Friday, May 31, 2013

Charles Addams: Sidewalk Hearse

I have already stated here that I have complete confidence in the Tee and Charles Addams Foundation's forthcoming Charles Addams Catalogue Raisonné project. One very plain reason for this is the outstanding job done by H. Kevin Miserocchi, the Foundation's Executive Director, in cataloguing this drawing by Charles Addams sold at Skinner earlier this year.

The publication history is evidently complete although it is also somewhat unusual. One might reasonably expect a drawing bearing a New Yorker Editorial Department stamp and other notations to be published in that magazine, but this cartoon was first published in McClure's and never appeared in The New Yorker. It would not have occurred to me that the boy in this drawing is not the Addams Family's familiar Pugsley but rather some earlier prototype. Finally, I could not have come up with a better descriptive catalogue title for this drawing than Sidewalk Hearse. I know because I tried.

On February 1, this wordless drawing was sold at Skinner with a presale estimate of $3,000 to $5,000. Internet bidding started at $1,500 and hit the $4,000 mark before the live auction began. There the bids rose in $500 increments to $7,000, the selling price. The drawing had been a gift from the artist to Lou and Deems Taylor. Deems Taylor was a well-known music critic.

The listing:

Charles Addams's Signature

Charles Addams
Inscribed "For Lou & Deems Taylor from Chas Addams"
[End of Auction Listing]

Deems Taylor in Walt Disney's "Fantasia" (1940)

October 26, 2014 Update:  Well, well, well. On the basis of this detailed auction listing, I had thought this cartoon was purchased by the New Yorker and subsequently killed--that is to say, not published. I have now found it in the New Yorker issue of June 25, 1949 and it was therefore not published by the McClure Syndicate on that date.

Charles Addams
The New Yorker,  June 25, 1949, page 31

Charles Addams
The New Yorker,  June 25, 1949, page 31

My Blogger label NYerKilled was before today attached to this post. I use it on this blog only to designate those works purchased by The New Yorker, apparently prepared for publication, and then not run in the magazine. This marked the third instance that I've used it in more than 750 blog posts, but now I'm retracting the label. It's always interesting to speculate what prompted The New Yorker's editors to make an about-face, but in this case I'm delighted to learn that it was not the case.

Note:  My blog post on the forthcoming Charles Addams Catalogue Raisonné can be read here.

If you'd like to read about those rare cartoons that were purchased by the New Yorker magazine and not run, check out my label NYerKilled.  I thought I had found three examples but now I have only two. Of course, I'd love to learn about others....


Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Fortune Cookie for the Class of 2013

I would ask this year's graduating class to please take note of the following timely fortune cookie:

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."

Also, the Class of 2013 should feel free to be further inspired by these YouTube videos.
Elgar - Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1
("Land of Hope and Glory")
(Last Night of the Proms 2012)

Fountains of Wayne
"Prom Theme"

July 21, 2013 Update:  The fortune cookie quotation apparently has been around for a while, but I hadn't seen it before. I learned that it is often attributed to Gandhi, but this is what Brian Morton had to say in the New York Times of August 29, 2011:
Starting from the fourth paragraph:

So I apologize to the Class of 2013 for dispensing hackneyed advice from a bumper sticker. In my defense, I thought it came from a fortune cookie.


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Bob Staake's Bluebird

This original colored pencil drawing by Bob Staake will be sold by the ABFFE this evening at auction.

Bob Staake,  Bluebird
 Original sketch, colored pencil, 8.5" x 11",
Schwartz & Wade/Random House, April 2013


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Patrick McDonnell's Dancing Frankenstein

This lively, original artwork by Patrick McDonnell of a dancing Frankenstein monster will be sold at auction Wednesday evening. The auction will take place at BookExpo America in New York.

Patrick McDonnell, Original Artwork

Monday, May 27, 2013

William Low: St. John's Sunset

On Wednesday evening, this artist's proof by William Low will be on the auction block at BookExpo America. It depicts the unfinished Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Manhattan with the sun setting beyond the Hudson River. The image was used in the Author's Note section of Me and Momma and Big John (2012) by Mara Rockliff.

A number of prints are being offered in the sale, and I've been wondering why. Perhaps some of the children's book artwork was created digitally and in these cases only prints or preliminary artwork can be offered for sale.
William Low, St. John's Sunset
Background image for the Author's Note section of Me and Momma and Big John (2012) by Mara Rockliff.
16" x 20" print (signed artist's proof). 


Paul Schmid's Alligator Eyes

This original artwork by Paul Schmid will be sold Wednesday at BookExpo America's auction.

Paul Schmid, Watercolor and colored pencil; 3.75" x 11.75" 


Jim McMullan Art from I'm Mighty!

Original book illustration art by Jim McMullan from I'm Mighty! (2003) by Kate and Jim McMullan will be sold on Wednesday at BookExpo America.
Jim McMullan, Original Artwork from I'm Mighty! (2003)

Image modified July 21, 2013
Image added July 21, 2013
Jim McMullan, Original Artwork from I'm Mighty! (2003)


Art by Cherie Zamazing

On May 29, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., outstanding examples of illustration art for children's books will be auctioned at BookExpo America in the Javits Center.

Cherie Zamazing
Image Added May 30, 2013

Note:  The auction will include Maurice Sendak's drawing of Little Bear. See it here.


My Entry in The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #382

This is my entry in The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #382 for May 27, 2013. The drawing is by Gahan Wilson.

 "At your age, it's good to get anything up."

June 3, 2013 Update:  The Finalists

June 24, 2013 Update:  The Winner

Note:  Read my previous entry in the Cartoon Caption Contest here.


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Jack Davis: Moms and Dads

Just listed on eBay is this original illustration artwork by Jack Davis entitled Moms and Dads. It was published in Mad Magazine. Bid successfully and this piece can be yours by Father's Day!

Jack Davis, Moms and Dads
Original Artwork for Mad Magazine

Jack Davis, Moms and Dads
Original Framed Artwork for Mad Magazine

Jack Davis, Moms and Dads, eBay Listing
Reserve not met
Image added June 5, 2013
Jack Davis, Moms and Dads, eBay Item Description

Jack Davis, Moms and Dads
Original Artwork for Mad Magazine

Note:  Does anyone know in which issue of Mad this was published? You know I want to know.


Alenka Sottler's Pussypaws

ABFFE's auction of an original illustration by Alenka Sottler concluded yesterday. This illustration with detailed crosshatching is from "Pussypaws," a story in Svetlana's Fairytales (2008) by Svetlana Makarovič.
Note:  Ms. Sottler's enchanting website is here.