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

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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/

Felipe Galindo on Porges and Leeds; New Yorker Caption Contest Mechanics; Sikoryak’s Carousel

Felipe Galindo (aka Feggo) who reliably takes photos at cartoonist gatherings,  sent in this wonderful photograph of the late Peter Porges. Felipe also added some thoughts on Mr. Porges and the late Stuart Leeds.

Peter Porges

I first met him at one of those cartoonists lunches. He had a grouchy expression that all of a sudden transformed into a comical act, making funny noises, like a marching band, imitating instruments. I recall that afterwards I went along Sid Harris and him to visit his studio at Union Square. He showed us stuff he was working on and his drawing technique with India ink and quill on large rag paper. Beautiful artistic renditions. He sometimes would lick the quill, his tongue and lips will be all black and Sid horrified, screamed: “Don’t do that, you’re going to get cancer!”. He said, “No way, I’ve been doing this for ages!” He did that 3 or 4 times. He would also tell me some words in Spanish. He was good pal of Sergio Aragones, my compatriot. I asked him where was he from, and told me he was born in Vienna. A comment that impacted me was: “When I was a kid I saw Hitler marching into Vienna in 1938! Later my family sent me away for protection.” He is the only person I’ve met that saw Hitler. Talk about 5 degrees of separation.
I was familiar with his work from Mad Magazine but later I enjoyed his cartoons from The New Yorker; he had several captionless gags, my cup of tea. But I liked in particular one about characters from a famous Velazquez painting: “Dauphin! Stop teasing La Infanta!”
Always a riot, in paper and in life.
Left: a Felipe Galindo sketch of Peter Porges at a cartoonist gathering in 1988
Stuart Leeds
I met Stuart at The New Yorker offices in Times Square, probably in 2002 or 2003. He would sit quietly at the sofa in the lobby, reading books after showing his batch. In 2008 I began to teach at an after school program in the Bronx and I was surprised to see him there and he me. He was moonlighting teaching cartooning to 4th graders and I was just learning how to teach, how to do mini graphic novels to 3rd graders. We used to chat a bit before class and share teaching methods.
He showed up at a couple of my exhibitions.  The late John Kane (they were neighbors in the Chelsea vicinity) once mentioned that he asked him to babysit Harry his parrot for a week, not at his apartment but at John’s place…and free range inside!
I think his his style was simple and his forte was in the ideas more than in a particular technical skill, but that simplicity – experimental at times- was just right to convey his wit. One favorite that comes to mind is his Greek Orders, showing 3 columns (Doric, Ionic, Corinthian) and at the end the iconic coffee cup with the Greek motifs labeled “To Go”. His humor was very New York City oriented where he most probably felt at home. Stuart liked baseball and adored the former NY Giants before they moved to San Francisco. He would wear with pride a vintage Giants cap.
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From Isthmus, February 2, 2017, “Hi-tech Humor: UW Powers New Yorker Contest” — this piece on Rob Nowak, who created the program that reduced the eye-balling time spent on the magazine’s caption contest.
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Robert Sikoryak’s next Carousel is coming up.  This one includes the very same Felipe Galindo mentioned at the top of today’s SpillAll the information here.

 

So Long, 2016. Howdy, 2017

HNYGeez, what a year.  I’ve spent this morning looking back through Ink Spill’s  2016 posts. This was the year we lost more New Yorker cartoonist colleagues  than in any previous twelve month period in the magazine’s history:   William Hamilton, John Caldwell, Gerald Dumas, Michael Crawford, Anatol Kovarsky, Frank Modell, Robert Weber, and Peter Porges.

Their combined published work in The New Yorker adds up to approximately 5,000 drawings. An astounding number.  But of course what they really contributed to the magazine, and to us, whatever number of drawings published, were their distinct worlds, beautifully, thoughtfully, artfully  and engagingly set down on paper.

All of these artists helped define what a New Yorker cartoon is, and what it could be.  As as the old year takes a hike, and a sparkling new year begins, I suggest a fitting tribute to these fine fellows would be to seek out their work and revel in it.

 

 

 

Note: So Long, 2016. Howdy, 2017 is pinched from a line in Bob Dylan’s song, “Talkin’ New York”:  “So long, New York. Howdy, East Orange”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peter Porges, New Yorker & MAD Graphic Raconteur, Has Died.

peter-porgesporges-1st-nyer-drawing-july-3-1965

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peter Porges, who began his New Yorker career in the summer of 1965 (his first drawing in the magazine appears above) died this week at age 89.  Mr. Porges was perhaps more widely known as a MAD artist (one of its famed Usual Gang of Idiots), but his New Yorker career spanned thirty-five years. Jack Ziegler, a New Yorker colleague, told Ink Spill today:

I used to love running into Peter Porges at the New Yorker on look days.  He never failed to make me laugh with that dead ringer Victor Borge Viennese (or wherever) voice of his.  I always thought those two might have been brothers separated somehow during the war.  He didn’t appear a lot in the magazine; he was mostly a Mad and a Playboy contributor, but I think he liked to show up mainly for the conversation with the rest of us and to just plain goof around, then go to lunch.  At some point we traded drawings.  My take-away was one of his large Playboy originals, but what I really cherish is a lithograph(? – possibly just a print) he gave me at a later date – I’m don’t remember the occasion – that depicts a spacious, obviously European restaurant full of top-hatted gentlemen seated before a bunch of glass bowls containing what appear to be two yellow balls in each.  The drawing is called “Poets in a Vienna Kaffeehause having eggs in a glass cup.”  I have no idea why this strikes me as so funny – it’s on the wall in front of me now – but it just indefinably is.

Born in Vienna, Austria on February 7, 1927, he emigrated to the United States, served in the military, then studied at what is now called The School of Visual Arts.  After his work appeared in Stars and Stripes, The American Legion Magazine,  and Successful Farming, he became a contract artist for The Saturday Evening Post in the late 1950s.  According to Bill Crouch in The World Encyclopedia of Cartoons, his work for MAD magazine  “began in this period, born out of a great motivational force, survival.”   Mr. Crouch noted that Mr. Porges considered himself “not only a cartoonist but a graphic raconteur.”

On a personal note: what I loved about Mr. Porges’s work was its MAD-like energy — it was imprinted with great joy, excitement and, of course, hilarity.

 

A 1991 MAD paperback by Mr. Porges.

porges-mad-lobsters

See some of his New Yorker work here

Link here for a brief biography on Mr. Porges

Mr. Porges’ Wikipedia page

Link here for a MAD Q & A with Mr. Porges