Thursday, October 31, 2019

Ben Wicks: Trick or Treat?

A cartoon from 1963 serves to remind us of the importance of staying safe on Halloween. Dick Buchanan submitted this scan to Attempted Bloggery. He writes that "Ben Wicks was a Canadian and celebrated there for many worthy projects. He was a regular in the Post during the 1960's."

"Trick or treat?"
Ben Wicks
The Saturday Evening Post, November 2, 1963

Scan by Dick Buchanan

The supposed threat of violence perpetrated by trick-or-treaters on which this gag hangs might strike some today as not very fertile ground for humor. It seems unlikely though that the Post's editors gave this any serious thought at the time. This issue is dated just a few short weeks before Americans were to be reminded of our collective vulnerability by the assassination of President Kennedy. Would a gag cartoon such as this have been selected for publication immediately after that horrific event? Perhaps not.

Note:  This is the first appearance of cartoonist Ben Wicks on this blog. 

I want to thank Dick Buchanan for once again coming through with a timely and beautiful scan from the celebrated Dick Buchanan Cartoon Clip Files. Dick contributes regularly to Mike Lynch Cartoons, most recently a post entitled "From the Dick Buchanan Files: Color Gag Cartoons 1947 - 1957." You'd better go and have a look.


Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The Cartoon Collections Caption Contest #47

A scary trick-or-treater is the subject of the Cartoon Collections Caption Contest #47. I submitted six captions. The drawing is by Bob Eckstein.

"Next year, try something less frightening."
"This is just another of your witch hunts."
"Why, no, you can't have a campaign contribution too."
"Since when is trick-or-treat a quid pro quo?"
"But I already paid my taxes."
"Shouting 'No collusion' is so last Halloween."

November 7, 2019 Update:  The Winner

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Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Edward Gorey: I Love a Mystery Week 1978

In 1978 I Love a Mystery Week was celebrated by the Second International Conference of Crime Writers. The event's picture book, limited to 800 copies, contains photographs by Jiro Kimura and bears a cover illustration by Edward Gorey. Gorey's cover presents much for mystery lovers to love too, at least for those who might be intrigued by the use of large urns to conceal bodies or to the pleasure of reading books like The Crocheted Turnip Murders.

Signed by Jiro Kimura

Edward Gorey
AbeBooks Listing Retrieved January 17, 2018


Monday, October 28, 2019

My Entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #683

Rise up to my entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #683 for the issue of October 28, 2019. The cave drawing is by Liza Donnelly.
"Be sure to admire the stairs. They invented them."

These captions were a little too primitive:
"Pretend not to notice there's no doorman."
"They must have made a fortune from the wheel."
"From up there I bet we can see our cave."
"Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer a hole in the ground."

November 4, 2019 Update:  The Finalists

November 11, 2019 Update:  I voted with Mineral Point.

November 18, 2019 Update:
  The Winner

Note: Last week cartoonist David Borchart looked at autumn from the perspective of a leaf. Fall into Contest #682.

Quick Links to the Attempted Bloggery Archives

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Gahan Wilson: The Unquiet Coven

Don't you hate when this happens?

"Could you please make a little less noise?"
Gahan Wilson
Collier's, October 29, 1954

Scan by Dick Buchanan

  You can help support cartoonist Gahan Wilson's
medical needs here.

I want to thank Dick Buchanan for once again dipping into his Cartoon Clip Files and finding the perfect cartoon. This post is his 47th contribution to Attempted Bloggery.


Saturday, October 26, 2019

Gahan Wilson's Very Good Monster

Illustrator Stephen Kroninger has submitted scans of two original drawings by Gahan Wilson. The first was donated by the artist to the P.S. 41 charity school auction some years ago:
I will be a very good monster...
Gahan Wilson

Scan courtesy of Stephen Kroninger

The second drawing was created for the twin Kroninger girls, also a while back:
"Which one of us is which?"
Gahan Wilson
Inscribed "For Hannah and Rachel"

Scan courtesy of Stephen Kroninger

Note:  You can help provide care for Gahan Wilson here.

My thanks to Stephen Kroninger for providing these great images. This is his 25th contribution to this blog.


Thursday, October 24, 2019

Bound for Gorey: The Eclectic Abecedarium

In 1983 Edward Gorey published The Eclectic Abecedarium, his first miniature book. The first edition is limited to 400 copies, the first 100 of which are hand-colored by Gorey. In addition, copy 57 has been specially-bound in full green morocco by Michael Wilcox in 1989. This unique copy is available from Bromer Booksellers, Inc., which would seem to be directly related to the original publishers. The price on AbeBooks is $6050.

