Friday, July 31, 2015

Lighthouse Lamppost

A lamppost in the shape of a Cape Cod lighthouse is seen next to Captain Linnell House in Orleans.

Next to Captain Linnell House, Orleans

Note:  Give me a few carefree days in Cape Cod and I can't be held responsible for what transpires here on the blog.


Nauset Beach

It was a perfect day to visit Nauset Beach in East Orleans with its calm waters and vast expanse of sand. We even spotted a harbor seal in the water, but only briefly.

Nauset Beach, East Orleans

Nauset Beach, East Orleans

Nauset Beach, East Orleans

Note:  I'm having a special on photos from my Cape Cod vacation. For you, no charge.


I Saw the Sign

For some reason every express checkout lane in New York seems to say "10 items or less." Less refers of course to an amount and fewer refers to a number, so it's disheartening to see it done wrong so often and apparently so willfully. On the other hand, it's so refreshing to go up to Cape Cod and to see what happens when people still care about the language. The express lane sign reads "10 items or fewer." I took a picture just in case no one back home believed what I saw.

Checkout lane 7, Shaw's, Orleans

Note:  Don't miss Cape Cod as you've never seen it.


Cape Cod Car Decals

These car decals were seen last month in Brewster.

"Knit Happens"

"My Dog Digs the Cape"

Note:  More photos from last month's vacation in Cape Cod are in the archives.


A Sign of the Weekly Grind on Main Street

This sign was spotted at the cash register of Carmine's on Main Street in Chatham. I was on vacation at the time, but in the pizzeria it was just another workday.

Cash register sign, Carmine's, Chatham

Note:  Photos from my summer vacation in Cape Cod have been abounding lately.


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Clever Socks on Main Street

In Chatham, Yankee Ingenuity on Main Street has the wittiest socks in town.

"The three things I hate most are math."
Socks, Yankee Ingenuity, Chatham

"My favorite salad is wine."
Socks, Yankee Ingenuity, Chatham

Note:  A look at the archives reveals that Ronald Searle knew his socks.


Java and Jaws

Your morning coffee could bring out the terrors of the deep...

Shark! mug, Yankee Ingenuity, Chatham

Note:  See how I spent my summer vacation in Cape Cod.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Cartoon Bank on Main Street

We've all seen the Cartoon Bank's greeting cards and coffee mugs featuring New Yorker cartoons. It's a bit more difficult to come across cocktail napkins and flexible magnets. Yet they are displayed prominently on Main Street in Chatham in a shop called Yankee Ingenuity. Here's a small sampling from my trip last month.

Napkins with New Yorker cartoons by Harry Bliss and Paul Noth

Flexible magnets with New Yorker cartoons by Peter Steiner, Frank Modell, and Bob Mankoff

Flexible magnets with New Yorker cartoons by Liam Francis Walsh and Peter Steiner

Note:  I'm pleased to report that none of these cartoonists are new to the blog. Please enjoy other posts about Harry Bliss, Bob Mankoff, Frank Modell, Paul Noth, Peter Steiner, and Liam Francis Walsh.

While you're at it, see the rest of my Cape Cod vacation photos. I'm sure they're just like your vacation photos.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Bob Staake's High School Yearbook

It is not unusual for the artwork of budding illustrators to appear in their high school yearbooks. Bob Staake, to give an example, illustrated the cover of his class yearbook. It is, on the other hand, probably very unusual to find an illustrator voted by his class most likely to succeed, as Mr. Staake was. That he was in the Cartoonists Club is not a surprise; that he was in the Apathy Club—well, that must have been a joke.

A copy of his high school yearbook has been listed on eBay for the past two years. The volume is marketed to take advantage of Mr. Staake's fame as a New Yorker cover illustrator. The title of the listing specifically mentions his "Obama cover." This was the cover published on November 17, 2008 when Barack Obama had won the Presidential election, making history as the first black man to be elected to America's highest office. Mr. Staake chose to illuminate the Lincoln Memorial and, significantly, the O from the magazine's logo.

Bob Staake, "Reflection"
The New Yorker, November 17, 2008

Most likely to succeed indeed!  Here's the eBay listing:

EBay Listing ended June 26, 2013

EBay Item Description
[End of eBay Listing]

A YouTube video demonstrates Bob Staake illustrating in PhotoShop:
Bob Staake Illustrates in PhotoShop

Note:  You're in luck! This hard-to-find yearbook is still available on eBay.

I have more blog posts about Bob Staake here, and they are not so hard-to-find.

Paul Giambarba's blog has an excellent post abouBob Staake's New Yorker covers, among other things. Check it out.

Meanwhile Mike Lynch shows us Bob Staake's TV commercial for Intel.

Whatever else you need to know about Bob Staake should be available at,

Cue up the Elgar, don your cap and gown, and check out my other yearbook posts.


Monday, July 27, 2015

The Chatham Light and the Orb of Chatham

I take the same basic picture of the Chatham Light on every visit to the Cape. Compare Bob Staake's unique and evocative illustration, full of mystery, contrast, and a strange rolling orb observed by five witnesses one night in 1935...

