Sunday, December 31, 2017

New Year's Balloons: Arnie Levin New Yorker Cover Art

If you're going to throw a spectacular New Year's Eve party, you need to have certain things: a band, a dance floor, party hats, noisemakers, champagne glasses—and, of course, festive balloons! Check! Arnie Levin's 1984 New Yorker cover makes all the right preparations to help ring in the New Year in style. The original art was sold two weeks ago at Swann Galleries.


Arnie Levin
Original art
The New Yorker, January 2, 1984


Arnie Levin
Original art
The New Yorker, January 2, 1984



Arnie Levin
Swann Galleries Sale 2465, Lot 298, December 14, 2017





Arnie Levin
The New Yorker, January 2, 1984


Note: Happy New Year! Attempted Bloggery seeks scans or photographs of original works of art by Arnie Levin.


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Saturday, December 30, 2017

Peanuts: Happy New Year from the Bakers of Butternut Bread

Fewer than three weeks into writing this blog I happened upon some original artwork by Charles M. Schulz from an advertising campaign for Butternut Bread. The resulting post remains my most popular ever. One of the many pieces of promotional art that I had documented for that piece came up on eBay recently and sold for a surprisingly inexpensive price. Snoopy, Linus, Charlie Brown and Lucy wish you a "Happy New Year from the bakers of Butternut Bread!"


Charles M. Schulz
Original advertising art

"Happy New Year from the bakers of Butternut Bread!" 




Charles M. Schulz
Original advertising art
"Happy New Year from the bakers of Butternut Bread!" 





Charles M. Schulz
eBay Listing Ended November 10, 2017



Charles M. Schulz
eBay Item Description


eBay Bid History
It's a five-day auction, but all four bids are placed in the final 40 seconds. Unusually, it is the first bid chronologically that wins it.





Charles M. Schulz
Original advertising art
"Happy New Year from the bakers of Butternut Bread!" 


January 1, 2017 Update:  Today on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/doc_nad/status/947059954564902912
The real deal:
https://twitter.com/GabocheArs/status/947482316296814592

I have got to be more careful!


Note:  Follow the link for my original post on "Butternut Bread Peanuts Promotions."


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Friday, December 29, 2017

Carl Rose's Mythological Beasts

Author Daniel Asa Rose shares with us a fantastic drawing by Carl Rose (no relation) of a mythological subject. Here he tells us how the drawing came to be in the possession of his father, a Rowayton (Connecticut) psychiatrist who was friends with the artist:



You can tell the background story, if you like. That he was a family friend, always hanging with the same very civilized bathers on the beach of Rowayton, Conn during the 60’s. Not that such idleness was characteristic of him. He once told my father that he’d been up the whole night previous just getting the expression correct on someone’s face. They had a nice rapport, the cartoonist and the psychiatrist, and Carl drew the cartoon you see here and gave it to my father after one of their animated conversations on the sand. It ended in 1971 when my father received a phone call hastening him to the house — Carl was dying. My father rushed over but was too late. He had the sad honor of declaring Carl dead at the age of 68.


The drawing seems well-suited as a gift to a psychiatrist—or anyone else. It features a centaur, a sphinx, and a gryphon who are coping with a similar issue. The composition is triangular or, perhaps even more appropriately, pyramidal.

"You think you're the only one around here with an identity crisis?"
Carl Rose, original art
The New Yorker, April 3, 1971, page 107

Photo courtesy of Daniel Asa Rose








"You think you're the only one around here with an identity crisis?"
Carl Rose, original art
The New Yorker, April 3, 1971, page 107

Photo courtesy of Daniel Asa Rose



Carl Rose
The New Yorker, April 3, 1971, page 107



http://archives.newyorker.com/?i=1971-04-03#folio=106



Note:  Thanks to Daniel Asa Rose for sharing his original New Yorker art on Attempted Bloggery. His website may be found here.

You too can share original art by Carl Rose (and other New Yorker artists) on this very blog. Go ahead, give it a try! I won't stand in your way.


