The last time I brought an unknown (to me) New Yorker cartoonist to this site, he was identified as Alfred Leete, whose cartoon appeared in the very first issue of The New Yorker.
The case of today’s mystery New Yorker cartoonist came about from my looking through the third anniversary issue of The New Yorker, dated February 25, 1928. After pausing on page 24 to admire a half-page Peter Arno cartoon I looked over to page 25 where my eyes rested on the above cartoon. I looked at the signature, “P. Panurge” — hmmm, the name wasn’t at all familiar. It might not even be “Panurge” (See below for a closer look at the signature). Checked Ink Spill‘s “New Yorker Cartoonists A – Z” (I sometimes forget I’ve already researched the more obscure cartoonists) , checked the New Yorker‘s database, checked the issue’s database table of contents (the drawing is attributed to I. Klein. Mr. Klein is in the issue, on page 17). Googled “Panurge” and “P. Panurge” and came up with nothing related to cartoons or a cartoonist. I looked through a few issues surrounding the 1928 issue hoping there’d be another Panurge cartoon. Coming up empty, I began to wonder if P. Panurge, whoever she or he is could be the next member of Ink Spill‘s “One Club”.
So I throw it out to any cartoon detectives/historians out there: who is P. Panurge? Any ideas please contact me.
My Mistake, Daniel Menaker’s latest book continues a string of somewhat recent memoirs by former New Yorker editors (in Mr. Angell’s case, current New Yorker editor): Alexander Chancellor’s Some Times in America and A Life in a Year at The New Yorker (1999), Gardner Botsford’s A Life of Privilege, Mostly 2003) and Roger Angell’s Let Me Finish (2006).
As we move closer to the anniversary of James Thurber’s birthday — he was born December 8, 1894 — I’ve been spending a little more time hanging out with our Thurber books. Here’s a great addition to any Thurber collection, published in 1936 by Blue Ribbon Books (a New York City publishing house once located at 386 Fourth Avenue). As you can tell by the cover, it combines Thurber’s masterpiece, My Life and Hard Times (originally published by Harper & Brothers in 1933) with The Owl in the Attic (originally published by Harper & Brothers in 1931). I’m tempted to say that if you have this book and the Thurber Carnival that’s all the Thurber you’ll ever need. I’d say it, but it would be a dumb thing to say.
Before my recent interview with Dana Fradon, I did some research — as much as the internet allowed, which wasn’t a heck of a lot — and ran into this first collection of his from 1961. My copy arrived today — the pages yellowed and stiff, but the early ’60s humor intact (over on Mike Lynch’s site you’ll find a scan of the cover and a few cartoons from Mr. Fradon’s second paperback collection, My Son the Medicine Man). I really like these New Yorker cartoonists’ paperbacks — especially when they are original collections and not just the standard reprinting of a hardcover published a year or so earlier. There are a few posted on Ink Spill‘s “From the Attic” section, including Al Ross‘s Bums vrs Billionaires. This was probably the closest thing the late Mr. Ross had to a cartoon collection (he also authored Sexcapades and Cartooning Fundamentals, but neither were purely cartoon collections).
Mischa Richter had a number of these paperbacks as well. The Ink Spill library has just one (not included yet in the “From the Attic” section): Strictly Doctors (Pocket Books, 1963). Mr. Richter authored at least two other mass paperbacks The Man on the Couch (Pocket Book, 1958) and Keeping Women in Line (Avon, 1954). The latter seems to be an original collection (it says so right on the cover).
A Whitney Darrow, Jr. paperback from the late 1940s, Hold It, Florence, is a mash-up of two Darrow collections, You’re Sitting on My Eyelashes and Please Pass the Hostess.
These little brittle gems are easy to come by online, but it’s always more fun when they show up in a used bookstore wedged between ancient Peanuts collections. There’s a wagon load of un-PC content in some of these books, but considering them as archeological dig finds, they tell us perhaps what we already knew or suspected cartoon life was like half a century ago.
Addendum: I did more looking online for New Yorker cartoonist paperback collections (post-war through the early 1960s) and found just one more that may or may not be an original collection: Starke Staring by Leslie Starke, published in 1955.
Andrea Arroyo‘s exhibit, Memories Interlaced opens November 22, 2013 at the Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center and runs through January 10, 2014. More info here.
From our friend at Attempted Bloggery, a Thurber puzzle solved.
From The San Antonio Express, November 15, 2013, “Sex guide for the sexless” — some more Katz, Farley Katz that is.