Must See: George Booth Exhibit at The Society of Illustrators

Here are a bunch of photos taken at last night’s opening reception for The Society of Illustrators exhibit, George Booth: A Cartoonist’s Life, curated by J.J. Sedelmaier

A ton of original George Booth covers and drawings in one place. What more could anyone ask for?  It’s a wonderful show. Go see it.

Above left, Danny Shanahan with Seth Fleishman (and right behind Mr. Fleishman is Stephen Nadler who runs Attempted Bloggery). Photo right: seated, John Cuneo, with the Director of the Society of Illustrators, Anelle Miller. Behind them is Felipe Galindo, and Stephen Nadler speaking with the cartoonist, Marc Bilgrey.

Below: two similar group photos. Can you spot the difference?

Top group photo: Mike Lynch, Michael Maslin, Liza Donnelly, Danny Shanahan, Jane Mattimoe, Felipe Galindo, George Booth, Mort Gerberg, Sam Gross, Ellis Rosen and Hilary Campbell.In the second group photo, Mike Lynch has disappeared and been replaced by John Cuneo, who is between Liza Donnelly and Danny Shanahan).

Below right: Seth Fleishman and the New Yorker‘s cartoon editor, Emma Allen.

Below: animator, Bill Plympton. Right: Eric Lewis

Above left: the show’s curator, J.J. Sedelmaier. Right: the Booth family

Below: Mike Lynch with Gina Kovarsky, daughter of the late very great New Yorker cartoonist and cover artist, Anatol Kovarsky

(photo courtesy of Mike Lynch)

Below: George Booth, with the illustrator,Tom Bloom in the background — he’s the fellow with the beard. (This photo courtesy of Stephen Nadler). 

Above left: Sam Gross.  Above right: Felipe Galindo with Colin Stokes, the New Yorker‘s assistant cartoon editor.

Below: Liza Donnelly, George Booth

 

–All photos above by Liza Donnelly, except where noted. My thanks to her for being the Spill’s official photographer.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Latest New Yorker Cartoons Dissected; George Booth New Yorker Original Cover Art; Blog of Note… A New Yorker State of Mind: Carolita Johnson’s “This Is The Hand”; Cartoons From The Saturday Evening Post; PR: Blitt, Chast

The Cartoon Companion guys, Max & Simon, are back with their customary dissections of the latest New Yorker cartoons.  Read it all here.

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George Booth New Yorker Original Cover Art

Above is the published Booth cover from February 4, 1974.  To see the original art visit Attempted Bloggery

Don’t forget! An exhibit of Mr. Booth’s work just opened yesterday at the Society of Illustrators (the opening reception is tomorrow night).   _________________________________________________________________

Blog of Interest: A New Yorker State of Mind

It’s always a treat to get away from 2017 for awhile and visit A New Yorker State of Mind.  This latest post explores the September 1, 1928 issue, featuring a cover by the one of the magazine’s first stars, Helen Hokinson. See the piece here. 

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Carolita Johnson’s “This Is The Hand”

From newyorker.com‘s Culture Desk October 26, 201 , Carolita Johnson’s “This Is The Hand: A Response To Recent News”

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Cartoons From The Saturday Evening Post

News to me until this morning: The Saturday Evening Post has a cartoon archive of sorts;  unfortunately it’s not a database of all its cartoons — it’s selective and thematic — with just a handful of cartoons per theme.  You’ll see some New Yorker cartoonists (I ran across a number by Chon Day and at least one by Tom Cheney). Link here

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Note: this new feature on the Spill allows for the opportunity to list items previously lost in the sauce. 

…Barry Blitt’s next stop on his book tour promoting the just released Blitt takes him tonight to Harvard Bookstore. On Sunday he’ll be at Politics & Prose in D.C. Details here.

…a New York magazine piece posted today: “What Roz Chast Can’t Live Without”

 

Podcast of Interest: Barry Blitt Talks New Yorker Covers; Attempted Bloggery on The George Booth Exhibit, Opening Today at The Society of Illustrators

Barry Blitt Talks New Yorker Covers

Gil Roth’s Virtual Memories Show is chock-full of Mr. Roth’s interviews with New Yorker contributors (weighted heavily with folks from the art and cartoon departments).  His latest interviewee is Barry Blitt, whose anthology is just out today (Blitt, Riverhead Books).  Hear the podcast here, and don’t forget to check out the list of Mr. Roth’s previous guests. 

