Sunday, May 20, 2018

MoCCA Fest 2018

This past April 7th I eagerly returned to Metropolitan West for MoCCA Fest 2018, the annual independent comics festival conceived by the defunct Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art and now under the auspices of the Society of Illustrators. The Society does an absolutely outstanding job, frankly. I missed last year's festival and have not been able to forgive myself, so I made sure to attend this go-round and to allow myself some more time than I had two years ago when I last visited, albeit too briefly.

Naturally no comics convention anywhere is devoted to the kind of art I follow and strive to promote here on the blog, but that's not really a surprise, is it? Comics conventions, as I understand them, seem to be overrun with superheroes and celebrities as the entire industry gets subsumed by giant Hollywood studios. What I like about MoCCA Fest is that the creative artists, known and more commonly unknown, are front and center. The world of independent comics is likely to remain mostly off my personal radar, but I can enjoy the energy and enthusiasm that is everywhere at this festival even as I concentrate on the very specific art I am passionate about.

I researched my visit well this year and therefore knew in advance there would be plenty on tap to tempt me. I resolved to narrow my focus slightly and avoid those books with signed bookplates that are becoming more and more a staple in particular at the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund's table. There, when I encountered a volume by Seth calling out to me with a signed bookplate, I was ready to move on instantly despite my great admiration for the artist and anything he puts his hand to. Instead I would focus on getting books signed and personalized—preferably with small drawings—by the growing number of artists and authors whose work I devotedly follow.

Despite my strategic planning, I didn't really foresee the difficulty I'd have carrying around my haul. I therefore improvised and treated myself to a Society of Illustrators tote bag which I thought was pretty snazzy although it still wasn't big enough to carry everything I wanted. (For that I might need a rucksack.) Next year's organizational challenge for me will be to see whether I can find the tote in time for MoCCA Fest 2019.


JooHee Yoon
MoCCA Fest 2018

JooHee Yoon
MoCCA Fest 2018 program

Society of Illustrators tote bag, $12


Note:  Rest assured my trove of loot from MoCCA Fest 2018 will be presented here over the course of the coming week.


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Seth

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Saturday, May 19, 2018

Mischa Richter: The Ugly Aristocracy

The New Masses was ever eager to deflate the pretensions of aristocracy. On the other hand, the Marxist publication was presumably silent on the killings and other abuses committed by Joseph Stalin. A cartoon from 1938 by Mischa Richter follows the Marxist's magazine's predilection for criticizing all things czarist while throwing in a rebuff of Franco for good measure. The artist quietly asserts his left-wing credentials by unobtrusively appending his union membership to the signature.


"Ex-Prince Mikhail of Russia, meet Duke Alonzo of Spain if Franco wins."
Mischa Richter

Original art
New Masses, [1938], page 22

"Ex-Prince Mikhail of Russia, meet Duke Alonzo of Spain if Franco wins."
Mischa Richter

New Masses, [1938], page 22
Mischa Richter
eBay Listing Ended April 26, 2018



Mischa Richter
eBay Item Description


Mischa Richter
eBay Bid History
There are nine bids, but each of the three serious bids is placed in the final six seconds.




Note:  In which 1938 issue of New Masses did this drawing appear? Can you provide us with a little research, Comrade?

Attempted Bloggery seeks scans and photographs of original published and unpublished artwork by Mischa Richter (1910-2001) and other New Yorker artists.


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Mischa Richter

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Friday, May 18, 2018

Mischa Richter: Lecturing Tojo

Mischa Richter's political cartoon of Hitler lecturing Tojo over the progress of the Sino-Japanese War may be dated to c. 1939-1940, as conjectured fairly convincingly by the recent eBay seller of this drawing. The cartoon may very well have been published in the New Masses, a prominent American Marxist magazine. New Masses was critical of just about every tyrant—save Stalin—but the magazine may have been going easy here on Hitler too in the wake of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of 1939 which guaranteed nonaggression between Germany and Russia. Hence Hitler appears as a benign figure in this cartoon. In the moral calculus of American Marxism, Germany's neutrality pact with Stalin outweighed consideration of all Nazi atrocities.

