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.


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:

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 “He Died a Great Cartoonist: Nicolae Asciu”)

One Club addition: George Wilson; Friedman on Grossman; Univ of Florida’s Comics Collection

While browsing through ancient copies of The New Yorker, there’s always a little jolt when I come across a cartoonist whose name is unfamiliar. It happened today when I reached page 38 of the November 29, 1930 issue and found a cartoon by George Wilson. A quick check with The New Yorker database revealed that Mr. Wilson was published just once in the magazine.  That of course qualifies him for immediate membership in The One Club, and a listing in red on The New Yorker Cartoonists A – Z.  At the moment I have no additional information on Mr. Wilson.  Please contact me if you do.


From Drew Friedman’s blog, March 15, 2013, “The Caricature of Robert Grossman” —  Mr. Grossman is not only a New Yorker contributor but also worked as an assistant in the magazine’s Art Department in the early 1960s.


Finally, out of the scope of Ink Spill’s focus, but likely interesting to most comic art enthusiasts:

From the University of Florida, Department of English, “Comics Collections at UF” — I just happened upon this site, and admit I had no idea that U of F had a comics collection. If you link here, you’ll find more information on the collection  as well as a link to their downloadable database.

Eskenazi Laments; Marchetto’s ‘Cancer Vixen’ HBO project moves ahead; Wheeler & SXSW & Grumpy Cat

From, March 13, 2013, “Farewell Fung Wah” this video by Marc Philippe Eskenazi, wearing one of his many hats (he’s also a stand-up comedian, a New Yorker cartoonist, and an assistant cartoon editor at the magazine).

Mr. Eskenazi sets his tune to Bob Dylan’s 1965 song, “Farewell Angelina” (found on Sony’s 1991 release,  Bob Dylan, The Bootleg Series, Vol.2)


From, March 12, 2013, “Cate Blanchett to Star in HBO Adaptation of ‘Cancer Vixen'” –Marisa Acocella Marchetto’s memoir gets closer to the silver screen.

(thanks to David Pomerantz for the link)


From, March 12, 2013, “The truth about SXSW by New Yorker cartoonist Shannon Wheeler”



The Next Daily Cartoonist is…

Danny Shanahan’s Facebook page (Danny Shanahan — New Yorker Cartoonist) mentions that his successor in the Daily Cartoon slot is Chris Weyant.  Danny was the Daily Cartoonist for the past two months.


A slideshow of Danny’s Daily Cartoon work can be seen by clicking on the Daily Cartoon link above (where you can also view The Daily Cartoon work of David Sipress, Danny’s predecessor.


Chris’s editorial cartoons can be seen on The Hill, where his  Weyant’s World is a regular feature.