Attempted Bloggery’s E. Simms Campbell Fest Begins

E. Simms Campbell, a somewhat obscure New Yorker cartoonist, better known for his work elsewhere (Playboy, and more importantly, Esquire.  He created that magazine’s mascot, Esky) will be the next focus (ala Syd Hoff) of Stephen Nadler’s blog.  The above scans of Mr. Campbell’s work are all from Chris Wheeler’s wonderful blog.  Here’s Mr. Nadler on Mr. Campbell:

Cartoonist E. Simms Campbell (1906-1971) will be featured on Attempted Bloggery for the next week or two, depending on how much material I come across. Perhaps Ink Spill’s knowledgable readers can help me to find some original art or published cartoons of his not currently available on the internet. As I have in the past, I’ll be looking at a talented New Yorker artist who today isn’t talked about all that much. He is an important figure though, the first African-American cartoonist to appear in national magazines. I hope to gain a fresh appreciation of his artistry. His New Yorker work (1932-1942) was only a small part of his output. His color pieces were published regularly in Esquire and Playboy. He is the artist who created Esky, the well-known mascot of Esquire. He also illustrated Cuties, a syndicated panel strip, for King Features. There is absolutely no truth to the rumor that I timed the selection of this cartoonist so I can post his Playboy cartoon of a woman popping out of a cake on my birthday.
Mr. Campbell’s entry on the Spill’s A-Z:

E. Simms Campbell (photo above) Born, 1906. Died, 1971. New Yorker work: 1932 -1942. Key collections: Cuties in Arms (1943) – the earliest published collection of cartoons by an African-American cartoonist; More Cuties in Arms (also 1943); and Chorus of Cuties (1953)


Feiffer’s Playboy Cartoons; Liza Donnelly is the Erma Bombeck Humor Writer of the Month; Interview of Interest: Roz Chast

Feiffer’s Playboy Cartoons

From the Los Angeles Review of Books, February 1, 2018,  “The Playboy Funnies: Hefner Editing Feiffer”


Liza Donnelly is the Erma Bombeck Humor Writer of the Month

From the University of Dayton’s Writers’ Workshop, this notice concerning Ms. Donnelly.

Link here to Liza Donnelly’s website


Interview of Interest: Roz Chast

From Vice, January 29, 2018, this interview with Ms. Chast.

Link here to Roz Chast’s website



Smilby Cartoons Auctioned; New Yorker cartoon editor (and associate cartoon editor) Sing; Soglow Covers Judge

Smilby Cartoons Auctioned

From the Rugby & Letterworth Observer, November 17, 2017 “Rugby Cartoonist’s Playboy Art Raises Eyebrows at Auction”  — this piece on auctioned work by the late cartoonist Francis Wilford-Smith, known professionally as Smilby. His work appeared in the New Yorker from 1962 through 1971.


New Yorker cartoon editor (and associate cartoon editor) Sing

In this week’s episode of  “Cartoons, Etc.” there’s singing.  See it here. (on the left is Emma Allen, the magazine’s cartoon editor, and on the right, Colin Stokes, the  associate cartoon editor).


Soglow Covers Judge

More fun stuff over on Attempted Bloggery.  See the great Otto (“Little King”) Soglow’s color work on the cover of Judge here.

Podcast of Interest: Gil Roth Interviews Shannon Wheeler; Fave Photo: Liza Donnelly In the New York Yankees Dugout with Shortstop, Didi Gregorius; R.C. Harvey’s Out-of-the-Vault Interview with Playboy’s Former Cartoon Editor, Michelle Urry; Radio Interview: Roz Chast

Podcast of Interest: Gil Roth Interviews Shannon Wheeler

Gil Roth continues his wonderful series of cartoonist interviews with Too Much Coffee Man’s Shannon Wheeler.  Hear it here.

— thanks to Attempted Bloggerys Stephen Nadler for bringing this to my attention (check out his site for recent posts on two auction pieces: an Arnold Roth drawing and  a Charles Addams pencil sketch)


Fave Photo: Liza Donnelly in the New York Yankees dugout with Didi Gregorius

Liza Donnelly recently spent the afternoon at Yankee Stadium.  Among the highlights of the day: lending her iPad to the team’s shortstop, Didi Gregorius, for his first tablet drawing. See the short CBS video here


R.C. Harvey’s From-the-Vault Interview with the late Michelle Urry, Playboy’s Former Cartoon Editor

From TCJ, May 4, 2017,  “Magazine Gag Cartoons, Michelle Urry, and Cartooning for Playboy” — an enlightening interview with Ms. Urry, who passed away in October of 2006.


