Thursday, February 23, 2017

James Stevenson: Morning Reprieve

The second original cartoon by the late James Stevenson (1929-2017) shown at the Westport Historical Society on April 25, 2014 during the exhibition "Cover Story: The New Yorker in Westport" presents a scene of uncertain domestic tranquility. Stevenson has placed the kitchen window in the center of the composition, allowing the couple to be backlit from opposite sides.

"Good morning, my dear. Could that look mean I'm not on your hit list?"
James Stevenson, original art, The New Yorker, July 20, 1981, page 29



"Good morning, my dear. Could that look mean I'm not on your hit list?"
James Stevenson, The New Yorker, July 20, 1981, page 29



Note:  With the passing of cartoonist James Stevenson (1929-2017), Attempted Bloggery would like to hear from anyone with original artwork, photos, or signed books that shed light on this essential New Yorker artist.

Quick Links to Attempted Bloggery's Archives
James Stevenson (1929-2017)
Original New Yorker Cartoon Art
Westport Historical Society

02109

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

James Stevenson's Windfall

Two original cartoons by the late James Stevenson (1929-2017) were shown at the Westport Historical Society on April 25, 2014 in conjunction with the exhibition "Cover Story: The New Yorker in Westport." The first refers to the Windfall Profits Tax which was enacted in 1980 but much discussed during the previous year as a result of the oil shock. This tax was a response to the abrupt spike in oil prices brought about by the OPEC oil embargo in 1979 and the resulting increase in revenues to oil producers. The idea was to collect more taxes from oil producers based on their supposed increased profits from the sale of crude oil. That idea from the Carter years is the basis for the corporate banter in Mr. Stevenson's original cartoon art. Note the atmospheric effect of the artist's delicate use of wash. The light source is on the right and behind the two main figures, an unusual choice which results in both men having their faces largely in shadow.

"I say 'Give me a windfall and I'll talk windfall tax.' What do you say, Harry?"
James Stevenson, original art, The New Yorker, May 28, 1979, page 29



"I say 'Give me a windfall and I'll talk windfall tax.' What do you say, Harry?"
James Stevenson, The New Yorker, May 28, 1979, page 29


Note:  With the passing of cartoonist James Stevenson (1929-2017), Attempted Bloggery would like to hear from anyone with original artwork, photos, or signed books that shed light on this essential New Yorker artist.

Quick Links to Attempted Bloggery's Taxing Archives
James Stevenson (1929-2017)
Original New Yorker Cartoon Art
Westport Historical Society

02108

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

James Stevenson at the Opera

In the setting of Verdi's Aida, the grandest of grand operas, the late James Stevenson proposed an age-old question about composition. In this cartoon rough, the particular opera can be readily identified from the inclusion of elephants in the grand pageant.

James Stevenson, "Which comes first—the music or the lyrics?"

eBay Listing Ended June 23, 2013
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Original-Signed-Captioned-James-Stevenson-New-Yorker-Cartoonist-Rough-Sketch-/271225281976?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f26495db8&nma=true&si=VJo29%252F7WbHpl1SY9gWmnl4%252FkT80%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

James Stevenson, "Which comes first—the music or the lyrics?"

The scene Mr. Stevenson has depicted is the Triumphal March from Verdi's Aida. The march, as it happens, is a second-act musical interlude with no lyrics. Once upon a time, it was performed by the Met with live elephants, but no longer:
Triumphal March from Aida by Giuseppi Verdi
The Metropolitan Opera, 1989


Mr. Stevenson's idea was very likely not sold to the New Yorker, but a related idea from cartoon editor Lee Lorenz was published:
Lee Lorenz, The New Yorker, June 2, 1975, page 45


Note:  With the passing of New Yorker cartoonist James Stevenson (1929-2017), Attempted Bloggery would like to hear from anyone with original drawings, photographs, or correspondence that shed light on this important cartoonist.

Quick Links to Attempted Bloggery's Triumphal Archives
James Stevenson (1929-2017)
Lee Lorenz
Cartoon Roughs
Giuseppe Verdi

02107

Monday, February 20, 2017

James Stevenson: Unease with the Office of the President

Original artwork for the July 8, 1961 New Yorker shows how the late James Stevenson (1929-2017) extensively reworked his gag in preparation for publication. We can see the meticulous cutting and pasting he did to get not only the image of the president playing paddle ball just right, but also the two gentlemen discussing their concern for him. This was in 1961. Today where could we find a president whose erratic behavior is perceived as cause for grave concern?

