Honoring & Remembering Paul Peter Porges; Karasik’s Vineyard Graphic

Honoring & Remembering Paul Peter Porges

Last Thursday a large crowd of friends, relatives, and colleagues from MAD and The New Yorker  filled the Ethical Cultural Society’s Ceremonial Hall  on Manhattan’s Upper West Side to celebrate the life of Paul Peter Porges (left), who passed away last December.

Among the speakers was Mr. Porges’s close friend, New Yorker artist, Sam Gross who hilariously recalled making the rounds of cartoon departments with Mr. Porges in the golden age of cartooning (a link to video of Mr. Gross delivering his remarks is in the works).  Also in attendance from the New Yorker  were Liza Donnelly, myself, Bob Eckstein and Mort Gerberg.  Among the MAD crowd attending were Mort Drucker, Sam Viviano, Desmond Devlin, Irving Shields, Dick DeBartolo, John Ficarra, Barry Liebman and Dorothy Crouch.

Remarks and remembrances were followed by a show of photographs, and following that,  small hand painted stones as you see pictured here, were handed out.  (Mr. Porges was know to many as “PPP” — pronounced, “pay pay pay”). 

Photo credits: Paul Peter Porges:  Felipe Galindo;

Sam Gross at the podium: Liza Donnelly



Paul Karasik’s Graphic: Vineyard Gazette Press Run

From Paul Karasik‘s blog, Rules to Vivere By, June 30, 2017, “Vineyard Gazette Press Run” —  See it all here!



Liza Donnelly Live Draws Coney Island’s Cyclone; An Arno Puzzle Piece Surfaces; A MAD Update

Liza Donnelly Live Draws Coney Island’s Cyclone

Wearing her CBS Resident Cartoonist hat, Liza Donnelly recently visited the Coney Island boardwalk to live draw various sights, including the famous Cyclone, which is celebrating its 90th birthday today. Click here to see all of her CBS Coney Island drawings


An Arno Puzzle Piece Surfaces

When I completed my biography of Peter Arno in the early months of 2016, there were still a few unsolved pieces of the Arno puzzle.  One of them was the drawing shown here.  While still attending The Hotchkiss School,  Arno was awarded First Prize For Art in a Yale prep school competition.  This drawing appeared in the June 1,  1921 Yale Record, approximately fifteen months  before he began his first and last year at Yale.  It’s an important link piece connecting two phases of his life (Hotchkiss and Yale) when art began to grab hold of him and he began to grab hold of his art. You can see that his drawing ability was already well along: his expertise in the use of light and shadow, his confidence in execution, and of course the presence of the drawing itself on the page.  All the ingredients (save one: sex) in place for the decades of beautiful art to come.  The Nightmare — A Broken String could’ve easily appeared in any early issue of The New Yorker.  Winning the Yale prize was important enough to Arno that he mentioned it in his unpublished memoir, I Reached for the Moon

My thanks to two Yalies:  Don Watson, who found the drawing, and Michael Gerber, who passed it along to me.  Mr. Watson has been working on a comprehensive biography of all the major cartoonists of The Yale Record, and Mr. Gerber is the tirelessly enthusiastic  Publisher of The American Bystander.


MAD Update

After asking Whither MAD just a few days ago, there’s this news from Tom Richmond’s blog. 



Show of Interest: Tom Bachtell’s Talk of The Town Illustrations; Whither MAD Magazine?; Roz Chast’s Tiny Shirts

Show of Interest

If you’ve opened up the New Yorker to The Talk of The Town you’ve seen Tom Bachtell’s work.  Now you can see the drawings in person at The Bower Center For the Arts .

Here’s a fine article  about the exhibit and Mr. Bachtell.

Link here to Tom Bachtell’s website.


Whither MAD Magazine?

Every so often I post something that might seem out of the range of The Spill‘s concerns, but MAD magazine is very much a part of the New Yorker cartoonist universe. Many a New Yorker cartoonist will tell you that MAD was an early comic education and inspiration.  What’s more, a number of New Yorker cartoonists contribute to MAD.  So here’s a thoughtful piece focused on a rumor concerning MAD’s fate.  


Roz Chast’s Tiny Shirts

This photo appeared on yesterday’s Spill .  It shows Roz Chast (with the great Edward Koren looking on) working on a tiny paper shirt construction at Jack Ziegler’s memorial last Saturday.  As promised, here are the shirts (they made their way out of The Society of Illustrators to The Spill‘s archives via the vest pocket of Danny Shanahan’s jacket).





A Memorial For Peter Porges; Early Gahan Wilson

There will be a memorial service on June 29th for Mad Magazine and New Yorker artist,  Peter Porges who passed away in December of last year.

Mr. Porges’s first New Yorker cartoon appeared in the issue of July 3, 1965.

Sam Gross has passed along the details:


Peter Porges Memorial Service
 Thursday, June 29th
  Ethical Culture Society
  Ceremonial Hall
  2 West 64th Street, New York
  6 pm


Dick Buchanan’s Cartoon Files is back on Mike Lynch’s site with a look at very early Gahan Wilson drawings, such as the one shown here from True, in May of 1955.  Check it out!

Here”s Gahan Wilson’s entry on the Spill‘s “New Yorker Cartoonists A-Z”:

Gahan Wilson (photo above, by Michael Maslin, taken at The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art, NYC, 2008) NYer work: 1976 – . Wilson’s website: http://www.gahanwilson.com/

Lee Lorenz in Conversation with Edward Sorel; Kuper Pencilled & Panelled














Two heavy hitters, Lee Lorenz and Edward Sorel will share a stage on September 26th for an event billed “Drawing Sides: A Timely Conversation on Political Cartoons”   Details here.





Peter Kuper joins a very long list of New Yorker artists who’ve told us about their chosen tools of the trade on Jane Mattimoe’s terrif blog, A Case For Pencils. Read it here.


And speaking of Mr. Kuper, he’ll be appearing on a panel tonight at the New York Academy of Art. The discussion will center on the history and future of MAD magazine. nyaof-art-mad


John Caldwell: 1946-2016

CaldwellAccording to The Times Union, an upstate New York newspaper, the cartoonist John Caldwell, who contributed to The New Yorker from 1999 – 2002 has passed away. Read the obit here.

Here’s an extract from his biography as it appears on his website.

…his drawings have appeared in many publications, including The National Lampoon, Writer’s Digest, Playboy, Barron’s, The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, Reader’s Digest and Harvard Business Review. He also appears regularly in and is proud to be one of the Usual Gang of Idiots at Mad Magazine.

His books include one children’s book, several collections of his own cartoons, and a 1991 work titled FAX THIS BOOK, which did for the sale of fax machines what CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL did for VCR repair.

Caldwell also designs greeting cards for Recycled Paper Greetings and Nobleworks.



Left: a 1981 collection

Below: Mr. Caldwell’s first cartoon in The New Yorker, September 6, 1999

Caldwell NYer Sept 6 1999