Friday, February 28, 2020

Google Doodle: When Honoring Sir John Tenniel, Why Not Show His Own Art?

Above art by Matthew Cruickshank.

It's great that the people over at Google are appreciating Sir John Tenniel on the occasion of his 200th birthday. Tenniel was the go-to editorial cartoonist for Punch Magazine for fifty years, and is best remembered today as the illustrator for Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland books.

The man was an institution. He was one of most famous Victorian illustrators. He received a knighthood in 1893.

So why, when Google honors him this day with one of their "Google Doodles" on their home page -- WHY -- don't they use a piece of Tenniel's OWN artwork?

Instead, Google contacted Matthew Cruickshank to draw an image in Tenniel-style. Here are some process shots from his blog:

See? He's good. But why not give Sir John T. his own day with his own art? Curiouser and curiouser!

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Video: Jeff Danziger Speaks

Pulitzer Prize winning editorial cartoonist Jeff Danziger speaks about his life and work at a Silurians Press Club luncheon this month.

From the Society of the Silurians channel:

HIS IS WHAT SOME PRETTY SAVVY folks have said about Jeff Danziger, A syndicated political cartoonist whose body of work appears on the editorial pages of hundreds of newspapers around the country:

“Jeff Danziger is everything a great political cartoonist should be in this over-reverential world: savage, merciless, accurate, ribald and blessed with a lovely eye and hand.” — Author John Le Carr√©.

“Jeff Danziger’s muscular line cracks like a whip, flailing into shreds the hypocrisies that make the body politic. Drawing like a dream, he renders these smart, witty (often hilarious) comic nightmares.” — Cartoonist and author Jules Feiffer

“The pen may be mightier than the sword, but in Jeff Danziger’s hand, the point can be lethal.” — Bob Schieffer, CBS News

Danziger, who has been drawing politicians — and drawing blood from politicians —since at least the 1980s, has been described by others as slightly to the left of Genghis Khan, but he calls himself an equal-opportunity satirist.

Right-wingers might disagree. Danziger was once listed on conservative writer Bernard Goldberg’s list of “100 People Who Are Screwing Up America,” a distinction the cartoonist calls “an honor.” He seemed to have found a particularly tempting target in the administration of George W. Bush.

Many of his cartoons about those years have been collected in the anthologies “Wreckage Begins With ‘W’” and “Blood, Debt and Fears,” two of the 11 books he’s published to date.

In 2014, he published “Conscience of a Cartoonist,” a collection of his post-9/11 work. His other books include a novel, “Rising Like the Tucson,” a dark comedy set during the late stages of the Vietnam War. Danziger had seen the war up close. He was drafted into the military in 1967 and served as a linguist and intelligence officer in Vietnam, earning a Bronze Star and an Air Medal before being honorably discharged in 1971.

Born in New York in 1943, he graduated from the University of Denver and then bought a farm in Vermont.

Following his service in Vietnam, he returned to Vermont and began drawing for the Montpelier Times Argus and the Rutland Herald in 1975. Five years later, he was a part-time cartoonist for the New York Daily News and in 1986 moved to the Christian Science Monitor in Boston, where he was staff cartoonist until 1996.

He returned to New York, syndicated by the Tribune Syndicate. In 2002, he joined the New York Times Syndicate. His work has been seen in such newspapers and magazines as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Forbes, The New Yorker, Le Monde, Izvestia, The International Herald Tribune, and Die Welt.

He has contributed to the Rutland Herald continuously since 1975. He was honored by the Overseas Press Club in 1998, won the Herblock Prize in 2006 and the Thomas Nast Award in 2008. Twice, he was short-listed for the Pulitzer Prize.

Jeff spoke to the Silurians Press Club on February. 19, 2020 at the monthly luncheon at the National Arts Club.

— Mort Sheinman, Web Editor

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Video: Lincoln Peirce's "Big Nate" Becomes Nickeloden TV Series

Congratulations to Lincoln Peirce on his comic strip and book series "Big Nate" hitting the small screen!

