A Small Treasure From the Jack Ziegler Memorial; Cartoon Companion’s Harry Bliss Interview, Pt.2; Looking For Eustace

A Small Treasure From The Jack Ziegler Memorial

Here are a few pages from the fine 10 page pamphlet that was available last Saturday at the memorial for Jack Ziegler. The pamphlet contains a  lovely unpublished cover (seen below) as well as a two-page  “killed” New Yorker spread (not shown) and a number of photographs of Mr. Ziegler, as well as a list of his collected work (shown below). 

 

 

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Cartoon Companion’s Harry Bliss Interview Pt. 2

If you enjoyed Part 1 of the Bliss interview, no doubt you’ll want to read Pt.2…  Read Mr. Bliss’s interview here.

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Looking For Eustace

Here’s something I’ve done maybe just once before: ask Ink Spill visitors if anyone out there has something I’ve looked for for years but have yet to find. This time it’s the miniature (about 3 1/2 inches high, I believe) Eustace Tilley pictured here.  There were 500 manufactured by Sebastian Miniatures back in 1949 (apparently there’s a newer version, from 1981, with a black base.  Only 6 of those were made).  For me, this 1949 Tilley has become the Holy Grail of New Yorker “stuff” (the little bit of information I found about it comes from a book, The Sebastian Miniature Collection by Dr. Glenn Johnson).

If anyone out there has one and would be willing to trade for a couple of my New Yorker original drawings, please contact me.

Fave Photo of the Day; An Obscure Hoff

Of many wonderful photos from Jack Ziegler‘s memorial this past Saturday,  this one really caught my eye. Taken by the New Yorker‘s former television critic, Nancy Franklin, we see, from the left, the New Yorker‘s newly appointed cartoon editor, Emma Allen, then Anne Hall Elser, and Lee Lorenz, the magazine’s art editor from 1973 through 1993, and then cartoon editor from 1993 through 1997. We have Mr. Lorenz to thank for bringing Mr. Ziegler’s work into the magazine.  Ms. Elser was Mr. Lorenz’s invaluable assistant in the art department for his 24 years in that position.

At some point during Saturday’s event,  Danny Shanahan introduced Ms. Allen to Mr. Lorenz.  I’m hoping a photo will surface.

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An Obscure Hoff

Scott Burns, of Armadillo & Dicker Books out in California has sent in this scan of a hitherto (for me) unseen Syd Hoff piece. Here’s Mr. Burns’ description:

The Jigger. Fall, 1951, Vol 3. No. 4. Philadelphia: The Drake Press. 3”x6” stapled wrappers, 24 pp. Appears to be a trade magazine for distribution to bartenders and others in the liquor industry. Recipes, thirteen cartoons plus cover by Syd Hoff, TV announcements, party hints.
 
 
Note:  The Spill posts pieces such as this purely for historical reasons, i.e., there is no commercial attachment to this bookseller or any other.

New Yorker Cartoonists Gather to Honor Jack Ziegler

 

Cartoon colleagues gathered yesterday at the Society of Illustrators to honor one of the New Yorker‘s cartoon gods, Jack Ziegler, who passed away this March

Shown above, back row, left – right: Trevor Hoey, John Donohue, Robert Leighton, Tom Toro (in profile), George Booth, David Borchart (standing tall over Mr. Toro and Mr. Booth), Anne Hall Elser (Ms. Elser was Lee Lorenz’s long-time assistant in the  New Yorker‘s Art Department), Bill Woodman, John O’Brien, Paul Karasik (in the tie), Peter Steiner, and John Klossner.

Next row: Ken Krimstein, Bob Eckstein, Amy Hwang, Roz Chast, Mort Gerberg, Bob Mankoff (directly behind Mr. Gerberg),  Sam Gross, Liza Donnelly, Michael Maslin, Marshall Hopkins (plaid shirt), Joe Dator.

Front row: P.C. Vey, Mick Stevens, Danny Shanahan, Edward Koren, Felipe Galindo, Andrea Arroyo, and Mike Lynch. 

Not shown: Lee Lorenz, Emma Allen, Colin Stokes, Liana Finck, Peter Kuper, Marisa Acocella Marchetto, Barbara Smaller.

