Thursday, December 1, 2022

My Copy of Kevin Maher and Joe Dator's Santa Doesn't Need Your Help

Santa may not be quite as spry as he used to be, but he certainly doesn't need any young do-gooders to step in and try to save Christmas. That is the premise of Santa Doesn't Need Your Help, told in verse and pictures. The new children's book is written by filmmaker Kevin Maher and illustrated by New Yorker cartoonist Joe Dator. Always the procrastinator, I ordered my copy from Porter Square Books of Boston while a book signing was actually underway. Both author and artist have signed the book and both have drawn a picture of someone who doesn't need your help, so don't ask.







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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

My Copy of Jeremy Nguyen's Can I Pet Your Dog?

New Yorker cartoonist Jeremy Nguyen's first solo book is out and it's called Can I Pet Your Dog? It is a colorful compendium of offbeat strategies for petting other people's dogs. I purchased a copy online through the cartoonist's website and sent him a photo of my dog Minty whose portrait Jeremy kindly sketched in the book. Not a bad deal for $15 postpaid. I added another $10 for Pup: A Zine of Dog Cartoons. I'm generally not much of a zine person, but fill one with dog cartoons and I'm not going to say no.

Jeremy Nguyen
Pup: A Zine of Dog Cartoons and Can I Pet Your Dog?



The book is signed and paw-printed. It includes an original drawing of my dog Minty.




Like the book, the zine is signed by Jeremy and pawprint-signed by a cavapoo acquaintance of his named Lava, the one on the book's cover.


Note:  The very offer I took advantage of is still available on Jeremy's website here.


Minty is an eleven-year-old maltipoo. Here is her reference photo. Would you like to pet her?









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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Yours for a Grand: Michael Witte's Eustace Tilley in The Nutcracker

Since its premiere in 1954, George Balanchine's production of Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker" has been a holiday institution in New York. Spoiler alert: The ballet ends with Marie and the Prince carried off in a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer.

Photo: © Paul Kolnik / The New York City Ballet / The George Balanchine Trust


In 1989, illustrator Michael Witte revisited this moment, adding The New Yorker's mascot Eustace Tilley as a third passenger in the sleigh, an excellent vantage point from which to observe through his monocle a butterfly perched on a reindeer antler. The drawing was used as a seasonal spot illustration in the Goings On About Town section of The New Yorker, one of a long series by Witte featuring Eustace Tilley in various situations and settings.

Michael Witte
Original art
The New Yorker, December 11, 1989, p. 8


The original art, unsigned, is available from Sotheby's, who identifies it only as "a Christmas scene," for a fixed price. It is also available from James Cummins, bookseller, no doubt the consignor, also for $1,000.
Michael Witte
Sotheby's listing accessed November 28, 2022


James Cummins, bookseller, reveals that the drawing belonged to James H. Heineman. He dates the drawing to circa 1995 and identifies it only as a "Christmas subject."

Michael Witte
James Cummins, bookseller, listing accessed November 28, 2022
https://www.jamescumminsbookseller.com/pages/books/24027/new-yorker-magazine-art-michael-witte/new-yorker-drawing-original-ink-drawing-of-christmas-subject

In the magazine, the 13" x 16" original is reduced to a one-and-a-quarter column width.

Michael Witte
Original art
The New Yorker, December 11, 1989, p. 8



Note:
  Michael Witte pronounces his name Witty while cartoonist Phil Witte, no relation, pronounces his name Wit. (Thanks to Phil Witte for that.)




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Monday, November 28, 2022

My Entry in The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #829

I needed some direction for The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #829 from the issue of November 28, 2022. My classy caption is shown below. The drawing is by Lonnie Millsap.

"Everywhere you look, there's porn."




These captions were just too rigid:
"As if we can't read..."
"Oh, good. We can go back to slithering."
"They're becoming more inclusive."
"You can thank universal access."







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Sunday, November 27, 2022

Richard Merkin's and Edith Oliver's Copies of McSorley's Wonderful Saloon by Joseph Mitchell

Journalist Joseph Mitchell (1908-1996) came to The New Yorker from the World-Telegram in the late 1930s and he continued to elevate the art of the profile. After 1964,  he still showed up at his office at The New Yorker every day to write but, afflicted with depression and writer's block, he produced nothing more that was published in his lifetime. New Yorker illustrator Richard Merkin (1938-2009), born in the year Mitchell left the World-Telegram, found the writer somewhere—possibly still there in his office—on April 7, 1996, and asked him to sign a first edition of McSorley's Wonderful Saloon (1943). Mitchell, it is evident from the inscription, was familiar with Merkin's work from the magazine. He was to die of metastatic lung cancer on May 24, fewer than seven weeks after signing the book.



Joseph Mitchell
AbeBooks listing accessed November 26, 2022

No doubt Mitchell felt some kinship with the staff, both artists and writers, who worked at the magazine, and even some of those writers who didn't. There is another copy of this book currently listed online which he signed to theater and film critic Edith Oliver (1913-1998) in 1943, four years before Oliver even came to work at The New Yorker, and more than fifty years earlier than he signed Merkin's copy. Was this obtained at a book signing, or privately? Both copies are listed at $3,500.



Joseph Mitchell
Abe Books listing accessed November 26, 2022




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Saturday, November 26, 2022

Danny Shanahan's Copy of Up in the Old Hotel by Joseph Mitchell

Author Joseph Mitchell (1908-1996) and cartoonist Danny Shanahan (1956-2021) were both associated with The New Yorker, although they were from distinctly different generations and creative disciplines. No doubt there's an interesting story about how, in 1992, the young cartoonist obtained a signed copy of Up in the Old Hotel from the venerated writer, but that bit of history is probably lost to us.


Joseph Mitchell
AbeBooks listing accessed November 25, 2022








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Friday, November 25, 2022

The 2022 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

A quick check of the blog archives reveals that it has been twelve years since I attended the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and six years since I visited the balloon inflation. Any reasonable person would conclude that I have officially retired from parade going. Fortunately, three million other people still do go and one of them, my friend Uki, provided me with some photographs for which I am very grateful. These pictures were taken at Columbus Circle as the parade turned from Central Park West onto Central Park South—while I watched on TV at home.

Pillsbury Doughboy

Pillsbury Doughboy

The Boss Baby

The Boss Baby

The Boss Baby

Ada Twist, Scientist

Ada Twist, Scientist

Ada Twist, Scientist

Blue's Clues & You!

Chase of PAW Patrol and the 1-2-3 Sesame Street float

Chase
PAW Patrol


1-2-3 Sesame Street

Chase
PAW Patrol

Chase
PAW Patrol

Keystone Cops

Flag bearers follow the New York City Police Department Police Band


Red Titan
Ryan's World


Red Titan
Ryan's World



Goku
Dragon Ball



Goku from Dragon Ball and the Brick-Changer float from Lego


Goku
Dragon Ball
You can see the statue of Christopher Columbus on the left.

Macy's Stars


Tiptoe
Macy's

Pikachu and Eevee
Pokémon

Pikachu and Eevee
Pokémon

Pikachu and Eevee
Pokémon

Candy Cane

Santa & Co.





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