally syndicated columnist known as KAL, Kallaugher was hired by The Economist in the late seventies to do caricatures, which he soon elevated to the witty, insightful art of a master editorial cartoonist—skills he later carried over to The Baltimore Sun. This collection, drawn from over thirty years of his Economist work, focuses in turn on the United States, Europe, Economist covers, business and economics, and international topics, showing not just KAL’s range, but providing a capsule history of recent decades as well as serving as a primer to political cartooning.

This event is moderated by Juliet Eilperin, The Washington Post’s White House bureau chief.

Founded by Carla Cohen and Barbara Meade in 1984, Politics & Prose Bookstore is Washington, D.C.'s premier independent bookstore and cultural hub, a gathering place for people interested in reading and discussing books. Politics & Prose offers superior service, unusual book choices, and a haven for book lovers in the store and online. Visit them on the web at

Video: Milton Caniff and TERRY AND THE PIRATES Inspiration

From WOSU: the story of real life Ohio State University student Frank Higgs, who was the inspiration for character "Dude Hennick" in the TERRY AND THE PIRATES comic strip, which was drawn by Frank's OSU frat brother and famous cartoonist Milton Caniff.

Lucy Caswell herself has some great historical information about the creation of the strip.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Jerry Dumas 1930 - 2016

Veteran cartoonist (BEETLE BAILEY, SAM AND SILO and others), writer, and all around "renaissance man" Jerry Dumas died Saturday November 12, 2016 at his home in Greenwich, CT. The cause was neuroendocrine cancer. He was 86 years old.

Comics historian Rick Marschall:

“Many people claimed to be, or are honored as, ‘Renaissance Men,’ but Jerry simply was. And the artwork he did on certain of his own strips - especially his ‘Sam and Silo’ Sundays - were masterpieces, utter masterpieces, of detail, 'feathering,' visual substance and plain inky love.”

Bill Janocha, who had worked with Jerry on Beetle Bailey since 1987:

“Jerry was a great story and joke teller, with a seemingly unflagging memory for details and color in his tales.... He spared nothing in his descriptions of past interactions, personalities and commentary on the beauty he saw in his surroundings and the quirks in humanity.”

(Quotes from the Greenwich Times.)

Here is the obituary from Maria Scriven, Connecticut National Cartoonists Society Chair:

Jerry was born on June 6, 1930 and started drawing when he was nine years old, continuing to cartoon when he was in high school in his native Detroit.
“I used to get on the bus and go into downtown Detroit and sell cartoons to Teen magazine for $2,” he remembered. “I really thought I had made it. I was aiming for The New Yorker and TheSaturday Evening Post.” He finally realized his dream and was published in “The SaturdayEvening Post” at age twenty-six and “The New Yorker” at twenty-nine.
After finishing high school, he joined the Air Force and was stationed in Arizona. He remained in the Grand Canyon State to attend Arizona State University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in English literature in 1955. Fifty years later, he was invited back to speak at a commencement ceremony.
In 1956, Dumas moved to New York where he eventually met Mort Walker through a mutual friend. They worked together for more than sixty years on both the Beetle Bailey and Hi and Lois strips.
Jerry co-created Sam’s Strip with Mort Walker in 1961. The strip was cancelled in 1963, but was resurrected by Dumas as Sam and Silo in 1977, and it has continued to the present day. In addition, Jerry collaborated on Benchley with Mort Drucker and Rabbits Rafferty and McCall of the Wild with Mel Crawford.

As a writer, Dumas wrote a regular column for his local newspaper “The Greenwich Time,” published a memoir “An Afternoon in Waterloo Park,” and a “Rabbits Rafferty,” children’s novel. His prose and poetry have appeared in “The Atlantic”, “Smithsonian”, “The New York Times” and “The Washington Post”.

Jerry Dumas is survived by his wife, Gail and their three sons, Timothy, David and John.

Services are scheduled for November 21, 2016.

Greenwich Times obituary
National Cartoonists Society site
Michael Maslin's Inkspill

Monday, November 14, 2016


When the going gets tough, you gotta delve into the good book. And by "good book," I mean an old book of gag cartoons.

CARTOONS OUT OF MY HEAD by Virgil "VIP" Partch is copyright 1964 by Fawcett Publications, Greenwich CT.

From the back cover ad copy:

Done it yet?
Flipped your lid?
Blown your top?
Lost your mind? 
What do you mean you don't know how?
Here's how.
reverberate, and go MAD ...

Sounds like I am in the right mood! Here are a few great VIP gag cartoons with cannibals, mermaids, patricide, drinking, the navy, and a centaur.