Sunday, May 1, 2016

Peter Arno and Otto Soglow in the Operating Room

Was cartoonist Otto Soglow aware of a drawing that Peter Arno published in College Humor? Were the New Yorker's editors? Here are two cartoons published more than four years apart in the different magazines. Both cartoons have similar setups but different payoffs. Might Soglow perhaps have seen the Arno drawing? It's a medical mystery.

"Peter Arno's "Side-Show," College Humor, Vol. 6, No. 2, October 1937, page11


Otto Soglow, The New Yorker, January 24, 1942, page 14



Note:  If the Arno image from College Humor, Vol. 6, No. 2, dated October 1937 looks familiar, it's  because it appeared on this blog in my March 25 post. The magazine I photographed is part of the Steven Boss humor magazine collection at Columbia University located in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Comics librarian Karen Green is the person to contact regarding access to the collection. Why should I have all the fun?

Otto Soglow doesn't get nearly enough play on this blog. Whose fault is that?

Peter Arno: The Mad, Mad World of The New Yorker's Greatest Cartoonist by Michael Maslin is at the top of my reading list.

Peter Arno posts on Ink Spill. 

Peter Arno in Chris Wheeler's Cartoon(ist) Gallery. 

Peter Arno in the April 26 Record.

Peter Arno in April's Vanity Fair

Peter Arno in the March 29 Wall Street Journal. 

Peter Arno posts here on Attempted Bloggery. 

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Saturday, April 30, 2016

My Entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #519

Here is my entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #519 for August 25, 2016. The drawing is by Tom Toro.

"Is he still worth two in the bush?"



May 2, 2016 Update:  The Finalists




Note:  Last week, P. C. Vey took us back to the sandbox. My caption was beyond the pail. Let's join hands and play in Contest #518 during recess.

I have yet to win any of Tom Toro's Caption Contests. There's no need to pretend you're going to pass out from this news.

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Friday, April 29, 2016

Peter Arno: My Ride Left With My Girlfriend

A Peter Arno mystery turned up in 2014 at Capo in Long Island City. Offered at auction was original artwork of a woman seeking a ride. The artwork is less detailed than a typical New Yorker drawing. It is framed but no caption is evident and the publication history is unknown. The lot passed.


Capo Auction, August 23, 2014





Note:  Can you shed light on this Peter Arno original? Be sure to leave word. Got a caption idea? Leave it in the comments section. I get to put mine in the title.

Meanwhile, here are the usual Arno links:

Peter Arno: The Mad, Mad World of The New Yorker's Greatest Cartoonist by Michael Maslin is now on my nightstand and it should be on yours.

Peter Arno posts on Ink Spill. 

Peter Arno in Chris Wheeler's Cartoon(ist) Gallery. 

Peter Arno at NorthJersey.com. 

Peter Arno in April's Vanity Fair

Peter Arno in the March 29 Wall Street Journal article. 

Peter Arno posts here on Attempted Bloggery. 

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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Peter Arno: Without Reservation

"Morning, Chief!" is a cartoon by Peter Arno with a short caption and a long headdress. The play on words suggests, but certainly doesn't prove, the involvement of an uncredited gag writer. The original artwork for this 1965 cartoon was sold at Skinner, Inc. in 2013 for $840.

"Morning, Chief!"
Peter Arno, Original art, The New Yorker, October 2, 1965, page 49

Skinner, June 1, 2013, Lot 429

"Morning, Chief!"
Peter Arno, The New Yorker, October 2, 1965, page 49

"Morning, Chief!"
Peter Arno, The New Yorker, October 2, 1965, page 49


Note:  Collectors can show off their own examples of original New Yorker cartoon art on this very blog, even if it isn't by Peter Arno. Everybody wins!

Who was Peter Arno? Peter Arno: The Mad, Mad World of The New Yorker's Greatest Cartoonist by Michael Maslin is on sale now.

More Arno links:

Peter Arno posts on Ink Spill. 

Peter Arno in Chris Wheeler's Cartoon(ist) Gallery. 

Peter Arno at NorthJersey.com. 

Peter Arno in April's Vanity Fair

Peter Arno in the March 29 Wall Street Journal article. 

Peter Arno posts here on Attempted Bloggery. They're adding up!

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Peter Arno: With Reservation

Lo, the poor Indian! whose untutored mind
Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind;
His soul proud Science never taught to stray
Far as the solar walk or milky way;
Yet simple nature to his hope has giv'n,
Behind the cloud-topped hill, an humbler heav'n.
—Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man


In yesterday's post, two Peter Arno originals hung on a wall, but only one was discussed. Today it's time to look at the other one. The framed cartoon art hanging below the light switch was published in 1966, dating it to relatively late in the artist's career. It appeared in the New Yorker and depicts unhappy native Americans huddling before a small fire. The caption reads, "Lo, the poor us!"

