I came late to the Beatles, at twelve years old, in 1969. They broke up within a year. The advantage to that was John Lennon having already written the bulk of what he called his "gobbledgook songs." Among them I AM THE WALRUS, a personal favorite when I was a kid, LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS, HEY BULLDOG and STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER. Songs rife with images that lit up my young boy's imagination. The drawings collected here were created as illustrations for poems and stories in Lennon's two books, IN HIS OWN WRITE (1964) and A SPANIARD IN THE WORKS (1965). I read somewhere a long time ago that he would write to alleviate the tedium of traveling while touring with the Beatles. Later I was to discover that he'd been deeply influenced by Edward Lear, Lewis Carroll and The Goon Show. There may also be a bit of a James Thurber nod in some of the drawings but I have no idea if Lennon was familiar with his work. As Lennon himself said, "You see we're influenced by whatever's going." I can't begin to calculate the tremendous influence these books had on my developing brain back in my early double digits or even up to and including today.
All of these drawings and more were recently auctioned by Sotheby's where they brought in lots and lots of money.
Since Drawger is an illustration site I chose to leave off any captions or descriptive passages from the books. I believe the drawings stand well enough on their own. That said, if you're not familiar with the books, a Beatles fan was gracious enough to post a few Stories and Poems from IN HIS OWN WRITE including NO FLIES ON FRANK for which the drawing below illustrates.
John Lennon performs "The Wrestling Dog" from IN HIS OWN WRITE
Some of you may be interested in contributing to this with your expert photoshop skills.
"CARE stands for Cherished Albums Restoration Effort. Our mission is simple: to offer FREE digital restoration services for individuals and families with photos damaged by October 2012's devastating hurricane.
Why? Because whereas cars, homes and jobs are replaceable, images of mom & dad’s honeymoon, baby’s first steps and great great grandpa’s sole surviving portrait are priceless. Photos contain deep-rooted significance. Photos preserve stories! Photos foster soul and spirit.
As of November 2014, hundreds of global volunteers have restored more than 1,350 photos."
Patton Oswalt, Aubrey Plaza, Eugene Mirman, Ira Glass, Will Forte, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, Aimee Mann and 80 other comics, musicians and actors join forces for the new album 2776. 26 visual artists from around the world have created unique covers for each of the tracks on the album. 2776 is available on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and CDBaby.
It's all to benefit the charity One Kid One World, which builds schools in impoverished parts of Kenya and El Salvador.
BUY THE ALBUM! 2776
SEE! More art from a wide variety of artists and illustrators
A tip of the iceberg selection of work by French cartoonist, illustrator, painter, and sculptor, Albert Dubout.
Albert Dubout (15 May 1905 – 27 June 1976)
Albert Dubout was born in Marseille. After attending school at Nîmes (where he met Jean Paulhan) he studied at the fine arts school in Montpellier where he met his first wife, Renée Altier, and where his first drawings were published in the student journal L'écho des étudiants in 1923.
After moving to Paris, Éditions Kra literary director Philippe Soupault hired him to illustrate his first book, Les Embarras de Paris by Boileau. Dubout continued on to illustrate numerous editions of books by Boileau, Beaumarchais, Mérimée, Rabelais, Villon, Cervantes, Balzac, Racine, Voltaire, Rostand, Poe, and Courteline.
He collaborated on numerous magazines and journals such as Le Rire, Marianne, Eclats de Rire, L'os à Moëlle, Paris-Soir, and Ici-Paris.
He also created movie and theatre posters as well as theatrical sets. He worked in advertising, painted oil canvases (over 70 in total) and illustrated many book covers and record sleeves.
Albert Dubout also illustrated Gargantua and Pantagruel, oeuvres of the famous French satirist Rabelais. One of his favorite and perhaps unwilling models were an obese tobacconist and the small and scrawny tax collector who lived in the forties and fifties in Agde, Herault, France.
In 1953, French president Vincent Auriol awarded him the Legion of Honour. His name also appeared that year in the Petit Larousse dictionary.
In 1965, he illustrated les aventures de San-Antonio at the request of author Frédéric Dard.
In 1967 he married his second wife, Suzanne Ballivet, who was also a painter. He divided his time in this period between Mézy-sur-Seine and Palavas-les-Flots (Hérault) until his death in 1976.
In 1992 a museum about Dubout was dedicated in Palavas-les-Flots.
More than a few years ago I began planning and collecting images for this post and now I finally got around to putting it all together. I first became enamored of the Marx Brothers back when I was a kid and New York's channel 5 ran DUCK SOUP one afternoon when I was home from school. As I dove deeper and deeper into books about I discovered an abundance of art related to their films and subsequent careers. They flourished during a fine time for caricature which fit in perfectly with my budding taste in illustration. So here's a pile of Marx Brothers art for your edification. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. There's plenty more out there but this is a pretty good sampling.
four images above art: William Auerbach-Levy The Marx Brothers drawn from life by William Auerbach-Levy during their Broadway run of THE COCOANUTS.
"...During a performance of a riotous musical in which the Marx Brother were convulsing the audience, I was standing in the wings watching their antics, pad in hand. I was concentrating on the movements, oblivious to the gags, but I did hear Groucho say, "We need a quota-is there a quota in the house?" and without warning, Harpo stepped into the wings, grabbed me by the arm and pulled me out before the footlights.
"Maybe you got a quarter in that long overcoat?" Groucho was saying as I found myself in the center of the stage, looking foolish and embarrassed. I'm still waiting for the chance to make Harpo bring his instrument to the studio!"----William Auerbach-Levy, The Art of Caricature, page 130.
A NIGHT AT THE OPERA (1935) art: Al Hirschfeld
Hirschfeld's caricatures of the Marx Brothers for MGM became iconic. An entire post could be done on his drawings of the trio. They adorned several subsequent film posters for MGM, book jackets and even became the jumping off point for other artists depicting the team.
art: Richard Henderson: "I'll Say She Is," New York Evening Post, July 18, 1924.
"These ran on consecutive days, January 19 - 23, 1925, in the New York Sun. This was toward the very end of the Broadway run (it closed on February 7), so perhaps this was a publicity push to sell the final weeks."---source Noah Diamond
art: Salvador Dali, "Groucho as a the Shiva of big business"
art: Salvador Dali, "A party in the desert, the Marx Brothers Orchestra in a gondola"
art: Lou Hirschman (1938)
Caption: Harpo Marx as Hirshman sees him. His hat is a money belt, his hair, tomatoes; his eyes are marshmallows and his nose a potato. He has an oversize frankfurter for a mouth and forks for arms.
Bugs Bunny disguised as Groucho Marx in "Slick Hare" (1947). It's been said that the character of Bugs Bunny was based on Groucho Marx with the carrot substituting for Groucho's cigar.
“GROUCHO MARX CHEERIOS HALL OF FUN POP-OUT” (1949) from series of “8 Famous Funny Faces.” Back panel has simulated wood frame w/partial image of Groucho and pieces on side panel designed to be cut out and put together to form dimensional image.
Rankin-Bass (1970)."The Mad Mad Mad Comedians."
The Marx Brothers begin at 11:43.
The show included the Marx Brothers skit, "Napoleon's Last Waterloo," which was a reworking of a scene from their Broadway play I'll Say She Is (1924).----source Wikipedia
Groucho himself voices Napoleon. Paul Frees provides the voices for all of the other male characters.
art: Leroy Neimann (1978)
Book jacket art for "Hello, I Must Be Going, Groucho and His Friends" by Charlotte Chandler
art: David Levine (1979)
art: Andy Warhol (1980)
"This screenprint is part of Warhol’s series "Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century" a collection of portraits of historically iconic Jews, such as physicist Albert Einstein and French stage actress Sarah Bernhardt. This particular image was sourced from the 1946 film A Night in Casablanca, which starred the Marx brothers. The series of portraits first debuted in 1980 at the Jewish Museum in New York." ---source ARTspace
I first began seeing Gluyas Williams drawings in collections of Robert Benchley essays back in high school. I've admired his work ever since. I was, and am, a huge Marx Brothers fan. In reading about them I found mention of Robert Benchley whom I never heard of. Curious, I started searching for his writings in used book shops. Finding them I also found Gluyas Williams. Thanks, Groucho.
GLUYAS WILLIAMS was born in San Francisco in 1888. His early schooling was in Germany, France and Switzerland, and he was graduated from Harvard in 1911. While in college, Mr. Williams was art editor of the Harvard Lampoon, where he first knew Robert Benchley, Frederick Lewis allen and others who were to play a part in later life. After a year abroad Mr. Williams drew for the Boston Journal and Boston Evening Transcript and was art editor of the Youth's Companion in boston until 1920.
Through the encouragment of Charles Dana Gibson and others, Mr. Williams began to submit to the old Life and other magazines. In 1923 he began a syndicated newspaper drawing (Fred Perley) which he continued for twenty-five years. He (was) widely known for his New Yorker drawings and for his illustrations in many outstanding humorous books...(The Gluyas Williams Gallery, 1957)
selections from "HOW TO GUESS YOUR AGE"
Text for the drawing on the cover: It seems to me that they are building staircases steeper than they used to. The risers are higher, or there are more of them, or something.
Text: Another thing I've noticed is the small print they're using lately. Newspapaers are getting farther and farther away when I hold them, and I have to squint to make then out.
Text: Everything is farther than it used to be. It's twice the distance from my house to the station now, and they've added a fair-sized hill that I never noticed before.
Text: They don't use the same material in clothes anymore, either. I've noticed that all my suits have a tendency to shrink, especially in certain places such as around the waist or in the seat of the pants...
Text: Even the weather is changing...Snow is heavier when I try to shovel it.
Text: ...rain today is wetter than the rain we used to get...
Text: ...I stopped for a moment and looked at my own reflection in the mirror. They don't seem to make the same kind of glass in mirrors anymore.
This post only scratches the surface of Williams's prolific output. The illustrations he contributed to books alone would keep me scanning well beyond my own appointed time with the grave.
This post was inspired by a recent dinner with a few friends including Jonathan Barli, author of VIP: The Mad World of Virgil Partch. He runs ROSEBUD ARCHIVES which has begun republishing some of William's work in beautiful editions. I recently ordered "The Wide Open Spaces---Panorama Cartoons by Gluyas Williams." Every page a masterpiece printed on 12x16 stock. You'll find this and much more at their site. Rosebud Archives
"Drew Friedman isn't just a brilliant artist. He takes you to a place. He takes you back in time. He makes you smell the stale cigarettes and cold brisket and you say, thank you for the pleasure." -- Sarah Silverman
Young and old -- you don't wanna miss this exhibit of original work from Drew Friedman! Starting Wednesday, March 5th, The Society of Illustrators is proud to present a two-floor gallery show of Old Jewish Comedians, showcasing Friedman's original artwork from all three books, as well as early rough sketches and additional Jewish comedian-related art created by Friedman for book, print and DVD covers.
