W.B. Park, 1936-2021
Word has reached the Spill that the New Yorker cartoonist W.B. (William Bryan) Park has passed away. According to his obit on Legacy.com, he died on January 2nd of this new year.
Born in Sanford, Florida in 1936, his first New Yorker drawing, bearing his notable scattered signature (above), appeared in the issue of July 13, 1981 (shown below).
His obit tells us he contributed “over 60” drawings to the magazine. According to The New Yorker‘s database his last drawing appeared in the issue of May 17, 2010. A collection of his work, Off The Leash! was published in 1987 by Topperhill.
It’s Charles Addams’ Birthday
A friend of the Spill, Steve Stoliar (author of Raised Eyebrows: My Years Inside Groucho’s House) wrote in today to remind me today’s the birthday (the 109th birthday, to be exact) of Charles Addams, the most celebrated New Yorker artist of all time (with Steinberg nipping at his heels).
I don’t think Mr. Stoliar will mind if I re-post a really fun piece he contributed here last year on Mr. Addams’ 108th birthday.
Note: Dick Cavett’s New Yorker Cartoonists episodes were broadcast in March of 1978 (one taping, broken up into two programs). Besides Mr. Addams, the panel included Frank Modell, George Booth, and Lee Lorenz.
…and just a little more: The Spill‘s Charles Addams entry:
Charles Addams (Born in Westfield, New Jersey, January 7, 1912. Died September 29, 1988, New York City. New Yorker work: 1932 – 1988 * the New Yorker has published his work posthumously. One of the giants of The New Yorker’s stable of artists. Key cartoon collections: While all of Addams’ collections are worthwhile, here are three that are particular favorites; Homebodies (Simon & Schuster, 1954), The Groaning Board (Simon & Schuster, 1964), Creature Comforts (Simon & Schuster, 1981). In 1991 Knopf published The World of Chas Addams, a retrospective collection. A biography, Charles Addams: A Cartoonist’s Life, by Linda Davis, was published in 2006 by Random House. For far more info, visit the Addams Foundation website.
And don’t forget Linda Davis’s must-have biography, Charles Addams: A Cartoonist’s Life (Random House, 2006).
This morning I felt like rearranging a few of the original cartoons hanging here in Spill headquarters. I’ve been looking through some of the not-hung pieces lately and feeling badly for them. Space limits what can go up on the walls, so some favorites necessarily have been off-duty. Here’s one small wall with a new arrangement:
Clockwise from the upper left: A Barney Tobey piece from Collier’s (pre-1941), an illustration by Johan Bull from The New Yorker (late 1920s), An Anatol Kovarsky New Yorker drawing (from the issue of September 6, 1947), a George Booth drawing (done live in front of a camera by Mr. Booth several years ago in The New Yorker‘s offices for a short video piece), and finally, the oldest piece in the archives: Alice Harvey’s first captioned New Yorker drawing, from the Oct 24, 1925 issue of The New Yorker (it ran in b&w). Eagle-eyed visitors will note the “R” in the upper right margin of Ms. Harvey’s piece. Harold Ross, founder and first editor of the magazine would place the “R” on bought pieces. In later years the “R” appeared on the back of art.