This cartoon is unusual for Arno in that it uses word play derived from a literary source. One can speculate that it is the sort of joke that might have been created for him by a gag writer.


"Lo, the poor us!"
Peter Arno, The New Yorker, February 26, 1966, page 32



Note:  This blog boasts many fine examples of original New Yorker cartoon art, and maybe a few not so fine. Take your pick.

Wouldn't you know it? Peter Arno: The Mad, Mad World of The New Yorker's Greatest Cartoonist by Michael Maslin has hit the bookstalls. I've made it through the prologue.

More Arno links:

Peter Arno posts on Ink Spill. 

Peter Arno in Chris Wheeler's Cartoon(ist) Gallery. 

Peter Arno at NorthJersey.com. New article!

Peter Arno in April's Vanity Fair

Peter Arno in the March 29 Wall Street Journal article. 

Peter Arno posts here on Attempted Bloggery. 

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Peter Arno: Getting the After-Theatre Crowd

In New York, everyone likes to play to a crowd! Peter Arno understands this—after all, he does a bit of it himself—and he uses it to good effect in the cartoon "We were lucky to get the after-theatre crowd, weren't we?" The drawing depicts firefighters and well-dressed bystanders at a raging blaze somewhere in the area of Times square. The gag was originally published as a full page cartoon in the New Yorker of January 24, 1942. It was subsequently included in the 1944 collection Peter Arno's Man in the Shower. The original New Yorker artwork was sold on eBay in December of 2010 after several unsuccessful tries. This eBay listing has not been seen on the internet in over five years.

"We were fortunate in getting the after-theatre crowd, weren't we?"
Peter Arno, Original artwork
The New Yorker, January 24, 1942, page 22
Man in the Shower, 1944

Detail

Detail

Peter Arno's signature
Detail

Caption

Detail

"We were fortunate in getting the after-theatre crowd, weren't we?"
Peter Arno, Original artwork
The New Yorker, January 24, 1942, page 22
Man in the Shower, 1944

Two Arno originals!

"We were fortunate in getting the after-theatre crowd, weren't we?"
Peter Arno, The New Yorker, January 24, 1942, page 22




eBay Q & A
[End of eBay Listing]
"We were fortunate in getting the after-theatre crowd, weren't we?"
Peter Arno, The New Yorker, January 24, 1942, page 22
From Peter Arno's Man in the Shower, 1944

Note:  Do you know what this blog post needs? If you read the Q & A you do. It needs a photograph showing this original art when it was hanging in the 21 Club. This is a tall order, I know, but if you've got the goods, please don't be shy about it. Usually I ask for much easier stuff and almost no one responds anyway.

For example, something I'd consider far easier would be for you to send me an example or two of original New Yorker cartoon art. This blog has a nice virtual collection of it and I'm always looking for more. Collectors take note: you can remain anonymous if you wish. Politicians take note: sure you can have some free publicity.

Would you like to know a little more about Peter Arno? Well, this is your lucky day. Peter Arno: The Mad, Mad World of The New Yorker's Greatest Cartoonist by Michael Maslin was just published last week. If you're reading this blog, my guess is you should be reading this book.


While you're waiting for the book to arrive from Amazon, why not check out these helpful Arno links?

Peter Arno posts on Ink Spill. It's as if Arno's biographer had written them.

Peter Arno in Chris Wheeler's Cartoon(ist) Gallery. It's as if a great cartoon book collector were showing off his holdings.

Peter Arno in April's Vanity Fair. It's as if a leading national magazine that doesn't publish cartoons really cared about this cartoonist.

Peter Arno in the March 29 Wall Street Journal article. It's as if the financial district were a temple of high culture.

Peter Arno posts here on Attempted Bloggery. It's as if I had nothing better to do.

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Monday, April 25, 2016

Peter Arno: The New Yorker's Advice to Cajolers

In June of 1932 the New Yorker placed an advertisement, possibly in the trade press, entitled "Advice to Cajolers." It was the Great Depression, and the magazine needed to convince marketers to spend their scarce advertising dollars in the pages of the New Yorker. The magazine employed its most popular artist, Peter Arno, here clearly at the height of his powers. The copy must have been written by a leading humorist, as is evident from that clever first paragraph about studying women. Women, you see, know there is a right time and a wrong time to ask "Their Men for mink  coats" and we can all learn better marketing tactics from their example. Peter Arno, you'll note, has sagely depicted the right time to cajole.