Mischa Richter
Original art
New Masses?, c. 1939-1940







Mischa Richter
eBay Listing Ended April 24, 2018



Mischa Richter
eBay Item Description




Note:  Was this drawing indeed published in the New Masses? If so, in what issue and on what page? What is the context? Is there a title or caption? Readers in possession of documentary evidence of publication should send it this way. I'll be waiting.

Attempted Bloggery seeks scans and photographs of original published and unpublished artwork by Mischa Richter (1910-2001) and by other New Yorker artists.


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Mischa Richter

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Thursday, May 17, 2018

So this is Newark!—Leo Cullum and John Jonik Get Around

Luggage labels are those old-time status symbols that show where we've traveled and to what sort of sophistication we aspire. A greeting card by cartoonist Leo Cullum pokes fun at travelers' pretensions by displaying baggage labels from various cities in the State of—wait for it—New Jersey.


So this is Newark!
Leo Cullum
 Nobleworks greeting card


http://www.ebay.com/itm/Newark-Funny-Leo-Cullum-Congratulations-Card-Greeting-Card-by-Nobleworks-/281251662352?hash=item417be7ca10:g:qe0AAOxy63FS4XcG


Incidentally, cartoonist Leo Cullum was born in Newark. He worked as a commercial airline pilot who would have been quite familiar with what is today Newark Liberty International Airport.

With a premise similar to that of Mr. Cullum's greeting card, John Jonik's original New Yorker cartoon art makes a mockery of luggage labels from Newark, Jersey City, and Hoboken, but it also teases similar parts of the Tri-State Area which popular opinion deems less-than-swanky.

John Jonik
Original art
The New Yorker, 
April 12, 1976, page 123

John Jonik
The New Yorker, April 12, 1976, page 123

Drawing by John Jonik


The original art by John Jonik was sold at Swann Auction Galleries in 2016 along with two other drawings of his that were also published in the New Yorker.
John Jonik (3)
Swann Galleries
Illustration Art
September 29, 2016
Sale 2423, Lot 83
Hammer Price



John Jonik
Swann Galleries
Illustration Art
September 29, 2016
Sale 2423, Lot 83

With Buyer's Premium



Here then are John Jonik's two other New Yorker drawings from the 2016 Swann Galleries sale, not that you asked. The first, from 1993, makes mention of that crotchety political type, the disgruntled Republican. Today in 2018, with Republican's wielding effective control over the White House, both houses of Congress, and current appointments to the Judiciary, this raises a timely question with surprising possibilities: Are Republicans still disgruntled?
"How much longer, roughly, will you be introducing
me as 'a disgruntled Republican'?"

John Jonik
Original art
The New Yorker, April 12, 1993, page 83

"How much longer, roughly, will you be introducing me as 'a disgruntled Republican'?"
John Jonik
The New Yorker, April 12, 1993, page 83
Drawings by Charles Barsotti and John Jonik







The third and final cartooon asks whether there is anywhere we can't use a really good laugh?
"But, seriously...."

Published as "But, seriously..."

John Jonik

Original art

The New Yorker, May 13, 1996, page 60

"But, seriously..."
John Jonik
The New Yorker, May 13, 1996, page 60

Drawing by John Jonik


Note:  Attempted Bloggery seeks scans and photographs of original published and unpublished artwork by Leo Cullum (1942-2010), John Jonik (b. 1942) and other New Yorker artists. This post is the first appearance of cartoonist John Jonik here on the blog. So this is success?

I don't know the publication date for the Nobleworks greeting card by Leo Cullum. Anyone? I certainly don't pretend to know which of the two Newark luggage gags was published first and I don't intend the order in which I presented them to suggest it was Cullum's. I also don't mean to imply that either of these cartoonists might have copied the other.


