Lee Lorenz’s Essential Essentials
Here are three essential books for any and every New Yorker cartoon library. All were compiled and edited by the former New Yorker art/cartoon editor, Lee Lorenz. My understanding is that there were to be more in the series, but we all know how fickle the publishing biz is (wouldn’t it have been just incredibly wonderful to have had an Essential Robert Weber!). What you’ll find in each book is a compact history of the subject, with early work, and interviews, bibliographies, favorite cartoon topics, and plenty of cartoons. The first two in the series came out in 1998 (Booth & Barsotti), followed by the Essential Ziegler in 2000. Mr. Lorenz also gave us a great book on William Steig, as well as an overall look at The New Yorker‘s art and art department from its beginning. Those titles are essential too — they just don’t include the word “essential” in their titles.
From the Spill‘s A-Z, the entries for those mentioned above:
Lee Lorenz ( Photograph taken 1995 by Liza Donnelly) *Born 1932, Hackensack, NJ. Lorenz was the art editor of The New Yorker from 1973 to 1993 and its cartoon editor until 1997. During his tenure, a new wave of New Yorker cartoonists began appearing in the magazine — cartoonists who no longer depended on idea men. Cartoon collections: Here It Comes (Bobbs-Merrrill Co., Inc. 1968) ; Now Look What You’ve Done! (Pantheon, 1977) ; The Golden Age of Trash ( Chronicle Books, 1987); The Essential series, all published by Workman: : Booth (pub: 1998), Barsotti ( pub: 1998), Ziegler (pub: 2001), The Art of The New Yorker 1925 -1995, (Knopf, 1995), The World of William Steig (Artisan, 1998). New Yorker work: 1958 –.
Charles Barsotti Born, San Marcos, Texas, September 28, 1933. Died, Kansas City, Mo., June 16, 2014. Mr. Barsotti was briefly the cartoon editor of The Saturday Evening Post ( from 1968 until its demise in 1969). The New York Times review of his 1981 collection “Kings Don’t Carry Money” led with the following:”Thurber lives, in Kansas City under the name of Charles Barsotti.” His deceptively simple line drawings of pups and kings, and businessmen have been a presence in The New Yorker for over fifty years. It is likely that Mr. Barsotti is the only New Yorker cartoonist to have ever run for Congress (an unsuccessful bid, in 1972, in Kansas). New Yorker work: 1962 – . Key collections: Kings Don’t Carry Money (Dodd, Mead, 1981), and The Essential Charles Barsotti, Compiled and Edited by Lee Lorenz (Workman, 1998). Website: http://www.barsotti.com/ ……Link to Ink Spill’s Charles Barsotti appreciation.
George Booth (photo above taken in NYC 2016, courtesy of Liza Donnelly) Born June 28, 1926, Cainesville, MO. New Yorker work: June 14, 1969 – . Key collections: Think Good Thoughts About A Pussycat (Dodd, Mead, 1975), Rehearsal’s Off! (Dodd, Mead, 1976), Omnibooth: The Best of George Booth ( Congdon & Weed, 1984), The Essential George Booth, Compiled and Edited by Lee Lorenz ( Workman, 1998).
Jack Ziegler (photo by Michael Maslin, taken at The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art, NYC, 2008) Born, Brooklyn, NY July 13, 1942. Died, March 29, 2017. New Yorker work: 1974 – 2017. Key collections: all of Ziegler’s collections are must-haves. Here’re some favorites: Hamburger Madness (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978), Filthy Little Things ( Doubleday/Dolphin, 1981) and The Essential Jack Ziegler, Complied and Edited by Lee Lorenz ( Workman, 2000)….. Link here for Ink Spill’s Jack Ziegler interview from late 2016.
Robert Weber (Pictured mid 1980s. Photograph by Liza Donnelly) Born April 22, 1924, Los Angeles, California. Died, October 20, 2016, Branford Connecticut. NYer work: nearly 1500 cartoons, and close to a dozen covers since 1962…. Read Ink Spill’s November 2016 Appreciation of Mr. Weber here.
The terrif cartoonist Kim Warp has today’s Daily Cartoon. See it here.
Ms. Warp has been contributing to The New Yorker since 1999.