Showing posts with label Herblock. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Herblock. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Herblock's awards

A couple of weekends ago, I was lucky enough to spend some time at the Herb Block Foundation's offices. One room there is decorated with Herblock's awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Pulitzer Prize, the Reuben Award, the RFK Journalism Award, and others. Here's some pictures, and more are online here.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Herblock and Chast on YouTube

Courtesy of

Herblock: A Political Cartoonist - History, Cartoons, Civil Rights,
McCarthyism, Nixon
C-Span2's BookTV

Roz Chast "Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant"
Politics and Prose· May 20, 2014

New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast discusses her new book at Politics &
Prose in Washington, D.C. This event was recorded May 13, 2014.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Atlantic on Herblock

'This Shop Gives Every New President of the Unites States a Free Shave'

In 55 years as the Washington Post's editorial cartoonist, Herblock coined "McCarthyism," helped take down Nixon, and delivered pointed commentaries that remain relevant today.

Herblock in his office after winning his third Pulitzer Prize, in 1979. (Charles Tasnadi/Associated Press)

Friday, March 01, 2013

More cartoons on view at Library of Congress

Continuing our recent survey of the Library of Congress' cartoons on exhibit - the Civil War in America show has at least three cartoons in it. Although they appear to our eyes as political cartoons, these were published as stand-alone prints that one would buy to admire and look at frequently - almost the television of their day. Go see them in person to get a better view than these pictures taken without a flash.




In the Words Like Sapphires: 100 Years of Hebraica at the Library of Congress, 1912–2012 exhibit, there's two original paintings by Arthur Szyk for playing cards.



Down to Earth: Herblock and Photographers Observe the Environment is only open for three more weeks.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Cartoons to see in the L.o.C.

The Library of Congress has several cartoon and comics exhibits up now.  Here's a quick overview.

101_5203 District Comics at LOC

You can buy District Comics in their gift shop in the Jefferson Building. My story on the Army Medical Museum is around page 90, wink, wink.


Also in the Jefferson Building for another month is  "Down to Earth: Herblock and Photographers Observe the Environment" curated by Carol Johnson and Sara Duke. Carol's the photograph curator, Sara the Herblock one. I thought this was an excellent exhibit. The photographs and the cartoons really complemented each other, and the unlikely pairing made for a stronger exhibit than either alone would have.





There's a small brochure for the exhibit, although you have to get it at the Madison Building's Prints & Photographs department.

At the same location is "Herblock Looks at 1962: Fifty Years Ago in Editorial Cartoons," an exhibit curated by Sara Duke. This smaller exhibit focuses on President Kennedy.



Obviously Sara made curatorial choices to influence this in both exhibits, but it's still depressing how relevant 50-year-old cartoons are:


The third exhibit is a small one on comic books featuring Presidents that Megan Halsband did in the Serials Department (in the Madison Building) for President's Day. The majority of these comics are from Bluewater's current biographical series, but she did find an issue of Action Comics that I don't remember seeing.





The Prints & Photographs division showed off its new acquisitions this week. Sara Duke showed some original comic book and strip artwork:


A piece by Keith Knight, and two pages from Jim Rugg's anthology. They collected the entire book except for the centerfold. Not shown is...


Above are voting rights prints by Lalo Alcaraz, possibly selected by Helena Zinkham.

Martha Kennedy had some great acquistions this year, including works by James Flora, editorial cartoonist Signe Wilkinson, Garry "Doonesbury" Trudeau, and Charles Vess' entire book of Ballads and Sagas:

101_5171 Flora



101_5166 Vess

This artwork isn't on exhibit, but you can make an appointment to view it.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Bill Day on Herblock and his tribute cartoon

A guest post by the excellent cartoonist Bill Day on the great Herblock, after I saw yesterday's cartoon online and asked him about it...

Discovering Herblock is a transcendent moment in my early awareness as both a cartoonist and a young southerner coming of age in the segregated South. At around 8 or 9 years old in the late 50's, I became very aware of the inequality of my region, trying to comprehend why America would talk about freedom and then not allow it. The water fountains, the separate entrances, the back of buses, the separate schools, and the unpaved roads in 'Goldboro', the black section of town. I saw all of that clearly and looked for understanding from my parents, who while loving and kind, failed it support my opinions. There seemed to be no one who would support me.

   I was beginning to really like cartooning and found a Herblock cartoon as an example of 'editorial cartoons' in the World Book Encyclopedia. It was "Fire!" It was the first editorial cartoon I had ever seen and it opened up my world. I started looking for them in newspapers in my home town library where there were many out of state newspapers. There I discovered Mauldin, Haynie, Conrad,  and many others. As the civil rights movement started to shake the foundation of the deep south, I would go to the library and see what these cartoon heroes of mine would draw to explain the events unfolding. Herblock was my very favorite and I followed him closely. My interest in the newspaper section at the library began to be noticed by the chief librarian. I was about 12 years old by then and it was unusual for a boy my age to be spending so much time there. I was also naive about her interest in me. One day she came over and asked what had my intense interest. I gladly showed her the Herblock cartoon and spoke so admiringly about him. She was not happy about it.

