Booth, and two great-grand-Booths

(#1) Mrs. Ritterhouse, and her cat, mourn with us

First, the brute fact, as reported by the New York Times on-line on 11/2, in “George Booth, New Yorker Cartoonist of Sublime Zaniness, Dies at 96: He depicted a quirky cast of people and pets — notably his mad-as-a-hatter bull terrier, which became a reader favorite and the magazine’s unofficial mascot” by Robert D. McFadden:

George Booth, the New Yorker cartoonist who created a world of oddballs sharing life’s chaos with a pointy-eared bull terrier that once barked a flower to death, and sometimes with a herd of cats that shredded couches and window shades between sweet naps, died on Tuesday at his home in Brooklyn. He was 96 [born 6/28/26, died 11/1/22].

… After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, The New Yorker said it would not run cartoons that week. But Mr. Booth submitted one anyway, showing Mrs. Ritterhouse, a recurring character modeled after his mother, with head down and hands folded in prayer. Her cat covered its face with its paws. It was the only cartoon The New Yorker ran that week. [#1 above]

About the Booth dog: from my 4/8/22 posting “The Aussie firedog” —

(#2) The 3/12/79 New Yorker cover

The dog is pretty much a cartoon version of a white bull terrier, with aspirations to ferocity, tempered by cross-eyed bafflement at what is happened to him or around him; nonplussed is his natural state of being. A fabulous cartoon character with plenty of canine reality in the mix. (Oh, you say, I know dogs like that.)

(There’s a Page on this blog about my postings on Booth cartoons.)

In the midst of death we are in life. The New Yorker goes on, reflecting its cartoon heritage, usually in subtle ways rather than by explicit homage. At 96, Booth was of an age to be the great-grandfather of the magazine’s current young cartoonists (three generations, 60-75 years, older than them), providing a small but significant contribution to their work.

So: from the current (11/7/22) issue of the New Yorker, I had already set aside two cartoons to post about, one because it’s a commentary, both silly and wry, on inferential reasoning in the historical sciences (in particular, paleontology); the other because it’s a particularly touching instance of the Desert Crawl cartoon meme, also wildly absurd. I then saw that the cartoonists — of very different sensibilities — were favorites of mine, featured several times in postings on this blog, and that both were fairly new to the magazine: Liana Finck and Jason Adam Katzenstein (JAK by his signature).

Then I went and checked their ages. Finck was born in 1986, so she’s now ca. 36, about 60 years younger than Booth. JAK is for some reason cagey about his age, but from the years of his undergraduate career, I could estimate that he was born around 1992, so he’s now ca. 30, about 66 years younger than Booth. They’re great-grand-Booths. And I think that’s wonderful.

The great-grand-cartoons. The Finck:










(#3) A paleontologist infers, from a fossilized footprint, that the creature that made it was very large (duh — its footprint is roughly ten times the size of the palentologist); that it lived millions of years ago (duh — that’s a fossilized gigantic footprint); and that it went in the direction of the toeprints (just duh)

From Wikipedia:

Paleontology … is the scientific study of life that existed prior to, and sometimes including, the start of the Holocene epoch (roughly 11,700 years before present). It includes the study of fossils to classify organisms and study their interactions with each other

… Body fossils and trace fossils [including fossilized footprints] are the principal types of evidence about ancient life

And the JAK:

(#4) Two men meet while crawling, parched and (quite likely) hallucinatory, across a seemingly endless desert; one man has a florist’s bouquet as a gift for the other

Desert Crawl on this blog:

on 5/1/16 in “Between the desert and the crouch”: a Bizarro combining Desert Island, Psychiatrist, and Desert Crawl

on 11/1/21 in “Four cartoons on familiar themes”: a David Sipress Desert Crawl cartoon

on 11/13/21 in “A double desert cartoon”: a Mort Gerberg cartoon combining Desert Island and Desert Crawl

on 6/2/22 in “The desert three-way”: a Bizarro Desert Crawl cartoon

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