Monday, August 31, 2015

Boston Taxi Fare

The taxi industry in Boston--and elsewhere--is very concerned about Uber and the effects of new technology on an old industry. See if you can spot any signs for this from my cab ride.

Note:  There are more photos of Boston on the blog.


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Downtown Boston

Boston remains a great town to visit. After arriving by water taxi, we explored the area on foot. These six photos were taken during a walk from Faneuil Hall to the TD Garden.

Faneuil Hall, 1742

Segway tours

Under construction


TD Garden

Harry Weber, The Goal, 2010
The statue commemorates Bobby Orr's game-winning goal for the Bruins in the 1970 Stanley Cup final.

Note:  See my earlier posts about Boston.


Saturday, August 29, 2015

Boston Harbor

Four weeks ago, I enjoyed a long weekend in Boston. In the coming days, I'll share a few photographs from the trip.

Thy Hyatt Boston Harbor is a hotel by Logan Airport. It is not especially close to downtown Boston but it does boast spectacular views of the city. The town remains accessible by car or water taxi.

The Hyatt Boston Harbor as seen from a water taxi

Boston Harbor as seen from the room

The view from ground level


Note:  It's more than a feeling. See Boston in these pages.


Friday, August 28, 2015

My Entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #486

Here is my entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #486 for August 24, 2015. The drawing is by Julia Suits.

"Save your cute aggression for the enemy."

August 31, 2015 Update:  The Finalists

September 14, 2015 Update:  Winning Caption

Note:  In last week's contest, cartoonist Danny Shanahan got right to the point. My caption was strictly bull. See the Hemingwayesque outcome of Contest #485.

Not only did Julia Suits sign my copy of The Best of the Rejection Collection, she included a squiggle!


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Charles Addams for Avis

Forty years ago, car rental company Avis chose Charles Addams to illustrate an ad in the New Yorker. There is a long tradition of the magazine's cartoonists being hired by the magazine's advertisers. Here Avis faces one of its biggest customers.

Charles Addams, "You tell him we only have a sub-compact left."
Advertisement for Avis
The New Yorker, October 20, 1975, page 25

Note:  If you'd like to see further blog posts about Charles Addams, you've come to the right place.


Saturday, August 22, 2015

Charles Addams for Bankers Trust

A 1973 Bankers Trust ad promotes the bank's modern system of retrieving cancelled checks. The bank stores the checks on microfilm and can retrieve any check and provide a photocopy within 48 hours. The cumbersome alternative would be for each individual client company to store many checks on its own premises and thus lose valuable office space. A two-page color illustration by Charles Addams points out the potential shortcomings of such an antiquated business practice.

Charles Addams, After considering alternatives, top management at Saks Fifth Avenue decided that a more efficient method of check retrieval might be in order.
You'll find Check Retention at Bankers Trust
Advertisement for Bankers Trust, 1973
EBay scans by the Ad Store

Note:  Be sure not to miss my earlier blog posts about the incomparable Charles Addams.

There's a fair amount of vintage advertising here as well.


Friday, August 21, 2015

My Entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #485

Here is my entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #485, for August 10, 2015.
The pointed drawing is by Danny Shanahan.

"Acupuncturist my ass!"

Here's an earlier try I didn't use:
"I don't know what you see in that picador."

August 24, 2015 Update:  The Finalists

September 7, 2015 Update:  Winning Caption

Note:  Last week, Liam Francis Walsh brought an eccentric Brit into an American pool hall. My caption must have had the wrong accent. See the very respectable results of Contest #484.

Danny Shanahan's work is strictly no bull.


Thursday, August 20, 2015

My Entries in the Moment Cartoon Caption Contest for May/June 2015

I submitted a total of three entries in the Moment Cartoon Caption Contest for May/June 2015. As in the past, the drawing is by Bob Mankoff, cartoon editor of the New Yorker.

"I see Congress is in recess again."
"Isn't it time you boys graduated?"
"Let's break for work."

