Book of Interest: Behaving Madly; Roz Chast’s New Project

Posted on 21st October 2016 in News

behaving-madly As Mad magazine is part of many a New Yorker cartoonist’s DNA, it seems fitting to mention this title coming out in the Spring of 2017.

Here’s a description from the publisher (IDW):

When “Mad” was turned into a magazine in 1954, every publisher and his uncle came up with his own version, often using the same talent. “Behaving Madly” presents 200 pages of never reprinted material by Bill Elder, Jack Davis, John Severin, Al Jaffee, Joe Maneely, Jack Kirby, Ross Andru, Joe Kubert, Russ Heath, Bob Powell, Howard Nostrand, Basil Wolverton, Steve Ditko, Lee Elias, and many others. This coffee table art book is produced by comic strip historian Ger Apeldoorn and Eisner winner Craig Yoe. Looking for a little more excitement in your life? Get mad and get Snafu, Lunatickle, Cockeyed, Crazy, Thimk, Frenzy, Frantic, Loco, Panic, and Zany, too!



Roz photo 2016

From the Wall Street Journal, “A Cartoonist Goes to Town”  — this short piece about Ms. Chast’s newest project.

Audio Interview of Interest: Edward Sorel & Jules Feiffer

Posted on 20th October 2016 in News

sorel_feifferHere’s a 50 minute radio interview with two giants: Edward Sorel and Jules Feiffer.   (Soundcloud offers a better listen.  Lots of distortion on the other link)

Katchor Interviewed; Sikoryak’s Carousel with Eckstein & Kuper

Posted on 19th October 2016 in News

From The Comics Journal, October 19, 2016, “Getting Material: A Short Interview katchorwith Ben Katchor”

Link here to Mr. Katchor’s website.

















Bob Eckstein and Peter Kuper  are included in  Robert Sikoryak’s October 26th Carousel .  Info here and on the poster.

Gil Roth’s Virtual Memories Interview with Liza Donnelly

Posted on 18th October 2016 in News









Gil Roth, who has been on a roll interviewing cartoonists, speaks with Liza Donnelly on this week’s installment of his Virtual Memories podcast.  Listen to it here.


Joe Dator Interviewed

Posted on 17th October 2016 in News

cartoonselfshotFrom Deconstructing Comics, October 16, 2016, “Joe Dator, New Yorker Cartoonist” — in this hour long interview. Mr. Dator talks about Mad magazine, Don Martin, Harvey Kurtzman, and The New Yorker, among other things.

Link here to Joe Dator’s website.

Bob Eckstein’s New York Daily News Cartoons

Posted on 16th October 2016 in News

















Bob Eckstein has been filling in at the New York Daily News for Bill Bramhall who is on vacation.  You can see a gallery of his work here.

Mr. Eckstein’s latest book is Footnotes From the World’s Greatest Bookstores: True Tales and Lost Moments From Book Buyers, Booksellers,  and Book Lovers (Clarkson Potter).

Eckstein's books

The Ink Spill Jack Ziegler Interview, Pt. 2

Posted on 13th October 2016 in News




In Part 1 of my interview with Jack Ziegler he mentioned having a few certain favorite drawings among [his] “children.” I asked him to name several for us to discuss over the phone. I also picked out a handful of my Ziegler favorites to discuss. As Jack said he’d like to be surprised, I had a number of other drawings in mind to bring up. What follows is a lightly edited transcript of that conversation, recorded less than a week ago.


MM: Let’s talk hamburgers.


JZ: Ok, why not.


MM: What is it about hamburgers?


JZ: There’s something funny about hamburgers. Hamburgers, toasters. parking meters…


MM: …Mr. Coffees…


JZ: I was thinking at one point of just doing a book about hamburgers, but I thought it might get a little tired.


MM: Well, I don’t know…right now I’m looking at the drawing on the back cover of Hamburger Madness.


JZ: That was done especially for the book.


MM: Lee Lorenz’s Essential Jack Ziegler has a hamburger drawing on the cover.


JZ: Yeah…that’s true.