Short biographies of each comedian will accompany the portraits. This will represent the most comprehensive display of original Drew Friedman artwork to date, containing over 110 illustrations. Also on display will be rare Jewish comedian ephemera from Friedman's personal collection, including books, records, sheet music, advertisements, brochures, toys, games, buttons, cigar boxes, shoe laces, playing cards, magazines and comic books, some featuring art by the most popular illustrators of their day.
The Old Jewish Comedians books came about when Monte Beauchamp -- editor and designer of the comics & illustration anthology BLAB! -- asked Friedman to create a book for his line of BLAB! storybooks. When Friedman was asked what he'd most like to draw, he thought: "What do I enjoy drawing the most… old people, Jews and comedians. Bingo!... Old Jewish Comedians!" Beauchamp, who curated the recent wildly successful Robert Crumb and Harvey Kurtzman shows for the Society of Illustrators, will be curating the Old Jewish Comedian show.
All three Old Jewish Comedians volumes will be on sale at the Society of illustrators in a new bound volume created exclusively for the show. Expect to see several of the legendary Jewish comedians at the opening celebration!
The Society of Illustrators is located at 128 East 63rd Street. This glorious celebration of comedians will be on exhibit through May 3, 2014.
"Drew Friedman isn't just a brilliant artist. He takes you to a place. He takes you back in time. He makes you smell the stale cigarettes and cold brisket and you say, thank you for the pleasure." -- Sarah Silverman - See more at: http://www.fantagraphics.com/index.php?Itemid=113&option=com_myblog&show=Drew-Friedman-Old-Jewish-Comedians-at-the-Society-of-Illustrators-NYC.html#sthash.lUgQWdWF.dpuf
Young and old -- you don't wanna miss this exhibit of original work from Drew Friedman! Starting Wednesday, March 5th, The Society of Illustrators is proud to present a two-floor gallery show of Old Jewish Comedians, showcasing Friedman's original artwork from all three books, as well as early rough sketches and additional Jewish comedian-related art created by Friedman for book, print and DVD covers. - See more at: http://www.fantagraphics.com/index.php?Itemid=113&option=com_myblog&show=Drew-Friedman-Old-Jewish-Comedians-at-the-Society-of-Illustrators-NYC.html#sthash.lUgQWdWF.dpuf
"Drew Friedman is Better Than Picasso" - Howard Stern
Selection of drawings from OLD JEWISH COMEDIANS
Groucho, Chico and Harpo Marx
Joe E. Ross
A special three volume edition of Old Jewish Comedians Will be available exclusively at the Society of Illustrators.
The seventy-second meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 7:00 PM at Parsons The New School, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public.
Presentation: Jonathan Barli on The Mad World of Virgil Partch. An in-depth look at the life and art of one of the most influential and trendsetting cartoonists of his generation. The talk will be illustrated by scores of unseen photographs and artwork, cover Partch’s life and times and how they influenced his artistic sensibilities, and include a thorough analysis of his cartooning and the context in which his work appeared. From a remote island off the coast of Alaska and a stint as an animator at Disney Studios during its golden age, Partch burst onto the scene with his zany, sometimes surreal, but always hilarious cartoons, catapulting his career virtually overnight. An artist truly ahead of his time, his unique perspective and style ensured he would become one of the most prolific cartoonists of his era, and solidified his role in inspiring generations of cartoonists, animators, and illustrators.
Jonathan Barli is a designer, writer, and filmmaker. He was educated at the School of Visual Arts and soon after graduating, co-founded Rosebud Archives: a company dedicated to preserving and celebrating the cultural heritage of the graphic arts, where he serves as Art Director. He recently wrote, edited, and designed a book on the renowned cartoonist Virgil Partch, and will be taking on a role as Creative Director of Fantagraphics Fine Arts. He has done design work for Fantagraphics Books, the Theodore Roosevelt Association, Ron Garofalo Photography and other
In May, Andrew Losowsky and Jeremy Leslie announced the launch of a special, one-off publication celebrating magazine-makers' favourite magazines, with the profits from the venture going to help US art director, Bob Newman, who was recently hospitalised. My Favo(u)rite Magazine is now available to buy....
As Leslie informs us, creative directors from the likes of the New York Times Magazine, Fast Company, Pentagram, Wired, Elle, Harper's Bazaar, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Observer, AOL and the NME have all chosen a title.
Included on this post are a few shots of the publication – readers will spot Design, Details, Avant Garde, Big, The Germans, Hard Werken and Harper's Bazaar among the magazines selected.
The profits from the sale of the publication will go towards helping Bob Newman's recovery. The former design director of titles including New York, The Village Voice, Details and Entertainment Weekly, Newman recently suffered an accident that left him in a coma for two weeks, and he now has a long path to recovery ahead. (The Friends of Bob Newman campaign has so far raised over £56k for his medical bills – more details on his condition are here.)
Billed as "a love letter to print" the 64-page My Favo(u)rite Magazine can now be bought from magculture.com/shop as a print publication (£15.99 plus P&P) or PDF (£12.99).
You can buy My Favourite Magazine here. All proceeds go to to Bob and his family.
George Delmerico in his office. Photograph by Allen Reuben
The Village Voice was a very different and relevant animal in the late seventies and early eighties. George Delmerico was its art director. I quit art school and moved to NYC based on a kind note from George. It was where I first saw work by Jules Feiffer, Stan Mack, Ed Sorel, Mark Alan Stamaty, Walter Gurbo, Sylvia Plachy, James Hamilton, Philip Burke and others. All gods in my book. George died recently. Robert Newman collected memories from his friends and colleagues put together this remembrance for The Society of Publication Designers website. Bob was another of its great art directors back when you still had to pay for ithe Voice. Give it a read. SPD: Remembering George Delmerico, Longtime Art Director of The Village Voice
An artifact from an era, presumably, before presidents of both parties were such polarizing figures. What I love about this book is that it speaks to a kind of cilvilty that likes of which we may never see again. Published in conjunction with the United States savings bond program in 1956
Eisenhower...invited a select group of cartoonists from the national cartoonists society to breakfast. President Eisenhower and Secretary to the treasury George M. Humphrey appeared informally, and a compilation of drawings was presented to the president...The breakfast was revealing. Eisenhower made a number of special references to cartoons and his interest in the field. He said that he avidly followed Mutt and Jeff, the comic strip created by Bud Fisher...Other artists President Eisenhower said he particulary admired were Chic young, who drew Blondie, and Hal Foster, Creator of Prince Valiant.
Although President Eisenhower followed the comics, I always had the feeling that he didn't have much interest in cartooning as such, and I was surprised by his lack of a sense of humor. I had brought along an original cartoon...and all the cartoonists who attended the breakfast signed the crumpled drawing. Bill Holman, who created Smoket Stover, had also signed the cartoon and had lettered his motto "Foo" prominently across the cartoon. Just for the fun of it, Bill had written his trademark on the presiden't forehead in the cartoon. Ike stopped cold when he saw the inscription scrawled across his face, and said, "What the hell is that?" I explained to him that Bill Holman used the expression "Foo" as sort of a humorous symbol in his cartoon and added it was a gag.
"Well, I don't think it's a damn bit funny." Eisenhower replied. And that was that! But he did sign the cartoon.----Art Wood, Great Cartoonists: And Their Art, 1987, page 104
Here are some favorites
That's what I meant by civilty, Steve. You have no idea what the politics of the artists were from these drawings. It was a project to support Savings Bonds. Everyone was on their best behavior. I can't imagine a similar venture being undertaken today with the same results.
These arrived in today's mail. I took Robert Neubecker up on his offer to swap a books and prints for school auctions. I'm sure these will do quite well for my daughters (plural) school in 2014. I can only hope mine do as well for his. Anyway, if you haven't done it, and your kids schools have auction fundraisers, Robert has hit on a great idea. Take advantage. Robert's original post: Prints for Charity
Punk aesthetic before there was a punk aesthetic. Love this ad. I rediscovered it the other day while going through a spring straightening up in my studio. It's on the back cover of an issue of National Lampoon from 1972. The type was appropriated from a note Mick Jagger wrote to the designer. The designer is John Van Hamersveld. The image is a detail from a photo by Robert Frank. Although you could say it's an appropriation of an appropriation as Mr. Frank's photograph is a photograph of photographs.
This is sort of piggybacking on Yuko's, Joseph's, Gerard's, Robert's and even Joe's posts. Since I pretty much post my influences on Drawger all the time I thought I'd focus on just one more of the many. On the subject of influences it was the late John Lennon who said, "You see we're influenced by whatever's going."
Robert Frank, Tattoo Parlor, 8th Avenue, New York City, 1951
I first heard EXILE ON MAIN STREET in 1972 when I was fifteen years old, the year it was released. It was my favorite Stones album then and it's my favorite Stones album now. An advantage of growing up in the middle of nowhere, particularly in those days beyond the reach of today's media saturation, is that you didn't know what you're supposed to like and not like. You were somewhat removed from mainstream opinion. Apparently this record wasn't well recieved by the rock critics or the general public at the time but it was well recieved in my rural, bucolic village of Orefield Pennsylvania head. I played it to death that summer. I still find it's a great album to work to all these years later.
One of the great things about vinyl was the cover art. The best ones were every bit as important as the music. Often one would experience the cover art in the store before hearing the music at home. I remember poring over every detail of this one in the car on the way home after I bought it. It reflects the music perfectly. Then again I'd revisit the artwork every time I played the records which was often. With the exception of Cal Shenkel's work for Frank Zappa, Exile's cover was out of sync with the slicker album cover art of the early seventies. Their influence grew as the decades progressed.
