Ed Koren

From The New York Times on-line on 4/14, ” Edward Koren, 87, Whose Cartoon Creatures Poked Fun at People, Dies: For six decades in The New Yorker and elsewhere, his hairy, toothy, long-nosed characters offered witty commentary on the foibles of the American middle class” by Robert D. McFadden.

Witty, but gentle and affectionate, reflecting the man’s character, and explaining why he himself was viewed with affection not only by his readers but also by his fellow cartoonists. He has died in the fullness of time, but nevertheless we experience his death as a great loss; he was one of those rare people I feel should have been granted a special dispensation to live forever (as I have written of psycholinguist Anne Cutler — a good friend of mine for 50 years — and chamber musician Geoff Nuttall — an acquaintance from his years in the St. Lawrence String Quartet in residence at Stanford; Koren I never met, but knew only through his work and through the deep regard of his colleagues).

There is a Page on this blog — here — describing my postings about Koren. From my 8/4/15 posting “green … egg … ham”, a cartoon with a telling background anecdote:

A delightful 2013 cartoon from the New Yorker‘s Ed Koren (discussion of the cartoonist on this blog here):

The farm stand is run by the Green Mountain Girls, and it’s a real thing, in Northfield VT. The GMGs were delighted that Koren (who’s a regular customer) got them into the New Yorker.

From the NYT death notice:

… With Charles Addams, James Thurber and Saul Steinberg, Mr. Koren was one of the most popular cartoonists in The New Yorker’s long love affair with humor. To connoisseurs, his bristling pen-and-ink characters, with or without captions, were instantly recognizable — nonconfrontational humans and a blend of fanged crocodile and antlered reindeer who poked fun at a society preoccupied with fitness fads (bike-riding), electronic gadgets (cellphones) and pop psychology.

… In a career that seemed oblivious to the wars, racial strife and calamities that bloodied the rapiers of more combative cartoonists, Mr. Koren forged his mythic realm of benign beasts and humans with snouts in some 1,100 cartoons for The New Yorker, including dozens of covers, and many more for The Nation, Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, Vogue, Vanity Fair and other publications.

… “There’s an immense sweetness to his personality that radiates through his work,” David Remnick, the editor of The New Yorker, said in an interview on Friday. “This was not an acerbic comic spirit. He had a very different sensibility. There was a real soulfulness to everything he did.”

One Response to “Ed Koren”

  1. arnold zwicky Says:

    From cartoonist Bob Eckstein’s newsletter The Bob (which I subscribe to) on 4/24, this appreciation:

    Edward Koren: 1935-2023

    It’s with real sadness I share the passing of one of my favorite cartoonists and a real gentleman.

    … Ed’s work, like himself, had an ease and grace about it. The writing was succinct and seemingly effortless. The drawing was musical and full of life and vigor. The end result was unlike any other cartoonist’s work. And above all else, Mr. Koren was brilliantly funny.

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