Friday, March 31, 2017

Worcester Art Museum: Ed Emberley Exhibit

The Worcester (MA) Art Museum has a wonderful exhibit titled "KAHBAHBLOOOM: The Art and Storytelling of Ed Emberley" through April 9, 2017. I was fortunate enough to be invited by Hilary Price to join her and some fellow cartoonists and friends to the show this past Saturday afternoon. Afterward, we all went out for lunch with Mr. Emberley.

Just some of Ed Emberley's output:

Mitra Farmand stands next to one of Ed Emberley's huge Paul Bunyan woodcuts.

Mo Willems and Maria Scrivan.

Ed Emberley himself. That Mark Parisi on the left, and John Klossner, in the hat, on the right.


Hilary Price, in the green sweater, and Ed Emberley, right.


A collage of me and Ed. We got along great as you can see. He's 85 and full of energy.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Jack Ziegler 1942 - 2017

"Hello? Beasts of the Field? This is Lou, over in Birds of the Air.
Anything funny going on at your end?"

Above: Jack Ziegler's first New Yorker drawing, originally published in the February 11, 1974 issue.

Very sad news. New Yorker cartoonist Jack Ziegler passed away before noon today in Kansas City. He was 74 years old. As of this time, no cause of death is cited.

I'm shocked and surprised. Ziegler was one of the best.

2017 is a horror so far.

Liza Donnelly:

"Heartbroken. Groundbreaking, great cartoonist from The New Yorker, Jack Ziegler, has died. Jack was a wonderful person, good friend and I looked up to him like a brother in the cartoon world --even though we did not see much of each other in recent years. I admired his work from the moment I saw it, and was influenced by his cartoons. His cartoons said: push the form, explore what's possible, its a whacky world. He probably said that too. God, I will miss him."

Michael Maslin has a remembrance here, as well as links to his October 2016 interview.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Al Capp Murals

Little known cartoon fact that I learned from my friend, New Yorker cartoonist John Klossner: when Al Capp was a young man, he created a mural for the Hotel Vernon in Kelley Square, Worcester, MA. Now a dive bar, here are some shots from the interior of the place.

Off the Mark's Mark Parisi and John Klossner.

Not drawn by Al Capp.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Michael Maslin on the History of The New Yorker's Art Meetings

Above: Peter Arno's "The Whoops Sisters" in their first appearance (Before they were even called "The Whoops Sisters!") from the April 17, 1926 issue of The New Yorker. Nicked from A New Yorker Frame of Mind blog.

Michael Maslin writes about the cartoonists coming to The New Yorker over its history in his piece titled "The Place Was a Mess After the Weekly Art Meetings."

"[Philip Wylie] was the unofficially titled artists' 'hand-holder' — the link between the editorial staff and the cartoonists. Most importantly to The New Yorker‘s history, and to its success, Wylie is the person who, while looking through twenty-one year old Peter Arno’s portfolio one day in 1925 happened to spot a drawing Arno hadn’t intended to show: a sketch of 'two old bats about to charge obliviously into a trap — made by the rise of a sidewalk elevator. It [the drawing] greatly amused me.' The 'two old bats' came to be called The Whoops Sisters, and also came to be credited as very likely rescuing The New Yorker from an early demise."

Go read it all here.

Friday, March 24, 2017

From the Dick Buchanan Files: "How I Create Humor" from 1950s - 60s Gag Cartoon Insider Journal "The Information Guide" Part 2

Dick Buchanan delves into his pile of cartoon magazines of past decades, and unearths "The Information Guide," a publication for cartoonists from the "golden age of magazine cartooning:" the 1940s thru the 60s.

Dick has scanned in the "How I Create Humor" section from a number of issues. The regular feature was written by and for gag cartoonists. This is part two. Part one is here.