MM: You’re like Mr. Hamburger, or something.


JZ: I guess. People always used to connect me with toasters, but after all these years the hamburgers are starting to shine through.


MM: That’s funny, because before I started looking through the collections of your drawings, that’s what I thought of: toasters. I thought: I’m gonna have you talk about toasters.


JZ: I still do some toasters. I like those old 1930s toasters.


MM: I looked at one of your latest drawings in the New Yorker… the airplane. The airplane itself – is that sort’ve based on…




















JZ: it’s not based on any experience of mine. If you’re drawing a regular airplane there’s nothing amusing about it. So you try to just make it a little bit nicer.

MM: It’s a grand airplane.

JZ: It looks like a big cargo plane that’s designed to carry tanks and villages.

MM: I love the way you draw trucks, such as the one in this drawing. Is this truck an amalgam?

JZ: It’s not based on any real truck. Nothing I draw is based on anything real. Even when I’m drawing an elephant, it’s certainly not anywhere near a real elephant. I like them with shorter legs and fatter than they really are.

MM: So you’re suggesting it’s an improvement?

JZ: Yes –it’s an improvement.

MM: I also like the little guy in the plane window, He looks a bit woeful.

JZ: I always like to put in an onlooker.

MM: That’s a good title for a book for you.

JZ: Onlookers Anonymous

MM: I like these vista or panoramic drawings you do, like the Where the Great Wall Ends, the Empire State Building, Pipeline TV, Great Moments from the Silver Screen. This might sound like a stretch, but the Silver Screen drawing looks a little like Steinberg to me.




JZ: Yeah, I guess. This was a drawing that never appeared anywhere but in this book [Hamburger Madness]. I like to get drawings out that I particularly like, that nobody else likes.


MM: All these drawings we’re looking at elicited a laugh beyond my brain, if you know what I mean. There’s a drawing right across from Silver Screen in Hamburger Madness — a guy in a phone booth saying Hare Krishna…very funny.


JZ: They’re essentially really stupid drawings. Y’know, drawings for dopes. Stuff that strikes me funny, a lot of the times for absolutely no reason at all. There’s just something there that’s funny, and I don’t know why. This Hare Krishna one is hardly even a joke, but it is. There’s definitely something wrong with me.

MM: Lucky for all of us.

MM: I love the pencil sharpeners with the pencil stub [“Had enough?”]

JZ: A drawing like that is from a doodle. I just started drawing the pencil sharpener that used to be on my desk. I started drawing several of them and they looked like they were looking at something. I had to put something there they were looking at, so I went with the logical.

MM: You feel sorry for the little pencil?



JZ: Yeah, it does look kind of pathetic.







MM: The drawing Hamburger Madness itself I identify with you a lot, back in the early 70s – the quintessential Jack Ziegler drawing.


ziegler-hamburger-madnessJZ: When the New Yorker bought it they didn’t run it for the longest time and I knew I wanted to use that title [for the book] so I had to kind of pressure Lee [Lorenz] to get that drawing in the mag before this thing got published. He was great about it, and within a couple of weeks it appeared.


MM: Tell me again – maybe I read it in Lee’s book [The Essential Jack Ziegler] or somewhere – that you created this idea of the box around the drawing?


JZ: No, I don’t think so. Kliban was doing stuff sorta but not quite like this. Almost all of his drawings were in boxes. And a lot of times there’d be a title usually up at the top, almost like a panel newspaper cartoon.

I don’t think anybody at the New Yorker was doing it. Right from the beginning I was doing drawings like that, a lot of times they weren’t boxed-in though. Eventually I realized they’d be more attractive and logical if there was box around the whole thing.

MM: The drawing with hooty owl took me by surprise, and that’s what you want right?


























 JZ: That’s exactly what you want. I would think you’d want that of all cartoons as you turn the page — that there’s a surprise.

MM: What about the Electrolux vacuum cleaner that’s in the sea. That’s kind of out there.

JZ: Another unpublished drawing as I recall.

MM: Love the drawing. I don’t expect you’d remember where it came from?