And more Blitt… this interview on Literary Hub, October 24, 2017 — “New Yorker Cartoonist Barry Blitt: How Far Is Too Far In the World of Political Satire?”

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Attempted Bloggery on the George Booth Exhibit at The Society of Illustrators

Attempted Bloggery reminds us of a previous Booth exhibit in the Big Apple (back in 1978 at Barbara Nicholls’ Gallery*), while also reminding us that Mr. Booth’s exhibit opens today at The Society of Illustrators.  The Opening Reception, sure to be packed with cartoonists, will be this coming Friday night, the 27th.  Mr. Booth, who has been contributing his work (cartoons and covers) to The New Yorker since 1969 is indisputably one of the magazine’s greatest cartoonists. This exhibit should not be missed.

*Ms. Nicholls began working at The New Yorker in 1960 in the fiction department, eventually moving over to the Art Department where she was an assistant  to the New Yorker‘s art editor. James Geraghty. After leaving The New Yorker she went on to represent a number of marquee cartoonists, including Charles Addams and Peter Arno. 

Interview of Interest: Barry Blitt; Fave Photos of the Day: Gross, Eckstein, Booth, Byrnes, Nguyen, Cotham, and Le Lievre

From Politico, “‘Wry Titters’ in the Age of Trump” — an interview with Barry Blitt, who has an anthology of his work coming out next week.

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Fave Photos of the Day

New Yorker cartoonist, Julia Suits took these fine photos at 1 World Trade Center (home of the New Yorker) this past September. My thanks to Ms. Suits for allowing them to be posted here.

Above: standing left-right: Bob Eckstein, Sam Gross, Pat Byrnes, George Booth.  Seated: Frank Cotham.

Below: Sam Gross and George Booth 

Glen Le Lievre in silhouette

Sam Gross, Jeremy Nguyen, and Frank Cotham

 

 

 

 

Video of Interest: Liza Donnelly; Wertz’s Tenements, Towers & Trash; Booth at the Society of Illustrators; Steinberg at the National Gallery of Art

Video of Interest: Liza Donnelly

From Medium, here’s a  video of Liza Donnelly speaking about her work (and doing a little work). See it here.

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An Excerpt from Wertz’s Tenements, Towers & Trash

From Curbed, October 4, 2017, “Julia Wertz’s Tenements, Towers & Trash is a Witty Chronicle of an Ever-Changing NYC” — read it here and see an excerpt

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Reminder: George Booth Exhibit at The Society of illustrators

From Scoop, October 5, 2017, “Society of Illustrators to Present George Booth Cartoons”

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Steinberg at The National Gallery of Art

From ComicsDC, October 2, 2017,  “Bruce Guthrie Recommends: National Gallery of Art: Saul Steinberg Exhibit (September 12, 2017 – May 18, 2018)”

 

Checking In: Peter Kuper Talks Spy Vs. Spy, The New Yorker, and So Much More

When I think of MAD magazine I think of Alfred E. Neuman, of course, and Al Jaffee’s Fold-In, and Spy vs Spy. For the past twenty years the latter has been in the hands of Peter Kuper.  His non-Spy work has been appearing more and more in The New Yorker these days, both the print version (an example above — a drawing from the March 6th issue this year)  and the non-print version — the Daily Cartoon.  Graphically, his work is a feast for the eyes, incorporating solid construction and style. And naturally, it’s very funny.

I only met Peter a year or so ago at a book event at Columbia University; we’ve emailed from time-to-time ever since.  I thought it was about time to officially check in with him; luckily he agreed to allow some Spill questions to fill his inbox.  We covered MAD, The New Yorker, and much more in the following conversation. 

Michael Maslin: So Peter, you’re a MAD person as well as a New Yorker person, but I also think of you as someone out there getting your fingers inky in a lot of projects.  True?

Peter Kuper: Yes, in the sketchy career as a cartoonist I juggle at a high velocity to make this work.