Bound by Michael Wilcox, 1989

Don't leave the shore
Without an Oar.

Edward Gorey
AbeBooks Listing Retrieved October 24, 2019


Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The Cartoon Collections Caption Contest #46

Shark therapy is the subject of the Cartoon Collections Caption Contest #46. I submitted four captions. The drawing is by Drew Panckeri.
"You're gonna need a bigger couch."
"The producers of Shark Week won't return my calls."
"No one wants to be my chum."
"Everyone on the beach laughed at my fin."

October 30, 2019 Update:  The Winner

Seven-time New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest winner Lawrence Wood mentioned two of my captions in his commentary on the shark therapy contest. Is that like getting two honorable mentions?

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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Latrine Duty: John's Copy of Chas Addams' Black Maria

These days, with the new animated Addams Family movie haunting theaters, it's easy to think of Charles Addams exclusively as the progenitor of his famously creepy family. His prodigious talents as a cartoonist also took him in a great many other directions, and not always to those refined subjects one might expect of a New Yorker cartoonist. Predictably, most original Addams drawings found in his cartoon collections and inscribed to friends and fans depict various members of the Addams Family, but a book personalized to one John currently offered on eBay shows instead a hapless military serviceman engaged in what might be considered latrine duty. This then is a rare Addams example of deadpan bedpan humor.

                              "Is it anyone we know?"

Charles Addams
eBay Listing Retrieved October 20, 2019

Charles Addams
eBay Item Description 

Note:  Stop me if you've heard this before. If you have access to a book like this one containing an original Charles Addams drawing like this one—or even not like this one—you are encouraged to scan or photograph it and send it along to Attempted Bloggery for possible inclusion in a future blog post.

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Charles Addams

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Signed Books with Original Drawings

Attempted Bloggery's Pisser of an Index


Monday, October 21, 2019

My Entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #682

Don't let go of my entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #682 for the issue of October 21, 2019. The seasonal drawing is by David Borchart.
"You know I have separation anxiety!"

This caption had a dying fall:
"Quick, cover me!"

October 28 2019 Update:  The Finalists

November 4, 2019 Update:
  I voted with Harwich, but I think Madison's caption is closer to my own.

November 11, 2019 Update:  The Winner

Note:  Last week cartoonist Hartley Lin gave us a couple caught in a pincer movement. Claw into Contest #681.

Quick Links to the Attempted Bloggery Archives

Saturday, October 19, 2019

My Copy of All the Presidents by Drew Friedman

Caricaturist Drew Friedman's new opus includes, as the title says, All the Presidents and more. My prized copy of the inspired book is signed and inscribed by the artist:

Quick Links to the Attempted Bloggery Archives:

Drew Friedman


Kurt Andersen

Attempted Bloggery's Executive Index


Friday, October 18, 2019

License Plate for a Disney Villainess?

Are we who your license plates say we are?
New York State license plate

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Thursday, October 17, 2019

Dana Fradon: The Price of Justice

Original New Yorker cartoon art by Dana Fradon (1922-2019) from the issue of September 13, 1982 depicts a courtroom scene in one-point perspective. The man on the left is addressing a courtroom judge and the three other principle figures on the right help direct the viewer's eye back toward him. This is made more effective by the judge leaning forward and the lawyer turning away from the witness to look at his client. The speaker has a request for his lawyer to speed up the proceedings. The suggestion that his interests may differ from those of his lawyer is one of those observations that lend a surprising verisimilitude to gag cartoons such as this one.

The figure of the speaker and the table at which he is standing were apparently cut and pasted into the image. The manner in which this cartoon was matted and framed suggest that it was not sold commercially but was purchased by the magazine and given to a client. It was sold at auction in 2016 for the hourly rate of the lawyer mentioned in the caption, which is either a coincidence or a testament to the power of suggestion.
"Your Honor, I request that the witness answer the questions a little faster. I'm paying my lawyer a hundred and sixty dollars an hour!"
Dana Fradon
The New Yorker, September 13, 1982, page 41

Dana Fradon's signature

Dana Fradon
Dirk Soulis Auctions
November 12, 2016

"Your Honor, I request that the witness answer the questions a little faster. I'm paying my lawyer a hundred and sixty dollars an hour!"
Dana Fradon
The New Yorker, September 13, 1982, page 41

  Attempted Bloggery is eager to publish more original cartoon art by the late Dana Fradon.

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Original New Yorker Cartoon Art

Dana Fradon (1922-2019)

Attempted Bloggery's Cost-Effective Index