Good moods, it is explained, make good buyers, and fortunately there is a weekly magazine that puts its readers in the proper frame of mind in which to spend money. The New Yorker then trots out its circulation statistics and a little bit of demographic data. "The New Yorker, if you have noticed, is almost never read in that gassy state known as Sunday morning." Gassy? Yes, gassy. Anyway, "The New Yorker creates a mood in which the pleasures of an active and well-rounded life exercise a relaxing influence on the drawstring of the purse." So that's how it works!

Peter Arno, "Advice to Cajolers"

Note:  I have no idea where "Advice to Cajolers" was published—eBay paper merchants often don't reveal the source of their finds—but I'm pretty certain it was not in the New Yorker. To anyone who does know the original site of publication, please get in touch. For those sleuths who like to delve into the musty pages of old periodicals, all my unsolved publishing mysteries are right here. I'm never satisfied until I know the publication, date, and page number. You too, right?

I may not know how to market this blog to an ambivalent world, but I do post many fascinating examples here of professional advertising often illuminated by the best illustrators anywhere. Students of marketing please take note, and if you like what you see, feel free to promote this blog on the social media platform of your choice.

I know what you're thinking:  If only there were a comprehensive biography of the great Peter Arno! Well, as David Letterman might say, hang on to your wigs and keys, because there is. Peter Arno: The Mad, Mad World of The New Yorker's Greatest Cartoonist by Michael Maslin has now made its way out into the world. I bought three copies, but you probably can make do with just one.


For further reading in that gassy state known as Sunday morning or, if you prefer, one of the less bloated times of the week, please note the following Arno links.

Peter Arno posts on Ink Spill. See what Peter Arno's biographer has to say about him.

Peter Arno in Chris Wheeler's Cartoon(ist) Gallery. See what a great collector of cartoon books is able to put together.

Peter Arno in April's Vanity Fair. See what a leading national magazine has to say about one of our greatest cartoonists.

Peter Arno in the March 29 Wall Street Journal article. See what the smart money is saying about Arno.

Peter Arno posts here on Attempted Bloggery. See whatever it is I do here. How's that for smooth marketing?

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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Polo Shtick: Peter Arno New Yorker Cover Art

The original artwork for Peter Arno's New Yorker cover of August 11, 1928 depicts a startling encounter on the polo grounds. It is disappointing that the colors have faded. The art was sold on eBay in 2007. Bidding started very low at $9.99, but that's certainly not where it ended.

Peter Arno, Original artwork, The New Yorker, August 11, 1928

Peter Arno, The New Yorker, August 11, 1928






Peter Arno, Original artwork, The New Yorker, August 11, 1928
Peter Arno, The New Yorker, August 11, 1928


Note:  This is by far the oldest eBay auction I can find in my personal archives. I would love to hear from anyone with similar auction material related to the work of New Yorker cartoonists. 

This blog, as it happens, has many more outstanding examples of original New Yorker cover art. In the words of Sondheim's Miles Gloriosus, "Even I am impressed."

Stop me if you've heard this one, but Peter Arno: The Mad, Mad World of The New Yorker's Greatest Cartoonist by Michael Maslin is now the number one book on my must-read list, and it should be on yours too.


For additional background, check out the following Arno links.

Peter Arno posts on Ink Spill.

Peter Arno in Chris Wheeler's Cartoon(ist) Gallery.

Peter Arno in April's Vanity Fair.

Peter Arno in a recent Wall Street Journal article.

Peter Arno posts here on Attempted Bloggery.

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Saturday, April 23, 2016

My Entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #518

Here is my entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #518 for April 18, 2016. The drawing is by P. C. Vey.

"Would you prefer a rocking horse with no name?"


August 25, 2016 Update:  The Finalists




Note:  Last week Harry Bliss put the Grim Reaper on trial. My caption was thrown out of court. Read the verdict on Contest # 517.

Then crawl through the blog posts about P. C. Vey.

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Earth Day: Peter Arno's Fresh Produce

For Earth Day, here's something fresh from cartoonist Peter Arno that's all-natural and 100% organic.

"Young man! You put that celery in a bag, where it belongs!"
Peter Arno, Original art

Skinner, March 7, 2008



Note:  The blog archives have many posts about Earth Day that are less of a stretch than this one.

Posts about Passover may also be found here.

This blog may not have more examples of original cartoon art than every other blog, but it has more examples than most. Check them out.

By now you know that Peter Arno: The Mad, Mad World of The New Yorker's Greatest Cartoonist by Michael Maslin is available wherever you buy books. My copy is in a bag, where it belongs.


More Arno links. Stop me if you've seen these already.

Peter Arno posts on Ink Spill.

Peter Arno in Chris Wheeler's Cartoon(ist) Gallery.

Peter Arno in April's Vanity Fair.

Peter Arno in a recent Wall Street Journal article.

Peter Arno posts here on Attempted Bloggery.

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