Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Gahan Wilson: Of Mice and Monsters

Cartoonist Gahan Wilson has been in the thoughts of many these past days as his urgent need for expensive memory care has prompted well-wishers to pledge money for his support. Hoping to keep Wilson in our thoughts, Dick Buchanan has put his superlative scanning skills to work and imaged two works of original published art from the mid-1990s by the beloved cartoonist. One appeared in the New Yorker and the other in Playboy. The New Yorker piece requires no caption. It is, incidentally, a superb example of Wilson's use of wash.
Gahan Wilson
Original art
The New Yorker, September 4, 1995, page 64


The drawing may require no words, but the same can't be said of the editorial comment on the back of the art:
CKG.=Fact Checking?

Gahan Wilson
The New Yorker, September 4, 1995, page 64

Now we leave the bizarre world of the commuter railway for the bizarre world of a child's bedroom. In the Playboy cartoon, Wilson achieves shading not with wash but through exquisite hatching. The technique is, if anything, even more remarkable:
"Read me the story again about the Closet Monster!"
Gahan Wilson
Original art
Published as "Read me the story again about the closet monster."
Playboy, October 1996, page 154


One could comment too on the different editorial approaches of two publications, but then it hardly seems necessary.
"Read me the story again about the closet monster."
Gahan Wilson
 October 1996, page 154

The cover:
Playboy, October 1996

Dick didn't scan the corresponding New Yorker cover, but equal time is only fair:

Edward Sorel
The New Yorker, September 4, 1995

Note:  To support Gahan Wilson's memory care, visit his Go Fund Me campaign here.

My thanks to Dick Buchanan for contributing the outstanding scans of original Gahan Wilson art and for documenting the publication history in today's post. Dick maintains the comprehensive Dick Buchanan Cartoon Clip Files from which he contributes regularly to Mike Lynch Cartoons, most recently a timely post entitled "From the Dick Buchanan Files: Some Gahan Wilson Gag Cartoons 1955 - 1964." You won't find these scans of early Gahan Wilson cartoons anywhere else.

Aside from his Gahan Wilson work, Dick has been quite busy researching cartoonist John Gallagher. Since we last checked in on him, Dick has become an authority on this gag cartoonist. Here's what he has come up with:

John Gallagher Gag Cartoons 1951 - 1970

John Gallagher Part Two: 1000 Jokes! - Gag Cartoons 1954 - 1965

And, to be complete:

From the Dick Buchanan Files: Show Business Gag Cartoons 1945 - 1962

From the Dick Buchanan Files: Caption-less, Wordless Gag Cartoons 1946 – 1963

And there you have it. In case you didn't know, Attempted Bloggery seeks other high-quality scans of original Gahan Wilson art and published rarities.

Quick Links to the Attempted Bloggery Archives:

Gahan Wilson

Dick Buchanan



Original New Yorker Cartoon Art

Original Playboy Cartoon Art

Edward Sorel

Attempted Bloggery's Maze of an Index


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