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Thursday, December 28, 2017

Anatol Kovarsky: Leda and the Swan

In Greek mythology, Zeus disguises himself as a swan and seduces Leda. This union produces two offspring, Helen of Troy and Polydeuces. Two unpublished roughs on this mythological subject by cartoonist Anatol Kovarsky were certainly submitted to The New Yorker in the 1950s and, alas, rejected. Mr. Kovarsky's daughter provides us with the images and writes:


Mythology was one of my dad's favorite themes, and I'm sure it had something to do with the fact that he was European-born and raised, and before coming to the U.S. as a refugee studied art in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and at the Académie Lhote. My dad relished the flights of artistic invention the myths had inspired through the ages. When I was a child, we would often go to the Greek and Roman vases section of the Metropolitan Museum as one of our favorite destinations. He would take me to the galleries with European paintings and we would admire the enormous scale and expressive details of various masterworks of the Renaissance and Baroque periods, many of which of course depict mythological subjects. I think the focus on human foibles was part of what drew dad to myths and fables. They hold the mirror up to human nature not unlike cartoons! Later in life, my father immersed himself further in the Greek and Roman myths, writing verses and creating accompanying drawings. He felt a kinship with other humorists drawn to such material, for example André Dubout, the French artist who updated the Greek myths and made the most of their ribald content.

I don’t know if a variant of my dad’s drawing ever appeared in print. Judging by the paper and style, it looks like he drew this idea around 1953-59, the years when he was publishing other myth-based cartoons in The New Yorker.


The first of these remarkable drawings renders the surface of a Greek vase as a framing device. Leda, we learn, has a vexing decision to make.

Anatol Kovarsky, Leda and the Swans, c. 1953-1959, unpublished
Images copyright the Estate of Anatol Kovarsky

It's clear from his pencil annotation on the second drawing of the Leda myth that Kovarsky considered presenting this one in a similar way, but really no vase is necessary this time. That incorrigible Zeus does have a wandering eye.

Anatol Kovarsky, Leda and the Swan, c. 1953-1959, unpublished
Images copyright the Estate of Anatol Kovarsky


What a beautiful drawing this is—and it's only a rough! It's a shame it wasn't taken by The New Yorker. These two cartoons featuring Leda, so far as we know, were never published anywhere and remained hidden from public view until now. And that's their story, save for one intriguing postscript.


A decade or so later, New Yorker cartoonist Frank Modell, a longtime friend of Kovarsky's, published a somewhat similar gag in the pages of The New Yorker. It is unclear, though, if there is any formal connection between the two drawings or if it is just one of those coincidences.

Frank Modell
The New Yorker, November 16, 1968, page 116


I asked Mr. Kovarsky's daughter about this Modell gag and she graciously replied:

Attempted Bloggery has discovered a similar gag by Frank Modell, published in 1968 in The New Yorker. I love the fact that despite the similarity, each drawing offers its own nuance in the gag’s take-away. In Kovarsky’s drawing, Leda notices with displeasure that Zeus’s attention has wandered, whereas in Modell’s, sweet innocent Leda is oblivious, her idyll undisturbed. Kovarsky’s version sets itself against classical depictions of Leda and the swan amorously entwined, and instead invites us to imagine a far more prosaic lovers’ quarrel-in-the-making. In Modell’s version, Leda’s idyll remains intact as far as she’s concerned—but the reader sees what’s what.



Note:  I am indebted to the artist's daughter for the two scans of Anatol Kovarsky's original Leda and the Swan drawings and for the informative commentary. These images remain copyright the Estate of Anatol Kovarsky.

"Kovarsky's World: Covers and Cartoons from The New Yorker" will be on view at the Society of Illustrators from January 4 to March 3, 2018. The exhibit is co-curated by John Lind and Gina Kovarsky with an appreciation by Mo Willems. How cool is that? There will be an opening reception on January 12 from 6:30 to 10:00 p.m. which your humble blogger is planning to attend. Incidentally, the forthcoming exhibition contains only drawings and covers from The New Yorker and will not include these two drawings.

On his blog Ink Spill, cartoonist Michael Maslin has been showing quite a lot of Kovarsky's unpublished work of late. If you missed it, you can catch up with it all
here.

