Mystery Cartoonist found!; Cartoonography

With the help of colleagues Mike Lynch, Brian Moore and Rick Marschall, I was able to identify the mystery New Yorker cartoonist mentioned in the February 21st Ink Spill post.  His name is Alfred Leete.  His bio appears in numerous places as he was  famous for a poster he designed in 1914 (if you go to his bio you’ll see the poster and its history).  Here’s a bio of Leete.


In February of 2008 ran 28 written posts and 20 autobiographical drawings I called Cartoonography.  While the written posts remain on The New Yorker’s site, the drawings no longer do.  For the sake of completion, I’ve brought them to Ink Spill where they can now be seen on my Bio page.

Vahan Shirvanian, lifelong New Jerseyian, dies at 87

Word has reached Ink Spill from Mike Lynch of the passing of Vahan Shirvanian, who contributed 44 drawings to The New Yorker (his first appearance in the magazine was in the issue of April 27, 1968; his work last appeared in the issue of January 12, 1988). According to The Newark Star Ledger, his first cartoon sale was to The Saturday Evening Post. He contributed to numerous publications, including Reader’s Digest, Playboy, and Good Housekeeping.

See three of his New Yorker drawings here.

And more of his work can be found here.

Happy Birthday, Eustace!


In honor of the very first issue of The New Yorker, dated February 21, 1925, I’m re-posting a photo I took for “Tilley Over Time a piece I contributed to back in February 21, 2008.

The cartoonists appearing in that first issue were Alfred Frueh, Gardner Rea, Oscar Howard, Wallace Morgan, Ethel Plummer and, on page 14,  an unknown cartoonist, whose drawing is titled Flor de Pince Nez. (you can find some brief biographical material on all of these cartoonists here). Below is the work of the unidentified cartoonist. If anyone can ID the artist, please contact me.


And finally, a big big round of applause for Rea Irvin, who brought us Eustace Tilley, and three cheers for Harold Ross, without whom…

Thurston Gentry added to the One Club


This morning, while aimlessly thumbing through a bound book of New Yorkers from late 1937 I paused to look more closely at a drawing with an unfamiliar style. The signature was legible enough for me to decipher, and with that I went to “The Complete New Yorker” database and looked up the cartoonist, Thurston Gentry.  I found he had but one cartoon published in The New Yorker, the one I’d just come across in the issue of December 4, 1937. This immediately qualified him to join what I’m calling the One Club; that is, a club of cartoonists who have appeared just once in The New Yorker in their lifetime.

As I wrote on Ink Spill’s “Posted Notes” back in March of 2008 under the heading “Just Once” I’m fascinated by the cartoonists who broke into The New Yorker but never made it past that first published drawing.  Quoting from “Just Once”:

In 1925 alone, I counted eleven solo contributors ( one of those, Bertrand Zadig, also contributed one cover — his only cover for the magazine). Until coming across these cartoonists I’d always thought there were perhaps no more than half a dozen solo appearance cartoonists in the history of the magazine. Finding nearly a dozen in the magazine’s first year was an eye-opener.

I’ve yet to return to counting the members of the One Club — I’ll get to it someday.  But for now, Mr. Gentry enters this special category.

A great book, Collier’s Collects Its Wits (Crowell-Collier Publishing Co., 1941) has supplied me with many a self portrait over the years  and  it did not disappoint when I looked up Mr. Gentry today.  The self portrait above is from the book as is the brief biography below:

Born in Dallas, Texas, Thurston Gentry’s first tangible art reward was a German helmet – grand prize in a 1917 Liberty Loan poster contest. Five years at sea as a ship’s muscianon the Honolulu run preceded art department work  on West Coast and Midwest papers. Seven years ago our subject moved to Manhattan and sold his first cartoon to Collier’s. Hobbies; Flying, amateur radio, music.

The site supplied some additional information:

Born in Texas in 1905. Gentry was a resident of Chicago in 1930 and a pupil at the AIC. While living in Hollywood in 1932-45, he was a cartoonist for the Los Angeles Times.


Edan Hughes, “Artists in California, 1786-1940”

California Arts and Architecture list, 1932; Census.

Below is a Thurston Gentry cartoon that appeared in Click’s Cartoon Annual,  1940