Sunday, November 30, 2014

2014 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Inflation

One of my favorite things to do in New York is to attend the balloon inflation for the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. This takes place on the Wednesday night before the parade. The photographs are mine except as noted.

Welcome to the 88th Annual Macy's Inflation Celebration
Photo by Cathy Calabria

Harold the Fireman
Photo by Cathy Calabria

Chloe the Holiday Clown balloonicle
Photo by Cathy Calabria

Snoopy and Woodstock
Photo by Cathy Calabria

Snoopy and Woodstock
Photo by Cathy Calabria

Eruptor (from Skylanders), new for 2014
Wiggleworm
Spider-Man
Photo by Cathy Calabria

Spider-Man

Spider-Man
Spider-Man
Finn & Jake
Pikachu, a new version for 2014

The Pillsbury Doughboy, a new version for 2014

Papa Smurf and Candy Cane
Photo by Cathy Calabria

Papa Smurf
Candy Cane
Chippey from Elf on the Shelf
Spongebob Squarepants
Photo by Cathy Calabria
Spongebob Squarepants

Spongebob Squarepants and an Elf
Elves
Macy's Red Believe Star
From above:  Wiggleworm, Spider-Man, Finn & Jake

Wiggleworm, Spider-Man, Finn & Jake
Spider-Man
Finn & Jake, Pikachu, "Yes, Virginia"

"Yes, Virginia," The Pillsbury Doughboy, Candy Cane, Papa Smurf, Elf on the Shelf



video
The view from above West 81st Street



The Hayden Planetarium


Note:  I did not get to see the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade this year, and none of my past contributors have provided any photos. So if you're one of the 3.5 million people who did see the parade and you'd like to share your images here, let me know.

As a matter of course, my past Thanksgiving posts remain available for your review:

Kiss at the 2014 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

The Charlie Brown Balloon at MoCCA Fest 2014

The 2013 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

The 2013 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Inflation

The 2012 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade


The 2012 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Inflation

The 2010 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

The 2008 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

The 2005 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Maurice Sendak's Wild Thing Balloon Design

Keith Haring's Figure with Heart Balloon

Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet

Remember Alice?

Wild Turkeys


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My Entries in the Moment Cartoon Caption Contest for September/October 2014

Here are my two entries in the Moment Cartoon Caption Contest for September/October 2014. As always, the Moment cartoon is by Bob Mankoff. Of note, one of the finalists is Lawrence Wood, who has won the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest five times, which is more than anyone else. Neither of my own captions made the cut this time, but I'm nevertheless pretty happy with them however unimpressed Mr. Mankoff may be.

Of course, the competition is getting stiffer now, but to date I have reached finalist status in six of the eight Moment contests I entered. Of these, I won the contest once. These remain my only substantive achievements in a year and a half of captioning, but I'm not complaining. Really.

My entries:
"I'll be here all week."
"My wife still says I'm too fast."


The finalists:
Moment Cartoon Caption Contest Finalists for September/October 2014


January 27, 2015 Update:  Winning Caption
Moment Cartoon Caption Contest Winning Caption for September/October 2014



Note:  In the last contest, Mr. Mankoff drew an unconventional courtroom drama. My caption achieved summary judgment as a finalist, but the legal opinion of the readership went against me. See the winning caption for the July/August 2014 Contest.

You may vote for your favorite caption in the September/October contest until on or about December 10. Why not enter the November/December contest yourself? You can see my entries now two months before I report on them here. Let me know how I'm doing.

By now no doubt you are familiar with the error inscribed by Bob Mankoff in my personal copy of his bestselling memoir. If I can just win the Moment Cartoon Caption Contest a total of four times, all will be made well again.

Moment is not the only cartoon caption contest I enter. Most of my flailing efforts are directed at the New Yorker contest, where I have had zero success to date. See the entire long history of my entering all variety of Cartoon Caption Contests and be sure to have a box of tissues handy.

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Saturday, November 29, 2014

My Entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #452--Almost

"3. You have to enter every week. Did you enter this week?"
--Robert Mankoff
November 8, 2014

No, I did not enter this week. I never got around to writing an entry for the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #452 for November 24, 2014. After the deadline passed, I realized my grave mistake. I wrote a caption anyway for the blog, but of course it was too late to submit. The drawing is by Tom Cheney. The tardy caption is all mine.
"Would you care to describe your sleeping arrangements?"




December 1, 2014 Update:  The Finalists




December 15, 2014 Update:  Winning Caption



Note:  Tom Cheney's cartoons are among the most vexing and vexatious cartoons to vex me in this contest. They are also among the funniest.

Last week's caption contest featured J. C. Duffy's cartoon of a pair  of pigs feeding at a trough alongside a piggy bank. My entry was not kosher. See the Orwellian results of Contest #451.

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Friday, November 28, 2014

Manhattan Protest March

As is widely known, Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black man, was shot and killed last August by Darren Wilson, a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Eyewitness accounts have differed markedly. On Monday a grand jury decided not to indict the police officer on any criminal charges. Protests in Ferguson began soon after the announcement and they included much unrest and looting on Monday night. Other protests sprang up around the country. On Tuesday this week, a crowd of demonstrators disrupted automobile traffic by walking up the FDR Drive, the major thoroughfare on Manhattan's East Side.