The Chatham Light
Bob Staake, illustration from The Orb of Chatham (2005)
...and timed its journey to avoid the light.

The illustrations to The Orb of Chatham are hauntingly beautiful. How long do you suppose it took Bob Staake to produce the suite of illustrations for this book? What kind of preparatory work was involved? Watch the video and all will be revealed. Well, not all.

Bob Staake Interview #1 : The Orb of Chatham
By Christopher Seufert

Note:  See the intriguing website for Bob Staake's The Orb of Chatham. What does it all mean?

If you somehow missed them, my previous blog posts about Bob Staake are just a click away.

Even better is Paul Giambarba's post about Bob Staake's New Yorker Covers. You know about the New Yorker work, right?

See any good TV commercials lately? Mike Lynch has a post about Bob Staake's TV commercial for Intel.

Also, I've been sharing my vacation photos from Cape Cod. It seems they've been looking less and less like vacation photos and more and more like everything else I do here.

You'll never guess what's at, not in a million years. Don't even try.

Is The Orb of Chatham really a children's book like all the other children's books on this blog? Then why am I so curious about its secrets?


Sunday, July 26, 2015

The First United Methodist Church and the Orb of Chatham

In 1935, a mysterious black orb was seen and independently reported by five isolated witnesses, each of whom later disappeared. The mysterious event is the subject of Bob Staake's picture book The Orb of Chatham (2005). The First United Methodist Church is familiar to all Chatham's visitors. In Mr. Staake's superb book illustration, the orb can be seen floating eerily above the moonlit church.

The First United Methodist Church, Chatham, Massachusetts
Bob Staake, illustration from The Orb of Chatham (2005)

The Orb of Chatham

Note:  Check out the official website for Bob Staake's The Orb of Chatham. See if you can solve the mystery...

What do you know? The blog posts here about Bob Staake are starting to add up.

Ah, summer! See more posts about my vacation in Cape Cod.

Bob Staake's website is I don't get it.

Do you like to read blog posts about children's books? Can you guess why I asked?


A Cautionary Reminder from Bob Staake

Bob Staake's Struwwelpeter (2006) is a modern version of Heinrich Hoffmann's 1845 German cautionary children's book. This copy has been signed, inscribed, dated, drawn in, and even clipped by Mr. Staake. The drawing refers to what purportedly happens to children who suck their thumbs. The book was purchased at Yellow Umbrella Books in Chatham.

Front free endpaper of Bob Staake's Struwwelpeter (2006) inscribed with a drawing "Remember kids--don't suck your thumbs! Bob Staake 2006 Chatham, Mass"

Note:  Here is the official website for Bob Staake's Struwwelpeter:  The world's most nightmarish children's book. Don't say you weren't warned.

After this, my earlier blog posts on Bob Staake will seem tame.

I have been diligently reporting on my stay in Cape Cod. There's still more to come.

Bob Staake's official website is Me, I wouldn't have guessed.

Did you know this blog has a lot more to say about children's books? I'll bet you did...

If you haven't seen Attempted Bloggery's divers assortment of signed books with original drawings I have just one question for you:  What are you doing with your life?


Saturday, July 25, 2015

Bob Staake's Look! Another Book!

"Bob is always happy to sign any of his books that you send to him (and he'll even include an original hand-drawn doodle)."

That's a generous offer indeed, but the prospect of arranging two-way postage can be daunting. Here's a copy of Bob Staake's Look!  Another Book! (2012) that was found on the shelves of a Chatham bookstore. It has an original doodle from the year of publication.

Bob Staake, Look!  Another Book! (2012) signed and dated with a doodle
Bob Staake, Look!  Another Book! (2012)
Bob Staake, Look!  Another Book! (2012) signed and dated with a doodle

Note:  Check out my other blog posts on Bob Staake.

This book was purchased while vacationing in Cape Cod. It isn't all fun and games, people.

Bob Staake's website is Better write that down.

You can see more of Attempted Bloggery's coverage of children's books.

In addition, signed books with original drawings are a specialty of the house. Or blog.


My Entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #482

Here is my entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #482 for July 20, 2015. The drawing is by P. C. Vey.

"Guess how I painted them so quickly!"

These just weren't up to speed either:
"I don't have the patience for this."
"Is there anything you need in a jiffy?"
"Just how wide is your bathroom?"
"Would you hold something for me while I go to the bathroom?"
"Why such a tiny cloakroom?"
"Ask me about my goggles?"
"Would you like me to pick up some more wine in France?"

July 27, 2015 Update:  The Finalists

August 17, 2015 Update:  Winning Caption

Note:  Last week Will McPhail's dapper gentleman made a grand entrance from inside a cake. My caption simply couldn't compete with that. See the three-tiered results of Contest #481.

One day, I'll find something to write about P. C. Vey that has nothing to do with his caption contest cartoons. But not today.