How much of Kovarsky's artwork has made it into private hands we can only guess. Still, if you happen to find original work of his hanging on the walls of your home, you might want to take a photo or two and send it this way with a few lines. You never know what might happen.

Perhaps you've seen a variant of Kovarsky's Leda drawings in print somewhere. Do tell. Of course, if you can add anything about the uncertain connection between the Kovarsky and Modell Leda drawings—if there even is any real connection—please give a honk.


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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

My Entries in the Moment Cartoon Caption Contest for November/December 2017

Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's...my two entries in the Moment Cartoon Caption Contest for November/December 2017. The super drawing is by Benjamin Schwartz.


"Don't lay a finger on him! He's
Marvel; we're DC."
"Pay attention! Did I say to hit him
in the tentacles?"



I think that second caption is as good as any I've written, but experience tells me that the first has a much better chance of advancing. We'll see...


January 23, 2018 Update: The Finalists


Note:
  Benjamin Schwartz i
s the cartoonist currently behind the caption contests for Moment magazine. I have been entering these Moment Cartoon Caption Contests for more than four years now. It's been a pretty good run, if I do say so myself.

But naturally it hasn't been quite so good an experience with The New Yorker's Kryptonite caption contest. If
you're sufficiently intrigued, you can go back and review every cartoon caption contest I have ever entered. Or you can pretend you've got better things to do.

Attempted Bloggery supports net neutrality.


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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Garrett Price: Broken Bow and Arrows

It is now time to return those gifts that didn't quite work out. Bookseller James Cummins has a four-panel cartoon by Garrett Price that sums it all up pretty well. The listing states that this cartoon was "probably done for The New Yorker." Surely we can do better than that.


Garrett Price, original art
The New Yorker, October 2, 1954, pages 38-39



Garrett Price
James Cummins, Bookseller Listing Copied July 7, 2016
Garrett Price, The New Yorker, October 2, 1954, pages 38-39


http://archives.newyorker.com/?i=1954-10-02#folio=038


Note: To be truthful, this is one of the few blogs on which Garrett Price merits much discussion. Don't blame me; blame all those other blogs with nothing to say. You know the drill: Attempted Bloggery seeks high-quality scans or photographs of original cartoon art by Garrett Price, including rejected cover proposals and whatever else might happen to come your way. Please also send me examples of extremely scarce or uncollected published work.


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Monday, December 25, 2017

My Entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #597

Unpack my entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #597 for December 25, 2017. The drawing is by Carolita Johnson.

"I couldn't get a sitter."




January 1, 2018 Update:  The Finalists


January 8, 2018 Update:  I voted for the third caption.


January 15,2018 Update:  Winning Caption




Note:  Last time, cartoonist Frank Cotham's Grim Reaper was offered some ale. My caption did not prompt any choruses of "Dilly dilly." Down the results of Contest #596 in one gulp.

Carolita Johnson has traversed this blog before.

Attempted Bloggery supports net neutrality.


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Moving Gifts: Arnie Levin New Yorker Cover Art

Arnie Levin's original New Yorker cover art for December 11, 1978 uses perhaps a quarter of the space available. Despite the relatively small area of the drawing, approximately half of it—comprising all the gifts sitting on the forklift forks—has been collaged onto the art. The result is a minimalist cover that is essentially flawless. A lot of work must have gone into achieving such charming simplicity.

Arnie Levin
O
riginal art
The New Yorker, December 11, 1978

Arnie Levin
O
riginal art
The New Yorker, December 11, 1978

Arnie Levin
Swann Galleries, Sale 2465, Illustration Art, December 14, 2017






Arnie Levin
The
 New Yorker, December 11, 1978


Note:  Original works by Arnie Levin are welcome here as are other examples of original New Yorker cover art by all artists.


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Sunday, December 24, 2017

Benoît van Innis: Tossing the Ornaments

What do you do for entertainment after caroling? Unusual Christmas festivities are taking place in a signed 1991 print by Benoît van Innis.









Benoît van Innis
eBay Listing Ended July 3, 2017

Benoît van Innis
eBay Item Description





Note:  We don't get to see all that much of the work of Benoît van Innis here in America and that's a shame. Readers may contribute scans or photos of original van Innis art or of rarely-seen published illustrations.


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