    Several weeks later I went to the library to catch up on my cartoon education. I looked everywhere for the Washington Post, but I couldn't find it anywhere. I went up to the counter and asked where it might be and the librarian told me that the subscription had been canceled. I asked why, and she told me that she was not going to have the youth of her town corrupted by such Communist propaganda! I was absolutely crushed.

    Of course, it was too late. I was already corrupted by the education I had learned from Herb, and her action only reinforced my understanding of the events rocking the South. The door had been opened.

   In 1974 I made a trip to Washington and met Herb. He was so wonderful to me. The nicest, sweetest guy I have ever met. We stayed in touch for years after that. Herb would send me clippings of the cartoons he saw of mine when they popped up in Newsweek or the New York Times. It was always a thrill to get a letter from him. He was following me as I had followed him for all those years. It hurt so much when Herb died and I was depressed about it for a very long time. I loved him.

I debated with myself about whether to do a 'takeoff' of Herb's famous cartoon. I finally decided that Herb would have liked it, since he was a dear friend of mine. I reversed the water bucket with the fire, making it different enough. I hope Herb is smiling now. He is such a hero to me. -- Bill Day

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Cruse's Stuck Rubber Baby reissue reviewed by Post

I haven't read this since the first edition came out, but I recall liking it quite a bit.

Howard Cruse's graphic novel "Stuck Rubber Baby," reviewed by Dennis Drabelle
By Dennis Drabelle
Washington Post August 21, 2010; C03

and here's a general who likes to use cartoons in his briefings. Herblock and Daryl Cagle are namechecked.

New intelligence chief Clapper brings sense of humor to serious job
By Ellen Nakashima
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, August 21, 2010; A03

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Host your own Herblock exhibit

from a posting on the Museum-L listserve

Herblock’s Political Cartoon Panel Exhibitions
Available for use in classrooms, museums, libraries, and organizations.

The Herb Block Foundation presents four panel exhibitions displaying reproductions of the work of legendary Washington Post editorial cartoonist Herbert Block, famously known as “Herblock.”

The goal of these exhibitions is to promote Herblock’s efforts to defend the rights and freedoms of Americans through his political cartoons. Prepared by Curator Harry L. Katz, these exhibitions can be used for teaching or promoting the American topics that reflect Herblock’s passions- Education, Democracy, Civil Rights and the Presidency. Together all four present a fascinating history of Herblock’s 72 year career.

No rental fee is required- only the shipping fees via Fedex or UPS are charged. The panels come in cases that are easy to move, set up and store.

A seven minute DVD, Herblock: The Man Behind the Cartoons and illustrated brochures come with the exhibitions.

For information on scheduling visit or email

Monday, May 17, 2010

Joe Azar's Herblock award photos

Cartoonist Joe Azar sent these pictures of Matt Wuerker's Herblock award dinner over to me last month.

Herblock award winner Matt Wuerker's cartoons on display in the Library of Congress.

Wuerker surrounded by admirers.

Joe Sutliff, Nick G's date, Nick Galifianakis, Matt Wuerker and the previous year's winner Pat Bagley.

ComicsDC blogger Mike Rhode, apparently wondering what kind of seafood he just accidentally ingested.

Nick Galifianakis napping on Mike Rhode's shoulder as the speeches continued into the buffet.

Kevin Rechin may be getting ideas...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Wuerker's Herblock award - Cavna makes his attendance tax-deductible

I'll have my own post up eventually, with photos from Joe Azar, but here's Michael's take on the evening -

Politico's MATT WUERKER accepts the Herblock Prize
By Michael Cavna
Washington Post's Comic Riffs blog April 16, 2010

He also talked to Steve Breen and Jen Sorenson about their recent awards -
Fischetti-winning Steve Breen: Awards 'mean more than ever' in tough times
By Michael Cavna, April 17, 2010

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tomorrow: Warren Bernard lecture on Herblock at LoC

Independent scholar Warren Bernard returns to the Library of Congress on Wednesday, March 31, to give a talk in conjunction with the Herblock! exhibition, "Declaration of Independence: Herblock: His Foes and His Editors". This event will take place in Dining Room A located on the 6th Floor of the Madison Building at noon.

Monday, March 15, 2010

March 31: Herblock lecture by Warren Bernard

Warren writes in,

This time, I am going to lecture on his editorial independence, and get into a few battles he had with his editors. This will include showing the cartoons that even the Washington Post did not run (though indeed his syndicated papers did run them) when Herblock and the then-editor of the Post, Phil Graham went head to head. This was not the first time Herblock battled his editors; we will also get into a large battle he had prior to his coming to the Post He was an ardent anti-isolationist, much to the chagrin of the isolationist syndicate he worked for.

We will get into all of this, and show cartoons galore!!

Here are the details, hope to see you!!!

