Sunday, December 9, 2018

Barbara Shermund: Not Abnormal

Three years into the New Yorker's run, the single-panel gag cartoon had been completely reimagined. Barbara Shermund's sumptuous original art from 1928, offered for sale in 2014 by Carlson & Stevenson, carries the caption "I don't think he's abnormal—he's just versatile." In her history Funny Ladies: The New Yorker's Greatest Women Cartoonists and Their Cartoons (2005), Liza Donnelly writes of this cartoon, "...the caption can be read two ways, straight or gay..." (p. 59).


"I don't think he's abnormal—he's just versatile."
Barbara Shermund
Original art
The New Yorker, July 21, 1928, page 12


In publishing such a smartly ambiguous cartoon caption, was the New Yorker now on its own atop the teeming world of humor magazines? It certainly seems so. Already the young upstart of a magazine had no equal in nuance. How did it happen so quickly that the New Yorker came to find its voice and allow an unknown artist like Barbara Shermund to find hers?


Carlson & Stevenson
Palm Beach Jewelry, Art, & Antique Show Catalog 2014 
Published on Jan 22, 2014 page 53



Carlson & Stevenson

Palm Beach Jewelry, Art, & Antique Show Catalog 2014 
Published on Jan 22, 2014 page 53







Cartoons by Barbara Shermund and C. W. Anderson


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2 comments:

  1. Thank you, Stephen! Barbara was so smart and sassy, an early feminist cartoonist....love her work.

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