Thursday, September 24, 2020

Warren Miller: Not So Far-Out Any More

A 1975 New Yorker cartoon by Warren Miller reflects an era when once-radical ideas eventually had come to seem mainstream. In other words, that time was not entirely unlike our own day.

Then as now, it has never been typical for a cartoonist to place major characters at the far right and left edges of a scene, but Miller certainly knows the way to do it, both compositionally and politically. (Understand, however, that if one wishes to have the "engaging conversationalist" on the left, that can only work if one is seated on the patron's side of the bar.)
"Poor fellow—he used to be an engaging conversationalist, but all the wild, far-out
things he used to talk about are painfully obvious to everybody nowadays."
Warren Miller
Original art
The New Yorker, February 17, 1975, page 37

"Poor fellow—he used to be an engaging conversationalist, but all the wild, far-out
things he used to talk about are painfully obvious to everybody nowadays."

Warren Miller
Original art
The New Yorker, February 17, 1975, page 37

Detail

Detail

Detail

Detail

Caption


Warren Miller
eBay listing ended June 26, 2020

Warren Miller
eBay Item Description


Warren Miller
eBay bid history
One Best Offer

[End of eBay listing]

"Poor fellow—he used to be an engaging conversationalist, but all the wild, far-out
things he used to talk about are painfully obvious to everybody nowadays."

Warren Miller
Original art
The New Yorker, February 17, 1975, page 37


Cartoon by Warren Miller



Note:  Attempted Bloggery seeks images of  original art by Warren Miller.



Quick Links to the Attempted Bloggery Archives:


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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

The Cartoon Collections Caption Contest #93

The Cartoon Collections Caption Contest #93 manages to misspell the name of the cartoonist. At least Cartoon Collections got Godzilla's name right. The drawing is by Brooke Bourgeois.






I had some concern that the bride possibly could be speaking here, but I strongly preferred to have Godzilla as the speaker and I went with this in all three captions I submitted.
"Do I look like the sort to forever hold my peace?"
"I hope you weren't planning a honeymoon in Tokyo."
"Sorry, they didn't have a tux in my size."




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Brooke Bourgeois

Weddings

 
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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Sketchbook Page by William Hamilton, PFC

William Hamilton's sketchbook pages in pen and ink unmistakably come from the same hand as his finished drawings. They could never be mistaken for those of any other artist. Aside from all that, who would not be impressed in the sketch shown below with the fun this cartoonist has noting his (former) military rank?








William Hamilton
eBay listing accessed September 21, 2020

William Hamilton
eBay Item Description




Note:  Are William Hamilton's sketchbook pages pure exercises in drawing or are they attempts to develop specific cartoons? If you can match up a sketchbook drawing with a published cartoon, please step forward.


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Monday, September 21, 2020

My Entry in The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #725

I always aim high with my entries in The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest. Contest #725 for September 21, 2020 is the exception. The drawing is by Lars Kenseth.
"I'm not Walter. Are you sure you're wearing your contacts?"



Note:  Last week in the Caption Contest, cartoonist Mick Stevens had a dinosaur stand in line at a book signing. My caption bit me in the asteroid. Should you bring Contest #724 along to the book fair or to the science fair?

 

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Sunday, September 20, 2020

William Hamilton: The Tautology of Their Symbolism

A 1971 New Yorker cartoon by William Hamilton was deemed good enough to be included in The New Yorker Album of Drawings 1925-1975. The setting is a college seminar; the Harvard seal is prominent in the window. A professor and several students are seated at a long table while one student makes his thoughtful argument.


It was only when listening to the expanded audio edition of Steve Stolliar's compelling Raised Eyebrows: My Years Inside Groucho's House (1996, 2012) that I learned that Groucho Marx himself had owned Hamilton's original cartoon art corresponding to this gag. And why wouldn't he? The cartoon mocks academic pretense, as Groucho himself had been known to do, while referencing three classic Marx Brothers films. He had it proudly displayed in his Beverly Hills home. Having already contacted Steve to inquire about a book that was once in Groucho's library, I decided to ask as well whether he knew what had become of that cartoon original after Groucho's death. He responded:


No. It was in the front entryway on the left. Across from it was the John Decker "Dutch masters" painting and nobody seems to know what happened to that either, dammit. I was out of the loop after he died. I know a solid chunk of memorabilia did go to the Smithsonian, but when I found a "Paris Review" book that [Dick] Cavett inscribed to Groucho at a local Hollywood bookstore a few years later, I was irked when the bookseller told me there was like a garage sale of a lot of Groucho's stuff, and he got that book amongst other things. I wish I'd've known...But—again—I know not where any of the art ended up.


