Monday, April 21, 2008

Bear in Mind...

Thanks to friend of a friend, I received this amazing image of a Frank Verbeck illustration of bears making a snowman courtesy of Fred Taraba of Taraba Illustration Art, LLC. I am grateful to Fred for sending this piece (sold years ago by The Illustration House). Fred's collection of fine illustrations include all the artists who persuaded me when I was a kid into the field of illustration...Bob Peak, Bernie Fuchs, etc...and Taraba Illustration sells their originals to the public. Frank Verbeck (1858-1933) was known for themes with bears. Below is my two cents (a cartoon I pitched to The New Yorker) and maybe the start of my own bear period.

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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

At the New Yorker

This morning my wife Tammy tried, with subtlety, to convince me not to go in the New Yorker today with the cartoons I just showed her. I worked all night long drawing them, 10 cartoons from a list of about 20 punch-lines I had previously thought up during the week. Some of the jokes like "Costume Designer's Cut" with a movie poster for Die Hard With Petticoats above went over like lead weight. She was just trying to protect me from what she saw was an obviously crash-and-burn scenario.

By the time I got the offices I convinced myself only to show the three I was confidant about ("What Jesus Would Have Done," "Quasimodo's Thought Process" while playing tennis, and a third equally funny (unfunny?) one I can't remember). The first person I ran into was cartoonist Sam Gross who asked to take a look (this would be reason alone to get there early in hopes of running into him for feedback - no one is better). I told me not to show "What Jesus Would Have Done" with the large banana being helicoptered to King Kong – "It's makes no sense...what does Christ have to do with the big monkey?" Well, not much. So I took it out, but realized I couldn't walk in with only three or four cartoons (you're supposed to have ten) so I went in with nine. Bob Mankoff had a long talk with me and said he felt the cartoons looked good and kept all but the aforementioned three I was going to initially show. Go figure.

We traded books and signed each others and now I wait for a phone call that they'll buy one of them hopefully.

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Friday, April 4, 2008

Media Day

The first item on board is book artist/wife Tamar Stone who has a small review in today's NY Times which is appearing in the NY Antiquarian Book show this weekend. She's a very talented artist who tells stories sewing words into fabric using beds, corsets and other unconventional materials. I'm currently negotiating with her for permission to buy a large HDTV.

Also in the news is Lenore Skenazy, NY Sun columnist, friend, fellow comedian and lately, media star, appearing on The Today Show, Brian Lehrer Show, and Parking With the Stars after running a piece about her letting her 9-year-old son take the subway alone. Click on both videos at that site – each are funny in their own way. It should be pointed before you pass judgment, that 9-year-old Izzy Skenazy is smarter than most children. He's currently building his own twin engine light aircraft to fly to Prague.

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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Illustration Show Not to Be Missed

Bruce McCall copyright © 2008

I just attended the opening reception for Bruce McCall's show at the James Goodman Gallery in New York City, a wonderful collection of paintings by, what I consider, one of this generations most important illustrators (incidentally, I consider Mr. McCall responsible for my start at the New Yorker due to a letter of encouragement he wrote me). A nice evening topped by meeting another hero of mine, cartoonist Roz Chast, who was extremely nice.

This is a must-see for any freelance illustrator wanting to one day make his mark. The show is open until April 21. Click above for where and when.

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