(Above: Television actress, Joan Sinclair and Arno, the summer of ’49, at Joan Braun’s Palace Bar in Manhattan. Photograph by Stanley Kubrick)
Peter Arno, the great New Yorker cartoonist (some would argue the greatest — I did), was born on this day 116 years ago. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone living a life like Arno’s in today’s New Yorker cartoonistsphere. Nor will you find anyone drawing like him — and that’s perfectly fine, and exactly as it should be. New Yorker cartoonists bring their own voice to their work. What Arno gave us, in his forty-three years at the magazine, was his voice, and a high bar as expressed in his eleven hundred cartoons and ninety-nine covers. That high bar is what he left those of us at the magazine who carry on daily bringing pen and ink to paper, or stylus to tablet.