Calling off the dogs

A week ago, I posted about this cartoon:

(#1) from the 9/21 posting “A transtlantic exercise in cartoon understanding”

Most of the posting was about the content of the cartoon. But then there’s the question of its source — there’s an artist’s signature, but what is it? — and that’s turned out to be quite a mystery.

I came on the cartoon by accident, looking for something else on Facebook, and a posting with the cartoon in it happened to be next to the posting I was looking for. I quickly saved the cartoon on my desktop, but didn’t note information about its source; I was in the middle of doing something else and would return to the posting later.

But, as so often happens with FB, later the posting was nowhere to be found — not by going back in my FB feed, not by searching FB on words from the cartoon. Then, surprisingly, not by googling the net on “Whos on First” + “cartoon” (lots of interesting items, including several other versions of Dr. Who’s on First — see below —  but not my cartoon). Nor, of course, by searching on Google Images — all it recognizes from a cartoon, or part of a cartoon, is that it’s a cartoon.

The signature looks like TomT, but it’s not Tom Tomorrow, Tom Toles, or Tom Toro. Maybe it’s FomT, with a fancy script F, but that idea led nowhere. I appealed to readers of this blog, to friends on Facebook, and to friends on Google+, but to no avail.

Then on the theory that cartoonists are more likely to be able to identify other cartoonists’ work than random enthusiasts are, I wrote to three that I thought might respond to my query: Bob Eckstein, Wayno, and Michael Maslin (all well represented on this blog). All enjoyed the cartoon, but had no idea who the artist was. They did pass my query on to others, but nothing has turned up.

By now, lots of experienced eyes have looked at the thing, but it remains a mystery. It just might be that this is the work of a talented amateur who put it up on a website, where it got picked up and passed around to a few friends (all without an attribution to the source).

I have a few more cartoonist acquaintances I might appeal to, but at this point I think I’ll just call off the dogs; my life is overfull as it is.

[Added 9/29. Michael Maslin has now advertised the mystery cartoon in his 9/29/18 Ink Spill blog for the New Yorker, in the hope that one of his readers will recognize the cartoon; Ink Spill link in the trackback in the comments section below.]

Bonus: five other versions of Dr. Who’s on First. One, the most schematic version I’ve seen, no caption or title, just the baseball diamond and the TARDIS. on a t-shirt with a single-color design, from JBM Press:


Two, another single-color t-shirt design, with a title (punctuated, however, as an interrogative), from the Just South of Reality t-shirt site:


Three, from  the Warped Factor site —

we’re ‘about’ 50% Doctor Who and 50% wide world of geek! Combine them both into a range of daily feature articles, reviews, news and trailers from your favourite TV shows, movies, comic books and other geeky things. Let it all simmer in a broth of sci-fi, fantasy and cult-ness and voilà

on 10/27/15, another very simple version, but with more colors, perspective, and a title (punctuated as an interrogative):


This image on a t-shirt, as sold on the T-Shirt Gifter site:


Four, a much more elaborate t-shirt design, by TimsTees on Etsy:


Five, another cartoonist’s work, this version by Tom Falco on his Tomversation site:


From Falco’s self-description:

Tom is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post where he publishes single panel comics and does a number of interviews with artists and performers. … For 12 years, he’s has been the editor and publisher of the Coconut Grove Grapevine, the daily news of Coconut Grove, Florida (a small [population ca. 20,000 in 2010] sailing village in the heart of Miami).

A map of Miami, its neighborhoods, and its surrounding towns:


One Response to “Calling off the dogs”

  1. The Tilley Watch Online, The Week Of September 24-28, 2018; Early Release Of Next Week's New Yorker Cover; A Mystery Cartoonist; Three Cartoonists in Pennsylvania: Cartoon Companion Rates The Latest New Yorker Cartoons; The New Yorker Encyclopedia Of Says:

    […] Arnold Zwicky’s Blog, which concerns itself with cartoon language has posted a cartoon by a mystery cartoonist: […]

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