Monday, October 26, 2020

My Entry in The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #730

I'm back from the lab and ready to publish the preliminary findings of my entry in The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #730 for October 26, 2020. The drawing is by Navied Mahdavian.

"I could use a few pointers for the maze."

This caption wasn't part of the protocol:
"Nothing to report in the control group."


Sunday, October 25, 2020

Betty Parsons's Copy of All in Line by Saul Steinberg

The year 1945 saw the release of Saul Steinberg's collection All in Line. The book is extraordinary. So is his art dealer Betty Parsons's copy.

Photo by Joe Petro III

Photo by Joe Petro III

Photo by Joe Petro III
Photo by Joe Petro III

Photo by Joe Petro III

  This is the fourth and final book dedicated by Saul Steinberg to Betty Parsons that Joe Petro III somehow chanced upon and added to his library. My thanks to Joe for sharing it here.

Wow. I am eager to show more. If you too have access to personalized Steinberg books, or access to someone with access to them, please send scans or photos to me for use on Attempted Bloggery.


Saturday, October 24, 2020

Betty Parsons's Copy of Fourteen Americans Signed by Saul Steinberg

Fourteen Americans was published by the Museum of Modern Art in 1946 concurrently with an exhibition. The catalogue is long out of print, but MoMa keeps a PDF of their file copy online. Saul Steinberg was included in the show. It is helpful to see the catalogue's cover as published before seeing how Steinberg embellished a copy for his gallerist Betty Parsons.

Steinberg personalized Parsons's copy using a blue-colored pencil. The book's cover has some evidence of exposure to dampness over the years. Still it is quite remarkable what Steinberg has done:
Photo by Joe Petro III

Let's go back to MoMA's file copy. The list of the fourteen artists offers proof, if any were needed, that Steinberg was the penultimate American:

The title page:

There are two pages devoted to Saul Steinberg's work:

  My thanks again go to Joe Petro III for photographing the cover of Betty Parsons's book. Joe somehow found four of these books dedicated by Steinberg to Parsons and that, my friends, leaves one more for tomorrow.

Saul Steinberg personalized many books to many people. I would be only too pleased to show more of these on Attempted Bloggery.


Friday, October 23, 2020

Betty Parsons's Copy of The Art of Living by Saul Steinberg

Saul Steinberg's collection The Art of Living dates from 1949. This copy is dedicated somewhat cryptically to his gallerist Betty Parsons.

Photo by Joe Petro III

Photo by Joe Petro III

Note:  Thanks again to Joe Petro III for providing these images. Two more of his Steinberg books dedicated to Betty Parsons will be showing up here very soon.

If you have access to a personalized book from Saul Steinberg akin to this one, why not submit a scan or two?


Thursday, October 22, 2020

Betty Parsons's Copy of The Inspector by Saul Steinberg

Saul Steinberg's collection The Inspector was published in 1973. This copy is warmly inscribed to his longtime art dealer Betty Parsons.

Photo by Joe Petro III

Photo by Joe Petro III

Note:  Thanks to Joe Petro III for sending me images of this unique book from his collection. Joe has three other books dedicated by Steinberg to Betty Parsons and it's a safe bet you will be seeing them here.

By the way, books personalized by Saul Steinberg are something I'm looking to post on this blog. (Hint.)


Wednesday, October 21, 2020

The Cartoon Collections Caption Contest #97

Here are my entries in the Cartoon Collections Caption Contest #97. The drawing of "an unusual library scene" is by Jeremy Nguyen.

"It's in lieu of late fees."
"We specialize in true crime."
"We have the entire corpus."
"First their library cards expired."
"We also collect dead letters."
"This doesn't belong in the humor section."

Quick Links to the Attempted Bloggery Archives:

Jeremy Nguyen



Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Maurice's Copy of The Wild, Wild Women by Vip

Scott Burns has come through yet again with a scan of another copy of Virgil Partch's The Wild, Wild Women (1952). Vip, as he is also known, has inscribed this book to Maurice and included a drawing of what can only be called a book chest.

Scan by Scott Burns

  My thanks once again go to Scott Burns of Burns Bizarre for this and the previous Partch books and originals he's scanned for the blog. This is the tenth post to which he's contributed. I do keep count.

As we have seen, Virgil Partch was endlessly inventive when it came to making drawings for his fans. Attempted Bloggery seeks more signed Vip books with drawings or inscriptions.


Monday, October 19, 2020

My Entry in The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #729

Lie back and enjoy my entry in The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #729 for October 19, 2020. The drawing is by Michael Maslin.

