Wednesday, October 20, 2021

George Booth: A Signed Omnibooth Promotion

Who could pass up an opportunity to enjoy some of George Booth's work? A print promotion for his collection Omnibooth (1984) signed by the cartoonist turned up on eBay where it was sold this summer for $45 despite some prominent sunning at one of the folds on the unsigned side. The eBay seller calls this item a poster, as one side can be displayed unfolded as a banner advertisement for the book. The other side, though, can best be appreciated at reading distance. The small print and the even folds indicate that this was meant to be a promotional brochure which could double as a wall display.

George Booth's signature

An encounter between a cat and an English bull terrier in four panels

"If you ask me, this thing is going to get a whole lot worse
before it gets better."

"You got here just in time, Mr. Lundquist. The boys are ready
to give your transmission the gang gong."

"I have a stuffed chair and a rag rug that are going out
in the spring sunshine today, Elsie!"

George Booth
eBay listing ended July 28, 2021

George Booth
eBay item description


Tuesday, October 19, 2021

My Entries in the Moment Cartoon Caption Contest for September/October 2021

Reveille it ain't. The ram's horn is called a shofar and it is traditionally blown during Jewish synagogue services on Rosh Hashanah and at the end of Yom Kippur. Moment magazine's Cartoon Caption Contest for September/October 2021 provides a needed wakeup call. My entries are shown below. The rousing drawing is by Benjamin Schwarz.

"What makes you think it's in tune?"
"It sounds more like a Ricola gadola."
"Does he have to practice every day for a once-a-year gig?"
"He sounds great on the side I can still hear."
"You had to tell him no bagel breakfast until he practices."
"Guess who forgot to take out his hearing aid?"
"Is this what you meant by unconditional love?"


Monday, October 18, 2021

My Entry in The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #776

Last week I worked from home on The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #776 from the issue dated October 18, 2021. My caption is shown below. The drawing is by Mort Gerberg.

"I wish he knew as much about fixing a relationship."


Sunday, October 17, 2021

My Copy of Inked by Joe Dator

The full title of Joe Dator's funny and informative new book is Inked: Cartoons, Confessions, Rejected Ideas and Secret Sketches from The New Yorker's Joe Dator. The official release date is Tuesday, October 19, and my personalized copy just arrived in Friday's mail. The inscription is inspired and, come to think of it, says much about my reason for keeping this blog going all these years. The original sketch features Joe's character Walter, the one on the cover wearing a tie, rising brilliantly over the serene landscape. 

Joe Dator and Inked

Note:  Inked is a terrific read. I found the book to be very humorous as well as insightful about the creative process, striking a balance that is rarely seen in cartoon books. I don't hesitate to recommend Joe Dator's Inked to all the readers of this blog.


Saturday, October 16, 2021

My Copy of The Elements of Stress by Bob Eckstein and Michael Shaw

I wish to thank snowman expert and New Yorker cartoonist Bob Eckstein for a signed copy of The Elements of Stress (2020), which he cowrote with fellow New Yorker cartoonist Michael Shaw. The book is the Strunk & White of stress reduction, only with lots of cartoons and humor. And in the unlikely event the book doesn't help me to achieve "the pursuit of happy-ish," Bob provided me with a stress-reducing promotional squeeze toy as well. Now I'm ready for anything.


Friday, October 15, 2021

Personna Advertising Art by Whitney Darrow, Jr., Part 2

As we have seen previously, New Yorker cartoonist Whitney Darrow, Jr., created advertising art for the client Personna, maker of fine razor blades. The illustration shown here depicts an ancient man complete with sandals, robe, and a long, white beard. Perhaps he is an anachronistic candidate for the premium shaving gear being promoted here. His stool appears to be the capital of a column and the steam from his cooking pot reveals the head and tail of a tiger. Presumably some slick advertising copy pulled this all together.

Whitney Darrow, Jr.
eBay listing ended August 5, 2021
Whitney Darrow, Jr.
eBay item description
Whitney Darrow, Jr.
eBay bid history
It's the last bid that wins, with nine seconds to spare.

Note:  This is the second original Personna illustration by Whitney Darrow, Jr., to appear on this blog but I have yet to hear from anyone who can tell me something more about the ad campaign. Fortunately, I can be patient.

I'm waiting...


Thursday, October 14, 2021

The CartoonStock Caption Contest #140

Admittedly, it was slow going for me these past weeks, as it was for the two diners in the CartoonStock Caption Contest #140, which I never even got to. Although there are now two weeks to work on each contest, I did not manage to write even one caption, let alone the three permitted. And I don't even feel remorse. The drawing is by Phil Witte.



Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Vic Mizzy: The Addams Family Theme

It seems almost inexplicable today, but an autograph musical quotation, signed, of Vic Mizzy's iconic theme song to "The Addams Family" television show based, of course, on the classic New Yorker drawings of Charles Addams, did not find a buyer in 2014 at RR Auction. As a result, the presale estimate has been deleted from the auction house's website, so it's hard to say whether the lot was offered at a reasonable price. Whatever the case, though, there's no disputing that series has one snappy theme:

Vic Mizzy
RR Auction
June 26, 2014

"The Addams Family" Theme
Season 1 (1964-1965)


Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Mrs. Schaefer's Copy of Monster Rally by Charles Addams

It is my casual observation that Charles Addams didn't create all that many souvenir drawings featuring solely Gomez from the Addams Family. His book drawings are quite often populated with Wednesday and Uncle Fester. Sketches of Pugsley are slightly less common, as are the exquisite renderings of Morticia. But how often does one find a presentation drawing of Gomez Addams?

Well, for one, Mrs. Schaefer's copy of Monster Rally (1950) has such a sketch. Addams's inscription to her was made in 1970 some twenty years after publication, in language suggesting she might have been an old family friend or teacher. Considering the rarity of this character, the 2013 selling price of $360 seems quite the bargain.


Charles Addams
RR Auctions
March 13, 2013

Note:  As I have mentioned before, perhaps too often, Addams Family members were as yet unnamed when Monster Rally was published in 1950. By 1970, when Addams signed this book, legions of fans knew their names thanks to "The Addams Family" TV show, which first aired in 1964. Still, it would have been unusual for Addams himself to note his character's names in such books.

I have been privileged to post many such Addams books on this blog and with reader help I can continue to do so. For this, all I need are enterprising readers to supply scans or photographs of books by Charles Addams with uniquely original drawings.


Monday, October 11, 2021

My Entry in The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #775

It's too late now for The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #775 from the issue dated October 11, 2021. My caption is shown below. The drawing is by Sarah Kempa.

"Did one of you cue the pyrotechnics?"

These captions weren't evolved enough:

"Do we have time for another take?"
"Let's do the next take in double-time."
"Our playing is about to get hotter."


Saturday, October 9, 2021

A George Plimpton Letter to Danny Shanahan

George Plimpton (1927-2003), editor of The Paris Review, had been in attendance at a book launch for Lee Lorenz's The Art of the New Yorker 1925-1995 where he, Plimpton, polymath that he was, joined the cartoonists who were signing copies of the book. As I recall, one of the copies he signed at the event belonged to cartoonist Danny Shanahan (1956-2021), who at one time posted images from it on his Facebook page, including one which showed that Plimpton had indulged in his own fanciful propeller-like doodles. Plimpton, it seems, had pitched Shanahan briefly on joining other cartoonists in contributing to the The Paris Review's forthcoming issue dedicated to humor which was slated for the fall of 1995.

Plimpton followed up by sending an undated, typed letter asking Shanahan to select a special cartoon of his and describe how it came into being, giving him a deadline in just some three weeks. For whatever reason, this never happened and the issue went to press without a contribution from the cartoonist. In 2013, Shanahan put the letter up for sale on the auction site eBay. He included a handwritten note from Plimpton with three of those very same little propeller doodles, or as Shanahan described it, a "very rare, one-of-a-kind, hand-drawn, signed cartoon." That may have been overselling it.

                                George Plimpton Writes to Danny Shanahan
                                      eBay listing ended June 9, 2013

Note:  Michael Maslin discusses his two—count 'em, two—copies of The Paris Review's 1995 humor issue on Ink Spill right here.


Friday, October 8, 2021

Danny Shanahan: High-Tech Heist

We learn from a recent eBay sale that the late Danny Shanahan (1956-2021) produced an undated demonstration sketch on a large sheet of newsprint dedicated to one Charles. It has been framed, which gives an indication of the esteem in which the owner held it. A 2002 New Yorker cover by the cartoonist was added under glass at the lower right, giving us a small clue as to the sketch's date of origin. The drawing depicts a man, perhaps Charles himself, committing a bank heist while a Computers 'R' Us truck serves possibly as a high-tech getaway car. The man dashes nimbly down the steps in front of the bank. The specific name on the truck could very well have something to do with Charles's occupation, which is presumably not bank robber.

Danny Shanahan
eBay listing ended August 12, 2021

Danny Shanahan
eBay item description