Joseph R. Carroll added to The One Club

Place this discovery in the happy accidents category:  Janet Utts’s  Index of New Yorker Cartoons 1975 – 1985 (John Gordon Burke Publisher,Inc.,1986) contains a basketful of biographical information on New Yorker cartoonists who contributed work to the magazine during those years.  I was going through the bios the other day, double-checking facts when I ran across Joseph R. Carroll’s entry.

 

Mr. Carroll, who spent 48 years at The New Yorker, had just one cartoon published in the magazine, the issue of January 16, 1984. Unlike his associates in Utts’s Cartoon Index, Mr. Carroll’s New Yorker career had more to do with the physical magazine itself, and others cartoons rather than with his cartoons, or should I say, cartoon. Here’s an excerpt of his bio (the cartoonists supplied their own bios for the book):

 

Born June 7, 1919, NYC…self-taught artist. First work appeared in the New Yorker in 1936… Editorial Director at The New Yorker, selected cartoons, made up and laid out every issue.  With The New Yorker over 48 years. Responsible for the New Yorker Cartoon Albums published every 10, 25 and 50 years.

 

An online search today revealed that Mr. Carroll only recently passed away,  December 30,  2010 at the age of 91.  His obit expanded upon the above biographical information from the Utts Index):

 

Starting his career in 1936 as a Make-up & Layout Specialist under the tutelage of Mr. Harold Ross, founder and original editor of The New Yorker, Mr. Carroll honed his skills and expertise that eventually culminated in his position of Editorial Production Director. As the Director, Joe was responsible for the layout and production…He held this position until his retirement in 1985. Many of his techniques are still being used by the magazine today. Beyond his technical skill in layout and production, he also lent his talent to the pages of The New Yorker that featured several articles published in the Talk of the Town as well as an original cartoon.

 

Mr. Carroll’s one cartoon during his 48 years at the New Yorker immediately qualifies him to enter the One Club — an Ink Spill category for those cartoonists who were published but once in the magazine during their careers.  His bio, as all  bios of One Club members,  appears in red in The New Yorker Cartoonists A -Z.

 

National Cartoonists Society Best Gag Cartoonist nominees include Ziegler, Stevens, Chast and Gross

From The Daily Cartoonist“NCS announces 2012 division awards” — Four New Yorker cartoonists are nominated in the Gag Cartoon category: Jack Ziegler, Mick Stevens, Roz Chast and Sam Gross. Barry Blitt, a New Yorker contributor perhaps best known for his covers, is nominated in the category of Magazine Feature/Magazine illustration. Congratulations to all!

And for more on the National Cartoonists Society, link here to their website.

Barbara Shermund Biography In the Works

Word has reached Ink Spill that a biography of the prolific New Yorker cartoonist (and cover artist) Barbara Shermund is in the works. Shermund’s great niece, Amanda Gormley is in the early stages of research on the artist’s life and work.  Ms. Gormley writes that her “goal is to bring her story to light and marry her early life and works in San Francisco to her life and love for New York.”  Anyone wishing to contribute information on Barbara Shermund may contact Ms. Gormley through her email address: amanda.janes@att.net

Here’s Ink Spill’s  “New Yorker Cartoonists A – Z” listing:

Barbara Shermund Born, San Francisco. 1899. Studied at The California School of Fine Arts. Died, 1978, New Jersey.  New Yorker work: June 13, 1925 thru September 16, 1944.  8 covers and 599 cartoons. Shermund’s later. post-New Yorker  work was  featured in Esquire. (See Liza Donnelly’s book,  Funny Ladies — a history of The New Yorker’s women cartoonists — for more on Shermund’s life and work)

Shermund’s self portrait above from Colliers Collects Its Wits (Harcourt Brace and Company, NY.  1940, 1941)

Niculae Asciu, New Yorker Cover Artist & Cartoonist, Dies at Age 70

The long time illustrator for The New York Times,  Niculae Asciu has died at age 70.  Mr Asciu was also a New Yorker cartoonist and cover artist, contributing 3 covers and 23 cartoons  over sixteen years, from 1974 thru 1990.  Mr. Asciu was that rare cartoonist whose work, like his contemporary Nurit Karlin,  was mostly captionless if not entirely wordless — not one of Mr. Asciu’s New Yorker cartoons bore a caption.  His line, disarmingly casual but precise, seemed to echo elements of Bruce Petty and Arnie Levin, as well as his fellow Romanian, Saul Steinberg.

 

According to his New York Times obit (March 17, 2013), Mr. Asciu was born April 5, 1942 in Cerna Voda, Romania. He died  March 3, 2013, in Queens, New York.

(A tip of the hat to Mike Lynch, especially for the link to this translated piece on Mr. Asciu from cotidianul.ro: “He Died a Great Cartoonist: Nicolae Asciu”)

Happy Birthday, Mr. Roth

Philip Roth, who celebrates his 80th birthday today, was first published in The New Yorker the issue of March 14, 1959, with his story, “Defender of the Faith” causing an immediate stir (see the upcoming PBS American Masters profile “Philip Roth: Unmasked”  for, among so many other things,  Mr. Roth’s recollection of buying, opening up, reading and rereading his story in this particular issue — jokingly(?) saying he even read it “upside down”).

 

The issue featured a cover by the wonderful Abe Birnbaum, who contributed nine cartoons and nearly a hundred and fifty covers to The New Yorker.  His New York Times obit (June 20, 1966) contains this quote by Mr. Birnbaum: “Nothing is ugly. Everything is what it is.”

 

Brendan Gill reprinted the robin cover in his book,  Here At The New Yorker, writing of it:

 

“Nobody was satisfied with the ‘rough’ of this giant robin as it was first seen at the weekly art meeting. At the time, the background consisted merely of landscape. Geraghty [the New Yorker’s Art Editor from 1939 thru 1973] suggested the addition of birdwatchers. That simple change changed everything.”

 

When Philip Roth read, reread, and read his first New Yorker story upside down, he ran across cartoons by the following cartoonists — a roster that’s just about as good a snapshot of The New Yorker cartoon universe late 1950s as any:

William O’Brian, Frank Modell, Robert Kraus, Saul Steinberg, Everett Opie, Barney Tobey, William Steig, Ed Fisher, Robert Day (whose cartoon appeared on the first page of Roth’s story), James Stevenson, Otto Soglow, Syd Hoff, Whitney Darrow, Jr., Charles Saxon, Anatol Kovarsky, Dana Fradon, Eldon Dedini,  and Lee Lorenz