Tuesday, October 31, 2023

"It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" - Full Vinyl Soundtrack by Vince Guaraldi

Ajit Ninan 1955- 2023


From Animation Xpress:

"Renowned cartoonist Ajit Ninan passed away at his flat in Mysuru on 8 September in the morning. He was 68.

"Ninan was best known for the Centrestage series in India Today magazine and Ninan’s World in Times of India. According to the PTI report, a family member said, 'He passed away early this morning in his apartment. I think it’s a cardiac arrest.'

"A popular political cartoonist, Ninan was equally well known for his work in children’s literature. One of his beloved creations is Detective Moochwala and his dog Pooch, which appeared in 1980s in Target, a youth magazine. His defiance in the form of political cartoons, satire on the ruling government as well as the opposition, cartoons on environment and caricatures, are fondly remembered by everyone of his time."


Jug Saraiya writes an appreciation for The Times of India: "Ajit Ninan: The maestro who could raise a laugh ‘Just Like That’"

"In a world enveloped in the toxic clouds of climate change, and conflict, and crises, Ajit Ninan’s brilliant daily pocket cartoon, Just Like That, in the Times of India was a bright ray of joy and pleasure, lightening the daily landscape of gloom and doom.

"A picture is said to be worth ten thousand words; a cartoon, which is a very special type of picture capable of bringing the leavening of humour into the humdrum, might be worth a whole dictionary of words."


Ajit Ninan was perhaps best known for this cartoon, which has gone viral:

Monday, October 30, 2023

The Guardian Political Cartoonist Steve Bell Fired After Allegations of Anti-Semitic Cartoon

British editorial cartoonist Steve Bell was fired from his paper The Guardian after a 42 year career there due to a cartoon that he drew:


Bell's cartoon is a reference to David Levine's 1966 editorial cartoon of LBJ, who opens his shirt to expose a scar in the outline of Vietnam:

Levine's drawing references the then-famous 1965 photo of President Johnson lifting his shirt to show the scar from surgery on October 8, 1965 to remove his gall bladder. 

Via The Daily Cartoonist:

"The London Press Gazette reports on Steve Bell‘s description of what happened and Bell’s history with the problem:

"Bell posted the blocked cartoon to Twitter/X on Monday, saying that after he filed it that morning he received a 'cryptic message' from Guardian editors saying: 'pound of flesh,'

"In Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice the antagonist, Jewish moneylender Shylock, demands 'a pound of flesh' as security for a loan made to his Christian rival, Antonio.

"Bell said he responded to the desk saying he did not understand the allusion, 'and received this even more mysterious reply: 'Jewish bloke; pound of flesh; anti-Semitic trope.'

"Bell’s drawing includes a note referencing a cartoon by David Levine from the 1960s, picturing then-US president Lyndon Johnston with a scar on his belly shaped like the map of Vietnam.

"In another tweet on Monday, Bell said: 'It is getting pretty nigh impossible to draw this subject for The Guardian now without being accused of deploying ‘anti-Semitic tropes.'

"The Guardian declined to comment."

The Daily Cartoonist has more.

Here's Daryl Cagle talking about Bell's cartoon and a video of a political cartoonist roundtable discussion:

"Our favorite cartoonist, Steve Bell, was fired from the Guardian newspaper in Britain for drawing an anti-Semitic cartoon. The three top editorial cartoonists in Israel tell us why it wasn't an anti-Semitic cartoon and why Steve should not have been fired - this special @caglecast 

"Uri Fink is a very popular comic book artist and writer along with being an editorial cartoonist. He's published 22 books of his popular Zbeng! comic strip and comic book and is the editor of the Zbeng magazine which has had over a two hundred issues. Uri is the president of the Association of Israeli Cartoonists and is an old convention buddy of mine. He went to Bezalel Art Academy in Jerusalem. 

"Michel Kichka is an editorial cartoonist for various Israeli TV channels, he draws graphic novels including an impressive one about his father who was a Holocaust survivor. Michel won the cow at St Just le Martel and a ton of other awards, and he's a professor at the Bezalel Art Academy in Jerusalem. 

