An early afternoon trip to my local independent bookstore turned up a surprise: Addams’ Apple: The New York Cartoons of Charles Addams (Pomegranate); Foreword by Sarah M. Henry (deputy director and chief curator at The Museum of The City of New York) and Preface by Luc Sante (author, Guggenheim Fellow, and teacher at Bard College).
Most appealing to me about this themed collection — and the reason I bought it — are the eight previously unpublished Addams pieces — one of them a color piece, obviously intended as a New Yorker cover, titled “Green City” — it’s dated 1979. While most of the work included was published in The New Yorker, a good number previously appeared only in Addams cartoon collections. A few others (seven, if my counting is correct) appeared via the McClure Syndicate; a couple appeared in The New York Times.
I love that the book includes more than a dozen color plates of New Yorker covers. Addams’ covers are masterpieces of the form. There’s a really nice photo of Addams, taken in his studio as he’s working on a New Yorker cover published October 31, 1983 (it is, of course, included in the book). In the photo, you see a sliding glass door hard by his drawing table. Seen through the glass, out on the lawn, are a couple of Addams’ dogs sniffing around.
The Spill doesn’t rate cartoons, or cartoonists, or books of cartoons, but occasionally it breaks into a round of applause.