My fussing over the caption change in the funeral cartoon is based on a real style issue. If an ellipsis comes at the end of a sentence or phrase, shouldn't it therefore take a fourth ellipsis point?


While we're talking style, which is the correct punctuation: " ... 'a disgruntled Republican'?" or " ... 'a disgruntled Republican?'" Is it correct to have the question mark divide the closing quotation marks, or is that just a quirk of the New Yorker's style?


Do you see what I did there? Should one capitalize the word The in the middle of a sentence? Is it The New Yorker or the New Yorker? I usually choose not to capitalize, but I admit there are still times when I do.



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Leo Cullum

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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Mischa Richter: Elevator Travel

No caption is needed for Mischa Richter's gag cartoon of a well-traveled elevator rider that appeared in the December 1, 1986 issue of the New Yorker. The original art was sold two weeks ago on eBay for less than the price of many a business lunch. Why so little for such a unique published gag? (Yes, all published gags are more or less unique, but still why so little appreciation by the market?)

Mischa Richter
Original art
The New Yorker, December 1, 1986, page 115




Mischa Richter
eBay Listing Ended May 3, 2018


Mischa Richter
eBay Item Description

Mischa Richter
eBay Bid History
The last bid from the most experienced bidder wins it two seconds before the auction closes.



Mischa Richter
The New Yorker, December 1, 1986, page 115
Mischa Richter
Original art
The New Yorker, December 1, 1986, page 115

Drawing by Mischa Richter
http://archives.newyorker.com/?i=1986-12-01#folio=114


Note:  Attempted Bloggery seeks scans and photographs of original published and unpublished artwork by Mischa Richter (1910-2001) and other New Yorker artists.


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Mischa Richter

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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Rye Arts Center Caption Contest

I am quite at home in the world of the arts and even in the world of the sciences, but in the world of politics I cannot be said to tread lightly. Now recall if you will that today nearly every arts institution in the country is significantly underfunded, and it should be obvious that it would not be politically savvy of me or indeed of anyone to enter a promotional cartoon caption contest sponsored by a leading arts center with a joke poking fun at every art institution's Achilles heel: its finances.

Yet witness what I blundered into in the recent Rye Arts Center Caption Contest. The drawing is by Benjamin Schwartz, himself a man of the arts and of medicine, and, for all I know, of shrewd and cunning politics as well. The caption contest was judged by Dr. Schwartz, by New Yorker cartoonist Emily Flake, and by former New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff, each of whom contributed original work to the current exhibition. The winning caption has been on display at the Rye Arts Center gracing the original artwork since the opening on April 28. "Turn the Page: The Evolution of Cartoon and Comic Art" will remain on view at the Rye Arts Center through Saturday, June 9.
"I sense there's a fund drive coming."



Did I really submit that? Say it isn't so! These captions, on the other hand, just weren't artsy enough:
"I knew I forgot something."
"Quick, hand me a Sharpie!"
"It takes me back to the refrigerator door I had as a child."
"It's more fun to be a critic."

"I just don't get it."
"It was all I could come up with."
"The curators are getting lazy."



Note:  Those who find themselves seeking artistic fulfillment in Westchester might greatly oblige me by stopping in at the Rye Arts Center prior to June 9 and snapping a photo of the winning caption (which should now be permanently appended to the original cartoon). Help me to report the outcome of this contest to my readership and to protect it from the sort of political bumbling some of us—ahem!—might otherwise be prone to. 


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Monday, May 14, 2018

My Entry in The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #616

Gather round the water cooler for my entry in The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #616 for May 14, 2018. The drawing is by P. C. Vey.

"First do me a favor and check where
Ned has his hand."


These caption did not speak in their own voice:
"I'm downsizing everyone!"
"If you can't make out the words, just read my lips."



Note:  Last week, cartoonist Drew Dernavich took us fishing. Somehow my caption was left hanging from a chandelier. Reel in Contest #615.

Word around the office is that P. C. Vey is no dummy.


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