JZ: I’ve done a lot of drawings about Moby Dick, y’know. I’m sure this came from a doodle. I Probably drew the vacuum cleaner in the ocean first.

MM: You would agree that this one is fairly on the spectrum of crazy.

JZ: It’s unorthodox



MM: Let’s talk about “Damn it, man, do I look like I have any yellow ochre?” Another one of those panoramic, sort of vista drawings.




JZ: Yeah, right. I wanted to make it look like a painting by one of the Impressionists. Based on those lines of trees, those tall trees. It might be from a little after I was in France that one time in 2000. There was a New Yorker gig on the QEII and a bunch of us went over and we were drawing for the passengers and the folks in steerage. It was fun –they brought us to England, and then we went over to France and stayed there for awhile. It was so great. We visited Givenchy, Monet’s hometown. Really inspirational to look around there. You couldn’t help but want to be a painter when you looked at the color and the way things were set up.

MM: A beautiful drawing. You got the little car in there.

JZ: Well he had to get there, right?


MM: True, true. Very practical.

MM: A number of your drawings have a far eastern influence. 30 Sumos Over Tokyo for instance.


JZ: I think that was done after Sunrise on Mount Hibachi. I like looking at Japanese prints. Those woodblock prints.

MM: The clouds [in the Hibachi] drawing are great.

JZ: That’s the way the Japanese did the clouds in those days. Very organized.

MM: Bud Handelsman did a bunch of Japanese influenced New Yorker covers…

JZ: Yeah, Japanese type things. I don’t remember why.

MM: And Anatol Kovarsky with his Greek urns. Something for others to think about, I suppose. Interesting how a select few got into these different…

JZ: You have these peripheral interests in things and they kind of pop up every once in awhile when you’re doodling.

MM: The cowboy thing. We both have that in common. Why are they so fun, cowboys?

JZ: They’re just fun to draw. It’s an American icon. Everybody loves cowboys. Every guy wants at some point to be a cowboy, or have been a cowboy or hang out with cowboys. When you live out here [Kansas] you can drive up to Montana and see them all over the place.


MM: Munch Munch Munch was another that took me by surprise. I just thought he was munching. I just realized the double meaning today.

JZ: Really? Well you have to look very closely. I’ve done a whole bunch of drawings about Munch – it’s an image everyone knows. It’s like Moby Dick if you want to refer to a book, you almost always go to Moby Dick.

MM: Here’s another far eastern themed drawing: Fleetwood Mac. I’ve always loved it because I never understood Fleetwood Mac.

JZ: This was a much earlier Fleetwood Mac I was referring to, around the time they got mega platinum. I just needed the name of a band there.

MM: You just imagined this scene?


JZ: Yeah, right. Almost everything I do is as far as the scene background settings – it’s all made up.

MM: What are those little things off to the left on the bottom.

JZ: Oh those are just little houses down the hill. What did you think they were?


MM: Structures of some kind – I just wanted to be sure.


MM: About the burger hut franchise. I like it when you…draw.


JZ: I like doing a city-scape like that, as it were — a street scene. It just adds so much to it I think.

MM: Yeah, well context, of course. Although I guess you didn’t have to have those great buildings there but…

JZ: No, I didn’t but it just works so much better that way. It’s funnier I think.

MM: And that guy, who’s paused, almost paused, stopping and looking back at the work being done.

JZ: My onlooker!


MM: I found myself doing this today while working on a drawing — I kept drawing behind the main thing, adding buildings, rooftops. Is that what happened here?

JZ: It probably did. You know that giant duck on Long Island. You think about selling various things out of various houses… those wiener houses. I just kept drawing buildings in the background until it looked right, until I didn’t think it needed anymore.

MM: It looks like it could actually be a thing.

JZ: I know –you drive in, you drive out.

MM: It’s all very believable. These guys could be adding sesame seeds — not real sesame seeds. It could happen.

JZ: It probably did happen. I’m sure it has, somewhere.


MM: The cashews drawing: pretty wild drawing.



JZ: I just love the way the cashews are coming out of that spray can.