After posting the ad up on Facebook, Art Chantry chimed in about it. As he's a much more eloquent thinker than I am I'm going to quote his thoughts here. Another appropriation. How many appropriations can one blog handle? Stop me before I appropriate again! Here's Art:
"this advert (from the back of a national lampoon) is one of those images that sort of lead the way for the rest of my career. seeing this crude pre-punky thing blew me away. it was designed by the legendary john van hammersveld (the same guy who did the endless summer poster, magical mystery tour and exile on main street).
hammersveld used crude repros of famous circus sideshow acts (freaks) along with paparazzi style photos by robert frank, the same who also was hired at the same time to do a documentary film of the stones tour. it was called "cocksucker blues" and jagger immediately pulled it from circulation (it's still hard to see even now). crude sleazy and 'fuck you'. so punky.
seeing this advert back in 1971 when i was a punk kid myself, just graduating from high school and stepping into a world whose only future for ME was getting sent to the front lines of vietnam (i was 100% white trash cannon-fodder). the whole 'exile/stones' extravaganza really SPOKE to me. it was a salvation. like punk rock, it was garbage people speaking to other garbage people. it held the salvation that rock and roll represented - if you were a giant fuck-up, they didn't want you in the army (or anywhere else, either). aka- 'fly your freak flag'.
the other thing i immediately understood when i saw this advert was the whole design of it. it was so boneheaded that even a dumbshit high school kid could have done it. hammersveld instinctively went for the trashola DIY look that later was the very definition of punk design. he had no idea he was doing that - he just got lucky. however, luck is actually instinct. he had incredible instincts, that guy.
yellow flood color, red ink (actually pms process magenta at this point) for the crude clipped line-art image. the lettering was actually jagger's handwiritten notes that he sent to hammersveld (and VH actually used them straight across). how many times have i done this design? thousands? i've even done that 'use their handwriting' trick on clients a dozen times (they HATE that).
hammersveld was actually looking backward to another record cover he designed for singer claudia linear, titled "WHEW!" it's almost an identical (but slick) sister to this advert. so, he was likely just knocking out a quickie copycat of his earlier work (maybe even done at the same time - laying on the desk next to each other?) so, his instincts were really lazy, too. but, genius is seldom intentional.
this little advert basically taught me everything i actually needed to know about graphic design. after seeing this, the rest was a clear path (however crooked.) my career/life vision was established. thanks, john. you're a cantankerous old galoot, but i love ya forever!"
The original release came with a set of twelve perforated postcards. I guess the idea was to detach them in order to send them off to all your friends and spread the good word of a new Stones album. Me being me, I still have and mine they're still intact. Fortunately, someone scanned the entire set and saved me the trouble of having to do it. Exile On Main St. postcards
"From one of the most original and imaginative American cartoonists at work today comes a collection of graphic narratives on the subjects of urban planning, product design, and architecture—a surrealist handbook for the rebuilding of society in the twenty-first century."
"Ben Katchor, a master at twisting mundane commodities into surreal objects of social significance, now takes on the many ways our property influences and reflects cultural values. Here are window-ledge pillows designed expressly for people-watching and a forest of artificial trees for sufferers of hay fever. The Brotherhood of Immaculate Consumption deals with the matter of products that outlive their owners; a school of dance is based upon the choreographic motion of paying with cash; high-visibility construction vests are marketed to lonely people as a method of getting noticed. With cutting wit Katchor reveals a world similar to our own—lives are defined by possessions, consumerism is a kind of spirituality—but also slightly, fabulously askew. Frequently and brilliantly bizarre, and always mesmerizing, Hand-Drying in America ensures that you will never look at a building, a bar of soap, or an ATM the same way."
“Ben Katchor’s new book (his first in full color and I think also his best yet), Hand-Drying in America, furthers his reputation as one of the few geniuses of the form, to say nothing of being one of the first exemplars of what literary fiction told in comics form could be.”—Chris Ware
“Sublimely caustic…brilliant, darkly magical new collection.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Gorgeous…Katchor’s judiciously sketchy drawings—half art brut, half blueprint—literate scripts, and comedic imagination make them the stuff of genius-level cartooning.” –Booklist, starred review
“Reminds me of all the reasons I fell in love with his work 20-odd years ago… at the heart of all his work is the same intention: to find, however odd or enigmatic, a moment of real connection in an increasingly surreal world.” –Los Angeles Times
“The zany world of an inventive and original mind who is endlessly fascinated by the great city where he lives.” –Metropolis Magazine
“The four-year collection of a visionary polymath’s cartoons about urban living… Katchor’s wry humor and unique view on the subject are well worth exploring.” —Kirkus
“Katchor is an urban visionary, building his stories brick by brick from the detritus of the metropolis…He's a poet of the gone world, which lingers, like the vacant offices of the Daily Hubris, whether we notice it or not. His is an aesthetic of ephemera but an ephemera that transcends itself, in which loss leads to wonder and then, inevitably, back to loss.” –Los Angeles Times
“Katchor’s humor relies on cities for its strength: their grime, their dishonest denizens, and their beautiful decay seem to feed his imagination. This book hits its target in just about every panel…Sadness, whimsy, nostalgia, reflection, concern: These feelings all float through the frames which, despite the wizened appearance of their characters, could also be said to be bristling with energy, nearly in motion…The idea that the universal can be conveyed through close attention to particulars is a cliché, perhaps, but seeing it executed well is a rare pleasure. This book is that execution.” –Boston Globe
“Half urban legend and half magic, these stories that seem on the one hand far-fetched but on the other are one small step away from being true…Katchor's stories don't feature characters so much as ideas. This way of writing could get boring awfully quickly—except that the ideas he presents are so clever and haunted, it's hard to imagine that ever happening.” –Jewish Book Council
“Ben Katchor, recipient of a MacArthur ‘genius’ grant, lampoons our shallowest preoccupations so skillfully that half the laughs in his terrific collection, Hand-Drying in America and Other Stories, come from realizing you've done more or less the same absurd thing the cartoonist has taken to its logical extreme…It's the sum of four years' worth of piecework, but it's sharper still than the sum of its barbed parts.” –Newsday
“A dark, funny, and compelling experience, as engrossing to view as it is to read…Comparisons to Chris Ware, the other great comics artist who deals with urban structures and the enervating enclosure of modern living, seem obvious. Both specialize in architectural rendering and characters that are ill at ease within their cities. But against Ware’s exploration of the sterile and alienating quality of modern technologies Katchor’s work has a pungency and strange sexual energy applied to the appliances of the late 20th century. Then there is the quality of Katchor’s humor, a smoked fish surrealism that gives a vaudevillian undercurrent to even his bleakest stories…Katchor trains his eye on everything we fail to notice, the details that are traditionally only props in the background, not fitting subjects for art. But Katchor’s art is to take the human endeavor seriously by examining our interactions with something as mundane as a hand-drying machine. The pathos is in the appliances and the props become the subjects that reveal us to ourselves.” –The Daily Beast
“Katchor’s vignettes brilliantly satirize human behavior, changing social values and cities in flux. Perhaps most of all, they highlight the timeless need for human connection.” –Time Out Chicago
“Katchor’s forte is nudging a real-life absurdity one or two notches too far…It’s unsurprising that Katchor’s artwork has a peculiar, well-entrenched architecture of its own.” –Jewish Daily Forward
“Brilliant…Katchor's trademark storytelling bends just a little bit away from our own reality to make us see it more clearly.” –Publishers Weekly
“Katchor gently interrogates the everyday — the click of a light switch, say, or the nozzle on a can of shaving cream — and finds unimagined and uncanny depths within…Elliptical and mysterious but never abstruse, the picture-poems of Hand-Drying in Americacelebrate the mundane world around us by revealing it to be anything but…Hand-Drying in America is a large book, roughly the size of a tabloid newspaper. Not only does this make it easier to appreciate Katchor's backgrounds, stuffed as they are with peculiar signage ("Putti Dental," "Surd," "Cowlick," "ANKLE SOCK"), but it also encourages us to linger over these pages and the rich, wry and quietly remarkable worlds they contain.” –NPR.org
“Wonderful…I like Ben Katchor. And I’m fairly certain you will too.” –Edrants.com
paperback---originally published 1954, 19th printing 1962
Legendary artists Drew Friedman, Robert Grossman, Al Jaffee, and Arnold Roth will discuss the life and works of Harvey Kurtzman with a panel moderated by Peter Kuper.
The Society Of Illustrators
128 East 63rd Street (between Park and Lexington Avenues)
March 19, 2013
6:30 p.m. - 8:30p.m.
$15 non-members, $10 members, $7 students/seniors Click here to purchase
Robert Grossman is a New York artist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Nation, The New Yorker, The New York Observer, Rolling Stone and many other publications. Grossman also works as a sculptor, filmmaker, and author and has published numerous titles including ZooNooz and O-MANLAND, an online compilation of strips focusing on the 2008 presidential race. The Caricature Art of Robert Grossman
Al Jaffee is best known for his satirical work in MAD Magazine, and today remains a regular contributor having only ever missed one issue of MAD in the last 57 years. Jaffee's trademark feature, the Mad Fold-in, was created in 1964 and a four-volume boxed set of hardcovers, The Mad Fold-In Collection: 1964-2010, was published by Chronicle Books in September 2011. In 2008 Jaffee was honored by the Reuben Awards as Cartoonist of the Year. He has also received the National Cartoonists Society Advertising and Illustration Award in 1972, its Special Features Award in 1971 and 1975, and its Humor Comic Book Award in 1979. Mad Fold This Book!: A Ridiculous Collection of Fold-Ins The MAD Fold-In Collection: 1964-2010 Al Jaffee's Mad Life: A Biography Tall Tales
Arnold Roth has been a humorous illustrator and cartoonist all his life and, for most of that time, has freelanced, snatching a living by hustling one assignment after another in a highly competitive market. Roth's big breakthrough came in 1957 when he started working on Trump, Playboy's satiric magazine, and on Humbug, a more penurious production, both the inventions of Harvey Kurtzman. His work has appeared regularly in major magazines including Sports Illustrated, Esquire, Holiday, Time, The New York Times, The New Yorker and countless others. In 1983, Roth was elected president of the National Cartoonists Society and the next year received the NCS Reuben Award as Cartoonist of the Year. Arnold Roth: Free Lance Poor Arnold's Almanac HUMBLUG Blog: "Cats" from A COMICK BOOK OF PETS by Arnold Roth. Blog: "Dogs" from A COMICK BOOK OF PETS by Arnold Roth.
Harvey Kurtzman is a god! Back in 1973, during the 1950s nostalgia craze, MAD magazine began reprinting the twenty year old comics written, edited and covers often drawn by Harvey Kurtzman as a supplement in their "specials." Specials were like reruns. The issues were made up of work that appeared in the monthly magazine over the past year or so and always included an extra incetive for you to buy this recently recycled material (flexi-discs, stickers, posters etc). Anyway, this is where I first saw Harvey Kurtzman's work and I was hooked. So much so that even though my loyalty to MAD's brand of humor waned as I entered high school I would still pick up the Super Specials that republished comics from the Kurtman era. All these years later, Kutzman's gleeful anarchy is something I still return to again and again.
Below are some books off of my shelves. Drawger is an illustration site so I figure it should have some ilustrations. If you want to learn more about the exhibit click on the excellent boing boing link above.