A new edition of my book Diario de Oaxaca, a chronicle of time I spent in Mexico from 2006-2008, was just published. I added 40 pages of new material and overall redesign to this updated edition.

I’m currently working on a collection of Franz Kafka short story adaptations titled Kafkaesque that will come out Fall 2018. I’m also co-editing a new issue of World War 3 Illustrated ,a political comics magazine I co-founded when I was in art school…a few years back. This is our 48th issue (due out in November) with the theme of fascism. For some reason that seemed like a timely subject.

Along with Steve Brodner and Andrea Arroyo I’ll be curating OppArt a site gathering work by a wide range of artists about our insane political climate. It’s hosted by The Nation magazine’s website.

Above: a page from Ruins

A Chinese edition of my last graphic novel Ruins is in the works and following Kafkaesque I will be adapting Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. All of this, I hope, will  relate to commenting on the current presidency.

MM:  The current political climate must seem like a shooting-fish-in-barrel moment for you — evidenced by your work frequently showing up on the New Yorker’s online Daily Cartoon.  One of those drawings [shown above] received a good deal of notice . Can you describe how this drawing came to you? 

PK: There is so much material everyday I could just devote all of my time drawing about it, even if I had nowhere to publish them besides my own, very limited, social media. I’m very thankful for the outlet the New Yorker site provides so can address things as they happen and reach a pile of eyes. Doing these cartoons also helps me avoid the short trip to losing my mind over the news.
The “Five Stages” popped into my head thinking about how Trump was turning on even his closest supporters like Jeff Sessions. The timing was dumb luck given within the week Priebus and Scaramucci were booted. Since I’m interested in sequential art, doing this as a series of images was a nice fit.

MM: I really like the way that drawing is sequential within itself, if you know what I mean.  It’s not broken into separate panels, but seems animated.  The little clocks along the bottom tricked me into thinking the employee was on a conveyor belt.  Was that intentional?

PK: The conveyor belt was very much part of the idea, but I threw the clocks in last minute. I would have collaged in photos of real clocks, but I got word on my sketch at 9:30 and didn’t get to work until 10. The art was due at noon and I got it in at 12:01, so I ran out of time…hmm, how ironic. 

MM: Let’s talk MAD for a moment. Like a zillion other cartoonists, part of my earliest comic art education came from absorbing every issue of MAD. Spy vs Spy was a major piece of the experience.  Can you talk about about what Spy vs Spy meant to you as a kid, and how it came about that you inherited it.

PK: Mad was all that to me too. Really the first place I saw the intersection– or maybe more accurately– the collision of humor and politics. Of course I always “read” Spy first, you couldn’t help it. They only ran it periodically so seeing it was a real treat. In 1996 the editors called me in and asked if I was interested in taking an, er, stab at it.

I almost passed since it was someone else’s characters and I had lost touch with the material. I had been doing a wordless strip called Eye of the Beholder (It began in the New York Times  in 1993 and I had been self-syndicating to alternative newspapers) and I’d just finished a book called The System  which was entirely wordless, which I assumed was why they called me. I later learned that the editor had discovered an oddball book I did called Comics Trips in a remaindered books bin (it was a collection of my sketchbook work from a trip through Africa and S.E. Asia) and that’s why he called. So to make a short story long, I said I’d do a sample story. I figured if I was to take it on I’d have to give it a personal touch, so I did the sample in stencils and spray paint figuring they’d say “thanks, but no thanks” and I’d be on my way. In doing the sample I realized what a big influence the strip had on my interest in wordless comics (along with Sergio Aragonés marginal drawings).

If I had wanted the gig, I’m sure I would have blown it. They were looking for a change and I turned out to be a good fit. I thought I’d do it for a few years and move on. That was twenty years ago.

MM: One of the Spy images we’re showing in this piece is of the 2 prong/3 prong optical illusion (or whatever it’s called). It’s so great it’s still being used. I remember as a kid being transfixed by that drawing [I feel as if I saw it on the back page, or near the back page] and learning how to make it work. Was that drawing specific to MAD — do you know its origin?

PK: It is called a Blivet it dates back to American servicemen in World War II. It refers to any unnecessary or superfluous thing. It may be a mixture of blip and widget–or so says Google.

