Where Artists Work; A Professor’s Work exhibited; Danny Shanahan Takes Charge; Thanks & Happy New Year!

From the blog, David-Wasting-Paper, December 31, 2012,

“A Little Cartoonist Eye Candy for New Year’s Eve” 

—  photographs of cartoonist’s work spaces. A fun post.


From The University of Connecticut’s Art & History site,

“Two Exhibitions will feature work by Professor Emeritus Gus Mazzocca and His Students”

I was honored to be selected as one of Professor Mazzocca’s students exhibiting work.


 Danny Shanahan recently announced through Facebook that he’s next in line for The New Yorker’s Daily Cartoon online feature.  David Sipress has been supplying work since the feature began (sorry, no link. Just go to newyorker.com.  Danny’s work will begin appearing any day now). And speaking of Danny:  now you can find him on Facebook at Danny Shanahan — New Yorker Cartoonist.  You’ll find photographs of cartoonists,  unpublished Shanahan cartoons and more.


And finallyA note of thanks to all of you who dropped by this year. Ink Spill attracted close to a million-and-a-half hits in 2012 — an encouraging number for a site that elects to cover such a tiny sliver (i.e., New Yorker cartoonists) of a very large field (all cartoonists).

2013 should be chock full of fun posts as The New Yorker’s 88th anniversary arrives in February and the 109th anniversary of Peter Arno’s birth in just about a week. Ink Spill will increase its interviews this coming year, including a talk this summer with Peter Steiner on the occasion of the 16th anniversary of the publication of his famous New Yorker cartoon, “On the internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.”

Happy New Year to all!

The Algonquin


The  holiday season reminds me of the Algonquin Hotel, and once reminded I only have to look across my desk to the snowglobe pictured above.  It was given to me years ago by friends who stayed at the hotel for a day or two.


I threw together the little scene above for Ink Spillers. The snowglobe sits atop Margaret Case Harriman’s Vicious Circle: The Story of The Algonquin Roundtable (Rinehart & Co., Inc., 1951.  Illustrated by the late great Al Hirschfeld). Behind the globe is Frank Case’s Tales Of A Wayward Inn (Garden City Publishing, Inc., 1941. With seven illustrations, including one by James Thurber and another by Covarrubias ). My thanks to Jack Ziegler for adding Wayward Inn  to our collection many moons ago. The Empire State Building and Chrysler Building are Times Square souvenirs. I found the tin Yellow Cab someplace years ago.  There’s a sign on the trunk:  “Always Be Careful Crossing Streets” — excellent advice then and now.


The mention of the Algonquin brings to mind a flood some of the biggest and brightest names associated with the earliest and earlier years of The New Yorker: Harold Ross, Dorothy Parker, Alexander Woollcott, Benchley, E.B. White, and Thurber, who made the place his second home when he wasn’t at his “great good place” in Connecticut.  It was in the Algonquin lobby that Thurber and another of the magazine’s giants, Peter Arno, met for the last time just before Thurber’s death.  And of course it was where William Shawn went for his cereal and orange juice lunch every week day during his long tenure as editor.


For those wanting much more on the Algonguin and its part in The New Yorker’s story, there are the books in the photo (Frank Case owned the Algonguin), as well as Thomas Kunkel’s terrific biography of Harold Ross, Genius in Disguise (Random House, 1995). There are plenty of other books with tales of the Algonquin — too many to mention at the moment. I will however note a few more books that go right to the heart of the matter:

Wit’s End: Days and Nights  of the Algonquin Round Table by James R. Gaines (Booksurge Publishing, 2007)

The Algonquin Wits Edited by Robert E. Drennan (The Citadel Press, 1985)

The Lost Algonquin Round Table Edited by Nat Benchley and Kevin C. Fitzpatrick (iUniverse, Inc., 2009)

New Yorker Cartoons & war

Pictured above:  a handful of World War II era publications from The New Yorker. Beginning at twelve o’clock high, with the red cover is The New Yorker Cartoons with The Talk of The Town (1945) — it’s the hard cover version of the New Yorker booklet to the left (cover by Alajalov). This is an exciting publication, chock full of great work.  The Introduction is by New Yorker writer Russell Maloney who speaks of the qualities that define a New Yorker cartoon.  Here’s an excerpt:

The editors of The New Yorker have, from the very beginning, made things just much more difficult for themselves by insisting on a closer relation between pictures and captions. In a good New Yorker drawing — and mind you, I’m saying they’re all good — the picture doesn’t mean much without a caption, and vice versa. If a picture is self explanatory without a caption, it is printed without a caption; you’ll find a good many in this volume. In The New Yorker the pictures do not illustrate the jokes; they are the jokes.

Continuing clockwise is The New Yorker War Album (cover by Peter Arno, published by Random House, 1942), then a pony edition* New Yorker (cover by Helen Hokinson), Another booklet, this one titled The New Yorker War Cartoons (cover by the ultra-prolific Alan Dunn).  The Introduction is by E.J. Kahn.  Here’s an excerpt:


One of the principal virtues of this collection of war cartoons is that they are not aimed at anybody in particular, unless it be the man with a capacity for absorbtion of humor…These cartoons show that a purely civilian organization can good naturedly tickle a military body without hurting any feelings.

Rounding out the collection, another pony edition (cover by James Thurber).


*By following the pony edition link above you’ll be taken to the From the Attic section of Ink Spill.  Scroll down to the “New Yorker Overseas 1945” post for a brief history of the The New Yorker Pony Editions



From the Attic: Cobean, Ross, and Peter Arno

Here’re three more items that will soon be added to the Attic.



Above: A Sam Cobean handkerchief. Other than Thurber I can’t think of another of the magazine’s cartoonists who was more fond of delving into the whole man/woman thing.




This Timex watch with an Al Ross drawing on its face is not very old, but it’s interesting.  Danny Shanahan donated this to the Attic a few years ago. I hadn’t opened the box in awhile and when I did, the watch was still ticking.




A box of Peter Arno cocktail napkins.  When I began working on Arno’s biography, I bought nearly everything I came across that had anything to do with Arno.