MAD Super Special Number Twelve, 1973
First Published: Timley Comics 1946-49, This Edition: 1992
First Published: Two-Fisted Tales, Frontline Combat 1950-55, This Edition: 2012 Corpse On The Imjin!
first published: 1952, This Edition: 1986
first published: 1953, This Edition: 1986
first published: 1953, This Edition: 1986
first published: 1954, This Edition: 1986
There have been numerous MAD reprints over the years. No less an authority than art spiegelman swears by this series. They ran from the summer of 1997 to the winter of 1999 (eight issues). He claims these reproductions are closest to the original comic books. You can still find them from time to time on Ebay. It should be noted that among the artists who worked with Kurtzman on MAD were Will Elder, Wallace Wood, Bernard Krigstein and Basil Wolverton among others.
Drew Friedman directed me to a site offering an amazing amount of caricatures from the estate of George Wachsteter. You should check out Drew's blog on the auction for lots of background information. That man does his homework.
from Drew's research: George WachSteter (1911–2004) was at one time considered one of the most prominent and in-demand caricaturists working in the country. From the 1930's to the 1960's he drew theatrical, radio, television and film related images extensively for most of the major New York newspapers, including the Times, the Herald Tribune, the Journal- American, the World-Telegram, as well as for the 3 major radio and television networks. A gradual loss of his vision ended his drawing career prematurely in the late 1960's and he lived in relative obscurity with his wife (who died in the early '80s) in Elmhurst Queens till his death in 2004.
Judy Garland for the Sept 13, 1963 premiere of CBS-TV's 'The Judy Garland Show'
Judy Garland, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr and Ray Bolger, for the premiere telivision of The Wizard of Oz broadcast on CBS-TV; Sat, Nov 3, 1956.
Bob Keeshan in the title role of 'The Captain Kangaroo Show' on NBC-TV, with Hugh Brannum as Mister Green Jeans, keeper of the Captain's Treasure House, surrounded by a menagerie of animals. Series debut was October 3rd, 1955.
'The Munsters' CBS-TV premiere of Sept 24, 1964, with Butch Patrick, Fred Gwynne, Yvonne de Carlo, Al Lewis & Pat Priest, as Eddie, Herman, Lily, Grandpa and Marilyn.
1967 Hallmark Hall of Fame, NBC-TV, depicting Genevieve Bujold (in her American TV debut), Theodore Bikel, Raymond Massey, Roddy McDowall, Leo Genn & David Birney.
'The Jackie Gleason Show: The American Scene Magazine', debut on CBS Sept 29, 1962. Features depictions of Reggie van Gleason, The Poor Soul, Ralph Kramden from 'The Honeymooners' with Sue Ane Langdon as Alice, and The June Taylor Dancers.
Jackie Gleason as one of his most popular characters, over-privileged and sociable louse Reginald Van Gleason III.
1956 skit 'The Honeymooners', with Joyce Randolph, Audrey Meadows, Jackie Gleason and Art Carney.
'My Three Sons' with Fred MacMurray as Steve Douglas, Stanley Livingston as Chip, Don Grady as Robbie, Barry Livinston as Ernie (on lap) and William Demarest as Uncle Charley.
'Car 54, Where Are You?' with Fred Gwynne as Francis Muldoon and Joe E. Ross as Gunther Toody
'McHale's Navy' w Ernest Borgnine, Tim Conway & Joe Flynn.
Edie Adams and Ernie Kovacs
Jack Benny, Danny Thomas, Andy Griffith, Lucille Ball & Garry Moore, captioned 'A Laughing Matter' for the WCBS-TV 'Opening Night' a preview show for the 1962-63 season.
Tom Ewell as Tom Potter and Marilyn Erskine as his wife Fran Potter to promote the sitcom, 'The Tom Ewell Show'. The series debuted September 23, 1960.
Richard Chamberlain in the title role of the famed NBC medical drama, 'Dr. Kildare', framed by a core pledge of the Hippocratic Oath and by Raymond Massey as Kildare's sagacious mentor, and Senior Physician at Blair General Hospital, Dr. Leonard Gillespie.
'Titans of Industry', depicting Jack Benny, Andy Griffith, Lucille Ball, Danny Thomas and Garry Moore, all at desks with factories behind, linked by ticker tape.
'My Favorite Martian', starring Ray Walston as Uncle Martin & Bill Bixby as Tim O'Hara.
'Mister Ed' with Alan Young & Connie Hines.
'The Naked City' with Paul Burke, Harry Bellaver, Horace McMahon & Nancy Malone, playing Det. Flint, Sgt Arcaro, Lt. Parker & Libby.
'Petticoat Junction', with Bea Benaderet, Linda Kaye, Pat Woodell & Jeannine Riley, for the debut, as Kate, Billie Jo, Bobbi Jo, & Betty Jo, the series ran from Sept 1963 to Apr 1970.
Desilu Show with Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Betty Grable & Harry James.
Jack Benny and Milton Berle captioned 'Comedy with Music' to promote 'The Milton Berle Spectacular', on Friday, March 9th, 1962.
'Holiday on Wheels' w Sid Caesar, Tony Randall, Audrey Meadows & Giselle MacKenzie.
'All-Star Revue', NBC-TV's Saturday night variety showcase, depicting the four rotating hosts of the show: Jimmy Durante, Tallulah Bankhead, George Jessel and Martha Raye. Fall 1952 to Spring 1953.
Four Broadway Composers, ca 1949, including: Richard Rogers (South Pacific), Irving Berlin (Miss Liberty), Cole Porter (Kiss Me Kate), Frank Loesser (Where's Charley)
Pianist/Composer, Actor, Raconteur & Bon Vivant, Oscar Levant,
Alfred Drake as Petruchio and Patricia Morison as Katherine, both re-creating their original Broadway roles in Cole Porter's 'Kiss Me Kate' on 'Hallmark Hall of Fame', which aired Nov 20, 1958.
Lucille Ball portraying Lucy Carmichael as an aspiring painter with Vivian Vance as her model as well as Lucy's best pal and roommate Vivian Bagley, to promote the hit TV show 'The Lucy Show'.
Henry Fonda as USN Lt Douglas Roberts in Joshua Logan's magnificent Broadway production of 'Mister Roberts' at the Alvin Theater, Feb 18, 1948 - Jan 6, 1951.
Noel Coward in all his roles for the NBC-TV adaptation of his 1944 film version of 'This Happy Breed', which was broadcast live over 'Ford Star Jubilee' on Sat, May 5, 1956.
1963 CBS Fall Season depicting the Tiffany Network's top comedy stars Griffith, Benny, Ball, Silvers, Thomas & Moore.
'The Dick Van Dyke Show' for cover of Sun, Aug 5, 1962 New York Journal-American TView Section. Dick Van Dyke as Rob Petrie, head writer for "The Alan Brady Show," marvels at the orb in his hand while Morey Amsterdam as Buddy Sorrell jots down a comical tidbit - all while a photo of Mary Tyler Moore as Rob's wife, Laura, wafts next to her hubby while Rose Marie as Rob and Buddy's co-writer Sally Rogers hides in the wastebasket.
'The Heiress' starring Basil Rathbone, Wendy Hiller & Peter Cookson
Walter Mathau and Art Carney in the original Broadway production of 'The Odd Couple' by Neil Simon.
'Bridge on the River Kwai', with David Niven, William Holden & Jack Hawkins.
4th of July Celebrants Boris Karloff of NBC-TV 'Thriller' & Jay North of 'Dennis the Menace' for 1962.
'The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour' with Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance & William Frawley, plus Guest Star Tallulah Bankhead
'4 for Texas', with (l to r) Ursula Andress, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin & Anita Ekberg.
'Umbrellas of Cherbourg', w Catherine Deneuve, Nino Castelnuovo & Anne Vernon.
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. 1963. The madcap treasure hunters are (counterclockwise) Buster Keaton, Edward Everett Horton, Mickey Rooney, Buddy Hackett, Ethel Merman, Phil Silvers, Joe E. Brown, Milton Berle, Edie Adams, Sid Caesar & Spencer Tracy as Capt. Culpepper, with Jimmy Durante as Smiler Grogan in the lower left corner.
Joe E. Brown
"On Sunday, March 24 at 11:00 a.m., Thomaston Place Auction Galleries will sell the lifelong collection of celebrity drawings by George Wachsteter (1911-2004), one of America’s most prominent caricaturists of the mid-20th Century. The collection includes many drawings of well known personalities from the world of film, theater, television, and politics, such as Jack Benny, Lucille Ball, Humphrey Bogart, Clark Gable, Will Rogers, Judy Garland, Carol Burnett, Walt Disney, Boris Karloff, Alfred Hitchcock, Walter Cronkite, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Johnny Carson.
All lots can be viewed at www.thomastonauction.com. Live, absentee, telephone, and internet (via www.artfact.com and www.auctionzip.com) bids are accepted. Call 1-207-354-8141 for more info or to reserve a seat. Previews: Wed. 3/20 thru Fri., 3/22 (from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm each day), and 9:00- 11:00 am on Sat. & Sun., 3/23 & 3/24. We are located on U.S. Route 1 in Thomaston, ME."
Join us for a celebration of the publication of Robert Weaver’s split-level picture-book A Pedestrian View/The Vogelman Diary (Verlag Kettler) on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 7pm at Parsons The New School, 2 West 13th Street in the Bark Room off the lobby. Robert Weaver (1924-1994) remains the most original and influential artist of visual narrative and journalism in the 20th century. Panelists include: Ben Katchor, Saul Leiter, James McMullan, Alexander Roob, Antonia Weaver Pelaez and others.
This is my second post highlighting the work of Jacques Kapralik. He's one of my favorite twentieth century celebrity caricaturists (although I admit to having a long list of favorites). I first put together a tribute to his work back in 2009. That blog, Jacques Kapralik part 1, can be found here. It features an entirely different set of images.
