Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Ronald Searle Signed Photo

I have no idea how many cartoonists sign glossy photos of themselves just as any celebrity would, although I suspect not all that many. Ronald Searle certainly was a celebrity by any definition, but even for him it must have been a little unusual to sign this modern print of a vintage photo some 55 years after the fact. It's hard to determine its individual worth, as it was sold with a small, uncommon volume in German as well. The book illustrations provided by Searle seem to be reused from other sources. Still, the entire package seems like a reasonable deal to me.

Ronald Searle Signed Photograph

The back of the photo paper. Clearly, this is not a vintage photograph.

Ronald Searle Signature, January 2011

Oscar Wilde,  Elisabeth Schnack, translator, and Ronald Searle, illustrator. Kleiner Seitensprung (Zurich, 1954) Cover

Oscar Wilde,  Elisabeth Schnack, translator, and Ronald Searle, illustrator. Kleiner Seitensprung (Zurich, 1954)

Oscar Wilde,  Elisabeth Schnack, translator, and Ronald Searle, illustrator. Kleiner Seitensprung (Zurich, 1954)

Ronald Searle, "I'll just die and then you'll be sorry." [1947 or earlier], Oscar Wilde,  Elisabeth Schnack, translator, and Ronald Searle, illustrator. Kleiner Seitensprung (Zurich, 1954)


Note:  Searle's work is still important to illustrators, but today much effort to promote his legacy is coming from the animation community. Storyboard artist Matt Jones, who curates Perpetua, the Ronald Searle tribute blog, has organized an exhibition of Searle's American reportage work. "Searle in America" will take place in San Francisco in the fall. Some 75 members of the animation community have contributed original works inspired by the master in order to raise money to ship artwork to the West Coast and produce a catalogue. The sale is currently under way on eBay.

The eBay sale of works inspired by Ronald Searle to support "Searle in America" can be found here.

Perpetua, the Ronald Searle tribute blog, is right here.

The Searle posts on my own blog are here.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

My Entry in The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #389

Here is my entry in The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #389 for July 29, 2013. The cartoon is by Paul Noth. The caption, I'm afraid, is all mine.

"Rare enough for you?"

I came up with just a few barely reasonable captions this week, but I didn't think I hit it out of the park with any of them. This made my choice very difficult. Finally, I decided to rewrite one of my working captions into what became my slightly underdone entry.
"So you've given up beef. That's a very good start!"
"Feeling guilty yet?"
"You did ask for rare."
"I'm so relieved you don't have a mouth."

My family thought that last caption was the one to go with, and maybe they were right. Nevertheless, I decided against it because I thought it unwise to submit a line that made such a direct reference to a convention of the cartoon medium. I didn't want a caption that tacitly acknowledge it was part of a cartoon. It's like breaking down the fourth wall, so to speak. Nevertheless, it just might be the funniest one here.

August 5, 2013 Update: The Finalists

August 26, 2013 Update:  Winning Caption

Note:  My previous entry in the Cartoon Caption Contest awaits you here. Not only did I fail to choose a winning caption, I didn't even find the correct speaker. Well, perhaps I did, but the editors didn't think so.

To see more on this blog about Paul Noth, you can start by looking here. It's a prior Caption Contest where my entry, if it had won, is not the sort of thing I could ever have lived down. Thank goodness no one saw it! Then be sure to check out what Paul Noth drew in my copy of The Best of the Rejection Collection here. You'd best have some coffee at the ready.


Monday, July 29, 2013

Economy Shipping

Apparently some 16 mm prints of Walt Disney's short "The Mail Pilot" (1933) carry the title "The Dizzy Pilot." It's not close to a good alternate title, and it ignores the direct references to "The Mail Pilot" in the cartoon short's lyrics. So be it.

The eBay seller, supposedly endeavoring to learn more about it, has listed it with a shipping cost of $90,014.67. Why? Ostensibly "just to get your attention, to see if others have some input or information and to encourage a reasonable offer." How does an unreasonable shipping charge encourage a reasonable offer? We aren't told.

Apparently no reasonable offers came in, so the Buy It Now price was lowered from $500 to $100. But the economy shipping rate remains $90,014.67. OK, eBay seller gepetto3, you have my attention. This print is not unique. WorthPoint, which archives some old eBay sales for price research by its subscribers, has recorded several 8 mm and 16 mm print sales of this odd title.

eBay Listing Ending August 19, 2013

eBay Item Description

Imaged added March 17, 2014

Walt Disney's
"The Mail Pilot" (1933)

September 3, 2013 Update:  The eBay seller has reduced the shipping cost to $6 and the item price to $49.80.
eBay Listing Ending September 7, 2013

Note:  Check out a few more Disney posts here.


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Jack Ziegler Doesn't Draw Henry

Cartoonist Jack Ziegler doesn't draw "Henry." Hey, don't take my word for it:

Jack Ziegler, "I Don't Draw 'Henry.'"

