Friday, August 14, 2020

Phil's Copy of Big George by Virgil Partch

It's a little hard to make out from the suboptimal eBay photos, but Virgil Partch, also known by his signature VIP, dedicated a copy of Big George, his 1962 collection of newspaper panel cartoons, to one Phil. He also drew for Phil a cartoon complete with caption. The drawing spans two adjacent endpapers, and shows just how lost at sea men may sometimes find themselves. Partch is one of those many cartoonists who seems to have been adept at working quickly and quite generous when personalizing books.
                           "Sam, which one would you choose?"                                                                                         
                              "To Phil
 "Sam, which one would you choose?"     

Virgil Partch
eBay Listing Accessed August 13, 2020

Virgil Partch
eBay Item Description

Note:  At the time of this posting, the VIP book remains available on eBay.

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Thursday, August 13, 2020

Mayor John Lindsay's Copy of One Man's Fancy by Charles Saxon

One might think that well-known people—politicians, artists, writers, actors, athletes, celebrities—would recognize that their personal libraries have some market value. A book demonstrably associated with a well-known personality should be expected to fetch a higher price than an ordinary copy of the same book. Books demonstrably from celebrity libraries should carry a premium even without a particular association linking the individual to the book. Such well-known individuals could write or sign their names in their books or use a book plate, ink stamp, or blind stamp. Their heirs might thank them.

The alternative scenario is rather frustrating. To wit, a copy of Charles Saxon's cartoon collection One Man's Fancy (1977) is inscribed "To John" and "Love Bink" in the year of publication with words recalling a pleasant weekend on Eastern Long Island. But who are John and Bink? This leaves the eBay bookseller to have to explain that Bink is poet Bink Noll and that "the recipient was John V. Lindsay, according to a pencil notation in the front of the book." This all speaks to an interesting weekend in the Hamptons, but it doesn't provide much in the way of documentation beyond "To John" and the anonymous notation. That is very likely why this copy, reportedly from the library of New York City's former mayor, sold on eBay in 2016 for the lackluster price of $9.95 with just one bid. The story is plausible but the evidence is just not there in the book. One imagines that the same book with a verifiable provenance should be worth considerably more.

Inscribed          "December 4, 1977
To John, on the occasion of adding
to this one man's fancy a gorgeous
        weekend of long seaside walks, bicycle
                   expeditions, great company, feasting and wine
in the lovely new home at the end
of Long Island.                           

Charles Saxon
eBay Listing Ended January 15, 2016

Charles Saxon
eBay Item Description

Charles Saxon
eBay Bid History
No competition

Note:  Fun fact: On the TV show "Batman" (1966), Gotham City's elected leader was called Mayor Linseed.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

The Cartoon Collections Caption Contest #87

Having recently run a few nearly indecipherable caption contests, Cartoon Collections relented somewhat on this one and explained for all to see that contest #87 features "aliens dining out." To be even more specific, the image file for the contest is labeled Alien Fois Gras. Perhaps that's too specific. Anyway, my caption entries are below. The drawing is by Ivan Ehlers.
"Tonight's special is Tang."
"I'm sorry, but I'm told your dinner just reached escape velocity."
"Any slime allergies?"

"Tonight we're featuring delicacies from Earth, anything but escargot."

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Ivan Ehlers



Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Sight Unseen: Virginia's Copy of The Art in Cartooning

Should one pay good money for a rare book, sight unseen? Well, it depends. If the book is a signed copy of The Art in Cartooning (1975) with six original drawings by the likes of Marvin Tannenberg, Gahan Wilson, George Booth, Bill Woodman, Sam Gross, and Paul Peter Porges, and if the price is not too unreasonable, I might take a chance on it. And indeed I did...

First off, here's the listing:
The Closed Mind
Charles Saxon

The Art in Cartooning:  Seventy-five Years of American Magazine Cartoons
The Cartoonists Guild, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1975

The Art in Cartooning
AbeBooks Listing Accessed July 9, 2020

Now let's see whether my gamble paid off. Four of the cartoonists drew animals, as Sam Gross has his frog point out, while two others drew self-portraits. Two of the animals are roasted pigs; Bill Woodman's may be echoing the drawing of Gahan Wilson, or perhaps vice versa. George Booth gives us his classic English Bull Terrier. Here's how they all look together on the endpapers:
Drawings by Marvin Tannenberg, Gahan Wilson, George Booth, Bill Woodman, and Sam Gross

Paul Peter Porges has the title page to himself:
Drawing by Paul Peter Porges inscribed "Hi, Virgin[i?]a"

Of note, in the AbeBooks sales listing, David Hallinan, Bookseller, of Columbus, MO, is a bit mystified by Sam Gross's drawing of "a frog atop some wheeled vehicle," but we know what this is, don't we? It's a reference, of course, to his most celebrated cartoon ever, the notorious frogs' legs cartoon published in 1970 in National Lampoon and reproduced on page 179 of The Art in Cartooning.

Note:  This is now the third copy of The Art in Cartooning both signed and sketched upon by cartoonists to appear on this blog. (The other two copies of the book also had sketches by Dana Fradon, editor Mort Gerberg, and Jack Ziegler,
but not by Porges.) I would still like to hear from anyone with information about the March 1976 book signing at which it's possible this copy was signed as well. I'd also love to provide a showcase here for other uniquely signed and inscribed copies of this book, one of several landmark cartoon books published in 1975.

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Sight Unseen

The Art in Cartooning

George Booth

Ed Fisher (editor)

(Dana Fradon)

Mort Gerberg (editor)

Sam Gross

Charles Saxon

Marvin Tannenberg

Gahan Wilson

Bill Woodman 

(Jack Ziegler)

Signed Books with Original Drawings

Attempted Bloggery's Index with Legs


Monday, August 10, 2020

My Entry in The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #719—Almost

It's open house for my non-entry in The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #719 dated August 10, 2020. I did not get around to entering what I wrote. The drawing is by Jeremy Nguyen.

"The seller lost too many socks."

These captions just weren't clean enough:
"It's just pop architecture. The laundromat is around the corner."
"You'll need a lot of coins."
"They're both washers. On the roof there's a clothesline."
"I can have you in it for pocket change."
"As you can see, it has every convenience."
"You don't need to bring your dirty clothes inside."
"Would you like to take it for a spin?"

Note:  Last week in the Caption Contest, cartoonist Michael Maslin showed us a horse of a different color—at least regarding its shoes. My caption wasn't even as good as that last sentence. Put on some snazzy footwear—matching, of course—and check out Contest #718.

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Sunday, August 9, 2020

Walt Kelly's Pogo: J. Edgar Hoover, Bulldog

FBI director J. Edgar Hoover was investigating Pogo cartoonist Walt Kelly around the time Kelly depicted him as a bulldog in this Sunday strip from 1969. The unnamed bulldog is from the FYI and he's looking into stolen dog furs. 

Walt Kelly
Pogo, original Sunday comic strip art
September 21, 1969

Walt Kelly

eBay Listing Ended September 19, 2013

Walt Kelly

eBay Item Description

[End of eBay Listing]

Newspapers could reconfigure the panels from three to four rows in order to have the strip occupy a full page rather than a half page.
Walt Kelly
September 21, 1969

Published final panel

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