"I'm exhausted. Let's go to bed."

These captions weren't regal enough:

"Where should we put the petitioners?"
"Who says I'm not the King of Swing?"
"I'm not getting my steps."


Sunday, October 18, 2020

Morice's Copy of Here We Go Again by Virgil Partch

A woman struggling against a man's unwanted advances is the subject of an original drawing in Here We Go Again (1951) by Virgil Franklin Partch who usually signs his work as Vip. There is no signature though on this particular page. Men should take note that it is no longer considered acceptable to forcibly put one's shoes on the upholstery.

Scan by Scott Burns

Note:  My thanks to Scott Burns of Burns Bizarre for this scan of original Partch art from one of his books. He is now up to nine contributions to this blog.

There are still a lot of unphotographed and unblogged Partch books out there. Attempted Bloggery is looking for additional images of original Vip cartoons or signed Virgil Partch books with drawings.


Saturday, October 17, 2020

Snookey's Copy of Bottle Fatigue by Vip

Virgil Partch, or Vip, was quite generous in presenting readers with drawings in his signed cartoon books. Even so, Snookey must have been pretty special to merit not one but two full-page cartoons in the book Bottle Fatigue (1950), a collection of cartoons about alcohol. The drawings seem to be unusually finished and may have been executed in Partch's studio. The drawings, left to right, are labeled (Scotch) and (Gin). Or perhaps they're about shaking drinks.
Scan by Scott Burns

Note:  Scott Burns has come through once again with a great scan of a Partch rarity. This is his eighth contribution to this blog. You'll see, we'll be up to ten in no time.

Can one have too much of a good thing? I don't see how. Attempted Bloggery seeks images of original Vip cartoons or signed Virgil Partch books with souvenir drawings.


Friday, October 16, 2020

Snookey's Copy of The Wild, Wild Women by Vip

Today Scott Burns shares with us a scan of Snookey's copy of The Wild, Wild Women (1952) by Virgil Franklin Partch, Vip if you like. As far as the zany drawing goes, the eyes have it.
Scan by Scott Burns

  My thanks once again go to Scott Burns. This is the seventh post to which he's contributed, and there's still more to come.

Attempted Bloggery seeks more signed Virgil Partch books bearing original drawings just like this one. Well, more or less like this one.


Thursday, October 15, 2020

Footnote: A Copy of Vip on Love... Relations in Strange Locations

A copy of Vip on Love...: Relations in Strange Locations (1978) is signed by Virgil Partch with an original Vip drawing that is not dedicated to any specific recipient. The book is a collection of risque cartoons about sexual relations in odd circumstances. This scan, merely a footnote to the vast output of Partch cartoons, is provided by Scott Burns from his personal library. I think you'll agree it's an upstanding drawing.
Scan by Scott Burns

Note:  My thanks to Scott Burns. This is the sixth post he's made possible, and there's more on the way.

Attempted Bloggery is a place to share signed Vip books with original drawings. How many blogs can make that claim?


Wednesday, October 14, 2020

The Cartoon Collections Caption Contest #96

I did not enter the Cartoon Collections Caption Contest #96 this week and, given my preliminary caption, I don't think anything was lost. The drawing of a pair of sheep cowboys is by Lars Kenseth.

"No, I don't think we look alike to them."

October 23, 2020 Update:  The Winner

Lars Kenseth's Captions:

Quick Links to the Attempted Bloggery Archives:

Lars Kenseth



Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Virgil Partch: Show Jumping

Scott Burns has done it again. He writes with an original equestrian cartoon from the madcap Virgil Partch, who signs his name Vip. As prolific as Partch was, Scott notes that we don't see too many of his cartoons in color. Scott dates this cartoon to the Big George years, which would be from 1960, the panel strip's origin, to Partch's death in 1984 (although the comic strip continued until 1990 when Vip's finished gags ran out).

Virgil Partch
Scan by Scott Burns

Note:  My thanks once again go to Scott Burns. This is his fifth contribution to Attempted Bloggery and the fourth original Vip cartoon he has unearthed. What will come next? Wait and see.

Was this cartoon published? If so, where and when? Those are the kinds of questions I like to ask but can't answer. If you can, please contact me.

There is quite a lot of original Virgil Partch cartoon art out there, enough to support a dedicated Vip blog, no doubt. Until such a blog arrives on the scene, I will be happy to post scans of original Partch art right here. All you need is a Partch cartoon and a scanner. Come on, you know what to do.


Monday, October 12, 2020

My Entry in The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #728

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of my entry in The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #728 for October 12, 2020. The drawing is by Akeem Roberts.