(Photo courtesy of Liza Donnelly)

 

Firsts: Jack Ziegler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beginning today, Ink Spill will every so often, and without warning, run the first New Yorker cartoon by one of its artists.  Accompanying the drawing will be that issues Table of Contents, so we have an idea of the lay of the magazine’s cartoon land at that time.  Starting things off is the first New Yorker cartoon by the late and exceptionally great Jack Ziegler, published in the issue of February 11, 1974. This is an evergreen drawing; it could run any week, any year and still work as well as it did back in 1974. When I interviewed Mr. Ziegler last Fall (here are links to part one and two) he said: “It’s always nice when cartoonists know how to draw so that they can give us something pleasant and fun to look at.”

Below:  the Table of Contents from that issue. The New Yorker‘s editor then was William Shawn, and the art editor was Lee Lorenz.

 

“…Vaguely Somewhere in Ross’s Mind…”

Here’s an interesting little booklet from the Spill’s archives (little as in 5″ x 8″  and just 97 pages), but there’s so much within.  The chapter “The New Yorker Cartoon and Modern Graphic Humor” by M. Thomas Inge is especially of interest, for obvious reasons. Mr. Inge provides a survey of the magazine’s art from inception through to the beginnings of the Lee Lorenz era  (although that era is mentioned only briefly at the end).  I’ve re-read this chapter from time-to-time, and each time some quote stands out a little bit more than on previous run-throughs.  In this morning’s reading was this one, which sounds as though it could’ve been written by James Thurber:

“It was under Ross’s eccentric but superb editorship from the beginning until his death in 1951 that the New Yorker cartoon was formulated and achieved its definitive and influential form. As was true with the entire premise for the magazine, what was wanted was vaguely somewhere in Ross’s mind.”

And this:

“…the truth is that The New Yorker has served primarily as a vehicle for major comic talents to develop their individual styles and distinctive visions.”

Well said, Mr. Inge.  If the New Yorker hadn’t provided its artists a home to develop their styles we would have missed out on a truckload of incredible comic worlds (“visions”) through the decades (Jack Ziegler’s world over these past 43 years comes to mind as do so many other worlds provided by Mr. Ziegler’s cartoon colleagues). 

Here’s the table of contents from the booklet.  If you can get hold of a copy you won’t be disappointed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Roomful of Cartoonists

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As anyone could guess, a home inhabited by two cartoonists is bound to have a lot of cartoons around. Not just our own, but cartoons from our New Yorker family; cartoonists we’ve only known by their work, cartoonists we’ve just met, and cartoonists we’ve known for a very long time.  With the exception of our own work, our walls are covered with framed drawings by all the above, from an unpublished drawing by the relatively new New Yorker contributor, Charlie Hankin (a drawing of a clam on a lawn next to a sign that reads “Beware of Clam”  —  it cracks me up every time I look at it) to Alice Harvey‘s first captioned New Yorker drawing, published in October of 1925.

 

 

 

 

In the photo at the top of this post, from top left, clock-wise, is a New Yorker drawing by Robert Weber, a Gardner Rea drawing, one by Jack Ziegler, and an oddity: a group drawing by Mick Stevens, Mr. Ziegler, Roz Chast and Liza Donnelly.

The Ziegler solo drawing, The Jungle Never Sleeps, hangs closest to my work room doorway; it appeared in The New Yorker as a half-page, July 28, 1980.  It’s just one drawing in a career populated with many many funny and beautiful drawings, but, jeez, what a drawing.  Needless to say, the idea is gold, and funny as hell. Jack went perfectly heavy on the speech balloons. The single line of smoke drifting  up from the campfire changes from a black line to negative space and back to a black line as it moves through the silhouetted jungle to the grey sky.  You can tell he was totally involved in working that out. The fellow who’s come out of the beautifully drawn tent is perfection.  As Jack said to me in an interview last Fall: “…it’s always nice when cartoonists know how to draw so that they can give us something pleasant and fun to look at.”  Well said, well done.

   

CBS Sunday Morning to Run a Jack Ziegler Piece; New York Times Ziegler Obit Posted; One of The New Yorker’s Greatest Cartoonists, Jack Ziegler,Has Died; New Yorker Cartoonists Pay Tribute

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CBS Sunday Morning will air a piece on Jack Ziegler tomorrow between 9 and 10.

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The New York Times obit for Jack is online (it includes a slideshow of 14 cartoons).  Read it here.

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Jack Ziegler, one of The New Yorker’s greatest cartoonists, passed away this morning in Kansas City. Last October I interviewed Jack — we had such a good time and there was so much to cover that it spread into two parts. Jack selected the above photo to run with one part of the interview — a fitting photo to run today.   I believe that it’s best to let that interview serve, for today, as my appreciation for the friend I loved and respected.

