Friday, January 31, 2014

The Quotable George Price

Let's start with a somewhat poetic work of original cartoon art from the New Yorker:


George Price, "Farewell, brave lover!  Come back either with your shield or upon it."
Original artwork for the New Yorker, October 17, 1970, page 36.

The World of George Price:  A 55-Year Retrospective. New York:  Beaufort, 1988.

The reference is to the Greek historian Plutarch.
http://www.translatum.gr/forum/index.php?topic=925.0
According to Plutarch's Moralia, Spartan women would exhort their sons going off to war to come back either with their shields or on them, that is either victorious or dead. George Price's cartoon has a somewhat befuddled husband going off to work while his wife delivers the same exhortation as the Spartan women. Tone is important here; she seems to mean it encouragingly and she is fully cognizant that the rhetoric is overdone, particularly with reference to her underachieving husband.

Skinner's listing describes the woman as "frumpy" and the man as "Walter Mitty-ish." This seems to be beside the point. The confidence and the sense of play reside in the woman, however plain her dress. James Thurber's Walter Mitty was an inveterate daydreamer; this guy is just in over his head, both at work and at home. I don't see the telltale signs of a rich fantasy life.

Skinner follows its practice of noting the "light blue washes" while failing to identify the product in question as Ben-Day. The writing on the back of the artwork even identifies the blue medium as Ben-Day underneath the tape, right below the printer's instructions about which tones to use. It's right there for anyone to see.



Printer's instructions for rendering Ben-Day in "B" and "C" tones

http://www.skinnerinc.com/auctions/2658B/lots/427
George Price, "Farewell, brave lover! Come back either with your shield or upon it."
The New Yorker, October 17, 1970, page 36


George Price, "Farewell, brave lover! Come back either
with your shield or upon it."
The New Yorker, October 17, 1970, page 36

This is certainly not the sole example of a famous quotation appearing in a George Price cartoon. Here are two more examples from the same era:

George Price, "The tumult and the shouting dies;
The captains and the kings depart."
The New Yorker, June 27, 1970, page 32

George Price, "The tumult and the shouting dies;
The captains and the kings depart."
The New Yorker, June 27, 1970, page 32

The cleaning lady is somewhat incongruously quoting Rudyard Kipling's "Recessional."
http://quotes.dictionary.com/the_tumult_and_the_shouting_dies_the_captains

Here then is just one more:
George Price, "I heard a bit of good news today.
We shall pass this way but once."
The New Yorker, April 14, 1973, page 35

George Price, "I heard a bit of good news today.
We shall pass this way but once."
The New Yorker, April 14, 1973, page 35

The source of this is one is well known to me. It was a favorite quotation of my fifth grade teacher, Mr. A. Nick Treglia in the Alice P. Willits Elementary School. These words or a close variant were posted in the classroom from day one, an imposing frieze of gothic letters encircling the classroom. Mr. Treglia had absolute confidence that Stephen Grellet's sobering and inspiring Quaker message would resonate with his ten-year-olds.

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/131923-i-shall-pass-through-this-world-but-once-any-good

George Price's cartoon, with its hopelessness and squalor, brilliantly subverts the meaning of the very line it quotes. It just doesn't get better than this.

Who was responsible for these clever cartoon quotations? One would like to think it was Price himself, of course, but could he have come up with all of these? These literary references might easily have come from a gagman, someone like Richard McCallister perhaps who was known to work closely with Price.


Note:  There are more posts on the blog about George Price, though not so quotable as this one. Read them all here.

I don't know what made me think of this, but here are Attempted Bloggery's past football posts.

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

George Price: The Family That Gets Its Kicks Together

This original cartoon artwork by George Price features an eccentric family of motorcycle enthusiasts. Last year it was offered twice at Skinner, originally on June 1st and subsequently on November 17th, where it sold for a meager $180. This is one of those busy yet assured compositions that was Price's specialty. It was published in the pages of the New Yorker in 1967.