In the video, the marchers are seen occupying all the northbound lanes of the Drive. The southbound lanes are at a standstill and a few marchers may be there as well. Light traffic is still moving well on the service road at the bottom of the frame.

video
Protest March
FDR Drive
November 25, 2014
Video courtesy of my nephew

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Kiss to Perform at the 2014 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Today Kiss will be performing at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. What an honor! It therefore seems to be an apt time to recall Ian Anderson's 1977 prediction about the expected longevity of the band. "I mean, how long do Kiss have? Another six months maybe." With all respect to Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull, he missed the boat on this one.


"Jethro Tull:  Minstrel in the Gallery" (1977)
Ian Anderson's comment about Kiss is at 9:37

The 88th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, 2014

Kiss at the 88th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, 2014


Kiss at the 88th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, 2014



Note:  I have more posts about Jethro Tull, but alas nothing further to say about Kiss.

There's also quite a bit of good stuff about Thanksgiving.

Remember Alice?

The Charlie Brown Balloon at MoCCA Fest 2014

The 2013 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

The 2013 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Inflation

The 2012 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade


The 2012 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Inflation

The 2010 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

The 2008 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

The 2005 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Maurice Sendak's Wild Thing Balloon Design

Keith Haring's Figure with Heart Balloon

Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet

Wild Turkeys

Peter Arno:  Pilgrim's Progress

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Remember Alice?

One of the great antiwar protest songs was Arlo Guthrie's "Alice's Restaurant" (1967). When I was in Junior High School our music teacher played this long song for us in its entirety, but I don't know whether today's students ever get to hear it. The tune is a good one and the song delivers its antiwar message in a roundabout manner. It's always worth a listen around Thanksgiving.

"Alice's Restaurant" (1967) by Arlo Guthrie


Note: That's hardly all I have to say about Thanksgiving!

The Charlie Brown Balloon at MoCCA Fest 2014

The 2013 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

The 2013 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Inflation

The 2012 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade


The 2012 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Inflation

The 2010 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

The 2008 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

The 2005 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Maurice Sendak's Wild Thing Balloon Design

Keith Haring's Figure with Heart Balloon

Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet

Various Wild Turkeys

Peter Arno:  Pilgrim's Progress

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Tony Sarg Over the Intersection

Among of the many projects of illustrator and puppeteer Tony Sarg was to create crowd scenes of New York. These well-known images were collected in a 1926 book. In the following year, he conceived the idea of placing large balloons featuring cartoon characters in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, then in its fourth year. The balloons were a popular success and the rest, as they say, is history.

He still could compose a good crowd scene. An original illustration by Sarg no doubt created for the Roberts House inn dates approximately from the following year, 1928. Here he has rendered a bustling aerial view of a small town intersection with the Roberts House featured prominently at the top center. Judging from the heights of the surrounding two-story buildings he has shown us, he may very well have had to imagine this view from such an elevated vantage point.

Typically, when a piece like this comes along it makes a brief public appearance at auction before disappearing into a private collection for years. This particular piece, though, is on public display, albeit in an unlikely venue. You can see it in New York at the Society of Illustrators. It's hanging in the men's room.

Tony Sarg, Busy intersection in small town, c. 1928
Illustration House, June 25, 2011, Lot 1


Tony Sarg, Busy intersection in small town, c. 1928
On view in the men's room of the Society of Illustrators


Note:  There are, to be sure, millions of blogs out there, but how many of them are classy enough to drag you into the men's room of the Society of Illustrators? Only one, I'll bet. Now is there anyone willing to show me what's on the wall of the ladies' room?

My Thanksgiving blog posts cover the Macy's Parade, Tony Sarg, and some persistent local turkeys that I can't seem to dodge. I've put together a festive assortment of these posts over the years and personally I never tire of them. I don't see why you should.

The Charlie Brown Balloon at MoCCA Fest 2014

The 2013 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

The 2013 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Inflation

The 2012 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade


The 2012 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Inflation

The 2010 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

The 2008 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

The 2005 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Maurice Sendak's Wild Thing Balloon Design

Keith Haring's Figure with Heart Balloon

Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet

Various Wild Turkeys

Peter Arno:  Pilgrim's Progress

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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Cheers from Muriel Jacobs

It's game day! Cartoonist Muriel Jacobs has made a couple of loose drawings, each featuring an energetic cheerleader. The C apparently is for Cartoonists.

Two cheerleaders by Muriel Jacobs
Muriel Jacobs, "This cheer is for cartoonists."

Muriel Jacobs, Cheerleader

Muriel Jacobs' signature, "Moo Jacobs"

EBay Listing

EBay Item Description


Note:  There's more work by Muriel Jacobs than you might think on the old blog. There is also present one more old-fashioned cheerleader with a megaphone, but I'm pretty sure she's not cheering for cartoonists.

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

My Entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #451

Here is my entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #451 for November 17, 2014. The drawing is by J. C. Duffy.

"Who cares if our banker is a swine?"


I considered this caption as well:
"Why can't he eat from his own trough?"


November 24, 2014 Update:  The Finalists


December 8, 2014 Update:  Winning Caption and J. C. Duffy's Original Caption


J. C. Duffy shares his original rough sketch and caption:
Courtesy of the artist



Note: You've heard of ballroom dancing? Last week, David Borchart drew an example of boardroom dancing. My caption was just a little out of step. Groove to the results of Contest #450.

J. C. Duffy's cartoons are no stranger to this blog.

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