From time-to-time I momentarily take Ink Spill outside The New Yorker cartoon orbit — in this case a brief auto-biographical moment.
As a kid I was deep into Batman and Superman comic books as well as the Dick Tracy newspaper comic strips. While they’ve never been all that obvious an influence on my own drawings in The New Yorker, they’re mixed in the foundation (along with a whole bunch of other comic book & comic strip characters).
This particular volume of Dick Tracy strips hits particularly close to home as it covers the years when I was first introduced to Chester Gould’s world, wrapped around the Sunday editions of New York’s Daily News.
The Complete Dick Tracy, Volume 19: 1959 – 1961, IDW Publishing, will be in book stores October 15th.
Liza Donnelly heads to France this week, where she’ll join three other cartoonists at the Forum d’Avignon. (illustration above from the Forum’s program)
Video: from newyorker.com, November 13, 2012, “Beck’s New Song ‘Old Shanghai,’ Played by New Yorker Staffers” (with Farley Katz and Marc Phillipe Eskenazi).
Every once in awhile, Ink Spill links to something within the cartoon world not tied to The New Yorker and its cartoonists. I realize I’m probably very late to the party in noticing this, but not too long ago I ran into a link to the NY Daily News Featured Comics. What I found was Chester Gould’s “Dick Tracy” — written by Mike Curtis and drawn by Joe Staton, updated and carrying on.
Note: there is at least one New Yorker/Dick Tracy connection: Art Spiegelman’s Dick Tilley cover which appeared on the magazine’s 72nd anniversary (a combined issue, February 24 & March 3, 1997).
It makes sense that the shelves of the cartoon library of two New Yorker cartoonists would be sagging under the weight of New Yorker cartoon collections. But a large fragment of what makes up our cartoon library has little to do with New Yorker cartoons and a lot to do with work that initially inspired us, and with newer work that continues to inspire.
Pictured above is a condensed collection — a mini-library — of non-New Yorker books that I keep near my office (my wife has her own mini-library in her office). There’re a lot of books devoted to Superman and Batman, and that’s exactly how it should be. Those were my earliest influences along with a few Sunday Funnies, such as Blondie and Dick Tracy. And then, of course, there was Mad (I’m especially fond of Mad Cover To Cover).
The two Smithsonian collections pictured (Comic-Book Comics and Newspaper Comics) are essential cartoon library books. The R. Crumb books are there because his work acted as bridge connecting the years I devoted to comic books with my earliest days of discovering New Yorker cartoonists (Crumb himself began contributing to The New Yorker in the 1990s and then stopped contributing due to…well, let’s leave that for another post).
There’re a number of books devoted to graphic novels. I had the graphic novel fever for a while. The Marx Brothers Scrapbook in the photo sits next to Monty Python Speaks! Neither are cartoon collections, but it’s fitting that they are represented. Their work was and is as graphically inspiring as any of the others on the shelves.
A handful of New Yorker contributors books are part of this mini-library (Crumb, for instance, as well as Edward Sorel, Ward Sutton, Daniel Clowes, and Seth), but these books are from their other fields of interest.
The eagle-eyed will spot an actual New Yorker collection. It makes no sense that it’s there and I can only think it has to do with its origin — it’s a French collection.