Katz Illustrates; Barsotti & the Big Questions



A Farley Katz Facebook post has alerted us to an upcoming book he has illustrated.  The Married Kama Sutra: The World’s Least Erotic Sex Manual, written by Simon Rich, and published by Little, Brown & Company, will arrive on bookstore shelves on October 29th.


From the publisher:

For centuries, lovers have found inspiration and advice in the ancient text of the Kama Sutra. Now, Simon Rich–“one of the funniest writers in America” (The Daily Beast)–and Farley Katz have unearthed a valuable new document–a guide to the positions most common after marriage. From “the interrupted congress” to “the beaching of the whales,” here are the poses, positions, and games married lovers play to keep the spark alive–and the dishwasher properly loaded. Complete with four-color, full-page illustrations in the style of the original Kama Sutra, but with modern, domestic accoutrements: dirty diapers, TV remotes, and wine glasses aplenty.

Link to Farley Katz’s website.




Over on The New Yorker’s website, the magazine’s Cartoon Editor, Bob Mankoff has temporarily turned his weekly post over to a guest blogger.  The subject is Charles Barsotti’s work.  See the post  here.

Link to Charles Barsotti’s website

Working to “Terrible Music”




 Dylan Self Portrait


Some months back my wife poked her head in my work room, and said, “That is terrible music.”  The terrible music she was referring to:  Bob Dylan’s Self Portrait album. I was playing it as I worked (if I’m working in my office, music is playing).

I’ve always understood where the critics were coming from when they slammed Self Portrait.  It’s no Blonde on Blonde or Highway 61 Revisited  or John Wesley Harding (but it is also no Down in the Groove or Knocked Out Loaded, my two contenders for Dylan’s lowest point) but I love it just the same, from its cover art — a self portrait (pictured above) — to the photos within (Dylan posing with a chicken!) to the loopy arrangements. Most people cite Dylan’s double-tracked vocal on his cover of Paul Simon’s “The Boxer” as the supreme example of just how bad this album is. I find  Dylan’s  Simon & Garfunkel voices fascinating. 

Self Portrait  is perhaps the most reviled album in Dylan’s career (the now famous Greil Marcus review in Rolling Stone led off with “What is this shit?” –  a saltier version of my wife’s verbal review).  Despite the wrath heaped upon Self Portrait I fell hard for the album since it was released in 1970. Saving up to buy it, I had to make do with listening to it at a local box store where it was sacrificed to the stereo department as a demo to be played on turntables (my guess is that someone bought it then returned it).  Once I actually purchased the album, it became a favorite to work to as I drew my way through high school, college and beyond.  It’s one of those select albums that has the ability to spirit me away to the Cartoon Zone every morning (another album in the spiriting away category: the Rolling Stones’ Their Satanic Majesties Request  — hmmm, yet another album the critics loved to hate).

Self Portrait is back in the news (and being re-raked over the coals) due to the imminent release of Another Self Portrait – the tenth in Dylan’s Bootleg series. This latest in the series features two discs of previously unreleased material from the Self Portrait sessions. Lost in every review I’ve seen of Another Self Portrait is mention of the 1973 Columbia Records release, Dylan, an album of material from the Self Portrait era – it’s usually referred to as Columbia Records’ revenge for Dylan changing labels (he left Columbia, briefly, for Geffen’s Asylum Records).  It came in for the same trashing as Self Portrait.  With its cover of Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi” and Jerry Jeff Walker’s “Mr. Bojangles”  as well as a dual nod to Elvis Presley with  covers of  “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and “A Fool Such As I” – Dylan was, to me, just as good as and a welcome addition to the earlier Self Portrait.  The album was quickly forgotten and buried under the sea of coverage for the new Dylan material on Planet Waves released just three months afterDylan hit record stores.  Dylan became the forgotten album, never released in the United States on compact disc (I bought a European  import, released under the title, A Fool Such As I).

Why this particular phase of Dylan’s career became (and has remained) integral to my work I’ll never know.  I can always play Highway 61 Revisited and still feel that electric charge as the lead off track,  “Like A Rolling Stone” kicks in.  I’ve learned though that the album is too exciting, too distracting;  listening to it keeps me from working.   The surest path to the Cartoon Zone, for some forty-three years, has been the “terrible music” of Self Portrait.

























































































































































































































































































Exhibit: Danny Shanahan, Michael Crawford, Carolita Johnson, Liza Donnelly & Michael Maslin























An exhibit of work by five New Yorker cartoonists opens Saturday, August 24th in the Rhinebeck (New York) Atwater Gallery.  Published and unpublished work by Danny Shanahan, Michael Crawford, Carolita Johnson, Liza Donnelly and Michael Maslin will be shown.


Note:  you can see some — but not all — of the above cartoonists’ work by going to The New Yorker’s Cartoon Bank site and entering the cartoonist’s name in the “Search” box on the upper right site of the page.

New Yorker Blog Post of Interest; Rea Irvin Virgin Island Illustrations; 3 Days to go for Gahan Wilson Documentary Film Kickstarter Campaign; Shannon Wheeler and The Quarterly Vol. V
















From newyorker.com, August 7, 2013, “Performance Enhancement in Baseball” — an illustrated  post by Jason Novak and Mike Duncan. (Above: one of Mr. Novak’s drawings from the piece).




Irvin cropped

Another interesting post from Attempted Bloggery, August 9, 2013,

“Rea Irvin: Vacationtime in the Virgin Islands”

— a look at a couple of recently auctioned Rea Irvin illustrations from the February 1954 Woman’s Day.















With just 3 days left, there’s no time like the present to kick in some dough to help fund the Kickstarter campaign for Steven Charles Jaffee’s documentary film, Gahan Wilson: Born Dead, Still Weird.









Here’s a very short interview with Shannon Wheeler regarding his work in The Quarterly Volume V.