Wednesday, June 30, 2021

The CartoonStock Caption Contest #132

All week I've been in training for the CartoonStock Caption Contest #132. My three entries may be seen below. The drawing is by Bob Mankoff.

"All I did was ask for a juice box."
"My trainer still coaches from jail."
"I can't find my balls."


Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Sight Unseen: Raymond's Copy of Think Good Thoughts About a Pussycat by George Booth

From time to time, if only to amuse and challenge myself, I buy cartoon books sight unseen. Generally, there is something about their description I find alluring enough to be willing to take a risk. Don't try this at home unless you're willing to face possible disappointment.

In the case of a copy of George Booth's now classic Think Good Thoughts About a Pussycat (1975), bookseller John K. King offered an inscribed copy with drawings by Marvin Tannenberg, Sam Gross, Bill Woodman, and Booth. That's a great combination of cartoonists usually found in signed copies of the The Art in Cartooning (1975) from the Cartoonists' Guild. Perhaps Raymond, the book's original recipient, carried his copy of the Booth book into the signing, or perhaps it was also available for purchase at whatever venue the signing was held. The seller speculates that Raymond was cartoonist Raymond Thayer, which is interesting, but there's no clear evidence for this one way or the other. 

The price of $224.25 is admittedly pricey for a book one hasn't seen. One always worries that a suite of drawings such as this one hasn't been imaged because it just doesn't look quite as good as it sounds. But the bookseller threw in an unrelated letter he received from Booth in response, apparently, to a query or two about buying original art. The book and letter were listed on AbeBooks in February of this year with no images whatsoever:

George Booth
AbeBooks listing accessed February 13, 2021

Should I have bought the Booth book sight unseen? Should I have requested a photo or two first? Maybe, but I just went ahead and bought it. Now let's see how it all turned out:

With original drawings by (clockwise from top left) Marvin Tannenberg, Sam Gross, Bill Woodman, and George Booth, all inscribed to Raymond

ALS from George Booth to John K. King, bookseller, December 21, 1977

There you have it. Three of the cartoonists drew self-portraits, to all appearances, and Booth drew a dog, helpfully labeled DOG. Perhaps these were drawn for a fellow cartoonist. It's hard to say for certain.

The verdict? I am not unhappy with this purchase. The book seems unique enough. If I did overpay, I feel it was not by much. At any rate, I have no regrets about this.


Monday, June 28, 2021

My Entry in The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #761

The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #761 is from the issue of June 28, 2021. My caption is shown below. The drawing is by Sam Hurt.

"Just don't make any lemonade."

July 5, 2021 Update:  The Finalists


July 24, 2021 Update:  I neglected to vote on this one despite having two weeks in which to do it, or perhaps because of it. While I appreciate that the first caption is the most similar to my own, it plays on the end of the saying that begins with "When life gives you lemons..." The third caption, of course, plays on the beginning of that very phrase. So I most likely would have voted for the second caption, from Altadena, which manages to do something unexpected.

August 1, 2021 Update:  The Winner


Sunday, June 27, 2021

George Booth: A Song After Dark

Cartoonist George Booth turns 95 tomorrow. That makes today the perfect occasion to enjoy the original art from one of his 1978 New Yorker man-in-the-bathtub cartoons. It was sold at Swann Galleries some four decades after publication in regrettably faded condition. It is generally accepted wisdom that a cartoonist should strive to simplify compositions and omit unnecessary detail. Thank goodness Booth doesn't follow that advice.

"Last night I heard a cicada."
George Booth
Original art
The New Yorker, June 19, 1978, page 35

George Booth
Swann Auction Galleries
March 21, 2017
Hammer price

With buyer's premium

Spot drawing by Lászlo Roth and cartoon by George Booth

Note:  I've been hearing a cicada or two recently myself.

I would be happy to post more original drawings by George Booth that are held in private collections. Please share scans or photos with me.

August 7, 2021 Update:  The spot artist is evidently Lászlo Roth. I have updated the post accordingly.


Saturday, June 26, 2021

The Attempted Bloggery Tenth Anniversary Index

No one has ever said a Google search is the next best thing to Attempted Bloggery's tenth anniversary index, but I'm still hoping. Enjoy.

The Attempted Bloggery Index
"Never index your own book."
--Kurt Vonnegut
Cat's Cradle, 1963

"And what, may I inquire, were
you doing in my house?"
Peter Arno
Preliminary New Yorker cartoon art, c. 1949

New Yorker Artists
Pat Achilles
Marisa Acocella
Harry Haenigsen
Kaamran Hafeez
Tim Hamilton
William Hamilton

Eyvind Earle
Concept painting from "Sleeping Beauty," 1959
Other Cartoonists, Comic Strip Artists, Comic Book Artists, and Animators

Dr. Seuss

Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Baigneuse, 1888

Sander, August 
Konditor [Pastry Chef]