MM: Is there a typical work day for you?  With MAD and the New Yorker Daily and the regular New Yorker batch to get in weekly, plus all the other things you’re doing, how do you arrange work? Are you incredibly organized?

Above: Kuper in The Nation

PK: Not much “typical” exactly and I’m certainly not crazy organized (fortunately my wife, Betty, is). I have a studio separate from my apartment, but only a few blocks away, happily. I tend to get to work between 9-10 and work until 7-ish. Sometimes I return to work after dinner and I work most weekends, but really that’s by choice. I love doing what I do especially comics and they take an absurd amount of time. When I was working on Ruins  (over a three-year period) at a certain point I brought a drawing table to the apartment so I would see more of my wife and daughter. Though fortunately freelancing does afford one the opportunity to speed up or slow down work. It doesn’t matter exactly when I work as long as it gets done, so I do end up getting to hang out, then race later to meet deadlines. I  swear, I wasn’t an absentee husband/father! (At least according to my autobiography, Stop Forgetting To Remember )

MM: You were first published in The New Yorker in 2011; some time passed until now when you seem to be in there more often. Any reason behind these better times at the magazine, or just one of those things?

PK: Actually, I pitched to The New Yorker from the beginning of my career back in the 1980’s to no avail. I was first published there in 1993 when Tina Brown came in. I did a number of illustrations for Chris Curry and a two page spread titled ” Masks of the Urban Jungle”  that I did for Lee Lorenz [one page of “Masks…” shown above]. I had a six-month run pitching cartoons to him and sold two, neither of which ran. I was doing them in stencils and spray paint which was probably too far from a New Yorker cartoon tone. Soon I found myself doing New Yorker-esque ideas and felt I was losing a sense of direction, so I started pitching multi-panel political cartoons. One that didn’t fly I pitched to The New York Times and it ran on the Op-Ed page. An editor from the NY Daily News saw it and I got a spot there doing a weekly five panel political cartoon titled “New York Minute” that ran every Sunday for two years. I concluded that was what all the pitching to The New Yorker had lead me to, so it had been worth it. My next round was in 2011. I had an idea and crazily on a Friday afternoon figured what-the-fuck and pitched it to Mankoff. It was topical and amazingly he bought it. So I was deluded enough to pitch for another six months and had zero sales.

In 2015 I got another bee in my bonnet, and the fickle cartoon Gods have seen fit to throw me enough bones to keep me at it. I’m surprised to find that my drawing style morphed through the years into something that fits there, but isn’t forced.I had grown tired of the stencil work and was afraid that the toxic enamel spray paint would kill me.Doing this work brought me back to the  realization of how much New Yorker cartoonists have influenced me. Cartoonists like Charles Saxon and Arno (I’m not just blowing smoke here) Addams, Gluyas Williams, Rea Irvin, Booth and on and on were a huge part of why I wanted to be a cartoonist. So doing work for the New Yorker has been one of my life-long goals.

MM: Back to Spy vs Spy: spies are big news again what this period of almost daily talk of Russian spies; in your mind, who are your Spy vs Spy spies? 

PK: Bond’s the name, James Bond and whatever that recent movie Charlize Theron was in.

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Visit Mr. Kuper’s website for more on most everything discussed above. 

*While this piece was being put together, Mr. Kuper’s book Ruins received the Boscarato, an Italian award for best foreign graphic novel. The Spill extends its congratulations!

Of Note from yesterday’s OppArt press release:

Long a home to quality accountability journalism, The Nation broadens its horizons in this unprecedented political moment with OppArt, a new series of artistic dispatches from the front lines of resistance. Spearheaded by celebrated artists and illustrators Andrea ArroyoSteve Brodner, and Peter KuperOppArt will showcase fresh content daily as a diverse set of artists take aim and draw. The first installation of the series, “Nuisance Flooding,” launched today.

Curated with a singularly progressive and political point-of-view, OppArt will convene international artists with a broad range of talents, from comics and illustrations to street graphics and fine art. Their work will confront and expose power, while sustaining a wry humor in turbulent political times. The series complements The Nation’s longstanding ComixNation print feature.