Friday, April 30, 2021

Rod McKie Fundraiser


My cartoonist colleague Rod McKie passed away last month. He had a stroke the morning of March 16th and was admitted to the intensive care unit at the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh. He passed away ten days later. 

Eddie Paton, his son-in-law, has begun a Gofundme for Rod's family. If you can afford a contribution, please consider giving. Eddie writes:

"On 16th March my father in law Roderick (rod) Mckie, was rushed to hospital after suffering a stroke. A haemorrhage had caused complete paralysis on his right hand side and left him struggling to communicate. As a family we began  to discuss how we would adapt to Roderick’s future care needs. Unfortunately, his condition suddenly deteriorated and Roderick passed away on 26th March with his wife and partner of 48 years Lis holding his hand. 

"Rod was just a few weeks away from officially being 5 years cancer free and his sudden death has been a sad and unexpected shock for all his family and friends. Due to his cancer diagnosis Roderick was unable to get life insurance, meaning that his family now have to cope with many unexpected costs at a time when money worries should be the last thing on their minds.

"I ask you to please consider helping Rod’s loved ones at this challenging time by kindly making a donation to help the family with end of life costs and funeral expenses. Any support you can give will be gratefully received."


In memory of Rod Mckie


Thursday, April 29, 2021

From the Dick Buchanan Files: Stan and Jan Berenstain Gag Cartoons 1947 - 1955

Before the children's books that they would be known for, the husband and wife team of Stan and Jan Berenstain were cartooning for magazines -- primarily covers and interiors for Collier's. Most of these cartoons focused on children and parenting, a theme that would be present in their children's books. (Check out Mike Berenstain's great book about his parents titled Child's Play for more.) 

You know, a lot of midcentury art/architecture/design talents worked as a couples. People like Evelyn and Jerome Ackerman, Edwin and Mary Schier, Otto and Vivika Heino, Alva and Aino Aalto, Lotte and Gunnar Bostlund, Gordon and Jane Martz, and the Eames, of course. These are just some. There are others. 

Dick Buchanan has pulled twenty of these early collaborative cartoons by Stan and Jan Berenstain. Thank you, Dick -- and take it away:


  (1947 – 1955)

Stanley and Janice Berenstain were born and raised in Philadelphia. They met on their first day of art school at the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art.  During WWII, Stan served as a military medical illustrator while Jan was a draft artist for the Army Corps of Engineers. 

They are best known for their Berenstain Bears series of children’s books.  The first of these was The Big Honey Hunt, published in 1962. More than 250 books followed. The Berenstain Bears became a lasting franchise which included a television series, toys, and stage productions. 

From the beginning, the couple worked as a team, starting their career drawing gag cartoons for The Saturday Evening Post, Collier's, This Week, McCall’s and The Saturday Review of Literature, among others. Here is a selection of their gag cartoons, clipped from midcentury national magazines . . .

1. STAN and JAN BERENSTAIN.  Collier’s  May 24, 1947.


2. STAN and JAN BERENSTAIN.  The Saturday Evening Post  December 13, 1947.


3. STAN and JAN BERENSTAIN.  This Week Magazine  July 18, 1948.


4. STAN and JAN BERENSTAIN.  Collier’s  September 11, 1948.


5. STAN and JAN BERENSTAIN.  Collier’s  July 17, 1948.


6. STAN and JAN BERENSTAIN.  The Saturday Evening Post  February 21, 1948.


7. STAN and JAN BERENSTAIN.  American Legion Magazine  October, 1949.


8. STAN and JAN BERENSTAIN.  Collier’s  November 12, 1949.


9. STAN and JAN BERENSTAIN.  The Saturday Evening Post  March 5, 1949.


10. STAN and JAN BERENSTAIN.  The Saturday Evening Post  May 14, 1949.


11. STAN and JAN BERENSTAIN.  This Week Magazine  April 10, 1949.


12. STAN and JAN BERENSTAIN.  The Saturday Evening Post  November 5, 1949.


13. STAN and JAN BERENSTAIN.  Collier’s  June 17, 1949.


14. STAN and JAN BERENSTAIN.  The Saturday Evening Post  February 11, 1950.


15. STAN and JAN BERENSTAIN.  Collier’s  March 11, 1950.


16. STAN and JAN BERENSTAIN.  Collier’s  July 1, 1950.


17. STAN and JAN BERENSTAIN.  Collier’s  February 25, 1951.


18. STAN and JAN BERENSTAIN.  Collier’s  January 26, 1952.


19. STAN and JAN BERENSTAIN.  Collier’s  January 3, 1953.

20. STAN and JAN BERENSTAIN.  Collier’s  April 4, 1955.


Wednesday, April 28, 2021

LOTS OF LIMERICKS illustrations by R. Taylor


LOTS OF LIMERICKS is a handy little hardcover (with a well-loved, slightly soiled dustjacket) full of limericks that are edited by Louis Untermeyer. There's a lot of illustrations by R. Taylor. The illustrations and text are copyright 1961 by the artist and author. It was published that year by Doubleday.

Of course most of the limericks here are ancient groaners. But the art by R. Taylor is wonderful. Here's a sampling of both.

- Edited from an original blog entry of February 12, 2015.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Online Lecture Today: "Can Art Stop a War? The Power of Posters"

 There will be a free lecture today. Below is the description:

Explore the Power of Posters with the Center for the Study of Political Graphics!

About this Event

From the Russian Revolution to the now-decades-long war in Afghanistan, posters have been central to winning the hearts and minds of the people who pay the costs of war with their lives and their tax dollars. They also have been critical for mobilizing opposition to war. Although many predicted that paper posters would become obsolete in the digital age, they continue to be produced in great numbers.

Carol A. Wells, founder and executive director of the Center for the Study of Political Graphics, will show how posters have been used to protest injustice and promote social change throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. The talk will also highlight the long political poster tradition of appropriation and image recycling.

Wells is an activist, art historian, curator, writer, and poster collector. In 1988, she founded CSPG, an educational and research archive in Los Angeles. Its more than 90,000 social movement posters from the 19th century to the present, include the largest collection of post-WWII posters in the U.S. Wells believes that posters can combat public apathy and feelings of helplessness, as well as stimulating political debate.

Date and Time

Tue, April 27, 2021

6:30 PM – 8:00 PM EDT

Monday, April 26, 2021

Tomer Hanuka's Post-Pandemic Themed New Yorker Cover Assignment

Tomer Hanuka, an outstanding illustrator and a teacher, tweeted this:

"I’ve asked my 3rd year illustration students at the School of Visual Arts to come up with a post-pandemic New Yorker magazine cover. Here is what they sent in:"
Amy Young:

April Xinyu Chen:

Chenmiao Shi:

Dou Hong:

Fan Zhang:

Huahua Cui:

Jane McIlvaine:

Jiaci Grace Qiu:

Jungwoo Lee:

Katrina Catacutan:

Lauren V:

Milly Wen:

Penni Xiaoyi Peng:

Ruoxi Jiang:

Yijun Cai:

Yushan Zhou:

Zoe Stengel:

 The results speak to the talent of the new visual artists and Mr. Hanuka's excellent teaching.