Date: Wednesday March 31

Time: Noon (that 12:00PM...)

Place: Madison Building, Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave Washington, DC

Room: Dining Room A, 6th Floor

Metro: Capitol South exit, Blue or Orange Line

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Herblock! exhibit gallery talks schedule

In conjunction with exhibition Herblock! in Library of Congress' Thomas Jefferson Building:

Gallery Talks, noon-12:30 p.m.

Wednesday, February 10  
Holly Krueger will discuss the Conservation of the Herbert L. Block Collection
Herblock! exhibition, 2nd Floor, South Gallery, Jefferson Building
Wednesday, February 17    
Sara Duke and Martha Kennedy, co-curators of the Herblock! exhibition will lead a tour of the "Reagan" and "Clinton/Bush" sections
Herblock! exhibition, 2nd Floor, South Gallery, Jefferson Building
Wednesday, March 24     
Sara Duke and Martha Kennedy, co-curators of the Herblock! exhibition will lead a tour of the special  "Classic Cartoons" section
Herblock! exhibition, 2nd Floor, South Gallery, Jefferson Building

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Boy, that Herblock was clever

Actually, this is a nice appreciation of the new Herblock book - Iconography • When Newspapers Were Newspapers, Robert Birnbaum, Our Man in Boston: A Book Blog January 7, 2010.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Herblock! exhibit review

Another one for the International J of Comic Art that you're getting to see first...

Herblock! Sara Duke, Martha Kennedy and Cynthia Wayne. Washington, DC: Library of Congress, October 13, 2009-May 1, 2010.

By the terms of Herbert “Herblock” Block’s will, the Library of Congress must mount an exhibit of his work every three years. In spite of Block’s staggering 72-year long professional career and four Pulitzer Prizes, this reviewer begins to feel a bit jaded. Fortunately, this is an excellent exhibition that is well worth seeing and is accompanied by an excellent companion book, Herblock by Haynes Johnson and Harry Katz (New York, Norton, 2009) that also has a cd of 18,000 of Block’s cartoons (produced by Warren Bernard). The occasion for the large scale of these events was Herblock’s 100th birthday.

The exhibit is in a new gallery, created recently from a reading room, and to get to it, one has to walk through a recreation of Thomas Jefferson’s library – a highlight for any book lover. The curators (who are my friends) cleverly chose 82 original drawings that have not bee on display before. These are out of the 14,460 cartoons and 250,000 roughs he left to the library. They also added the twelve books of his cartoons that Block published in his lifetime. These copies, unlike the ones originally added to the Library, have their dustjackets because they are a recent donation to the Prints and Photographs division from the Herb Block Foundation.

The exhibit opens with a prĂ©cis of who Block was and includes some of his iconic images such as the footsteps leading from the Watergate break-in to Nixon’s White House. “The Approaching Perils” covers his early years. One can see Block’s early typical Midwestern cartoonist style using pen and ink – a style that is unrecognizable to us as Herblock. This style soon gives way to his familiar use of heavy crayon or graphite lines. Some notable works were “Winged Victory” (1938) in which he quoted the sculpture from Samothrace, and “What ‘Peace Now’ Would Mean” (1940) in which he showed Hitler armed with a machine gun and sitting on the globe.

Other sections were “Psychopathic Ward” on the Depression, fascism and World War II, “White is Black, Black is White, Night is Day—“ on the Cold War, “Naughty, Naughty” on McCarthyism, “Everything’s [Not] Okay” on the 1960s, “Here He Comes Now” on Richard Nixon, “It Gets Into Everything” on the 1970s and terrorism, “Joy to the World” on Ronald Reagan, “Closing Years, Contrasting Styles of Leadership” on Clinton and the elder George Bush, and “Classic Cartoons by a Master” to catch anything that might have been missed.

One could easily select favorite drawings from each section – my notebook is full of notations such as “Man’s Reach” (1968) in which he drew, apropos of Apollo 8, a white hand with its finger and thumb meeting to encircle the moon on top of a black layer covering most of the paper. By the end of his life, and thus the end of the exhibit, Block’s ability was slipping somewhat and the images are covered with Avery labels and ink redrawings. “Creationism or Evolution – That’s Up to the States” has Bush’s head reworked and pasted on, but the final image in print would have looked fine.

During the press tour Harry Katz noted that in the future “you’re not going to see cartoons on the wall – newspapers are changing” and “With Herblock missing, we need to get the voice of the cartoonist out there and revitalizing the art form” – two sentiments that most readers of IJOCA (and this blog!) can agree with and hope for the best.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Ok, back to work

The Post ran its full page 'The Year in Cartoons' today. A 1958 Herblock Santa cartoon is rerun on the next page. The Year according to Toles runs on Sunday. In the Style section, there's a bunch of cartoons by Tim Bower for the holiday memories section.

This week's Onion has a Christmas maze which appears to be illustrated by Emily Flake, although it's uncredited. She also had a spot illo in the Dec 24 NY Times editorial page.