Here's Dick:

HOW I CREATE HUMOR (1955--1964)
Here are more pages from The Information Guide, the trade journal for cartoonists published George Hartman in the late 1950’s and 1960’s.
True to its name, each issue of The Information Guide provided valuable information for cartoonists, new market listings, tips on dealing with editors as well as providing a forum where issues confronting the working cartoonist were raised. George also always had plenty of money making ideas and lots of encouragement for everyone.
Then, as now, everyone needed help with gag writing. “Gawge” encouraged his subscribers to contribute their thoughts on the subject and the result was How I Create Humor.
Some of the George’s better-known supporters were Bob Zahn, Cliff Johnson, Mel Millar, Larry Barth, Lowell Hoppes, Carl Kohler, Marvin Townsend, and Howard Paris.
My checkered career in humor got a big boost thanks to George, as did many.

1. GLUECK. Bob Glueckstein, a minor market whiz, was one of those capable knocking out a 

batch of 10 to 15 cartoons in a couple hours for an obscure trade journal and sell most of them. 

2. JACK FLYNN. His cartoons appeared in many magazines, best known for his “adult” work in the many Humorama and similar cartoon/pinup publications of the day.

3. HAL MONEY. No information, but he was a Information Guide regular.

4. LOWELL HOPPES. A veteran cartoonist whose work appeared in major magazines ranging from The Saturday Evening Post Parade, Highlights for Children as well as the Humorama line.

5. CARL KOHLER. Carl Kohler was a West Coast cartoonist, who also published Cartoonyfeller’s Digest, another trade journal for cartoonists and gag writers in the mid 1950’s. Later, Kohler and Pete Miller founded the very successful CARtoons magazine in 1959.

More of Dick Buchanan's great gag cartoon collection:

From the Dick Buchanan Files: "How I Create Humor" from 1950s - 60s Gag Cartoon Insider Journal "The Information Guide"

Dick Buchanan's Cartoon File: 1945 - 1962
Dick Buchanan's Cartoon File: 1950s Color Magazine Gag Cartoons

Dick Buchanan's Cartoon File: Funny Vintage Magazine Gag Cartoons 1946 - 1963

Dick Buchanan's Cartoon File: Wordless Gag Cartoons 1944-1964

1953 George Booth Drawings for American Legion Magazine

Dick Buchanan: Winter/Christmas/Holiday Gag Cartoons 1940s-60s

Dick Buchanan: Some PUNCH Magazine Cartoons 1948-1963

Dick Buchanan: Gag Cartoon Clip File 1946-64

Dick Buchanan: Gag Cartoon Clip File 1947-62

Dick Buchanan: Some Favorite Magazine Gag Cartoons 1940-60s

Dick Buchanan: Gag Cartoon Clip File 1931-64

Thursday, March 23, 2017


Just two years after the end of World War II the above children's book was published.

The American people were ready to return to normal American life. And one of the hallmarks of being normal over here is the advertising and the packaging that dominate our consumer-driven culture.

Here's a scan of AROUND THE CLOCK WITH ROCKY AND RUTHIE, which is part children's book, and part activity book. The staple-bound publication asks kids to actively cut up and paste in logos and advertising from the products they consume every day. This "personalizes" the book for them, and increases their identification with what they buy.

Plot? There's no plot per se. We follow the two title kids, Rocky and Ruthie, through a typical day. The ticking clock on the page pushes us on. It's almost like a kiddie lit version of "High Noon," except no gunplay, no Fred Zinnemann, no Cooper, no Grace Kelly. As the kids in the book eat, go to school, etc., the reader is asked to cut out labels and paste them on the page.

The uncredited commercial artist uses a lithographic pencil to execute the illustrations. The book's interior is all two-tone. The whole thing was printed on inexpensive newsprint.  Since there's no price, it makes me think this may have been a giveaway.

On the cover, there's the number "1908,"just below that is the notation

The Saafield Pub Co.
Akron, Ohio
Made in U.S.A.

and the title page says it's copyright 1947 by S. Harold Labow.

Saalfield published a lot of books during the 20th century. It was one of the largest publishers of children's books in the world, with books like Raggedy Ann, Peter Rabbit and The Little Red Hen in its repertoire.

-- This is an edited version of a 2013 blog entry.