The Jack Ziegler Interview, Pt.1

The Jack Ziegler Interview, Pt. 2

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s Ink Spill’s “New Yorker Cartoonists A-Z” entry for Jack:

Jack Ziegler Born, Brooklyn, NY July 13, 1942. Died, Kansas City, March 29, 2017.  NYer work: 1974 – . Key collections: all of Ziegler’s collections are must-haves. Here’re some favorites: Hamburger Madness (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978), Filthy Little Things ( Doubleday/Dolphin, 1981) and The Essential Jack Ziegler, Complied and Edited by Lee Lorenz ( Workman, 2000)

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Tributes From Jack’s Colleagues Are Coming In: 

Peter Steiner:

It’s hard for me to imagine that my friend and colleague Jack Ziegler is no more. He was a really lovely man. He and I did not see each other that often, but when we did, it was a pure joy for me. I said colleague because we were both cartoonists. But Jack was in a league of his own. His funniness was funnier by far than most other funniness. His superb drawing skills came from a place only he could inhabit. And there was a decency and humanity in his cartoons that made them irresistible. I already miss him badly.

Roxie Munro:

So so sad. Jack had a unique cartoon style, and was a really sweet guy. I remember when I had just started coming into the New Yorker on Tuesdays…one day, nervously sitting in the little “waiting room” outside Lee’s office, a tall bearded guy (Jack) asked me what I was doing there. Full of fear and trembling, I told him I was bringing in a cover idea. “Well,” he said, “Someone has to do it. Might as well be you.” It was perfect – gave great context, relaxed me, and I’ve never forgotten his insightful, and kind, comment.

Mort Gerberg:

Jack Ziegler’s death this morning was a heavy body blow.  Not only because Jack was one of the great modern-day cartoonists, but because, in this contemporary world of truly bad people, Jack was one of the truly good ones. Jack and I were friends —mostly by long-distance —- but the quality of the contacts we did have were what counted for me — and I relished sharing common interests and values with him that were of the world outside the single panel.  Jack was an old-fashioned, generous, straight-ahead, sensitive good guy — with no bullshit or artifice about him, all seasoned with a warm, wicked sense of humor; his attitude to life was direct and refreshing, and I admired it

His cartoons had their own zany, surreal vocabulary, delivered in his unique voice. I thought he was enormously talented and one of the most exciting “new” cartoonists to appear in the ’70s. His drawings and compositions were as clean and precise as his studio space and he worked hard on them. I met him when he was making his first appearance with a cartoon batch at The Saturday Review, to see Norman Cousins. We liked each other right from “oh, are you cartoonist too?” He told me he had written a novel and was working on other writing but was going to try cartooning; he later told me that he was very surprised that he liked cartooning more than writing. Lucky for the world; Jack left a large, deep footprint.

Tom Toro:

Jack Ziegler and I lived near one another for the last few years – a forty-five minute drive apart, which counts as close neighbors in the Midwest.  I visited Jack as often as I could and we became casual friends.  By the gentle, humble way he carried himself you’d never guess that he was a rare genius.  His influence on cartoonists cannot be overestimated, nor can his generosity as a companion and mentor.  Jack gave me an original drawing as a gift after we’d first met – a cartoon of two prisoners.  One is holding a book and weeping uncontrollably while his cellmate says, “Hey, it’s ‘Crime and Punishment.’  You had to know the second half was going to suck.'”  Jack’s joke seems sadly appropriate today.  The second half of whatever comes next, minus Ziegler, is going to suck.  Rest in peace, sir.
One afternoon Jack took me to a used bookstore in downtown Lawrence, The Dusty Bookshelf.  We naturally gravitated toward the Comics & Cartoons section, a dimly lit nook at the far back, where down on the bottom shelf the spine of a George Booth anthology peeked out at us.  A prize find.  But it was wedged in tight.  Together we attempted to pry it from the stack but it wouldn’t budge, and at some point during the comical struggle Jack looked over at me and said, “This is pretty much our relationship to George.”  How apt, how funny and humble – in other words, a patented Ziegler observation.  Even as a living legend himself, he didn’t hesitate to join a fellow fanboy on all fours to dig out a secondhand edition of wonderful cartoons.  And maybe it was Jack’s curiosity, openness and utter lack of pretense that in turn raised him to true greatness.

 

 

 

The New Yorker is beginning to post tributes from Jack’s colleagues. Click on the following…