"Just between us, I'm beginning to feel uneasy with Blackwell at the helm"
James Stevenson, original art, The New Yorker, July 8, 1961, page 24
Detail with paste-ups

James Stevenson's signature








eBay Listing Ended March 28, 2013

eBay Item Description
http://www.ebay.com/itm/JAMES-STEVENSON-CARTOON-framed-B-W-1961-Storyboard-ORIGINAL-Signed-NEW-YORKER-/200908686568?_trksid=p2047675.l2557&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEWAX%3AIT&nma=true&si=VJo29%252F7WbHpl1SY9gWmnl4%252FkT80%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc


"Just between us, I'm beginning to feel uneasy with Blackwell at the helm"
James Stevenson, original art, The New Yorker, July 8, 1961, page 24



"Just between us, I'm beginning to feel uneasy with Blackwell at the helm"
James Stevenson, The New Yorker, July 8, 1961, page 24

"Just between us, I'm beginning to feel uneasy with Blackwell at the helm"
James Stevenson, The New Yorker, July 8, 1961, page 24


Note:  The world is just now absorbing the passing of New Yorker cartoonist James Stevenson (1929-2017). Attempted Bloggery would like to hear from anyone with original artwork, correspondence, or other mementos that shed light on this important cartoonist.

Quick Links to Attempted Bloggery's Archives
James Stevenson (1929-2017)
Original New Yorker Cartoon Art

My Entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #557

It's time to serve up my entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #557 for February 13, 2017. The drawing is by Harry Bliss.
"Wait a minute—like WHOSE mother used to make?"


Note:  Last time, cartoonist P. C. Vey cooked up a space opera. My caption couldn't fire its booster rockets, but you can stil launch into Contest #556.

The blog archives have yet more temptation from Harry Bliss.

Adam and Eve—we've seen them here before.

02105

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Barney Tobey: George Washington Stopped Here

An old cliche is that every place George Washington ever stayed or ate or slept had a sign commemorating that momentous event. Cartoonist Barney Tobey takes a look at whether such historical markers have much practical significance to the ordinary visitor. His cartoon was published in Collier's circa July 1940 according to a notation on the art and was anthologized the following year in Collier's Collects Its Wits. It was listed at eBay for $129 but it has some obvious condition issues. A potential buyer offered $40 and the seller countered with $49, the sale price. Tobey's handwritten caption appears on the original under the mat along with production markings.

Enjoy Presidents' Day weekend!


"I don't care if Washington did stop here—this steak is tough."
Barney Tobey, original art, Collier's, c. July 1940
Collier's Collects Its Wits, 1941

"I don't care if Washington did stop here—this steak is tough."
Barney Tobey, framed original art, Collier's, c. July 1940
Collier's Collects Its Wits, 1941

Barney Tobey's signature


















Note:  New Yorker cartoonist James Stevenson (1929-2017) has passed away. Old Attempted Bloggery posts that mention him may be seen here.

Quick Links to Attempted Bloggery's Archives
Barney Tobey
George Washington
Original Collier's Cartoon Art

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Edward Sorel: Presidential Portraits

Edward Sorel delivers the goods: caricatures of some Presidents who appear on American currency. That's a thoughtful George Washington from the one, Andrew Jackson from the twenty, and Abraham Lincoln from the five enjoying a jest with Washington. Happy Presidents' Day Weekend!

Edward Sorel, George Washington

Edward Sorel, Andrew Jackson

Edward Sorel, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln
Swann Galleries, January 22, 2015, Sale 2372, Lot 208
Hammer Price

Price with Buyer's Premium

Note:  New Yorker cartoonist James Stevenson (1929-2017) has passed away. Old Attempted Bloggery posts that mention him may be seen here.

Quick Links to Attempted Bloggery's Archives
Edward Sorel
George Washington
Abraham Lincoln

Friday, February 17, 2017

Richard Merkin: The New Yorker's 1993 Anniversary

The New Yorker's 1993 anniversary party was held on February 18th at the Manhattan Center on West 43rd St. Art for the invitation was commissioned from Richard Merkin, who imagined it as a festive 1920's affair. Merkin's original art showed up on eBay in 2015 and sold for a proverbial Tin Pan Alley song. As an aside, the eBay seller's name is not what they teach you in marketing school.




Richard Merkin, original art, The New Yorker 1993 anniversary party invitation

Richard Merkin's signature

Richard Merkin's signature

Richard Merkin's initials

EBay Listing Ended June 23, 2015

eBay Item Description

eBay Bid History
Two last-minute bids fail to win it.






Note:  Thanks to cartoonist, blogger, and Peter Arno biographer Michael Maslin for having the presence of mind to preserve his copy of the invitation to the 1993 anniversary party in his archive.


Quick Links to Attempted Bloggery's Archives
Richard Merkin
The New Yorker

02102