Friday, April 19, 2019

My Interview with George Booth in Hogan's Alley #22

Hogan's Alley "the magazine of the cartoon arts" has hit the stands and, oh boy, is it chock full of just about everything.

For instance, here's a snippet from the long interview I did with George Booth:

Mike Lynch: We were just talking about Gurney Williams and how Gurney 's words stayed in your life. 
George Booth: Gurney Williams was the editor of Collier 's, and I came to New York I think in 1950 or '51. No, it was '51 because I was recalled in December of '50. So it was '51 and I went to see Gurney Williams. I was at Leatherneck. I had gotten a letter from Gurney Williams at Collier 's to submit some of my stuff to him. I was still in my corps, and I sold to Collier 's. 
Lynch: Did you sell to Collier 's while you were still in the service? 
Booth: Yeah. 
Lynch: Oh, you did? 
Booth: By mail, and then barely sold one or two. 
Lynch: This is when you were stationed at Stars and Stripes in DC, right? 
Booth: Yeah, I was in Washington, DC. And it was stuff that had already been turned down by Leatherneck, so there was no problem there. And maybe I reshaped it. I don t remember. But when I came to New York, I went to see Gurney Williams. This is a little vague to me now. I may have sold him after I got here, I can 't remember. But he had sent me a letter to come and see him and submit stuff. I had never been in the city before. Everything was small town to me. So I came to New York City from Washington, DC. I located Collier 's. They were in a high office somewhere, and I had the letter in my hand for me to come and see him. I got into where Collier 's was, and I asked where Gurney Williams' office was. This woman told me where it was, so I went back to Gurney 's office. It was dark. He wasn 't there, so I went in and sat down and waited for him. And I sat there for quite a while. Pretty soon another woman comes in and said, Who are you? What are you doing in Gurney Williams ' office? I said, I 'm waiting for Gurney Williams. She said, Get out of here, you can 't wait in here. [laughter] So she put me out in the hallway waiting area, and so I waited. 
Lynch: But wait a minute, George were you sitting there in the dark?  
Booth: Yeah. I was asked to come and see him. Where was I supposed to wait? 
Lynch: You were following orders. 
Booth: Right. Anyway, he did show up and we had a good visit. And I think it was later that he told me I was submitting stuff to him, and I was kind of getting carried away. He told me my stuff was too wild and unreal and too contrived and a few others words that I remember. And then I kind of shaped up the reality and he began to buy my stuff.

It's all in the new issue of Hogan's Alley: George's early life, from the Marines Corps and Leatherneck Magazine, to moving to NYC to getting into The New Yorker. It was a fun interview to do -- and it all started with his crummy looking chair. Well, you can read the interview and see what that's all about.

In other Booth news: today is the last day to help fund an upcoming George Booth documentary. Take a look at this Kickstarter link "Drawing Life with George Booth."

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