George Price, "We figure the family that gets it's [sic] kicks together sticks together."
Original artwork for the New Yorker, November 25, 1967, p. 65.
The World of George Price:  A 55-Year Retrospective. New York:  Beaufort, 1988.
http://www.skinnerinc.com/auctions/2687B/lots/403
George Price, "We figure the family that gets its kicks together sticks together."
The New Yorker, November 25, 1967, p. 65

George Price, "We figure the family that gets its kicks together sticks together."
The New Yorker, November 25, 1967, p. 65


Note:  This series of posts about George Price is winding down now, but I've gained a renewed appreciation of his art. Read it all here.

With all the talk about the Super Bowl coming up this Sunday, I'm sure you've been wondering if there could possibly be any more hype about the big game. Well, what would you say to a collection of Attempted Bloggery's past football posts?

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

George Price's Peccadillo

Skinner offered this original cartoon at two of its auctions last year, on June 1 and November 17, but failed to sell it despite a low presale estimate. It is a domestic scene by the incomparable George Price, with the drab kitchen setting enlivened by a flamboyant personal wardrobe. The auction house correctly lists this as a New Yorker cartoon; I'm happy to identify the issue, if not the peccadillo.

George Price, "Will you be right home after the peccadillo?"
Original artwork for the New Yorker, March 17, 1973, p. 32.
The World of George Price:  A 55-Year Retrospective. New York:  Beaufort, 1988.
http://www.skinnerinc.com/auctions/2687B/lots/404
George Price, "Will you be right home after the peccadillo?"
The New Yorker, March 17, 1973, p. 32

George Price, "Will you be right home after the peccadillo?"
The New Yorker, March 17, 1973, p. 32

June 22, 2014 Update:  Sold!
http://www.skinnerinc.com/auctions/2730B/lots/374



Note:  A number of posts about George Price have been popping up all over the place, namely here.

Maybe you've heard this already, but the Super Bowl is coming up this Sunday, so be sure to make the most of your time. There are only a few days left to review my football posts here. I'm so glad I could help.

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

My Entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #413

Here is my latest entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #413 for January 27, 2014. The cartoon is by Liam Francis Walsh. The caption is by me.

"It's okay. He just wants my drug plan card."


February 3, 2014 Update:  The Finalists


February 24, 2014 Update: Winning Caption




Note:  Last week's New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest stranded a clown and a dominatrix on a desert island. Sure, I can write a caption for that. See it here.

The last time Liam Francis Walsh was featured in the Cartoon Caption Contest, I submitted a caption that was a single line in iambic pentameter. I'll bet you can guess how that went over. Read it here.

Liam Francis Walsh's website is here.

His New Yorker cartoons are in the Cartoon Bank here.

Follow the news about Liam Walsh on Ink Spill here.

I don't see how you can plan for the Super Bowl without reviewing this blog's football posts here. Oh, and be sure to buy some chips.

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Monday, January 27, 2014

George Price: Not Transmitting

The 1960's were a golden age for cartoons about alien life forms. The Apollo project was underway and America was going to the moon. Before we became familiar with the desolate lunar surface, it was easy to imagine life forms not that different from us everywhere.

George Price's humor is generally very earthbound, but even he was willing to take his cartooning to other heavenly bodies on rare occasions. Skinner sold one such example at its Fine Books and Manuscripts sale in November after it had failed to sell in June. Despite the stamps and printer's marks, they failed to notice that the drawing was published in the New Yorker, although they did note the correct year of publication. They also noted "light blue washes," which is the Ben-Day that Price used ubiquitously to impart tone to his printed images.

George Price, "I haven't the heart to tell them it has stopped transmitting."
Original artwork for the New Yorker, February 25, 1967, p. 33

Skinner Fine Books and Manuscripts Sale
Auction 2687B, Lot 402
November 17, 2013



George Price, "I haven't the heart to tell them it has stopped transmitting."
The New Yorker, February 25, 1967, p. 33

George Price, "I haven't the heart to tell them it has stopped transmitting."
The New Yorker, February 25, 1967, p. 33


Note:  More posts about George Price may be seen here.

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Sunday, January 26, 2014

George Price: The Best Revenge

Two drawings by George Price from the Mark Birley collection were sold at Sotheby's London last year. Neither is captioned, but they both make use of the written word.

The first depicts a man in his home surrounded by a clutter of tacky objects. He wears a T-shirt reading "Living Well is the Best Revenge." This is everything one could want in a Price drawing. It plays to all of his strengths. It was originally published in the New Yorker in 1982, but this was not known to Sotheby's.

