Shanahan & Donnelly’s Online Cartoon Collection; Joe Farris Exhibition; Victoria Roberts Draws at NYC’s Strand Bookstore; Bruce Kaplan’s new show; Chast & Popeye; More Steinberg

 

From The Huffington Post, December 21, 2012,  this online only collection of cartoons by Danny Shanahan and Liza Donnelly for Moms Clean Air Force.

 

From CTpost. com, December 18, 2012, “New Yorker artist’s work on view in Bethel”

–This post on long time New Yorker contributor, Joe Farris

 

 

From the blog, East Village, December 19, 2012, “Victoria Roberts Sketches at The Strand”

 

From Deadline Hollywood, December 14, 2012, “HBO Orders Comedy Pilot From Bruce Eric Kaplan, Jason Reitman And Lorne Michaels”

 

From cartoonbrew, December 14, 2012, “Popeye Comics Get Cool” — ( with Roz Chast content).

 

 

 

 

 

MORE STEINBERG:

From The Stamford Advocate, December 20, 2012, “New Haven Biographer Examines Famed New Yorker Cartoonist” –This interview with Deirdre Bair, the author of Saul Steinberg: A Biography.

and:

From Pace University, this interview with Ms. Bair. “Prof. Denning Interviews Bestselling /Biographer Deidre Bair” (the interview must be downloaded).

and:

From The Observer, December 18, 2012, “The Life of The New Yorker’s Favorite Depressive is Drawn Out in New Bio”

 

 

 

 

 

Bob Eckstein Talks to Ink Spill About His 3-D Thanksgiving Cartoon in this week’s New Yorker

 

 

 

There are two firsts involved in this interview.  This the first Ink Spill interview of a New Yorker cartoonist and it was prompted by what I believe to be the first 3-D cartoon in the magazine’s history.  The cartoon, appearing in this week’s issue, dated November 26, 2012, is by Bob Eckstein.  Bob has graciously consented to my prodding him with a few questions about himself, and the cartoon.

 

 Bob, would you give us a mini-history of how and when you came to be a New Yorker cartoonist?

 

 In 2007, for my birthday, Sam Gross invited me to the cartoon Tuesday lunch.  I had befriended him, and the Cartoonbank staff, as I bought a bunch of cartoons for the Intermission section of my book The History of the Snowman.  I was a fan of Sam’s (I wrote for National Lampoon while he was there), Charles Addams, and Danny Shanahan,  who all appear twice in my book, but I didn’t know about the lunch nor was I a cartoonist, per se.  I did occasionally come up with cartoons for the Village Voice, SPY and other magazines but only where I wrote humor columns and only because I would never allow outsiders to illustrate my work.  It was a condition I started at Newsday back in 1980s when I realized I needed both incomes to make enough to live on.  But I had no interest to cartoon until that lunch and at this point I did not read the NYer except when I needed a filling at the dentist.  I did enter the caption contest once, which at the time was once a year (It was a Danny Shanahan with Quasimodo as a doctor.  My, “The name rings a bell.” got runner-up.).  Only after I ran out of money to spend on the book, which probably exceeded $25,000+ in reprint and quote permission fees, did I fill two empty spaces with two of my own snowman cartoons for my “Intermission” on the nudging of my editor.

 

So, anyhoo, I enjoyed the lunch, and in retrospect being there the week that Gahan Wilson happened to show up was significant. I grew up laughing to his cartoon collections and meeting him was a big deal.  At the end of the fancy exciting lunch I asked Sam about coming back and how to get in on this “thing.”  He just said, “Come back next week with 10 sketches.” 

 

Well, I didn’t return. First, I found it too difficult to come up with that many ideas in one week.  I didn’t know what I was doing and I decided to call Danny Shanahan, who was and still is a favorite of mine and I spoken to a couple of times before but strictly for business.  I (incorrectly) felt after sending some money his way it made it somehow okay.  I told him I was contemplating gag cartooning and now looking back, I just wanted him to say, “Oh, how wonderful, you’re going to do great, welcome aboard, etc.”  Instead he basically said forgot it, it’s a very difficult profession.  That was the extent of my pep talk. 

 

Despite that warning I went in on the second week since the lunch, going into Bob Mankoff’s (the magazine’s Cartoon Editor) office after Sam, who I assume put in a good word for me to Bob.  Bob explained it wasn’t necessary to write in big letters “SKETCH” on each drawing.  Nor did the captions need to be typeset.  Each sketch had a cover sheet like they were finals ready to go to print!  Most of them were moronic and too current-eventsy to be useful, like one with a cat on American Idol. 

 

That Thursday Bob left a message on my machine to tell me which one they bought.  I told my wife the New Yorker only bought one, sorry.  When I returned the next week with the final, I apologized for the others in the first batch being so bad–I assumed that everyone every Tuesday sold a few and I was a big loser.  I simply had no idea how difficult it was to get in or how many people submitted, I just didn’t know.  I assumed they bought most cartoons, paying like $50 or so a cartoon.  But I figured things will pick up and the following week I’d sell two or three, like everyone else.  It took a couple of weeks to quickly figure things out…and that my first sale was a fluke, beginner’s luck.  It would be almost a year of coming in every week with a batch before I sold my second cartoon.  During that time I devoured every book on cartooning and went back and looked at all the NYer issues.  My style had totally changed from that first effort which now looks inept.  I was also rethinking Shanahan’s warning, kicking myself for not taking it to heart and wondering if I was throwing away my illustration and writing career (I was. I did.).

