Michael Crawford

In the July 25th New Yorker, an affectionate brief memorial (by David Remnick, the magazine’s editor) for cartoonist Michael Crawford, “Remembering an adored cartoonist: Michael Crawford was a wry and sensitive artist whose sweet, jazzy personality converged with his work”, beginning:

Michael Crawford was a cartoonist and a painter, a wry and sensitive artist who woke each day with his head full of dreams. Straight from bed he reached for his pencils and pad, the better to get those images and word clusters down on paper. For at least an hour every morning, “Michael was mining his dreams,” his wife, Carolita Johnson, also a cartoonist for this magazine, said. “And when it came to cartoons he just started drawing, without any idea where things might go. Lots of drawings sat around for years without any caption. He was his own one-man cartoon-caption contest in that way. But he was patient.

There was a wild, improvisational streak in Crawford’s work. He loved baseball, and imagined a cockeyed intimacy in the talk between, say, two pros in the dugout: “Why so aloof in here? When you’re on base, you yak your ass off with every Yankee in sight.” A student of American art, he redrew many of Edward Hopper’s moody paintings as cartoons and then provided snappy dialogue for the painter’s lonely souls.

(Crawford has appeared on this blog once before, in 8/23/11‘s “Isn’t it bromantic?”)

A Crawford cartoon accompanying Remnick’s note:


Farmers with hay forks viewing Monet’s haystack paintings.

One of Crawford’s takeoffs on Hopper:


A delightful homage to cartoonist Roz Chast, capturing her visual style, her word play, and her goofy takes on objects.


Finally, a cartoon I recall with pleasure: the Swiss army knife, configured for the oenophile French:


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