Archive for the ‘Cartoonists’ Category

The Evolution of the Upright Bass

November 25, 2023

The title of a Sara Lautman cartoon in the New Yorker issue of 10/27/23:

(#1) The instrument emerges from the primordial ooze, climbs onto land, and ascends, eventually to stand upright at the pinnacle of evolution

Two things here: the musical instrument; and the cartoonist.


Wise Man

August 30, 2023

Thoughts provoked by John Baker’s comments on my posting yesterday “The back-to-school cartoon”, about this Brendan Loper cartoon:

(#1) I noted that “the original seer-consulting cartoon”, in the New Yorker of 12/5/22, had a different caption

JB commented:

For a second, by “original seer-seeking cartoon,” I thought you meant the first ever such cartoon. Any idea how this trope began? Is it primarily a New Yorker thing?

My response, and some notes from my files on the cartoon meme in question.


The flightless kite

July 27, 2023

It’s definitely Penguin Day on AZBlog — following on my earlier “Illusory penguins ” posting — with this wonderful wordless Jared Nangle cartoon in the new New Yorker,  for 7/31:

(#1) The kite inherits its flightlessness from its subject; bird kites and butterfly kites can fly, but not penguin kites (meanwhile, a kite that could dive and swim like a fish would certainly be a disappointment)


Aardvarkman on the Impostor Syndrome cartoon

June 15, 2023

About a Jules Feiffer cartoon — still not unearthed (and it’s possible that there’s more than one) — that I recollect one way (described in yesterday’s posting “The Impostor Syndrome cartoon”) but cartoonist Dave Sim (creator of Cerebus the Aardvark) recollects a different way, in a review of Feiffer’s 1993 book The Man in The Ceiling, as quoted on the A Moment of Cerebus blog (“an unofficial cite celebrating the comics art of Dave Sim & Gerhard”) in 2015.

In today’s installment, the Sim account. And then a brisk survey of  Sim, the strip Cerebus, and the character Cerebus (and yes, there will be an explanation of the name).


Their mortal anxieties captured in a picture

June 13, 2023

In a Psychiatrist cartoon by Oren Bernstein in the New Yorker of 6/12/23:

(#1) The patient flopped on the therapeutic couch is a despondent octopus [6/14: oh dear, apparently a squid rather than an octopus; later on 6/14: not exactly a squid either (see comments) — so an OSB cephalopod, of a previously unreported species]; the analyst has presented the cephalopod with  a Rorschach inkblot (designed as a projective psychological test), which has aroused the patient’s deepest fears, of fleeing the pursuit of death

I know, you don’t see the savagery of an attacking shark, but then you’re not an octopus [or squid].


Ed Koren

April 19, 2023

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).


The tiger and his boytoy

February 8, 2023

… on the psychiatrist’s couch, in a 7/12/11 cartoon by Canadian cartoonist (illustrator, graphic novelist, and children’s book author) Dave Whamond:

(#1) A cartoon about cartoon characters (from Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson), with a character reversal — the tiger Hobbes is real, and the boy Calvin is his stuffed toy, though Hobbes fantasizes that the boy is real


The bearded cartoonist, post-simectomy

January 17, 2023

It begins with a Facebook posting by Bob Eckstein on 1/12:

BE: The Daily Cartoonist just ran this piece … and that is Sam Gross on the cover on the right:

(#1) The BE cartoon: a bearded fellow — I take him to be a cartoonist (since this is in The Daily Cartoonist) — in a hospital bed, post-simectory

Note simectory ‘the surgical removal of a simian’ — in this case not an actual simian, but the simulacrum of a monkey: a one-man-band-monkey toy. I hadn’t realized that such toys are still being made, but it seems that they are (classically they are wind-up metal — “tin” — toys, but now they appear to be battery-operated plastic, and considerably more durable than the vintage versions; I speak with recollected sorrow over the short life of my very own monkey-band toy, roughly 75 years ago).


In the realm of the footstools

December 1, 2022

🐇 🐇 🐇 the rabbits of December take us to the hidden spot in the tropical jungle where ottomans rule among the palm trees, as depicted in this John McPherson Close to Home cartoon of 2/14/15:

(#1) A pun on Ottoman Empire, the Turkish realm, and ottoman, a kind of footstool


A touching memorial

November 20, 2022

My life continues to be mostly absorbed by the Respiratory Virus and what I’ve come to call the Sleep Monster, which has had me knocked out for five hours of today already. Bits of my waking time have been taken up by useful domestic things, like replacing my dead slipper / moccasins and assembling a pleasing Thanksgiving meal for myself (a bowl of very eccentric but satisfying posole — pork, white hominy, red, with idiosyncratic embellishments).

Otherwise, I’ve been consumed by fits of red-hot rage combined with body-wracking weeping sorrow over the shootings at Club Q in Colorado Springs; I hope to be able to post on that subject soon, but not now. In any case, before this news came to me, today’s Zippy strip came in, with a touching (and characteristically funny) memorial by cartoonist Bill Griffith to his cartoonist wife, Diane Noomin, who died back in September and then was memorialized in a service  by a bunch of unruly friends back on the 10th.

This is way too brief, but it’s the best I can do before my day runs out.

Just to note that these people are of my generation: Griffith is 4 years younger than me, Noomin was 7 years younger. For comparison: I’m essentially the same age as Nancy Pelosi, Anthony Fauci, Joan Baez, and Bob Dylan, and only 2 years older than Joe Biden.