Fortunately, one of these was selected as a finalist:
Moment Cartoon Caption Contest Finalists May/June 2015

So here are the latest statistics. My caption has made it to finalist status in ten out of the twelve contests I've entered over these two years. My previous caption did not win the March/April Contest, meaning that I have won only two of the nine completed contests in which I have been a finalist, a winning percentage of 22%, where the law of averages says I should be at 33%. So paradoxically, while I have demonstrated a disarming 83% rate of making it to finalist status, my captions are only two-thirds as likely to be voted the winner as the laws of probability would suggest. Put another way, I write some first-rate second-rate captions.

September 12, 2015 Update:  Winning Caption
Moment Cartoon Caption Contest Winning Caption for May/June 2015

Note:  Let's have a go at it again! Please vote for your favorite caption in the May/June contest until on or about August 24. You'll have to decide what's funniest:  educational theories, husbands, or the U. S. Congress. I'll plead the Fifth.

While you're at it, you yourself can enter the July/August Caption Contest. For the first time, the Moment Caption Contest cartoon is by Benjamin Schwartz. Personally, I don't deal well with this sort of change.

So why the change in cartoonist? Frankly, I don't think Bob Mankoff has been comfortable with the Moment contest since he made that glaring error while inscribing my personal copy of his memoir. These things can take their toll on one's psyche, you know.

Cartoon caption contests have become a major focus of this blog over the past couple of years. Unlike most other people who subject themselves to these contests, I publish copious notes of my caption hits (Moment) and misses (The New Yorker) for all to see. These blog posts in toto make up a cautionary tale for anyone foolish enough to don the mantle of captioneer. Trust me, we should all just leave humor to the professionals.


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Charles Addams Book Promotions

EBay paper seller 237 is currently offering a number of original promotions for Charles Addams's books. These volumes, mostly cartoon collections, are all terrific and are well worth hunting down. As you can see, even the vintage ads look great.
Monster Rally, 1950
Image added August 25, 2015

Homebodies, 1954

Nightcrawlers, 1957

Dear Dead Days, 1959

Black Maria, 1960

Black Maria, 1960

Drawn and Quartered, 1962 reissue

The Groaning Board, 1964

The Chas Addams Mother Goose, 1967 

The World of Charles Addams was published three years after the cartoonist's death in 1988. This ad comes from another eBay seller.
The World of Charles Addams, 1991

Note:  If you like these ads, my other posts about Charles Addams are sure to delight you.


Monday, August 17, 2015

Charles Addams: Moving Day

Gwyn Steinbeck, the novelist John Steinbeck's second wife, was the recipient of an original New Yorker cartoon by Charles Addams. It bears no caption and shows a mover packing up his van with the effects of Mme. Chenaud who performs, the sign tells us, spirit readings. The drawing was originally published in 1949, the year after the Steinbeck marriage ended, and it came to this estate sale through the children of John Steinbeck. It was sold at auction in 1988 along with many of Steinbeck's important effects. The drawing was offered for sale this past June on eBay where it did not meet its reserve.

Charles Addams
Original art for The New Yorker, October 15, 1949, page 27
Monster Rally, 1950, page 27
My Crowd, 1970, page 81

Inscribed "For Gwyn [Conger Steinbeck]/with love/Chas Addams"

Blue Willow Gallery, Denver, Colorado, May 31 to June 4, 1988, Lot 241

"Steinbeck effects to be auctioned" by Patti Thorn, Rocky Mountain News, circa May 1988

EBay Listing Ended June 5, 2015
The first two bids
EBay Item Description

EBay Bid History
Reserve not met

Charles Addams, The New Yorker, October 15, 1949, page 27

Charles Addams, The New Yorker, October 15, 1949, page 27
Charles Addams
Original art for The New Yorker, October 15, 1949, page 27
Monster Rally, 1950, page 27
My Crowd, 1970, page 81

July 23, 2017 Update:  The artwork was relisted on eBay with a lower reserve and it sold at the reserve price, $100 less than the top bid in 2015.

Charles Addams
eBay Listing Ended July 23,2017

Charles Addams
eBay Item Description
The reserve was posted on July 19

eBay Bid History
Five bidders, only one of whom hits the reserve

Note:  But that's not all! You can still view my earlier blog posts about Charles Addams and about original New Yorker cartoon art.