Roz Chast on Fresh Air

The media blitz is on for Ms. Chast’s just-out Going Into Town Here she is on NPR”s Fresh Air, aired October 2nd(find it just just below the Tom Petty piece).

Interview of Interest: Roxie Munro; Blog of Interest: New Yorker State of Mind; Latest New Yorker Cartoons Rated; More Hef: Playboy Comedy, Comedians and Cartoons; More Bloggery

Interview of Interest: Roxie Munro

From the blog Smack Dab in the Middle, this interview with Ms. Munro who contributed some spectacular covers to The New Yorker, including the one above.

Link here to her website.


Blog of Interest: A New Yorker State of Mind: Reading Every Issue of The New Yorker

An irresistible site if you love getting in the New Yorker weeds. As you can see the issue in the spotlight this week is dated August 4, 1928.  Cover by Julian de Miskey. Read it here.


Latest New Yorker Cartoons Rated

And now back to the future…the Cartoon Companion boys, “Max” & “Simon” look closely at the brand new cartoons in the brand new issue of The New Yorker. Cartoons with salt, sharks, wax, thuggery, punch, groceries dissected.  Read it here.


More Hef: Playboy Comedy, Comedians and Cartoons

Thanks to a Facebook post by Mort Gerberg yesterday I was alerted to this brand new book published in late August by Beaufort Books, Playboy Laughs: The Comedy, Comedians and Cartoons of Playboy.  According  to Mr. Gerberg, the book includes interviews with Arnold Roth, Jules Feiffer, Mike Williams, Don Orehek, Al Jaffee and Mr. Gerberg. 


More Bloggery

Stephen Nadler over at Attempted Bloggery continues providing a look into New Yorker cartoon auction art and ephemera.  Today it’s sheet music from Murray Anderson’s 1929 Almanac (and an Arno Camel ad in the show’s Playbill). Scroll on down the post and you’ll see an auctioned Eldon Dedini original and an incredible horde of originals for a 1937 Macy’s ad campaign by Gregory d’Allesio.  Fascinating stuff all.  See it here

Rabbit At Rest: Hugh Hefner 1926-2017

Hugh Hefner, cartoonist turned mogul, died yesterday in California.  For quite some time his creation, Playboy Magazine was the alternate universe for a good number of New Yorker cartoonists.  Beginning in the late 1960s and early 1970s with other major cartoon markets folding, Playboy became the next best place for cartoonists to take their work;  the decision to bring one’s cartoons there was, for most, economic, not editorial.  Editorially, Playboy was definitely not the New Yorker (the best place to take one’s work) but it had in common with the New Yorker a number of elements attractive to cartoonists: the pay was good –second only to The New Yorker, and there was an orderly editorial system in place thanks to the steady presence of Michelle Urry, who presided as cartoon editor. Like the New Yorker, Playboy had a stable of cartoonists, some contracted with the magazine.  As a monthly, the decision-making process wasn’t as fast-paced as the weekly New Yorker;  the process further slowed by the need for all work to be approved by Mr. Hefner, the magazine’s founder and editor-in-chief, who wasn’t in the magazine’s headquarters in Manhattan, but out west, living his well- publicized Hollywood dream.

There was plenty of spill-over from the New Yorker‘s stable to Playboy‘s, especially in the back of the book, where single panel cartoons were most prominent (full color, full-page cartoons by Playboy regulars threaded through the magazine).  Hefner’s tastes in cartoons bore the stamp of his younger days; much of the magazine’s anchor material (those color pages) curiously kept that Eisenhower era look and feel well beyond the 1950s.

It was headline news when Playboy briefly ceased using cartoons (and abandoned nude photographs of women) but less newsworthy when both returned.  There is at this point in time no next best place for cartoonists to bring their work once it’s been rejected by The New Yorker.  Several eras of cartoonists were buoyed by Hefner’s magazine, itself a curio that perhaps could only have been dreamed up by a cartoonist.