W. C. Fields (Paramount Exhibitor Book 1937-38)
THE PHILADELPHIA STORY (1940) Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn and Jimmy Stewart
Mae West (Paramount Exhibitor Book 1937-38)
COME LIVE WITH ME (1941) Jimmy Stewart and Hedy Lamarr
20 MULE TEAM (1940) Wallace Beery
THE BAD MAN (1941) Wallace Beery
SLIGHTLY DANGEROUS (1943) Lana Turner and Robert Young
PRIDE AND PREDJUDICE (1940) Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier
BEST FOOT FORWARD (1943) Lucille Ball, Harry James
THE COURTSHIP OF ANDY HARDY (1942) Mickey Rooney
TWO-FACED WOMAN (1941) Melvyn Douglas and Greta Garbo
COMRADE X (1940)Hedy Lamarr and Clark Gable
CROSSROADS (1942) William Powell and Hedy Lamarr
MRS. MINIVER (1942) Walter Pigeon and Greer Garson
LADY BE GOOD (1941) Robert Young, Eleanor Powell and Ann Sothern
STAND BY FOR ACTION (1942) Charles Laughton, Robert Taylor and Brian Donlevy
ANDY HARDY'S PRIVATE SECRETARY (1941) Kathryn Grayson and Mickey Rooney
LITTLE NELLIE KELLY (1940) Judy Garland
I DOOD IT (1943) Red Skelton
BILLY THE KID (1941) Robert Taylor
DR. JECKYLL AND MR. HYDE (1941) Lana Turner, Spencer Tracy and Ingrid Bergman
BOOM TOWN (1940) Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Spencer Tracy and Hedy Lamarr
UNDERCURRENT (1946) Katharine Hepburn and Robert Taylor
THE CLOCK (1945) Robert Walker and Judy Garland
TORTILLA FLATS (1942) Spencer Tracy, Hedy Lamarr and John Garfield
WHEN LADIES MEET (1941) Robert Taylor, Joan Crawford and Greer Garson
ADVENTURE (1945) Greer Garson and Clark Gable
THEY MET IN BOMBAY (1941) Rosalind Russell and Clark Gable
WHISTLING IN THE DARK (1942) Red Skelton
WHITE CARGO (1942) Hedy Lamarr and Walter Pigeon
HOMECOMING (1948) Lana Turner and Clark Gable
CASS TIMBERLANE (1947) Lana Turner, Spencer Tracy and Zachary Scott
PERSONAL PROPERTY (1937) Jean Harlow and Robert Taylor
WITHOUT LOVE (1940) Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn
PARNELL (1937) Clark Gable and Myrna Loy
THE HUMAN COMEDY (1943)Mickey Rooney
PANAMA HATTIE (1942) Red Skelton and Ann Sothern
WATERLOO BRIDGE (1940) Vivien Leigh and Robert Taylor
THIRD FINGER, LEFT HAND (1940) Melvyn Douglas and Myrna Loy
THE CHOCOLATE SOLDIER (1941) Nelson Eddy and Risë Stevens
SHIP AHOY (1942) Tommy Dorsey, Red Skelton and Eleanor Powell
BITTER SWEET (1940) Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald
PRESENTING LILY MARS (1943) Judy Garland and Van Heflin
Fibber McGee & Molly (1952)
Eddie Cantor (1952)
Milton Berle (1952)
WAR OF THE WORLDS (1953) Gene Barry and Ann Robinson
THRILL OF A ROMANCE (1945) Esther Williams and Van Johnson
ANDY HARDY'S DOUBLE LIFE (1942) Ann Rutherford and Mickey Rooney
MEN OF BOY'S TOWN (1941) Mickey Rooney and Spencer Tracy
THE FIREFLY (1937) Jeanette MacDonald
WEEK-END AT THE WALDORF (1945) Van Johnson, Lana Turner, Robert Benchley, Walter Pidgeon, Ginger Rogers and Xavier Cugat
Set your DVR for Sunday, October 21. This special evening of seldom seen gems of animation boasts a gallery of TCM premieres. Two animated features from Paramount, Gulliver's Travels (1939) and Mr. Bug Goes to Town (1941), were created in an effort to compete with Disney. The lineup of shorts spotlights a pair of groundbreaking studios whose work has been too long out of circulation. UPA produced such classics as the Oscar®-winning Gerald McBoing Boing (1951) and the nominated The Tell Tale Heart (1954), while NY Studios' silent shorts include Lightning Sketches and The Haunted Hotel, both created in 1907 by J. Stuart Blackton, known as "the father of American Animation."
Hosted by Robert Osborne and Jerry Beck. Turner Classic Movies: Rare Animation: complete listings including a synopsis for each film
•Max Fleischer’s Gulliver’s Travels (1939) at 8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific
•Max Fleischer’s Mr. Bug Goes To Town (1941) at 9:30pm Eastern/6:30pm Pacific
screen shots from THE TELL-TALE HEART (UPA 1953)
•UPA’s Jolly Frolics at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific "Released theatrically by Columbia Pictures, the cartoon shorts produced by UPA (United Productions of America) were revolutionary, adopting the contemporary graphics of Modern design and offering non-traditional, provocative storytelling. Giving the animators at Disney, MGM and Warner Bros. a run for their money, UPA earned six nominations and three Academy Awards, and among their classic one-shot cartoons they adapted stories by James Thurber (“A Unicorn in the Garden”) and Edgar Allan Poe (“The Tell-Tale Heart” narrated by James Mason). The studio tried to avoid repetition, but nevertheless presented two long-lasting characters in Gerald McBoing Boing (created by Dr. Seuss) and the near-sighted Mr. Magoo."
The lineup includes Fudget's Budget (1954), The Unicorn in the Garden (1953, Gerald McBoing Boing (1951), Rooty Toot Toot (1951), The Tell-Tale Heart (1953), Christopher Crumpet (1953) and The Ragtime Bear (1949).
•Lotte Reiniger’s The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1927) at 1am Eastern/11pm Pacific "Considered by many to be the first full-length animated film, the story of Lotte Reiniger's mesmerizing work is taken from THE ARABIAN NIGHTS. A young prince embarks on a series of great adventures, including uniting with Aladdin and the Witch of the Fiery Mountains to save a beautiful princess. Produced in Germany this color-tinted film utilizes laboriously cut out silhouettes to tell its story."
I've often thought of Karl Arnold as a kind of George Grosz with a sunnier disposition though not too much sunnier. Here's a collection of his drawings. As always I'm not going to burden you wih my commentary but allow the artist to speak for himself through his images.
"Karl Arnold (1883-1953) was not only a famous political caricaturist for the magazine Simplicissimus - unlike almost any other artist of his generation; he was an astute observer, capturing the character and characters of his age in pencil. Although he no longer occupies as prominent a position as a draughtsman as his somewhat younger contemporaries, Otto Dix and George Grosz, our image of life in the 1920s and 30s was nonetheless decisively shaped by his observations and pictorial ideas, his depictions of glamour and the rifts in society.
After studying painting at the Munich academy, in 1907 his first drawings appeared in Simplicissimus and Die Jugend. From 1917 onwards, Arnold's work was a regular feature in Simplicissimus, alongside that of his colleagues Olaf Gulbransson and Thomas Theodor Heine." source: artnews.org
R. O. Blechman illustrated forty covers for STORY. These are what I have in my collection. I wish I had them all. I've been a great fan of Blechman's work for a long, long time. His art has always given me a place to breathe.
Porky Pig’s Feat contains the first use of the music "Powerhouse" in a cartoon. Composed by Raymond Scott, "Powerhouse" became iconic through its use in over forty Warner Bros. cartoons
“According to Georges Sadoul, Frank Tashlin is a second-rank director has never done a remake of You Can’t Take It With You or The Awful Truth. According to me, my colleague errs in mistaking a closed door for an open one. In fifteen years’ time, people will realize that The Girl Can’t Help It served then — that is, today – as a fountain of youth from which the cinema now — that is, in the future — has drawn fresh inspiration ….To sum up, Frank Tashlin has not renovated the Hollywood comedy. He has done better. There is not a difference in degree between Hollywood or Bust and It Happened One Night, between The Girl Can’t Help It and Design For Living, but a difference in kind. Tashlin, in other words, has not renewed but created. And henceforth, when you talk about a comedy, don’t say ‘It’s Chaplinesque’; say, loud and clear, ‘‘It’s Tashlinesque’.“---Jean-Luc Godard, Cahiers du Cinéma, July 1957
"Canter through Coventry" original oil painting by Frank Tashlin.
Q: It seems that compromise is an essential part of pictures.
Tashlin: Unfortunately, it's nothing but compromise until you earn the right not to have to. Censorship, producers, stars. I get pretty morose when something goes wrong, so I go home on weekends and paint. I love to paint. Doesn't matter if it's good or bad. If someone tells me, "I don't like that yellow,' I can say, 'Screw you.'
A lot has been written and said about Maurice Sendak since we all learned of his death on May 9 but I thought it was only fitting that there be a space on Drawger for all of you Drawgers and non-Drawgers alike to share your comments, thoughts, reflections and recollections.
I met Maurice Sendak on a couple of occasions over the years. The most memorable was at a small private party at Simon & Schuster to celebrate the re-publication by Margaret K. Elderry Books of his and Beatrice Schenk De Regniers' WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH A SHOE? The party was to be for the staff in the children's book division but I begged and begged until they agreed to sneak me in. At the party Mr. Sendak graciously signed books for everyone. When it came to me I asked him to sign it to me and my wife, Aviva. He heard me incorrectly and began to write down a different name than Aviva. When I corrected him, instead of simply crossing out the misspelling and completing the inscription, he turned his mistake into this drawing of a Wild Thing. It was the only drawing he did that day at the signing. I was honored and have treasured the book ever since. Like everyone, I'm a huge fan and a great admirer of his work.
I added a few images to balance out the post but I'm sure his work needs no introduction to any of you.
"Tzippy," pencil sketch on vellum tracing paper. Sendak named the Wild Things after his uncles and aunts: Tzippy, Moishe, Aaron, Emile and Bernard.
Max, Moishe, Tzippy and Bernard.
The following four images are sketches from 1988 for a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon.
VARIETY 1997--"Dayton's Santabear is outfitted like a "Nutcracker" toy soldier this year and his companion, Miss Bear, is dolled up as a Sugar Plum Fairy, all cuddly and adorable. But you can almost hear children's book illustrator Maurice Sendak, whose version of "The Nutcracker" is the centerpiece of Dayton's holiday celebration, barking out a few "bahs" and "blahs."
Sendak's non-cuddly "Nutcracker" stage designs and book illustrations were used for this year's animated holiday display in Dayton's downtown Minneapolis store. It's a typically elaborate affair with 150 characters and 22 walk-through tableaux - not to mention the Sendak shopping bags, cards and ornaments tied to the annual display."
The Treasure Chest of Fun & Fact was a Catholic comic book published by George A. Pflaum of Dayton, Ohio and provided to Catholic parochial school students between 1946 and 1972. THIS GODLESS COMMUNISM was featured in ten bi-monthly issues from sept 1961 to June 1962. The series was illustrated by Reed Crandall. Click here to see examples of his work for Blackhawk Comics in the 1940s and EC in the 50s.