"Moshik Gulst is an editorial cartoonist originally from Ashqelon, a city which has recently been devastated by rockets from Gaza. He currently lives in Tel Aviv area and is the head cartoonist for Israel's largest circulation newspaper Israel Hayom, as well as several other newspapers. He is the author of several national award winning comic books And works closely with international human rights organizations. He studied at the Bezalel Art Academy in Jerusalem."


Friday, October 27, 2023

Vintage Halloween Toys

Just got back from a great trip seeing family and I am catching up here. Let me share some great vintage Halloween images. These are NOT pictures of Halloween things I actually own. I pulled them off the web. But I think a couple of these I did have way back in the day. Good weekend and see you next week.

Monday, October 23, 2023

See You Soon

 I’m away this week visiting family. Back to the blog shortly. 

Friday, October 20, 2023

From the Dick Buchanan Files: Wordless, No-Caption Sight Gag Cartoons 1938 - 1970

There are those that think that wordless magazine panel gag cartoons are the purest. Hey! I am one of those! A single panel cartoon without a caption that just gets its joke across in a few seconds with no line below is wonderful.

Here's my friend Dick Buchanan with some classic examples. Thanks and take it away, Mr. Buchanan!



Venturing out of my Greenwich Village garret, I visited my collection and magazines now in deep storage. This foray into Cartoon Clip File has resulted in more vintage cartoons and more vintage gags by the cartoonists who toiled during the mid-century to keep its denizens amused. So, here is another bunch of cartoons with no pesky captions to get in the way . . . no chance of mis-spelling . . . and, best of all, no opportunity for editors to edit their work. Enjoy and laugh if you dare . . .

1. JOHN VINCENT. The Saturday Evening Post December 8, 1951.

2. EVERETT OPIE. True Magazine January, 1967.

3. CLAUDE SMITH. The Saturday Evening Post September 27, 1957.

4. CEM (Charles E. Martin) The Saturday Evening Post circa 1947.

5. SAM GROSS. Laugh Parade May, 1967.

6. FRANK OWEN. The Saturday Evening Post January 31, 1948.

7. TOM HENDERSON. The Saturday Evening Post September 27, 1952.

8. AL JOHNS. The Saturday Evening Post June 20, 1950.

9. SAM COBEAN. Collier’s February 16, 1946.

10. BEN THOMSPON. The Saturday Evening Post March 9, 1949.

11. ROLAND MICHAND. True Magazine June, 1961.

12. PHIL INTERLANDI. Look Magazine February 3, 1959.

13. TOMI UNGERER. For Laughing Out Loud October-December, 1958.

14. CLIFF ROBERTS. True Magazine Jnuay, 1959.

15. BERNARD KLIBAN. Evergreen Review August, 1970.

- Edited from an old blog entry of March 9, 2018.

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Robert McCloskey Exhibition

Brunswick, Maine: Took in this amazing Robert McCloskey exhibition of original art from his children's books. The gallery show is through October 29, 2023 at the Curtis Library. It’s free and the wealth of material is stunning. So many seminal drawings from my childhood. Here are some of the photos I took.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Peter Steiner's Original Cartoon Art for "On the Internet, Nobody Knows You're a Dog" Sold for $140,000

There are some gag cartoons that just resonate, have a life of their own and are eternal. Some that come to mind:

Bob Mankoff's "How about never? Is never good for you?"


Charles Addams' wordless skier cartoon,


 Chon Day's great wordless show salesman cartoon,

Peter Arno's classic,

Sam Gross' frog legs cartoon, 

and then there's Peter Steiner's cartoon from 1993. The most licensed, maybe best known cartoon in recent times:

The original art for this cartoon, one that appeared at the very beginning of the internet "thing" in the world, was sold at auction on October 6, 2023. 

Attempted Bloggery is where I first heard about it:

"Bidding opened at $20,000 with an estimate of $40,000 to $60,000. The day prior to yesterday's auction, no bids had been placed.

"When the hammer dropped yesterday, the bidding had reached $140,000 plus a $35,000 buyer's premium. That's a higher realized price by far than any work of original New Yorker art yet documented on this blog. My guess—and it's just a guess—is that the competing bidders were, for the most part, not the usual cartoon and illustration collectors, but tech millionaires competing to claim a cultural touchstone of the internet age."


Here's a video of Heritage Auctions' Robert Wilonsky talking with cartoonist Peter Steiner and Bob Mankoff: