In one of those million-to-one cartoon moments, both my colleague Harry Bliss (with his collaborator Steve Martin) and I have similar drawings out this week (his in his syndicated daily spot, and mine in The New Yorker). What’s unusual, besides the timing of publication, and the peacock standing in a doorway in both drawings, is the use of the peacock itself. A quick visit to the New Yorker‘s Cartoon Bank site turned up peacock drawings by a dozen artists. I have to think there were a number more in the magazine’s ninety-four years (the Cartoon Bank site does not provide every cartoon in the magazine’s archive). The listed peacock drawings are by: Mick Stevens, Sam Gross, Will McPhail, John O’Brien, George Booth, Bernard Schoenbaum, George Price, Edward Koren, Saul Steinberg (he has three), Robert Day, Mort Gerberg, and Victoria Roberts. There were also three peacock covers shown. The artists: Joseph Low (the peacock is a minor character in his cover), Steinberg, and the one-and-only Rea Irvin.
I asked Mr. Bliss if he’d like to comment on our dual peacock drawings, and here’s what he had to say:
That’s crazy! I didn’t get my new issue of The New Yorker yet, so I didn’t even know that was in there. When I initially did my drawing, from an idea given to me by Steve Martin, I think I mentioned to Emma [Emma Allen, The New Yorker‘s cartoon editor] that I wanted it to be in color. Seeing yours now, makes me wonder if they bought yours before they had seen mine and the reason they didn’t buy mine and Steve’s is because they had already bought yours… Similars? Anyway, I think the reason there aren’t that many peacock cartoons out there is because the damn thing is so hard to draw!
Rare Book Of Interest: A John M. Price Anthology
Warren Bernard (of SPX fame) has alerted the Spill to another rarity: a cartoon collection of work by John M. Price who contributed four drawings to the magazine (Mr. Bernard tells me that three of Mr. Price’s four New Yorker drawings appear in the collection). Here’s Price’s rather skimpy bio on the A-Z (if anyone out there has more info please send this way):
John M. Price Born (Pennsylvania?) February 5, 1918, died January 19, 2009, Radnor, Pennsylvania. New Yorker work: February 17, 1940, March 9, 1940, June 8, 1941, and August 30, 1941. His work appeared in many publications, including The Saturday Evening Post, Esquire, The Country Gentleman, and Colliers. Key collection (self published) Don’t Get Polite with Me.
*Chris Wheeler’s fabulous site also has a scan of Price’s book (including the back cover), but I have to admit the cover never registered in my brain’s cartoon catalog. Now, having registered it, the book becomes a must-have for the Spill‘s library.
A Daily Shouts By…
Today’s Daily Cartoonist/Cartoon