Drew Friedman easily ranks among the greatest of contemporary illustrators. His caricatures and portraits have always been a welcome treat to my eyes since I first began seeing his work back in the mid-eighties. The most difficult part of putting together this post was trying to edit the image downs to the essentials. I'm not sure I succeeded in that. Even with the great amount of images I've included in this post it's still only scratching the surface of the myriad of brilliant drawings Drew has done over the years. Maybe his entire body of work is essential. So as well as alerting you to his upcoming exhibit at the Scott Eder Gallery and Fantagaphics republishing his classic LIVING OR DEAD it's just my way of finding an excuse to honor his immense talent.
photo credit: Trent Thompson
I have a paticular affection for these two drawings of Groucho Marx. One because I have a great affection for Groucho Marx and two because Drew has captured him so beautifully. Although there have been many wonderful caricatures of Groucho over the years, artists often choose to depict the Groucho of his movie hey-day and more often still they let the eyebrows, moustache and cigar carry their drawings thereby missing the man underneath the greasepaint and smoke. Here Drew depicts him as he appeared on his quiz show and in old age. I remember being stunned when I first saw the top drawing. I could hear his voice and feel the movement of his lips which may sound odd to the uninitiated but I trust true Grouchphiles will understand exactly what I mean. I guess what I'm saying is that Drew moved past the obvious and revealed the essence of the man in both drawings. Actually, as you scroll through these drawings you'll find that's true for all of them.
What follows are images from the recently reissued "Any Similarity To Persons Living Or Dead Is Purely Coincedental. First published in 1986 it has gone on to become a classic. If you don't already have this in your personal library now's your chance to rectify that situation. You may order your copy here.
Frank Zappa was a fan of the book's original edition as seen in this video beginning at 2:05
I bought this book for my kids back when they were born in 1998. I've since snuck it out of their collection and added it to mine. Just so you don't think I'm too mean my kids have access to all of the books in the apartment. It was published by Workman in 1997. It's currently out of print. I've selected some of the images to share here.
Picasso's "one-liners" constitute a small but delightful contribution to the artist's great body of drawings. His preeminence as a draughtsman has long been recognized, but the unique nature of his one-liners has never been fully examined, or collected together in a single volume. Picasso's One-Liners, featuring 50 of the drawings, offers a fascinating look at this whimsical side of Picasso's work.
Defined simply, one-liners are drawings in which the artist's drawing implement touches the paper and is not lifted until the drawing is finished. Picasso worked this way in a variety of media, including pencil, pen and ink, brush, even light crayon. His subjects included harlequins, musicians, circus scenes, and animals. Each drawing is worth careful study, for by following the vibrant line closely, one's eyes take a wonderful roller-coaster ride.
Album covers are one of the lost arts of the previous century. Their 12 inch by 12 inch format was ideal for illustrators to present their work to a wider audience. Often the contents of the record and the cover art were inseparable in the mind of the consumer. Looking at the cover art for a favored album immediately starts the recording itself playing in one's head. I don't know of a comporable format for illustrators in today's market. I skipped a lot of musical genres since many of those covers have been collected in books (see links at the botton of this page).
The lps here are from my own collection. My records now mostly take up up closet space. My turntable has been gathering dust for over a decade.
In previous posts I spotlighted the record sleeve art of Gary Panter and Cal Shenkel. I started this post some time ago and kept coming back to it. lt got a lot larger than I originally intended it to be. Very few of the records depicted here made the transition to cds and of those that did fewer retained the original artwork. The popularity of digital formats has made the association between the graphic arts and recordings all but disappear..
I trust there's something of interest to be found here for all designers and illustrators. Think of it as a box of records.
I added a few examples of artists working with appropriated imagery. it's hardly comprehensive. Obviously I could have included many more but I'd be scanning and posting for weeks.
Marcel Duchamp, L.H.O.O.Q., 1919
Hannah Hoch, Cut with the Kitchen Knife through the Last Weimar Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch in Germany 1919-20
Raoul Hausmann, Tatlin At Home, 1920
Kurt Schwitters, Merzbeld 32A Das Kirschbild (The Cherry Orchard), 1921
Max Ernst, The Voice of the Reverend Dulac Dessale: "Hey, little ones, where were you tomorrow?" Marceline and Marie (with one voice): "We are twenty centuries old today and a little more." (from "A Little Girl Dreams Of Taking The Veil"), 1930
Nicolas de Lecuona, Sin titulo, 1934
John Heartfield 1936
Richard Hamilton, JUST WHAT IS IT THAT MAKES TODAY’S HOMES SO DIFFERENT, SO APPEALING?, 1956
Pablo Picasso 1957
Pablo Picasso 1957
Pablo Picasso 1957
Pablo Picasso 1957
Joseph Cornell, Parrot for Juan Gris, Winter 1953-54; “rejuvenated” June 24, 1957
Mimmo Rotella, I due evasi, 1960
Tomi Ungerer 1960
Tomi Ungerer 1960
Tomi Ungerer 1960
M Sasek 1961
M Sasek 1961
M Sasek 1961
Andy Warhol, Orange Car Crash Fourteen Times, 1963
Robert Rauschenberg, Retroactive 1, 1964
Peter Blake, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, 1967
A few years ago I bought a small drawing from Gary Panter. He decided to hand deliver it. Along the way from Brooklyn to Manhattan he got stuck on the subway and started drawing on the box that contained the drawing. This is the box.
Fredericks & Freiser is pleased to announce an exhibition of twenty paintings by Gary Panter. Widely recognized as one of the most significant and influential graphic artists of the last thirty years, Panter’s “punk nuclear hillbilly” aesthetic has helped define a post-psychedelic graphic style.
In many ways Gary Panter is the black sheep of a family whose patriarch is Sigmar Polke and whose favored sons and daughters lived an...d exhibited in New York in the early 1980’s. Panter, however, was based in Los Angeles and stayed true to his punk roots by paring down his work to the raw essentials and opening his painting practice to include illustration, set design, music, writing, and later on, light shows.
Less concerned with theories of production and the structure of meaning, Panter focuses on an overall cultural energy where non-sequential narratives are formed by the clash of expressionist abstraction and cartoon primitivism. These layered compositions display a prescience in a wide range of contemporary painting from Takashi Murakami and Lari Pittman to Andre Butzer and Jonathan Meese.
Mike Kelley writes: “Gary Panter is a godhead…I find it hard to believe that Mr. Basquiat’s word clusters and broken-line approach did not borrow heavily from the genius of Gary Panter.”
Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday; 10am to 6 pm. For more information on Gary Panter or other gallery artists contact us by phone at (212) 633-6555 or Fax at (212) 633-7372 or visit us at fredericksfreisergallery.com
Set in The New York Public Library at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street and in the environs of Times Square circa 1970, Up From the Stacks is the story of Lincoln Cabinée, a college student working part-time as a page, retrieving books for readers from the Library’s collection of 43 million items. This routine evening job inadvertently thrusts young Cabinée into the treacherous crossroads of scholarly obsession and the businesses of amusement and vice that then flourished in the 42nd Street area. The intellectual life of the city and the happiness of a young man hang in the balance. Co-commissioned by the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at The New York Public Library, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts for Target Free Thursdays at the David Rubenstein Atrium. Four performances: Monday, October 3, 2011 at 6pm at The New York Public LIbrary for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, 40 Lincoln Center Plaza, Bruno Walter Auditorium http://www.nypl.org/locations/tid/55/node/129318?lref=55%2Fcalendar <http://www.nypl.org/locations/tid/55/node/129318?lref=55/calendar>
THE MILK AND HONEY ROUTE: A Handbook for Hobos by Dean Stiff (Nels Anderson) published in 1930 by The Vanguard Press.
Short Biography of Nels Anderson by Arthur J. Vidich
Nels Anderson's study, The Hobo: The Sociology of the Homeless Man, published as Vol. I of the Sociological Series of the University of Chicago in 1923, was based in part on his personal experience of the hobo world. Anderson, who arrived at the University in 1921, had some experience in hobo life, and his teachers were alert to encourage him to capitalize on his unique firsthand knowledge. They saw an obvious opportunity to connect one of the most characteristic urban districts, the hobo area, with a broader sociological interest in movement, isolation and disorganization.
Nels Anderson knew life in the bummery at first hand. He was a migratory worker in the frontier West for more than ten years, during which he lived in the world of the hobo, tramp, bum, gandy-dancer, skinner, bridge snake, jungle buzzard, panhandler, notch house and shanty queen. It was a world that he has neither idealized nor morally rejected, but has reported as an observer who understood that the hobo was an essential part of the frontier labor market; only later and not by Anderson has the frontier been romanticized. The authenticity and durability of his study rests much less on the interviewing he did in the Madison Street area of Chicago than on his earlier experiences in life.
During the 1920s worked in Chicago for the Home for the Incurables and the Juvenile Protective Association, participated in the Hobo College and was associated with the Municipal Lodging House. He took classes at New York University and received his Ph.D. in 1930 at the age of forty.
During the great economic depression of the 1930s he worked in Albany, New York for then Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Hopkins: to organize a program for the homeless in Buffalo under the State Relief Administration. Later, during the depression, when Harry Hopkins became head of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration in Washington, Anderson went with him and was appointed Labor Relations Officer in that agency. SOURCE: THE MILK AND HONEY ROUTE (1930)Dean Stiff (Nels Anderson)
From Saturday's print edition of the New York Post, an article about the current exhibit, Rolling Stone and the Art of the Record Review, at the Society of Illustrators by Gregory E. Miller. Below are screen shots which can currently be seen at the Post's website.
Einar Nerman (6 October 1888, Norrköping – 1983) was a Swedish artist. He was born and grew up in middle class family in the working-class city of Norrköping and was the younger brother of the Swedish Communist leader Ture Nerman. Einar Nerman also had a twin brother, Birger Nerman, who was an archeologist.
Einar Nerman dropped out of his Norrköping Gymnasium High School in 1905 and moved to Stockholm to study art. In 1908 he moved to France for many years to pursue his interest in art, studying with Matisse at the Academie Matisse in Paris.
When he came back to Sweden in 1912 he started studying music and taking dance lessons. In the 1920s Nerman lived in London and drew images for The Tatler. During World War II, he lived and worked in New York.
Einar Nerman wrote songs and music and composed music and to many of his brother Ture Nerman’s poems. He also made many of the artistic book covers for his Communist brother's published writings.
Einar Nerman also made illustrations for many of the books by Selma Lagerlöf. In Sweden today, he is mostly known, or unknown, for being the man behind the art of the Solstickan matchbox. He also made some famous drawings of Greta Garbo, one of which was used on a postage stamp in 2005, a hundred years after the moviestar's birth.
A book of his drawings appeared in 1976: Caught in the Act (Harrap, London) with an introduction by his friend, lyricist Sandy Wilson. It contained many caricatures of friends in the London theatre world. From 1922 to 1930 he was the theatre cartoonist for The Tatler and also worked for the fashionable magazine Eve. The book is dedicated to Ivor Novello whom he had met in Stockholm in 1918. In the 1940s in New York he worked for the Journal-American. There is much additional information in Caught in the Act, as well as examples of his work, sometimes said to be "Beardsleyesque."