Monday, February 24, 2020

From the Dick Buchanan Files: 1950s Color Magazine Gag Cartoons

It's a busy week for me, so I am handing things over to Dick Buchanan. Dick will show you some of the gag cartoons he's collected through the years. My sincere thanks to him contributing! Take it away, Dick!


Once again I have emerged from my tiny studio in New York’s scenic Greenwich Village with a handful of mid century gag cartoons to share.

These cartoons are part of a collection which was painstakingly clipped from the pages of America’s great magazines, sorted haphazardly and then carefully stored away in poorly marked cardboard boxes for decades.

This selection is from a folder labeled COLOR CARTOONS: 1950’s.

Just a few cartoons from some of the best cartoonists of the era.

1. STAN FINE. Collier’s. January 20, 1956

2. ED NOFZIGER. Back when animals were funnier than they are today, Ed Nofziger was the acknowledged creature cartooning master. Here’s a great example. The Saturday Evening Post. c. 1950’s

3. MARTIN LOWENSTEIN. American Magazine. December, 1952

4. JERRY MARCUS. Good job on a really old show biz gag. The Saturday Evening Post. January 13, 1951

5. MORT TEMES. Collier’s January 7, 1957

6. WALTER GOLDSTEIN. American Magazine. December, 1951

7. FRANK RIDGEWAY. Ridgeway’s comic strip Mr. Abernathy debuted in 1957. American Magazine. March, 1953

8. GREGORY d’ALESSIO. Mr. d’Alessio was a marvelous cartoonist, painter and longtime Art Students League faculty member. Collier’s. January 7, 1955

9. DICK CAVALLI. Collier’s. March 28, 1953

10. GAHAN WILSON. Collier’s. May 27, 1955

11. BARNEY TOBEY. Mr.Tobey did hundreds of cartoons for Colliers and a few covers as well. Collier’s. October 15, 1954

12. DANA FRADON. Collier’s. June 22, 1956

13. BOB SCHROETER. American Magazine. March, 1953

14. KATE OSANN. Kate Ossan’s fine panel Tizzy first appeared in Collier’s, later syndicated by NEA until 1970. Collier’s. January 20, 1956

15. GEORGE WOLFE. An old gag from an old master--note the label of the bottle on the bar. Popular with his peers, Wolfe’s career spanned nearly 50 years. He was NCS Gag Cartoonist of the Year in 1969, 1973, 1975 and 1976. Collier’s. June 20, 1953

More of Dick Buchanan's great gag cartoon collection:

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

-- This has been an edited version of a blog entry that appeared on this day in 2017.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Vintage Snow Machines

I have decided that anything that's shaped like a box and zooms around is something I like.  For instance, Rey's Speeder from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

It's just shaped like an electric razor.

Which reminded me of the Santa-riding-an-electric-Norelco-razor TV commercials when I was growing up.

But Rey's Speeder was waaay cooler.

In real life, there are many great, boxy vehicles that handle the snowy terrain, and from time to time, I see them in my New Hampshire neighborhood. I am collecting pics of them from the Internet.

I remember a comic book artist, Mark Schultz, who, when developing his own book in the 80s, decided it would be named after the two things he loved to draw the best. His comic book, "Cadillacs and Dinosaurs," ran from 1987 to 1996. If I drew a comic book named after two things I love I guess it would be called "Cats and Vintage Snow Machines." I dunno. I just like the look of them. Here are a few:

Thursday, February 20, 2020


Here's THE DENNIS THE MENACE STORYBOOK, which showcases some wonderful work by longtime Hank Ketcham assistant Lee Holley. Here's just one of the endpapers:

The name of the book is THE DENNIS THE MENACE STORYBOOK, Based on the character created by Hank Ketcham and adapted by Carl Memling from the television scripts written by William Cowley, Peggy Chantler, George Tibbles, and Phil Leslie. It was published by Random House in 1960 and is copyright that year by the Hall Syndicate, Inc.