I asked the same question of acclaimed Groucho portrayer Frank Ferrante, who also knows a thing or two about the comedian and his family life. He replied:


I don’t know of its whereabouts. In fact I didn’t realize he actually owned the original art.


So, a dead end. With no new information to go on, there are frustratingly many possibilities here. The Hamilton drawing might still be held by the heirs of Groucho Marx or it might have found a new owner. It is my hope that someone reading this may know and provide us with more information. A photograph or two, perhaps?


With cartoons by Warren Miller and William Hamilton


Note:  My thanks to Steve Stoliar for so ably assisting me in my search for the hopelessly unfindable. This is his fifth mention here on the blog. As I've noted just recently, I highly recommend the expanded audiobook edition of Raised Eyebrows which includes Steve's own outstanding narration and voice characterizations. Would I steer you wrong?


Thanks again to Frank Ferrante. This is already his second mention here on the blog.

Let me repeat myself: Attempted Bloggery seeks information, preferably documentary evidence, on the current whereabouts of this splendid work of original cartoon art by William Hamilton. If you've encountered it at any time after Groucho's death in 1977, please drop me a line. Or, better still, write me a thesis.

I'd also be happy to hear from readers with information about other celebrities who might be fortunate enough to own a work or two of original New Yorker art. Relevant photos and stories would be a plus.


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03387

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Roger Angell at 100

Today is the one-hundredth birthday of author and editor Roger Angell, one of the great baseball writers of our time. Much of his work over the years has appeared in The New Yorker; indeed he worked with four of the magazine's editors, all but the magazine's founder Harold Ross. On July 26, 2014, Angell received baseball's highest honor for writers, the annual J. G. Taylor Spink Award, at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. This past June, a baseball signed and notated "H-O-F-2014" by Angell was sold on eBay. No doubt it dates from that Spink Award ceremony back when Angell was a spry ninety-three.





Roger Angell
eBay listing ended June 17 2020


Roger Angell
eBay item description







Note:  You can watch Roger Angell's acceptance speech on The New Yorker's website here.



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03386

Friday, September 18, 2020

William Hamilton: Like the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud

Men sure do love to talk about their cars. Still, not every automotive feature is always what it seems, as cartoonist William Hamilton duly notes in his New Yorker cartoon of July 2, 1973. The original drawing came up for sale on eBay in May and sold for a lot less than the cost of my new brake pads.
"Like the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud, she's got four fully rotating
wheels; like the Jag XKE, she carries a transparent windshield; like the
Cadillac Eldorado custom cabriolet, she comes with a precision swivel
rearview mirror; and like the Mercedes 300 SEL, she has a dash gauge
indicating the fuel-supply level at all times."

William Hamilton
Original art
The New Yorker, July 2, 1973, page 29

Some mild matte burn may be present. There's never an excuse for not using acid-free mattes.

Detail of men talking cars. There is some paper cut out at the top right.

William Hamilton's signature

The caption is taken from the published magazine page. It has browned with light exposure.




One hopes this water damage doesn't affect the art.

William Hamilton
eBay Listing Ended May 18, 2020


William Hamilton
eBay Item Description


[End of eBay listing]

"Like the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud, she's got four fully rotating
wheels; like the Jag XKE, she carries a transparent windshield; like the
Cadillac Eldorado custom cabriolet, she comes with a precision swivel
rearview mirror; and like the Mercedes 300 SEL, she has a dash gauge
indicating the fuel-supply level at all times."

William Hamilton
Original art
The New Yorker, July 2, 1973, page 29

Cartoons by Boris Drucker and William Hamilton


NoteAttempted Bloggery seeks additional images of original art by William Hamilton.


Quick Links to the Attempted Bloggery Archives:

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