Whether at the theatre, concert hall or Hollywood studio, Nerman sketched his subjects from life before returning to his studio to work out the finished drawings.
"As for the idol, Clark Gable, he didn't seem to care whether he sat for me as the handsome hero of "Gone With the Wind" or in uncombed and unshaven privacy looking as if he swallowed a hair-mattress."
All of the images in this post were first published in CARICATURE BY NERMAN (American Studio Books, 1946)
Zach Trenholm just sent me this article published in The Virgin Island Daily News in 1964.
This post is to alert you to two Ben Katchor events. The first is the recent publication of his latest book "The Cardboard Valise."
Ben's been a friend for many years. He has one of the richest imaginations and minds of anyone I've known and I've know quite a few rich minds and imaginations over the years. Reading his picture-stories has been one of the great pleasures of my life. I'm always happy for a new collection. This latest one doesn't dissapoint.
The New York Times calls Ben Katchor, "the most poetic, deeply layered artist ever to draw a comic strip." In recognition of his innovative use of the cartoon medium, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation gave Katchor one of its prestigious fellowships (colloquially know as "MacArthur Genius Grants").
In bestowing its fellowship, the MacArthur Foundation said, "Katchor has distilled through the medium of the comic strip an art rich with history, sociology, fiction and poetry. His meditations on urban life represent a sustained effort to re imagine the history of New York, recalling the nineteenth- and early twentieth-century city of words, with its hundreds of placards and signs, inscriptions and sandwich boards, lost places of entertainment and instruction, and forgotten forms of craft and industry."
"Mr. Katchor should take comfort and a great deal of pride in knowing that he has created the most original comic strip since George Herriman introduced 'Krazy Kat' more than 80 years ago." - New York Times Book Review
AND Some reviews for The Cardboard Valise.
(starred review) In this winsomely haunting graphic novel from Katchor. . . Set in a world tilted about 45 degrees away from reality . . . Rarely have books that made this little sense made so much sense. (Feb.) –Publisher’s Weekly
Katchor . . . does what every great artist does: clarifies things you knew but didn’t know you knew, or didn’t know how to articulate. Spend some time with his work, and then take a walk. –Newsweek
Ben Katchor is the best world-builder in comics today. –The Comics Journal
“. . . a work of great beauty and eccentricity . . . [Katchor] performs that often promised yet rarely accomplished feat of transforming the mundane into the sublime. –The Globe and Mail
“. . . the reader finds herself pulled in a new direction with every page, deep into a city far more interesting than our own . . .” – The Washington Post
“Wonderful…a pleasantly flimsy repository for an inexhaustible imagination. Open to any page and you’ll be surprised anew.” –The Washington Post
“It’s in those spaces where understanding eludes the reader and where meaning nonetheless makes itself felt, that Katchor’s signature poetry lies.” –Publishers Weekly Comics Weekly
“Artist and storyteller Katchor has achieved the goal Borges only imagined. Exiting this oneiric, shamanic, yet utterly naturalistic and sensual masterpiece, the reader steps out into a revitalized continuum richer and more exotic than the one he or she inhabited prior to the reading, a realm full of strange, alluring and bewildering lands, populated by oddball folks with odder customs. Never again will our common globe seem like a small, homogenous, boring place…The Cardboard Valise is worldbuilding on the order of Jan Morris’s Hav, Austin Tappan Wright’s Islandia, Brian Aldiss’s Malacia, and Ursula Le Guin’s Orsinia: places that are attached to our world by extradimensional roads, down which only the sharpest and most sensitive of literary guides can lead one. Get your ticket immediately!” –Barnes and Noble Review
“A surreal travelogue…a vast panorama of humane hamburger stands, exquisitely ethereal ethnic restaurants, ancient restroom ruins and wilds tracts of land that fit neatly next to high-rise hotels.” –Brooklyn Daily Eagle
“History, humor, and a generous dose of surrealness combine to make you think you’re walking down the back streets of Oz…Katchor is plainly steeped in the tropes of his craft, but ultimately he is uncategorizable, a man apart.”–Culture Books
“Katchor is the best world-builder in comics today…The Cardboard Valise feels like something you can open up, fall into, and stroll around in. It’s fascinating and funny and endlessly enveloping to look at, but its delights and distortions alike are ultimately a reflection of ourselves.” –The Comics Journal
“Anyone familiar with [Katchor’s] work will recognize his grotesque eccentrics (or maybe his eccentric grotesques), the off-kilter angles and depths of field in every panel, not to mention the banal objects granted strange value and the wonderful prose…There is an exhilaration and freedom here—a license to invent and destroy.” –Tablet Magazine
“Katchor’s work has the unusual distinction of being known…for its startling poetry, dreamily familiar urban landscapes, and revelations about the arcane systems and inner workings of city life…provocative, moving work.” –CriticalMob.com
“Katchor has made an entire world out of his narrow domain, and it’s as rich and vast (and sad and hilarious) a world as any writer or artist working today has concocted.” –Shelfari
“The appearance of a new Katchor collection is always reason to celebrate… Katchor is a true, rare, untarnished New York treasure — the kind of artist who can concoct a fantastical made-up world, but one that ensures you’ll never see the real world in quite the same way again.” –The 6th Floor blog
“His whimsical, mournful metaphysical verbal gags and scratchy visual poems are at once the most conceptual and conversational comics being made, and for my taste the best ever made…it’s only March, but surely Katchor is the automatic writer-artist of the year.” –ComicCritique Blog
Miguel Covarrubias is best remembered as a celebrity caricaturist. He came to the United States from Mexico at the age of nineteen and was an immediate sensation. In Humanities, Johanna Rizzo writes, "Soon after his arrival in New York in 1923, Miguel Covarrubias was introduced to Carl Van Vechten--novelist, photographer, critic, and general tastemaker--who opened the world of the smart set to the young artist he thought to be a genius...The two lunched at the Algonquin, and after Covarrubias had impressed Dorothy Parker and the other wits of the Round Table gathered there, Van Vechten set up a meeting with Vanity Fair. Covarrubias's work for the magazine made him famous."
"Through (Carl Van Vechten), Covarrubias became involved with the writers and artists of the Harlem Renaissance, both personally and professionally. He illustrated The Weary Blues for Langston Hughes, who declared that Covarrubias was “the only artist I know whose Negro things have a ‘Blues touch about them.’” In 1927…Covarrubias published Negro Drawings, which drew on his observations of Harlem and its residents. The book contained a number of images the artist termed “type sketches” of African Americans of the jazz age…Although exaggeration of form and behavior is one of the hallmarks of caricature, these images seem to be also about dance and movement as racial behaviors. Countee Cullen, for example, wrote: “This young Mexican has an uncanny feeling for the comical essence behind those characters he chooses to portray; he does not choose to portray all, however, apparently finding the most interesting types in the cabarets. He is especially successful in capturing the illusion of motion.” Critics of the time celebrated the images for being free of caricature, despite some obvious references to ideas of black rhythm. Covarrubias himself declared, “I don’t consider my drawings caricatures. They are – well – they are drawings. A caricature is the exaggerated character of an individual for satirical purpose. These drawings are more from a serious point of view.” ---source: Enter the New Negroes: Images of Race in American Culture by Martha Jane Nadell
At the time, Covarrubias shared a studio with the painter Al Hirschfeld , who later turned to caricature. He reminisced, “Once Miguel became involved with the Harlem Renaissance, he had good reason for never being at the studio. If you wanted him for something important, he could be found uptown attending some performances or sitting in a nightclub busy making hundreds of sketches. Some of these he would later turn into marvelous paintings.” ---source: Miguel Covarubbias: 4 Miradas/4 Visions, essay ‘Miguel Covarubbias and the Emerging Image of Harlem’ by Adriana Williams
“Miguel’s contribution to the Harlem Renaissance is justifiably arguable. While he intentionally challenged old stereotypes, he unintentionally begat new ones. Nevertheless, his work is significant for documenting the emergence of the new spirit that rose out of Harlem in the twenties, a spirit that he understood and frankly admired and wanted to learn more about.” ---source: Covarrubias by Adriana Williams
Images selected from "NEGRO DRAWINGS" by Miguel Covarrubias (Alfred A. Knopf 1927) The book consists of fifty-six full-page plates divided into four sections: Varia, The Theatre, The Cabarets, Three Cuban Women.
As the world’s media and royalphiles gear up for another one, here’s Ralph Steadman’s take on the last dream royal wedding: Charles, Prince of Wales, and Lady Diana Spencer. This was offered as a poster by PRIVATE EYE back in 1981. I bought a copy. It still cracks me up
My appreciation of Cal Shenkel's work began around forty years ago when I first discovered the music of Frank Zappa. Beginning in 1967, Schenkel was the in-house artist/art director for Zappa and his Bizarre/Straight record labels. Along with Zappa his work also appeared on albums by Captain Beefheart, The GTOs, Tom Waits, The Fugs and Wildman Fischer among others. In the time of vinyl, album cover art was an integral part of the entire package. The art and music were of a piece. I can't think of another pairing of artists that explified this better than Schenkel and Zappa. Both embodied an aesthetic than ran counter to the prevailing counter-culture. His work has been deeply influential. Schenkel's many acolytes include Gary Panter and Matt Groening. In my head I have my own personal Illustrators Hall Of Fame. Cal was inducted with the first class.
In the links at the bottom of this thread are to two interviews that fill in a lot of biographical information. When selecting art for this post I focused on his paintings, drawings and assemblages dating from his earliest work with Zappa to the present.