"You're just not cut out to swim with the sharks."

October 19, 2020 Update:  The Finalists


Sunday, October 11, 2020

Bob Eckstein: In Search of a China Shop

Last week the Facebook group New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest Rejects (and Enthusiasts) held a one-off caption contest featuring a cartoon by Bob Eckstein showing These days most of the caption contests based on The New Yorker model offer no tangible prize at all, but this one is actually pretty sweet. The original of this signed cartoon embellished with the winning caption is to be the first prize in the contest. Second prize is an inscribed copy of All’s Fair in Love & War: The Ultimate Cartoon Book (2020) edited by Bob Eckstein. The third prize is a copy of The Elements of Stress and the Pursuit of Happy-ish in this Current Sh*tstorm (2020) by Bob Eckstein and Michael Shaw, also inscribed by—no coincidence—Bob Eckstein. The contest, which closed Friday, was open only to members of the Facebook group.
"This year I'm bullish on chaos."

Incidentally, the caption shown here, which I did write, is really just a placeholder. I did not enter the contest and did not come up with even this rudimentary caption until today, two days after the contest closed. Promotions have their place though, and this contest reminds us of a cause to celebrate: the publication of two new books from Bob Eckstein.

October 12, 2020 Update:  The Finalists

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Gluyas Williams: Crisis in Washington

What if the sitting president refuses to leave the White House when his term is up? This surprisingly topical question has already been asked and answered by cartoonist Gluyas Williams—in 1929! 

President Coolidge refuses point-blank to vacate the White
House until his other rubber is found
Gluyas Williams
The Gluyas Williams Book, Doubleday Doran, 1929, p. 31
First published in Life, Vol. 93, No. 2415, February 15, 1929, page 10
Scan by Tom Bloom

Obviously, the political situation at the time of the 1928 election was not analogous to today's. President Calvin Coolidge did not seek a second term in office. He was succeeded by fellow Republican Herbert Hoover, who defeated Democrat Al Smith. Prosperity seemed assured.

The Williams cartoon appeared in the February 15, 1929 issue of the old Life magazine with the heading Crisis in Washington. The Life caption refers to the president as Mr. Coolidge rather than President Coolidge. This was a timely cartoon because in 1929 the inauguration was still held on March 4. Eight years later, it would be moved up to January 20, where it remains.

So the caption was reworked slightly for the 1929 publication of The Gluyas Williams Book, presumably because Mr. Coolidge was deemed too informal. The Crisis in Washington heading was dropped.

The Gluyas Williams Book, Doubeday Doran, 1929
Scan by Tom Bloom

Meanwhile, the Massachusetts Historical Society, founded in 1791, seems to have the original Williams art in its collection...and on its Twitter account. The caption on the matte is identical to the published caption in Life:

Note:  My thanks to Tom Bloom for spotting this cartoon, recognizing its timeliness, and providing the book scans. This is Tom's fourteenth contribution to the blog, give or take a few ballots. 


Friday, October 9, 2020

Something Fresh from Virgil Partch

Scott Burns has gone into his files and come up with this original cartoon from the hand of Vip, or Virgil Partch.

"Why is it you've always got to drink until you  turn into a vegetable?"
Virgil Partch

Note:  Thanks to Scott Burns for providing this image. This is already the fourth blog post he's inspired here and the second one related to Virgil Partch.

I would like to hear from anyone who can identify a published cartoon related to this rough drawing.


Thursday, October 8, 2020

Down with Skool Signed by Geoffrey Willans and Ronald Searle

It's uncommon to find a copy of Down With Skool! A Guide to School Life for Tiny Pupils and Their Parents (1953) signed by both the author Geoffrey Willans (1911-1958) and the illustrator Ronald Searle (1920-2011). The book, shown here in a recent bookseller listing, dates from the first Molesworth's book's second printing. It has considerable foxing and wear, while of course it lacks a dust jacket. Given all that, the offering price was probably reasonable.

Geoffrey Willans and Ronald Searle
AbeBooks listing ended September 23, 2020


Wednesday, October 7, 2020

The Cartoon Collections Caption Contest #95

The Cartoon Collections Caption Contest #95 presents us with the classic big bunny in the city scenario. I've given up on trying to tell which character is doing the speaking. My entries are below, whoever is saying them. The drawing is by Peter Kuper.

"Harvey who?"
"You know the rules: no leash means no carrots."
"Promise me you won't attract any attention."

October 14, 2020 Update:  The Winner

Quick Links to the Attempted Bloggery Archives:

Peter Kuper