MM: It in a way reminds me of early underground stuff. It has that freaky quality to it.

MM: And First marriage?

JZ: It’s a standard set-up. I thought it’s just a funny thing for the new husband to say.

MM: I’m looking at the details, the guy taking the photo, the stained glass. When you’re drawing these things are you slightly laughing out loud, amused?

jz-first-marriageJZ: When I get the original idea yeah, I’m amused. I like that line. I’m not particularly amused when I’m drawing finishes.

MM: That’s why I don’t draw finishes. Does it happen with you – it happens with me all the time — that you come up with a drawing you really like but know the caption you come up with that moment is terrible, so you wait on it?

JZ: That’s true. That happens to me a lot. Well, not a lot, but occasionally.   I have a drawing I think is really nice but I don’t have an idea to go with it. And then I hang onto to it until something eventually comes to me.

MM: I can sit here and try to come up with something, and nothing. It happened yesterday. I did a drawing I liked, but there wasn’t a caption. And then this morning, I was in the motion of sitting down to look at that drawing and the right caption came to me.

JZ: Yeah, never throw those drawings out. The last drawing I sold The New Yorker was of a cat and dog looking at each other. I didn’t have any real caption. I put it away for a week and I got the proper caption.

MM: The Olympic guy. It’s a different kind of drawing. The guy’s in a little vestibule…



JZ: A little alleyway off the street.

MM: Very little.

JZ: Yes, very little. Very tiny.

MM: Could be a niche.

JZ: Could be a niche. What the hell is that?

MM: How about the doggy in the window drawing. You do a lot of bar drawings.


JZ: Well, I’m a bar guy. I’m always drawing from the bartender’s point of view.


MM: There’s a quote that keeps popping up in interviews with you: “I just want to do funny drawings.”

JZ: When I say funny drawings, I mean funny to me. A lot of my drawings are funny to me but definitely not funny to anyone else. But I always hope that if it’s gonna appeal to me it could possibly appeal to others as well.

MM: What you’re saying is fundamentally the way I operate. I’m trying to please my own sense of humor. Several people over the years have said to me, “I wonder what Lee Lorenz finds funny,” or “I wonder what Bob [Mankoff] finds funny,” or “what does [David] Remnick find funny,” and I always say to them, don’t think like that.

JZ: You can’t — you have to just really think about yourself; whenever I do drawings I never think about the New Yorker – I’m just trying to come up with drawings that I like.

MM: That’s the key to success.

JZ: That’s what I tell all the new kids.

MM: One more hamburger drawing: the big hamburger on the beach. Wondering if this is a Gulliver’s Travels thing?

JZ: Yes, Gulliver’s Travels. It has no meaning.

MM: So that’s his hamburger that’s arrived in the little people’s land?

JZ: Your guess is as good as mine.






(Photo of Jack Ziegler edging closer to Lake Erie, Windsor, Ontario, c.2008,  courtesy of Mr. Ziegler. Photo by Kelli Ziegler)

Jack Ziegler’s favorites among his children:

Sunrise on Mt. Hibachi – New Yorker May 7, 1984

Spray Cashews – New Yorker November 19, 2001

“…yellow ochre…” New Yorker November 11, 2004

“…bitchin’ set of wheels…” New Yorker  June 30, 2008…shown in Part 1 of the interview

“First marriage?” New Yorker  July 20, 2009

Cannon in bushes  New Yorker  February 9, 2015…shown in Part 1 of the interview


Blitt and Kuper on Society of Illustrators Panel; Gil Roth Roth Interviews Glen Baxter; Another Look at Abner Dean; Felipe Galindo In Conference on Political Satire in Latin America; A Case For Pencils’ Pencils

Posted on 12th October 2016 in News




Last Minute Notice!

“Can Art Affect Social Change?”  Barry Blitt and Peter Kuper, among others, will discuss tonight at The Society of Illustrators.  Details here



Check out Gil Roth’s wonderful interview with Glen Baxter on Mr. Roth’s Virtual Memories podcast here.