The second bears a sign that reads "Carry Your Dog." Set on an escalator, it demonstrates the artist's extraordinary skill in drafting and perspective. It too had originally been published in the New Yorker but again Sotheby's missed this. Price's characteristic shading with Ben-Day would seem to have faded over the years. Both drawings also were collected in The World of George Price:  A 55-Year Retrospective (1988).

George Price, Living Well is the Best Revenge
Original artwork for the New Yorker, June 14, 1982, p. 43

The World of George Price:  A 55-Year Retrospective. New York:  Beaufort, 1988

George Price, Carry Your Dog,
Original artwork for the New Yorker, May 24, 1947, p. 40
The World of George Price:  A 55-Year Retrospective. New York:  Beaufort, 1988

http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2013/mark-birley-collection/lot.489.html
George Price, Living Well is the Best Revenge
The New Yorker, June 14, 1982, p. 43

George Price, Living Well is the Best Revenge
The New Yorker, June 14, 1982, p. 43
George Price, Carry Your Dog,
The New Yorker, May 24, 1947, p. 40

George Price, Carry Your Dog,
The New Yorker, May 24, 1947, p. 40


Note:  Read more on this blog about George Price here.

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Saturday, January 25, 2014

George Price's Lifelong Dream

The romance of a shipboard cruise is decidedly not the subject of this cartoon by George Price. Swann Galleries, which sold the original artwork in 2009, did not recognize that it had been published by the New Yorker in 1962. Nevertheless, it sold on its own merits for $1020 with the buyer's premium.
George Price, "Oh, stop griping!  We're fulfilling a lifelong dream, aren't we?"
Original artwork for the New Yorker, November 17, 1962, p. 54
George Price, My Dear 500 Friends. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1963, p. 49
The World of George Price:  A 55-Year Retrospective. New York:  Beaufort, 1988
http://catalogue.swanngalleries.com/asp/fullCatalogue.asp?salelot=2177+++++256+&refno=++616787&saletype=
George Price, "Oh, stop griping!  We're fulfilling a lifelong dream, aren't we?"
The New Yorker, November 17, 1962, p. 54

George Price, "Oh, stop griping!  We're fulfilling a lifelong dream, aren't we?"
The New Yorker, November 17, 1962, p. 54


Note:  I've posted quite a bit about George Price recently. Read it all here.

01027

My Entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #412

Here is my entry for the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #412 for January 20, 2014. The desert island cartoon is by Tom Cheney and the caption is by me.

"I'll show you my act if you'll show me yours."

January 27, 2014 Update:  The Finalists


February 10, 2014 Update:  Winning Caption



Note: Last week's New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest juxtaposed royal and business elements and was open to a variety of approaches. See it here.

The other day, the winner of the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #391 left a comment on this blog, another first. Read it here.

Earlier posts about cartoonist Tom Cheney may be seen here. I've had an inordinate amount of trouble with his caption contests in the past. Go ahead, take a look if you must.

See more of Tom Cheney's New Yorker work in the Cartoon Bank here.

News about cartoonist Tom Cheney may be found on Ink Spill here.

Well, if this desert island entry can't impress the editors of the New Yorker's caption contest, then I'm not sure I'll ever have what it takes. On the other hand, I am currently a finalist in the less rigorous Moment Cartoon Caption Contest. Read all about my third time as a Moment finalist here. Then vote for your favorite caption entry here.

Finally, castaways, the handful of desert island cartoons on this blog may be seen here.

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Friday, January 24, 2014

George Price: Dancing in the Barracks

Just look at the indignities suffered by this unfortunate young private! He has to dance with a fellow male soldier, and not even a good-looking one. He has to endure this humiliation in his underwear while wearing bulky army boots. He has no privacy in the barracks; this is taking place in front of at least one other enlisted man who is providing the music. Finally, he is not leading.

This original illustration art by George Price apparently dates from World War II. The publication history is unknown. It was sold matted and framed in 2011 for $70, which is less than the price of reframing today.

George Price, illustration of soldiers dancing

George Price, illustration of soldiers dancing

George Price's signature


http://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/9359592




Note:  More about George Price may be seen here.

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