The New Yorker cartoonist (and snowman expert), Bob Eckstein recently told me about a blog, Virtual Memories loaded with interviews of cartoonists (as well as non-cartoonists). The section, “Comics & Cartooning” lists such interviewees as New Yorker contributors Sam Gross, Ben Katchor, Ivan Brunetti, M.K. Brown, Roz Chast, Peter Kuper and Jules Feiffer. Here’s a link. Enjoy!
Of Note: New Yorker cartoonist Alex Gregory has been nominated (along with Peter Huyck) for an Emmy in the category of Best Writing For a Comedy Series. Mr. Gregory writes for “Veep” …Congrats Alex!
From last night’s wonderfully entertaining “Funny Ladies” event at he Museum of The City of New York, this photo taken in the green room. From left to right: Marisa Acocella Marchetto, Barbara Smaller, Liana Finck, and Liza Donnelly. Spotted in the audience were New Yorker cartoonists George Booth, Bob Eckstein, Felipe Galindo, and Roz Chast.
My thanks to Karen Green of Columbia University for last night’s wonderful send-off for Arno at Butler Library. And thanks too to Edward Sorel for co-piloting the program with me.
A big thank you to all who attended, including those from my New Yorker family: Roxie Munro, George Booth, Tom Bloom, Sam Gross, Robert Leighton, Felipe Galindo, David Borchart, Liza Donnelly, Peter Kuper and Bob Eckstein.
From the book’s afterword, where 60 New Yorker cartoonists talk about Arno, here’s what George Booth had to say:
Peter Arno’s work stands out and holds up in the test of time. His drawings and words were never timid, or just clever. They stated high quality, joy, confidence, strength, style, humor, idea, life, simplicity. His color was right; black and white became color. His cartoons were researched, with words well applied. The communication was clear and timely. He knew what he was doing. Peter Arno was an artist who gave something of value to the world. A hero.
Courtesy of Bob Eckstein, a quartet of photographs from last night’s event celebrating Sam Gross‘s work. [From the top: Sam Gross; a projected Gross drawing; David Borchart, Felipe Galindo (aka Feggo), and Amy Kurzweil, a brand new New Yorker cartoonist (her first cartoon appeared in the April 4th issue); Mr. Gross and long -time contributor, Mort Gerberg]
Sam Gross’s Wikipedia page
Bob Eckstein’s website
Felipe Galindo’s website
Amy Kurzweil’s website
Mort Gerberg’s website
Attempted Bloggery has had plenty of interesting Peter Arno posts this week. Check ’em out!
…and from the Department of Self-promotion:
just six days til Peter Arno: The Mad Mad World of The New Yorker’s Greatest Cartoonist is released. Pre-order here.
Every once in awhile, a New Yorker cartoon zaps me (in a good way). Bob Eckstein’s latest drawing in the March 28th New Yorker zapped me.
I’m not one for deconstructing cartoons — all I can tell you is this: what first attracted me to the drawing (before I read the caption or even took in the cave people) was the sun on the horizon.
It reminded me of Thurber’s sun in his classic 1939 book, The Last Flower (shown here):
It’s the sun that many children draw when they get around to drawing their first sun. And it’s the sun that a lot of cartoonists draw (myself included).
After soaking up and in Eckstein’s sun, I turned to the rest of his drawing. The cave people and the caption are simple and direct (again, a Thurber quality). The drawing’s funniness derives from a sweet sadness; it’s what we in this line of work call an “evergreen” — it works beautifully today and it will always work. I hope we’ll see it in future New Yorker cartoon anthologies.
I asked Mr. Eckstein to share the genesis of the drawing and here is what he told me:
This was the sketch in my notebook. Idea was inspired from Eddie Izzard–nothing specific but just his humor in general.
Below is the sketch I showed Bob [Mankoff, The New Yorker‘s cartoon editor] in person. Change was probably based on fact I realized the first drawing was too static. Bob remarked, upon seeing it, he thought the caption should be softened. I remember now asking him if I could change it right there and then taking a pencil off his desk to cross out what I had.