"When I first met him (Zappa) in New York, the art studio was in his apartment – but that was only for a brief period. I didn’t actually live there, but I would commute to work at his place. When we moved to LA when he had rented the log cabin, I had a wing of it. It was my living quarters and art studio, which I rented separately from him. There was probably more of a chance to fraternize when I lived in that close proximity than when I didn’t, but even when I lived in my own place I’d be hanging out a lot and listening to what he was doing with the music. I think that it was just that I happened to fit the mold. I’m not sure I totally did understand it, but it just happened to coincide with what I was doing. I liked working in a lot of different directions and doing very eclectic stuff and working in different styles and Frank was doing that with his music."---Cal Schenkel
"It was Frank's concept, and it was just a question of parodying what already existed. First Frank did a little sketch of the cover and said, 'I want to find all these people and get them and put them in the picture.' And there were like 100 people. We started to try and get people and it was just impossible. Jimi Hendrix was the only live person there other than the Mothers and the corporate members and Herb Cohen (manager), Tom Wilson (executive producer) and a few others like Gail (Zappa). The rest were just found images, some of them came out of Frank's High School year Book and there were some old pictures I had...This was the first job I did. It was a very complicated piece and I had no idea what I was doing, but the printers for MGM were actually printing the Sgt Pepper job so they were able to help me match the look really well, in fact we printed the insert sheets with Sgt Pepper on the same press run." *
"When we were still in New York, I started working on the Ruben & The Jets story, which is connected with the Uncle Meat story in which this old guy turns this teenage band into these dog spout people. That came out of my love for comics and anthropomorphic animals." *
"The original concept came from Don Van Vliet's title, then I decided, 'Well, why don't we get a real fish head?' We went to the farmer's market and got this actual fish head, a real fish head and rigged it up for a prop. It was just an amazing session." *
Originally done for an Eric Dolphy album, Moop Record, that Frank was supposed to produce. "It took about a day. I found all these interesting things and it went very quickly. But then the project was cancelled and the piece of art just sat there. Then Frank used it for Burnt Weeny." *
"The back cover of The Grand Wazoo is where the Uncle Meat character is introduced, so there's the connection with that album. The Grand Wazoo was pretty much a straight interpretation of the story that's inside. Frank wrote it out inside, I just interpreted." *
"The sofa came out pretty nice. The cover was specified by the storyline. The back cover was my idea, 'Oh, why don't we do a star chart?' I found one and goofed on all the names and put together a funny star chart." *
quotes marked with an * first appeared in MOJO Zappa Special. HAVE A COPY SENT STRAIGHT TO YOUR HOME! Also includes a spread where Cal Schenkel identifies who's who on the Sgt. Pepper parody cover for We're Only In It For The Money.
FEBRUARY 26 (Sat.) LEWIS KLAHR PROLIX SATORI (75 min.-2008-2010) - NYC PREMIERE IN ITS FULL SERIES FORM.
I have often worked in series before-"Picture Books For Adults", "Tales of the Forgotten Future", "Engram Sepals", "The Two Minutes to Zero Trilogy"-but never quite like this. The main difference is that "Prolix Satori" is both open ended with a variety of thematic focuses instead of a single, centralized one. As the series title suggests, it will include films that are very very short (under a minute) and films that are feature length. "Prolix Satori" will also contain various sub-series: this program offers several films from "The Couplets" ("Wednesday Morning Two A.M.", "Sugar Slim Says" and all 3 Nimbus films). "The Couplets" will generally, but not exclusively, organize themselves around the pairing of various pop songs and just as in the songs lyrics, the theme of romantic love. This screening marks the NYC premiere of the first completed sequence of this ongoing series. - L.K. ALSE AGING (14.5 min.-2008) "THE NIMBUS TRILOGY": NIMBUS SMILE (8.5 min.-2009), NIMBUS SEEDS (8.5 min.-2009), and CUMULONIMBUS (9.5 min.-2010) SUGAR SLIM SAYS (7 min.-2010) WENESDAY MORNING TWO A.M. (6.5 min.-2009) LETHE (23 min.-2009)
"I don't think of myself as an animator. I really am a collage artist, with all that implies: a need to explore the found materials, to explore history through those materials."--- Lewis Klahr
Called the “reigning proponent of cut and paste” by critic J. Hoberman of the Village Voice, master collagist Lewis Klahr has been making films since 1977. He is known for his uniquely idiosyncratic experimental films and cutout animations which have been screened extensively in the United States and Europe. New York's Museum of Modern Art has purchased Klahr's films for their permanent collection, and curated three one-person shows with him since 1989. Klahr has also been included in the Biennial Exhibition of the Whitney Museum of American Art (1991 and 1995). His epic cutout animation THE PHARAOH'S BELT received a special citation for experimental work from the National Society of Film Critics in 1994. Klahr's shorts (ALTAIR, LULU and PONY GLASS) have been included in the New York Film Festival. LULU was commissioned by Copenhagen's Gronnegard's Theater production of Alban Berg's opera of the same name that opened to critical acclaim in August 1996. CALENDAR THE SIAMESE, Klahr's first linear narrative, was included in the 1997 New Directors/New Films series as a featurette. The Rotterdam Film festival commissioned Klahr to create Two Minutes to Zero for a series of 10 one minute films produced for the 2004 festival. Klahr is a 1992 Guggenheim Fellow and has also received funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the NY State Council of the Arts, The Jerome Foundation, and the NY Foundation of the Arts and Creative Artists Public Services. Commercially he has created special effects and animation for television show openings, music videos, commercials, a documentary and a TV movie.
Designed by caricaturists Peter Fluck and Roger Law. "A Ronald Reagan molded and painted foam latex puppet used on the television series Spitting Image. The puppet is dressed in a blue dress shirt, blue suit coat and wears a tie with images of U.S. currency. The puppet's eyes are wire-operated and the eyelids are air-operated. The British television program Spitting Image was a satirical look at English politics and popular culture. It ran from 1984-1996, and two TV specials were produced for American viewers and aired on NBC. Height, 28 inches." Source: Julien's Auctions
Colos' friends know their letters are often the beginning of artworks, and they delight in challenging the artist by sending him mail with the stamp affixed in strange places"
Rose DeNeve, PRINT Magazine 1971
"These collages give me the most pleasure. I have no preconceptions about them; I simply look at the envelope and see what it suggests. Then I start drawing and the composition just happens"
Francois Szalay - COLOS, PRINT Magazine 1971
Collection of Victor Charles Juhasz
This is a joint post by Victor Juhasz and I, although all I did was download and organize the images. This came out of a chance discussion we were having a while back about envelope art. Victor mentioned the work of Colos. I did a quick Google search and discovered there was a rather substantial selection of his work being offered up on Ebay. The envelopes shown here all come from that auction. We bid and won a few for ourselves. Hope you find the work as rewarding as we do. Victor wrote the text that follows.
Colos was a fascinating person, probably one of the most fascinating I've known in my life, and like most Hungarians, very Magyar centric, ego driven, brilliant and utterly opinionated, and of course, right. Endless stories, all memorable and better than fiction. He was a young man around 19 when he found himself spending a number of years in the Communist prison system, the Gulag, working in coal mines. He was also pretty inflexible and combative when it came to dealing with art directors and didn't have all that much good to say about them and the restrictions placed on his points of view in his work. Considering how bright his star had shined in the 50's the 60's through the 70's, even into the 80's, near the end of his life he would confess to feeling at a sort of dead end with regard to how to deal with editorial interference and seemed to imply that he didn't see much future in his career. His uncompromising attitude to his work and how it was to be displayed in a perverse way worked against him in that he is pretty much unknown to present generation graphic artists and students, which is a true loss in terms of what his work has to offer. His work was almost always engaging because it was very smart, very funny in a satiric way; the collages beautifully composed and logical even as they could be wild.
He started a visual diary in 1976 that developed quite a notorious reputation because of the content matter. In 1986 a museum was offering to exhibit the diary but with certain content edited because of the potential offensiveness. Colos was adamant about how to exhibit the work and declined the museum's offer. "They either accept it as it is or go to hell." When I read that in a PRINT magazine feature on him and his envelope collages, it sounded just like him. "Bullshit" was another favorite phrase.
Coming out of the brutalities and intrigues of the Communist system he also seemed to have developed an adaptive, very self protective, way of presenting himself to the people he knew. The Colos I knew may not have necessarily been the Colos others knew. He was careful about how and what to reveal about himself. This realization came later after his passing, talking to friends and noticing that we all had parts of a story but never the whole. Even after we pieced our versions together, there was an uncertainty about whether it was complete or even misleading.
He once told me about standing on a corner in NYC near Carnegie Hall right next to Count Basie. He turned to the Count and said, "It is because of you that I have one kidney." Basie looked at him confused and asked him to explain. Colos went on to tell him what a great fan he was of Jazz and how he was listening to Basie records in his apartment when (somebody must have ratted him out) the secret police broke in, confiscated the music, and took him down to the station where he was beaten so badly that one of his kidneys was ruptured. Then it was off to prison/the Gulag(?) for subversive activities. Basie listened to this and when the story was finished, said to Colos, "Let me buy you a drink." So they went to a nearby bar and had a few and talked some more. You can't make this shit up. And he had tons of stories like this. Every so often I think of him and miss those lunchtime conversations we would have either in the NEW YORK TIMES cafeteria or at a favorite hangout, a Brazilian restaurant not far from the TIMES, where I would join my friend John Cayea, the art director for the Week-In-Review and another brilliant Hungarian artist illustrator, Istvan Ventilla and the Romanian illustrator Nicolai Ascui. Those get togethers were head spinning events- John and I would just sit back and listen to the world explained from an Eastern European, Iron Curtain survivor, viewpoint. Ventilla has since disappeared, without a trace; it's been a long time since anything has been heard from or about him.
Bud Tamblyn was the local cartoonist in Allentown's Morning Call and Evening Chronicle newpapers back when I was a kid growing up in rural Pennsylvania back in the sixties and seventies. Tamblyn began his career at the Call/Chronicle in 1937 and appeared in those papers regularly until his retirement in 1985. After that he contributed occasional cartoons until his death in 1989.
The character above is "the little man." He served as Tamblyn's everyman. His catchphrase in Pennsylvania deutsch was, "husht du die Stella gesehna?" In english, "have you seen Stella?" Stella was a character based on an entertainer on the Allentown Fair's midway.
This was published on December 15, 1966 following the death of Walt Disney. I was nine years old. Until I saw it again in the early nineties, I'd always remembered it as Mickey crying on the grave of Walt Disney. It isn't quite that but it's close. One of my all-time favorite Tamblyn cartoons. The original art currently hangs in the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco.
Although he did occasional editorial cartoons concerning national and international affairs, always in a gentle, light-hearted manner, he mostly stuck with the big issues then facing the Lehigh Valley.
He drew celebrities passing through town.
The Allentown fair is an annual event that takes place at the close of summer and Bud Tamblyn would always be there to document it.
Perry Como-----with Stella
Allen & Rossi
Here are a few of his fair roundups featuring the headliner.
To illustrate the small-town heart of his work, here are some examples of his work celebrating milestones in the lives of the local "celebrities." He must have done hundreds if not thousands of these over the years.
My High School gym teacher.
Inspired by Tamblyn I came close to working for the Morning Call myself. In the early seventies, when I was a ninth grader, the paper was running a weekly tabloid insert devoted to YOUTH. It covered the music scene and other trends of interest to teens. I sent my work to the editors and was invited to join the staff. After attending my first editorial meeting I was given the assignment of illustrating a young man riding a bicycle. Having completed the work and meeting the deadline I was all set to see my first work in print. It was not to be. I woke up on the morning of publication to my mother's sad face delivering the news, due to budget cuts the paper cancelled the section and I was relegated back to obscurity.