So who does draw "Henry?" How about Don Trachte?
Don Trachte, Henry, Inscribed "All the Best from Henry + Don Trachte"
But then what is Henry painting?

Jack Ziegler, "I Don't Draw 'Henry.'"


Friday, July 26, 2013

We Saw a Nook

Heritage Auctions, in a 2002 sale, described this Dr. Seuss character as "reminiscent of the Cat in the Hat." That's not all that helpful, is it? Actually, this drawing is of the Nook from One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish (1960). The good doctor has made extensive use of blue pencil before completing the drawing in black ink. The question is, why?

This post is prompted by an inquiry from a reader who knows personally of two other examples like this one rendered with black ink over fairly copious blue pencil.  The reader's conjecture is that these might have been done for a commercial or animated project. Presumably the blue pencil lines would not show up when the image was reproduced. So why did Dr. Seuss use these uncharacteristic blue pencils and for what purpose was the artwork initially created? I cannot provide an answer, but I'm hoping that someone else reading this can.

Dr. Seuss, Nook

Dr. Seuss, Nook

 Dr. Seuss, Nook from One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish (1960)

Dr. Seuss, Nook

The reader who made this inquiry has another piece similar in technique to this one of the character Sam-I-Am from Green Eggs and Ham. It came with this information from the art dealer:
The provenance is excellent, it came from the US printer of Dr. Seuss books, this picture was drawn for an advertisement for Green Eggs and Ham. There is only a minor note in the artists hand (printing instructions) to the margins in blue pencil.

July 27, 2013 Update:  One thing I was wondering was, if this and similar artwork was used to promote these books, and the drawings are close to images from the books, why not just use the actual artwork from the books for the advertising? We may not be able to find the answer to this. Possibly someone will have the advertising piece this appeared on--that would be a coup! Perhaps Geisel was simply trying to reproduce the image without the boy and the girl.

If one were trying to create similar art in a different size, I would think an overhead projector and non-photo blue pencils would be extremely helpful. For a tool Geisel used only rarely, he seems quite proficient at it.

Note:  If you know what this was created for please leave a note in the comments section.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Frank Modell: Roughing It with Cleopatra

Certain Books of Westhampton is currently offering this preliminary sketch for a 1961 New Yorker cartoon by Frank Modell. The subject is Cleopatra, looking rather unreasonable, and the price is $150, which seems very reasonable to me.

Frank Modell, "What a day!  Now she wants an asp!" 
Inscribed "For Jean"
Preliminary Artwork for The New Yorker, March 4, 1961, Page 103
The published version:
Frank Modell, "What a day!  Now she wants an asp!" 
The New Yorker, March 4, 1961, Page 103

Frank Modell, "What a day!  Now she wants an asp!" 
The New Yorker, March 4, 1961, Page 103

Frank Modell, "What a day!  Now she wants an asp!"
 The New Yorker, March 4, 1961, Page 103

Frank Modell, "What a day!  Now she wants an asp!"
 Inscribed "For Jean"
Preliminary Artwork for The New Yorker, March 4, 1961, Page 103

Frank Modell, "What a day!  Now she wants an asp!" 
The New Yorker, March 4, 1961, Page 103

Note:  You can see more rough drawings by New Yorker artists on this blog here.

Cartoonist James Stevenson has just written a book about Frank Modell. Read all about it on Ink Spill here.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Weight of Anatol Kovarsky's World

Anatol Kovarsky's work is so classically-inspired it seems to belong on ancient Greek pottery. One of his mythological drawings was listed on eBay for a while before suddenly vanishing into that vague category of items "no longer available."

The drawing shows Atlas's dilemma as he is enticed by a woman but unable to relinquish his load. It has areas of white-out that suggest it may have been cleaned up for possible publication, yet it did not go to press. Rather, a very similar drawing to this was published  in the October 25, 1958 issue of The New Yorker. The published version has cleaner lines, but I like the energy of the loose linework in this one, particularly in the face of Atlas. Apparently, this intriguing eBay drawing is a New Yorker rough, but a rather finished one.

Anatol Kovarsky, Preliminary Artwork for The New Yorker, 
October 25, 1958, Page 47
Anatol Kovarsky, Preliminary Artwork for The New Yorker, 
October 25, 1958, Page 47
Anatol Kovarsky, Detail of Atlas. Preliminary Artwork for The New Yorker,
October 25, 1958, Page 47
Anatol Kovarsky Signature

Anatol Kovarsky, The New Yorker, 
October 25, 1958, Page 47

Anatol Kovarsky, The New Yorker, October 25, 1958, Page 47
Anatol Kovarsky, Preliminary Artwork for The New Yorker, 
October 25, 1958, Page 47

Note:  Don't miss "Anatol Kovarsky at 94: Still Drawing After All These Years," Michael Maslin's report on a recent visit to the home of Mr. Kovarsky here.