Jay North was the child actor who portrayed the mischievous Dennis. CBS had let its LEAVE IT TO BEAVER show go from its network to ABC. They wanted a new "kid show" and DENNIS was greenlit in 1959. It was scheduled in between LASSIE and ED SULLIVAN on Sunday nights. The half-hour comedy show would run until 1963, airing 146 episodes.

I found this book at a second-hand store in Portsmouth, NH. The spine was gone, but it was otherwise in good shape. A lovely bookplate here. Looks like it was illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen.

Lee Holley began working as an assistant to Hank Ketcham in 1957, drawing the Sunday strips.  By 1960, he had sold his own comic strip PONYTAIL and focused on that primarily. PONYTAIL would run until 1989.

Holley's hand-colored art is still vibrant after all these years, with two-tone and full color illustrations alternating throughout the book. Here are a few of his illustrations.

-- Edited from a previous blog entry.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Video: Keith Knight

Cartoonist Keith Knight is interviewed at Bluefield State College in Bluefield, WV.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Video: Cartoonist Bud Blake's Studio 1994

Way back in 1994, Jerry Craft (who just won a Newbery Award for his graphic novel "New Kid") and Jim Keefe ("Flash Gordon") visited Bud Blake ("Tiger") and took this video of his studio.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

From 1977: New York Times Magazine: 25 Years of MAD Magazine

A blog entry from a while back about the heyday of Mad Magazine and its influence on generations.

Above: a 1963 photo of Bill Gaines entering the MAD offices. Poking their heads out of the door are (from top to bottom): Nick Meglin, John Putnam, Al Feldstein, Leonard Brenner, Nelson Tirado, and Jerry De Fuccio.

I'm out of the office or away from the blog, so here's a rerun:

A heartfelt 1977 New York Times Magazine article about MAD's influence on R. Crumb, The Muppets, and the world at large.

Here are some better scans. OK, this is specifically from the July 31, 1977 New York Times: "THE 'MAD' GENERATION - After 25 years of perpetuating humor in the jugular vein, the magazine that wised up millions of kids is still a crazy hit" by Tony Hiss (son of Alger) and Jeff Lewis.

Below is page one, which should blow up nice and big for easy reading of the ol' pixels.

Like millions of other boys, I grew up with MAD. In the early 1970s, I distinctly recall making the decision to subscribe (when I realized I could get the mag for less than the cover price of 40 cents if I could save up the dollars), and walking down the shag-carpeted hallway to good ol' Dad, sitting in his chair in the living room, to ask him to make out a check to the good folks at E.C. Publications.

Above: a special painting by Norman Mingo done especially for the Times, so says the article. Let me know if that's not true.

I was pleased to see credit given to Harvey Kurtzman, and there is a hat tip to the circumstances of his leaving the mag after its first 22 issues.

I love the above photo, taken in 1963, of Bill Gaines, in what looks like full samba mode, and some of the MAD staff (from top to bottom in the doorway) Nick Meglin, John Putnam, Al Feldstein, Leonard Brenner, Nelson Tirado and Jerry De Fuccio.

The scan on this is not the greatest. The Times magazine, as of 31 years ago, was rather large and required multiple scans in my poky scanner. [Sic. 41 years ago now!]

By the way, last week, the Times cut the width of their paper by 1.5 inches. Shrinky, shrinky, shrinky! This makes the Times about the same width as the Wall Street Journal. And this is after raising its price from $1.00 to $1.25 per daily issue. My wallet is going shrinky too. [It's $3 now and smaller.]

"Alfred E. Neuman was everything that parents prayed deep-down their kids wouldn't turn into -- and feared they would." Holy cow!

This article made me want to go and read a lot of old MADs.

UPDATE: Mark Evanier responds to this article here.