 

Your drawing, titled The First 3-D Thanksgiving, is, I believe, the first 3-D cartoon in the magazine’s history (if anyone out there finds another, please bring it to my attention).  Is it actually 3-D?  If I was wearing 3-D glasses right now, and looking at your drawing, would it be appear three-dimensional?

 

It works, but not as well as it could, but that is by design.  When I showed it to Bob Mankoff, he asked if it worked but then quickly said, “that’s not the point” as we agreed that it was more important for the joke that it was inferred it was 3-D (after Bob shot down my suggestion of placing 3-D glasses in each issue).  It is 3-D but we reeled it back.  Knowing the reader wouldn’t have glasses, I went for the most readable degree of 3-Ding the cartoon so it still looked like a cartoon and not this heavy ominous image on the page which would have distracted from the joke.

 

How did the drawing come about? Do you have a special interest in 3-D drawings, movies, etc.?

 

I do not appear regularly as a cartoonist in the magazine (something I HAVE brought up with Bob), so I try to catch Bob’s attention with ideas that get away from the usual format and Bob has been supportive and receptive to me and my experimenting; I’ve done a lot of  cartoons with spot color, cartoons that have no punch-line. I’ve shown him captions that use the F-bomb, cartoons about The New Yorker, captions in Spanish, scratch ‘n’ sniff cartoons…and this 3-D was just one I gave a try.  Bob has called my stuff “loopy” which I think is code around the office for “nice try but doesn’t work.”  I do want to get in “regular” cartoons and not become the “Weird Al” Yankovic of the NYer cartoonist pool.

 

I had done 3-D illustrations for Vibe magazine and Sport magazine over twenty years ago so it was on my radar.  I don’t have 3-D glasses in my home, which I could have used because I just saw Hugo on Netflix.  I do recommend wearing 3-D glasses to get through a family Thanksgiving dinner — you eat less with them on (“I can’t eat all that!”).

 

We should probably give a shout-out to Norman Rockwell, whose famous 1942 Saturday Evening Post “Freedom From Want”  piece is obviously referenced in your drawing.  Did you have Rockwell’s work in front of you when you were working on your finished piece?

 

I had it in front of me, and underneath me, as I did trace most of the guy in the back and then glanced over to draw the rest of the set-up.  My initial sketch had the whole family shocked at the dancing turkey but it looked too forced and too different from the Rockwell iconic piece.  I realized Rockwell had it right the first time except he forgot the glasses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here’s a little something extra as concerns a New Yorker cartoonist and  dimensional cartoons:

 

After seeing Bob’s 3-D drawing, I was reminded of a terrific Otto Soglow book from 1932, Everything’s Rosy.  Somewhat “naughty”  – the inside flap text suggests the book is “probably not suitable for Sunday School use…” —  it came with a “red filter” attached to the front inside cover and the following Notice and Instructions:

 

Notice

The envelope in the front of the book contains one red filter to bring out the double exposure of each picture in Everything’s Rosy….

 

Instructions For Use of Filter

Hold book in good light.

Look at each picture first with the naked eye. Then lay filter flat on page over picture and look again.

Cartoon Auction includes work by Charles Addams, Geoge Booth, and William Steig

From the Kingston (NY) Daily Freeman, “Art auction in Rhinecliff Saturday”

this news of a benefit auction of cartoons, including work by New Yorker artists  Charles Addams, George Booth, William Steig, Frank Modell, James Stevenson, Peter Steiner, Lee Lorenz, Harry Bliss, Barbara Smaller, Charles Barsotti, Joe Dator, Gahan Wilson, Robert Mankoff, Liza Donnelly, P.C. Vey, Roz Chast, Danny Shanahan, Carolita Johnson, Edward Frascino, Michael Crawford, Zachary Kanin, Pat Byrnes, Mick Stevens, David Sipress, Raymond Davidson, Robert Weber, Jason Polan, Henry Martin, and more.
In addition to the auction, a signed Charles Addams print will be raffled.

Link here to the Morton Memorial Library

 

 

Danny Shanahan has a website; Media-League Softball: New York Times Magazine over The New Yorker

Long time New Yorker cartoonist, Danny Shanahan, now has a website  (currently in progress)…go visit!

 

The New York Times “6th Floor” has reported on its victory over The New Yorker this past week (“There’s No Crying in Media-League Softball,” June 28, 2012). Ink Spill asked The New Yorker’s softball co-coach (and cartoonist) Drew “Woodcut” Dernavich for his thoughts on the game:

When The New Yorker plays softball, we are always up against a variety of opponents: our own low turnout, our own high turnout, our talent, the weather, and the expectation that every play will be one of John Updike-like poignance. The New York Times Magazine was just one more enemy that we faced on Tuesday. If you are counting runs scored, they beat us in that category. If you count the newness of the uniforms, the amount of Big League Chew consumed, the quality of the *ahem* coaching, and our excellent post-game representation at the bar, we can more than hold our own. We’re working on the rest. As they say: it’s not a sprint, it’s a road trip with a lot of beer and Big League Chew.