(Mr. Baxter talks about coming to The New Yorker in the Robert Gottlieb era).

While on the Virtual Memories site also be sure to take a look at past episodes, especially the long list of cartoonists (full disclosure, this cartoonist is among those listed).



dean jacket.inddFrom New York Review Comics comes a new edition of Abner Dean’s What Am I Doing Here? originally published in 1947.  Read Mark Frauenfelder’s piece on it here on Boing Boing.

Here’s Mr. Dean’s entry on Ink Spill’s New Yorker Cartoonists A-Z:

Abner Dean Born, New York City, March 18, 1910. Died, June 30, 1982, NYC.  According to his New York Times obit (July 1, 1982) Dean “started his career at the National Academy of Design and went to Dartmouth College, where he graduated in 1931.”  He published numerous collections of his work, including It’s A Long Way to Heaven  (Farrar & Rinehart, 1945) and Wake Me When It’s Over (Simon & Schuster, 1955). Although primarily a cover artist for The New Yorker (he contributed five, all in the 1930s), he did publish one drawing in the magazine: January 2, 1960. 



71440 Felipe Galindo  (aka Feggo) is participating in  Bitter Laughter: A Conference on Political Satire and Press Freedom in Latin America — a conference taking place in New York City this coming Saturday:  Details here.



a-case-for-pencils-logoJane Mattimoe, who runs the wonderfully informative blog, A Case For Pencils, wherein New Yorker cartoonists share their tools of the trade, is sharing her own tools of the trade this week.  Check it out here.

John Lennon: “I was about 15 when I started Thurberizing the drawings.”

Posted on 9th October 2016 in News

Back in December of 2013 Ink Spill ran a piece, “John Lennon & James Thurber: A Sunnier Connection.”  To celebrate John Lennon’s birthday, I’m re-posting that piece, albeit in slightly edited form.



Anyone familiar with John Lennon’s and James Thurber’s drawings can’t help but see some cross-pollination from Thurber to Lennon.  Lennon’s drawings, published in 1964’s In His Own Write immediately drew comparisons to Thurber’s work. According to a Lennon biographer, Ray Coleman, Lennon at first scoffed at the suggestion, telling a BBC interviewer in 1965, who brought up book reviewers mentioning Thurber and Edward Lear (among others) as influences on Lennon’s work, “I deny it because I’m ignorant of it.”

Not too many years later, in 1971, during an appearance by Yoko Ono and Lennon on The Dick Cavett Show, Cavett brought up the subject, saying, “You know, your drawings look a little like James Thurber’s.”


In a funny moment as Lennon begins to respond to Cavett, Yoko Ono turns to Lennon and says, “His work does look a bit like yours, y’know, I think” to which Lennon replies, “Well he’s older than me, so he came first, so I look like him.”  And then he went on to say:

“I used to love his stuff when I was a kid. There were three people I was very keen on—Lewis Carroll, Thurber and an English drawer, or whatever you call him, called Ronald Searle. When I was about 11, I was turned on to those three. I think I was about 15 when I started Thurberizing the drawings.” (Another Lennon biographer, Philip Norman, credits Lennon’s Aunt Mimi with introducing her nephew to Thurber’s work).

[Top drawing, from  The Thurber Carnival.   Lower drawing from Lennon’s A Spaniard in The Works]

 Note: In His Own Write and the follow-up, A Spaniard in the Works are still in print.  You can see many of the drawings in those two books by Googling: John Lennon +drawings    (then select “Images”)

 To see the Yoko Ono & John Lennon Cavett moment, click here.  The discussion turns to Thurber at around the 6:05 mark.

Interview of Interest: Shannon Wheeler

Posted on 7th October 2016 in News

wheelerFrom webcomicsinterviews, October 5th, “Shannon Wheeler Interview”

Here’s Ink Spill’s Shannon Wheeler  “New Yorker Cartoonists A-Z” entry:

Shannon Wheeler  NYer work: May 4, 2009 – .   Key collection: I Thought You Would Be Funnier ( BOOM! Studios, 2010). Website: