Showing posts with label editorial cartoons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label editorial cartoons. Show all posts

Monday, September 25, 2017

Catching up with conservative cartoonist Al Goodwyn

by Mike Rhode
It's been 6 years since I interviewed you for the Washington City Paper - The world's changed a bit since then - have you?
Other than grayer hair and higher cholesterol, I haven't changed much.  Still enjoying life in DC.  And you're right, the world has certainly changed, some for the good and some for the bizarre.  What's also bizarre is that the good and bizarre labels seem to flip depending on individual political perspectives.
About six months ago you started a cartoon blog with Jeff Newman where you provide conservative political cartoons and he does humorous commentary on public events.  Can you tell us how that started, and why you're doing it? How is the reaction?
I had been wanting to try my hand at blogging for some time.  Given that the first steps at blogging aren't really part of the creative process, but include figuring out the mechanics of blogging, the layout, and all of the key strokes needed just to get started, it stayed on the back burner for years.  Jeff's a good friend of mine back in South Carolina and we chat often about politics.  He was actually the push to make the blog finally happen. 
It was over a few beers with Jeff that the topic of blogging resurfaced.  We convinced ourselves we could manage a blog.  Isn't beer amazing?  We wanted the theme to somehow counter the growing number of people who get their news from Comedy Central and memes.  We were both a fan of the book Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole where people seemingly amassed in a confederacy to stymie the protagonist's every move.  From our prospective those who simply latch on to whatever fits their world view without validation from other sources were acting like drones, hence Confederacy ofDrones was launched. 
With lots of snarkiness, satire and sarcasm, we've been posting on a fairly routine basis since then.  Part for fun and part for sanity.  We've loaded over 150 posts so far. We even appreciate other perspectives and disagreement especially when opinions are backed up by facts. The blog can be found here: https://confederacyofdrones.com/.  The reaction has been positive and we've enjoyed engaging with other bloggers on politics.
You've been picked up to do print cartoons for the Washington Examiner, which was Nate Beeler's home when it was a daily. What is the story behind that? Is it all new material for them?
Nate is a phenomenal editorial cartoonist.  His work was a part of my metro commute when the Washington Examiner was a daily newspaper.  I was sorry to see that daily paper go away, partly because it changed my commute routine but mostly because it was another step in the fading of political cartoonists.  Nate has been, and I'm sure he'll continue to be, used by the Washington Examiner through syndication. 
My involvement with the Washington Examiner came about because my cartooning outlet of 28 years, the HealthPhysics News, was cutting back on costs and no longer wanted cartoons.  My start at cartooning began with them back in 1989 when they were called the Health Physics Society Newsletter and ever since then I had been a regular contributor … until this summer when they let me know that they would no longer be running cartoons.  I think they felt worse about it than I did.  It's a business decision that I completely understood.  They had been great to me over those many years and without them, it's possible I may never have tried my hand at cartooning.   
Since one door closed, I was in search of another.  The Washington Examiner, now a weekly news magazine, has its offices near mine in downtown DC.  I made contact with several people there and after they looked at some of my work, we met in person.  They were encouraging during that meeting and indicated that they'd like to occasionally use my work.  The first was in the September 18th issue. 
How does it feel to have a 'reinvigorated' political cartoon career as a conservative in 2017? 

It's great to have an outlet whether it's the blog or in print.  There's so much going on and so many opportunities to identify contrary opinions to what's happening in politics and society, that there's plenty of motivating material for cartoons. 

Even though I lean to the right and most of my cartoons have a conservative tilt, I still poke at Republicans and President Trump.  Of course many would say, and I'd agree, that those are easy targets based on recent missteps and gaffs.  Fortunately as far as US presidents are concerned, we don't elect them for life.  Unfortunately, in the absence of term limits for congress, the country has moved too far away from the citizen politician and more toward entrenched career politicians.  You'd think with the level of political fodder available today for lampooning that the world of political cartoons would be a thriving industry.  Maybe, again, some day.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

New caricature coasters at the Hay-Adams

20170901_181820
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg of the Supreme court in a caricature drawn by Ann Telnaes on a coaster from the Hay-Adams' Off the Record bar.

20170901_181759

Kim Jong-Un by Matt Wuerker and Angela Merkel by Kal.

20170901_181807
Mitch McConnell (from 2014) by Kal and Vladimir Putin by Matt Wuerker.



Friday, April 07, 2017

Ralph Baden - An Artomatic Interview

by Mike Rhode

Ralph Baden's work at Artomatic was quite a surprise as it's often NSFW, or families. The centerpiece of his exhibit is a large painting of a man with an erect penis and a caption that wouldn't make it through many Internet filters. We reached out to him to ask our usual questions, some of which are less relevant to a painter than a cartoonist, and he gamely answered them.

What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?

Large scale political satire and comical oil paintings.


How do you do it? Traditional pen and ink, computer or a combination?

Oil painting on canvas.

20170325_174244

When (within a decade is fine) and where were you born?

1960's Maryland.


What neighborhood or area do you live in?

Baltimore.

What is your training and/or education in cartooning?

The Corcoran School of Art


Who are your influences?

I'm doing pretty original stuff. Nobody takes oil painting and makes the most vulgar painting -- except maybe the old Dutch masters -- paintings where people got drunk in the streets -- they were funny.

If you could, what in your career would you do-over or change?

To do it over I'd have to have a career- but I would have gone twice as loud, twice as big and twice as early.


What work are you best-known for?

Nobody knows of me -- I'm amazed you contacted me.


20170325_174250

What work are you most proud of?

 In 2016, being expelled from 2 un-juried shows with 2 completely different bodies of work -- also not being allowed to sell at a farmers market under the freeway by the prison in Baltimore because my work wasn't family friendly... and also not being accepted into The Bromo Seltzer building because my work was considered"too unique".


What would you like to do or work on in the future?

Bigger larger scales. I would like to have a room full of people laughing at my work at The Met or The MOMA


What do you do when you're in a rut or have writer's block?

Stare at a light bulb.


What do you think will be the future of your field?

Trash can, dumpster, landfill.

What monument or museum do like to take visitors to?

The Phillips -- I love to go sit in the Mark Rothko meditation room and wonder why.

How about a favorite local restaurant?

Mangialardo's

Do you have a website or blog?

www.ralphbaden.com

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Angelo Lopez wins cartooning award in the Annual Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards

Selections from the press release:

Cartoon Winner
"Editorial Cartoons," Angelo Lopez, Philippines Today

"Throughout his life, my father held a deep commitment to freedom of expression and freedom of the press." Observed Kerry Kennedy, President, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights "He would invite reporters and news crews to join him in the most impoverished city neighborhoods, to Indian reservations and communities in Appalachia, California's Central Valley or rural Indiana—places that often lacked electricity and plumbing—and he would ask the press corps why it wasn't covering those issues and these places. The Journalists who followed his '68 campaign created the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards in his name, to honor those who covered the issues most important to him."

This year's Book and Journalism Award winners were chosen from out of more than 300 submissions. Historian Michael Beschloss chaired the judges' panel for the 2016 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award.

The book award, now in its 36th year, will be presented by Mrs. Robert F. Kennedy at a ceremony featuring remarks by Kerry Kennedy and Michael Beschloss on Wednesday, May 25, 2016, at 6:30 p.m. at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

The ceremony will also feature the presentation of the 2016 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards, celebrating their 48th year. All honorees will receive a bust of Robert F. Kennedy in recognition of their award.

(as in the past few years, ComicsDC editor Mike Rhode was one of the judges)

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

PR: Winner of the 2016 Herblock Prize is Mark Fiore

[corrected 2nd paragraph]

For Immediate Release

WASHINGTON, DC, Wednesday, February 24th, 2016 – Mark Fiore has been named the winner of the 2016 Herblock Prize for editorial cartooning. Fiore is the first to win the Prize with all animated cartoon entries.

Mark Fiore, who the Wall Street Journal has called “the undisputed guru of the form,” creates animated political cartoons in San Francisco, one of the most fertile regions for creating political animation and cartoons. His work has appeared on the San Francisco Chronicle’s web site, Newsweek.com, Slate.com, CBSNews.com, MotherJones.com, NPR’s web site and is currently being featured on online news sites ranging from KQED and Truthdig.com to The Progressive and DailyKos.com. Fiore’s political animation has been featured on CNN, Frontline, BillMoyers.com, Salon.com and cable and broadcast outlets across the globe.

Beginning his professional life by drawing traditional political cartoons for newspapers, Fiore's work appeared in publications ranging from The Washington Post to the Los Angeles Times. In the late 1990s, he began to experiment with animating political cartoons and, after a short stint at the San Jose Mercury News as their staff cartoonist, Fiore devoted all his energies to animation.

Mark Fiore was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for political cartooning in 2010, a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award in 2004 and has twice received an Online Journalism Award for commentary from the Online News Association (2002, 2008). Fiore has received two awards for his work in new media from the National Cartoonists Society (2001, 2002), and in 2006 received The James Madison Freedom of Information Award from The Society of Professional Journalists.

The Herblock Prize is awarded annually by The Herb Block Foundation for "distinguished examples of editorial cartooning that exemplify the courageous independent standard set by Herblock." The winner receives a $15,000 after-tax cash prize and a sterling silver Tiffany trophy. Mark Fiore will receive the Prize on May 24th in a ceremony held at the Library of Congress. Mark Shields, a nationally known political analyst, columnist and commentator, will deliver the annual Herblock Lecture at the awards ceremony.

Judges for this year's contest were Kevin Kallaugher (KAL), editorial cartoonist for The Baltimore Sun and The Economist, winner of the 2015 Herblock Prize; Michael Rhode, archivist and author, commentator on comics for the Washington City Paper and creator of the ComicsDC blog; and Peter Kuper, alternative cartoonist and illustrator best known for his autobiographical, political, and social observations is also a visiting professor at Harvard University.

Judge Kevin Kallaugher (Kal) commented, "Mark Fiore's entry contained an engaging and powerful collection of visual commentaries.  Fiore demonstrated a great use of parody, adept writing, great visualizations and solid journalism to deliver thought provoking editorials. Like a good Herblock cartoon, Mark's work displayed a consistent and determined passion to fight against societies' ills and absurdities. It is his skilled and masterful cartoon craftsmanship steeped with determined political convictions that make Fiore's animations worthy of the Herblock Prize."

Peter Kuper added, "From the numerous high quality entries to this year's Herblock Foundation award, Mark Fiore's animation entry rose to the top. Not because it was animated, but rather because he demonstrated a consistently strong handle on his subject matter with an ability to convey complex topics with great humor, rage and irony. Fiore produced a powerful body of work that addresses a range of current events and brilliantly serves them up with a smile and a kick in the gut, heart, and other body parts. His work honors the legacy of Herblock and expands the form."

This year's finalist is Ruben Bolling, pen name for Ken Fisher. He is the author of the weekly comic strip "Tom the Dancing Bug" and will receive a $5,000 after-tax cash prize.  Judge Peter Kuper stated "For decades Ruben Bolling has consistently produced full page comics that find new angles of attack on familiar subjects. With subtlety, yet tremendous humor, he constructs each comic without any wasted space to build to surprising conclusions. Many of his strips take on several topics at the same time and over the years he has honed his art to deliver these ideas with great verve."

The Herb Block Foundation seeks to further the recognition and support of editorial cartooning: www.HerblockFoundation.org.  

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Ed Piskor, Michael Ramirez, and Gene Yang announced for National Book Festival in 2016

Update: Darrin Bell has also confirmed his attendance.

Sweet Sixteen: The 2016 National Book Festival Announced!

January 21, 2016 by
http://blogs.loc.gov/national-book-festival/2016/01/sweet-sixteen-the-2016-national-book-festival-announced/

Many authors have already accepted the festival's invitations this year, and they include:
  • Kwame Alexander, Newbery Medal winner
  • Douglas Brinkley, prize-winning historian
  • Christopher Buckley, author of such satirical works as "Thank You for Smoking"
  • Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House and author
  • Philip Glass, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer
  • Annette Gordon-Reed, Pulitzer Prize winner
  • Winston Groom, author of "Forrest Gump"
  • Stephen King, best-selling, prize-winning author and literacy advocate
  • James McBride, National Book Award winner
  • Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian
  • Joyce Carol Oates, prize-winning author of more than 70 books
  • Ed Piskor, alternative comics artist
  • Michael Ramirez, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner
  • Diane Rehm, NPR host and author
  • Salman Rushdie, Man Booker Prize winner
  • Stacy Schiff, Pulitzer Prize winner
  • Bob Woodward, Pulitzer prize winner and author of 17 No. 1 best-sellers
  • Luis Alberto Urrea, prize-winning author of "The Devil's Highway"
  • Gene Luen Yang, Library of Congress National Ambassador for Young People's Literature

The National Book Festival poster will be designed this year by Yuko Shimizu, an illustrator based in New York City and an instructor at the School of Visual Arts. Her work has appeared on The Gap T-shirts, Pepsi cans, Visa card billboards and Microsoft and Target ads, as well as on book covers for Penguin, Scholastic and DC Comics. She has published work in the pages of The New York Times, Time magazine, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker and many other publications.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

More on The Post's censorship of Telnaes' cartoon

Washington Post Pulls Ann Telnaes Cartoon Featuring Depiction Of Ted Cruz's Children
Tom Spurgeon
December 23, 2015
http://www.comicsreporter.com/index.php/washington_post_pulls_ann_telnaes_cartoon_featuring_depiction_of_ted_cruzs/

Washington Post's Cruz cartoon rekindles debate over candidates' children 

(Reporting by Erin McPike and Susan Heavey; Editing by Bill Trott)

Reuters Dec 23, 2015 
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-cruz-idUSKBN0U61EU20151223



Saturday, April 18, 2015

Supporting Mohammad Saba'aneh



Apr 17, 2015
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cK0W8ttxND0

Palestinian cartoonist Mohammad Saba'aneh, talks about how global support can help cartoonists in distress. Kal, Mike Rhode, Ann Telnaes and Matt Wuerker talk about the importance of putting the spotlight on cartoonists like Mohammad.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Paul Merklein, Dabney and Dad

by Mike Rhode

Paul Merklein recently tossed a message over our virtual transom about a cartooning class he's conducting in Arlington on April 19th. We took the opportunity to make him answer our usual questions.

What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?

I currently draw my cartoon "Dabney and Dad', which you can read here... https://www.facebook.com/dabneyanddad

How do you do it? Traditional pen and ink, computer or a combination?

I still love pen & ink, but I'm planning to start coloring with Photoshop soon.

When (within a decade is fine) and where were you born?

1963 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Why are you in Washington now? What neighborhood or area do you live in?

My wife & I moved to Silver Spring MD in June 2009, and we love DC.

What is your training and/or education in cartooning?

I have freelanced cartoons to newspapers, magazines, books, online media - and even church newsletters - since I was in college in the 80's.

Who are your influences?

Peter Arno, Charles Addams, Matt Groening & Charles Schulz. I admit that I still read The Family Circus.

If you could, what in your career would you do-over or change?

I would stop trying to copy the style of greater cartoonists.

What work are you best-known for?

Fame has eluded me so far, but this interview may change that.

What work are you most proud of?

I drew cartoons for several Milwaukee newspapers in the 80's & 90's, and I always enjoyed getting "hate mail".

What would you like to do or work on in the future?

An illustrated novel. Something like "Dabney and Dad go to Las Vegas."


What do you do when you're in a rut or have writer's block?

I take a walk in my neighborhood.

What do you think will be the future of your field?

I use social media to engage my audience, then I market my cartoons & services to them.

What local cons do you attend? The Small Press Expo, Intervention, or others? Any comments about attending them?

My teenage son & I have attended most of the local comic cons, and The Small Press Expo is my favorite. A few years ago, we were sitting in the audience listening to Jeff Smith (creator of Bone) and I recognized a famous cartoonist from The New Yorker sitting next to me.

What's your favorite thing about DC?

The variety & diversity of people here.

Least favorite?

The Beltway.

What monument or museum do you like to take visitors to?

If the weather is nice, I take visiting relatives & friends for a walk on The National Mall, and lunch on U Street.

How about a favorite local restaurant?

I eat at Ben's Chili Bowl whenever I can. My family loves The Big Greek Cafe in downtown Silver Spring.

 Do you have a website or blog?

You can see me drawing & teaching here... https://www.facebook.com/greatbigfaces

Starting April 19, I'm teaching Cartooning at The Walter Reed Community Center in Arlington VA. Here is the link to register for my class, which is 320122 - Cartooning.



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, January 08, 2015

JE SUIS CHARLIE vigil at the Newseum in DC

Guest post by Bruce Guthrie

The Wednesday attack on the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical weekly newspaper, set off a torrent of email traffic supporting the freedom of the press.  By 1pm, a vigil had been scheduled that night at the Newseum:

In light of the horrendous attack that killed 12 people in Paris today, let's get together to stand peacefully in support of Charlie Hebdo and for freedom of the press. Bring your pencils and pens. #jesuischarlie

It was a bitterly cold night here in DC and vigils are always held outside for some reason but sometimes you just gotta go.  So I did.

On the way, I ran into another vigil near the Navy Memorial Metro stop.  They said they were with the All Souls Church, a Unitarian community, but I wasn't really interested in a religious response to the violence so I moved on quickly.

I was early and initially only a few people including the lead organizers, mostly French, were there.  They handed "JE SUIS CHARLIE" -- "I am Charlie" -- papers to people as we showed up.  Among those filming were Newseum staff who said we were free to go into the museum for heat and bathrooms if we wanted to.  I heard their atrium jumbotron said "JE SUIS CHARLIE" and I wanted to film it so I went through security.  Pretty quickly, the rest of the folks started coming in too.


There, we warmed up and the organizers explained to the cameras why we were assembling -- to stand up for freedom of the press -- and that the Newseum -- which has the First Amendment emblazoned on its Pennsylvania Avenue side entrance -- was the ideal place to do it.  They had no idea how many people were going to show up but it was easily several hundred folks which I thought was pretty impressive for an instant event on a very cold night.

We then went back outside.  Once we had reassembled, the names of the terrorist victims were read.  The crowd chanted "JE SUIS CHARLIE" in solidarity with each name.



People continued to mingle, arrive, and depart.  I noticed Chistine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, had come to support her countrymen and the cause as well.



I was relieved that I never heard the word "Muslim" during the event.  The focus was on freedom of the press, not the repressive elements out there trying to suppress it.

I felt better having gone.

More pictures on http://www.bguthriephotos.com/graphlib.nsf/keys/2015_01_07_Je_Suis_Charlie

--
Bruce Guthrie
Photo obsessive
http://www.bguthriephotos.com










Friday, December 26, 2014

The Year in Cartoons in today's Post

Editorial cartoons, that is. I can't be bothered finding it on their website, since it's not immediately obvious on the Opinion page. And honestly, with all due respect to the cartoonists selected, it's not a very interesting group of cartoons either. Go watch Ann Telnaes' latest video on the site instead.

Toles' Year should appear in a few days.



Friday, November 28, 2014

Best Editorial Cartoons of the Year Series ends its 42 Year Run

Posted by Steve Artley

Pelican Publishing Company, which produced the annual collection of editorial cartoons, Best Editorial Cartoons of the Year, announced on November 18 that it has ceased production of the series, ending with the 2014 edition released last spring. The series, originally edited by editorial cartoonist Charles Brooks began in the early seventies and for many years was the only publication of its kind that showcased the year's political cartoons from across America, featuring work from members of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. Following Brooks' death in 2011, editing duties fell to cartoonist Steve Kelley. 

At the time the publication began, nearly every American city had a morning and evening newspaper, and each paper had a full time editorial cartoonist. By the mid 1980's, with a greater number of newspapers being bought up by large news conglomerates that relied more on syndicated stories and art, the number began to dwindle. Now, there are less than 40 full time editorial cartoonists on staff at metropolitan newspapers in the United States. Public interest in traditional political cartooning has waned, as well. Within the past few years, online cartoon anthologies such as TIME and NPR, along with cartoon roundups once popular in the New York TimesNewsweek, and other print publications have been eliminated. 

While no details have been released from Pelican on its decision to cease publication, this action comes as no surprise to those of us in the editorial cartooning field.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Zunar's appearance at Busboys and Poets



Malaysian cartoonist Zunar, whose books are regularly censored in his home country, appeared at Busboys and Poets in Washington, DC. With his permission, I've uploaded photographs and a recording of his talk, which was sponsored by Cartoonists Rights Network International. He speaks about his book being banned, and being arrested for sedition, as well his countersuits against the government. He's a brave man.

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

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Long and Winding Road, or, Ike Liked Cartoons

A Long and Winding Road
 by Stu McIntire
(updated 4/14/2017, see point #8)


A dedicated collector is a scavenger (of sorts) and a patient soul, which is where this story begins.

In the early 1980s my wife and I took a trip to Antique Row on Howard Avenue in Kensington, Maryland.  We weren’t scouting for anything in particular, just out for a fun afternoon.





                  

We wandered in and out of the shops not finding anything until we walked into one which had a pedestal table just inside the front door, on which rested a basket.  The basket held several dozen black and white photographs.  Most were unremarkable but one included President Dwight D. Eisenhower and seven other men I did not recognize.  Eisenhower was looking at a book and it was open to a page with a cartoon on it.  Intrigued, I sifted through the basket, found one similar picture and settled on the two photos, which I purchased.  Price?  One dollar each.




The pictures remained untouched for a couple of years until I decided to learn more about them.  I sent one to Maggie Thompson at The Comics Buyers Guide, offering to share it with the CBG readers.  I also asked if she could tell me anything about it.  A short while later it was published with the following comments:

(Published in The Comics Buyers' Guide #587; February 15, 1985):

"This historic photograph of four National Cartoonists Society presidents meeting with President Dwight D. Eisenhower more than 30 years ago was sent to CBG by Stuart McIntire. Stuart asked us to identify the participants; we did, getting confirmation from Mort Walker, Milton Caniff, and Ron Goulart. Eisenhower was presented with a collection of original cartoons, caricatures, and drawings of himself  by members of  the NCS (many of these were collected into a book called President Eisenhower's Cartoon Book), and made an honorary member of the NCS. (Stuart mentions that, using extreme magnification on the original photo, he was able to make out the name "Carl Grubert" on the page to which the book is open; Grubert drew a humorous family strip called The Berrys.) From left to right are: Milton Caniff (Terry and the Pirates; Steve Canyon), an unidentified man (Caniff said he thinks he was a Treasury Department official); Goulart says it could be Charles Biro), Alex Raymond (Flash Gordon; Rip Kirby), another unidentified man (another Treasury Department official, Caniff guessed), Eisenhower ("probably Eisenhower," said Goulart, living up to his reputation as a wit), Walt Kelly (Pogo), Rube Goldberg (Boob McNutt), and Treasury Secretary George Humphrey. Walt Kelly was then President of the NCS; Caniff, Raymond, and Goldberg were past Presidents. Caniff added that Humphrey arranged the meeting "as a sort of reward for drawings the cartoonists had made in support of the E-Bond sales after the war."

[The Editors of CBG publicly express their deep personal gratitude to Mort, Milt, and Ron - three of the busiest people we know - for taking time to help us on identification.]

Now I had a mission.  Find and purchase a copy of President Eisenhower's Cartoon Book.  For years this was a mental note in the back of my mind but I did frequently scan the shelves at used book stores, always without luck.  Fast forward to September of 2012 and a trip to the Baltimore Comic Con.

Towards the end of a day on the dealer floor I stumbled across a booth with a multitude of items that caught my eye.  This dealer had a lot of merchandise that was comic-related and much of it was old.  I went through boxes of very attractive swag.  I knew not what I wanted but I’d know it when I saw it.  When I came to the box that held a copy of the President Eisenhower's Cartoon Book it was like the scene in Christmas Vacation when Clark Griswold found the perfect Christmas tree.

with dustjacket

without dustjacket

                                     

My main goal at the Con was collecting autographs in a couple of my Sandman hardcover collections (check) and perhaps to see a few friends (check).  I never imagined I’d score a long-sought piece for my collection but I struck a deal for this and one other piece (Badtime Stories by Bernie Wrightson).

Flash forward again.  Curiosity has the better of me.  What else can I learn about the background story of this book?  How about:

    1.     An Internet search turned up other photos taken at the same time as the pictures I bought on Antique Row:

             



   2.     In 1954, President Eisenhower was made an honorary member of the National Cartoonists Society. He and Treasury Secretary George M. Humphrey were awarded the Silver T-Square, given by the NCS to persons who have demonstrated outstanding dedication or service to the Society or the profession.  The occasion was celebrated at a formal breakfast in Washington, attended by the President and several NCS members.








Stamped on the back of the above photo:
Photo shows: Milton Caniff, creator of famous comic strip, STEVE CANYON at microphone with President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Walt Kelly, creator of POGO seated at table during a United States Savings Bond Program breakfast in Washington honoring the National Cartoonists Society for patriotic service on the Savings Bond Program.

Also stamped on the back:



   3.     Note the name Toni Mendez.  Toni Mendez, a huge influencing force behind the creation of the National Cartoonists Society, was Caniff’s agent (as well as several other prominent cartoonists).  She was also once a member of the famed high-kicking Rockettes dance troupe!



4.       4. Here is a picture of the volume of original cartoons presented to Eisenhower as well as a few samples of the work contained therein (by Alex Raymond, Milton Caniff, Rube Goldberg, and Walt Kelly):







                       

    5.     Eisenhower himself was a known ‘doodler’ and here is but one example:




    6.     Fans well-versed in comic book history may recall that it was earlier in the very same year these cartoonists broke bread with the President that Milton Caniff and Walt Kelly testified before the infamous United States Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency.
    
    7.     One of the ninety-five artists represented in President Eisenhower's Cartoon Book was Bill Crawford, once an artist who worked at the Washington Daily News and Washington Post.
 

8.      I bought this one on eBay in April 2017. Next to Ike is Rube Goldberg. Next to Rube, behind Ike is Walt Kelly. On the left hand page to which the album is opened is a drawing by Jay (Modest Maidens) Alan. The drawing on the right is by Jerry Robinson. The caption under Robinson's drawing says "Thank you Mr. President --- for the wonderful laughter! Especially if the joke is BY us --- but even if it's ON us! J.R. N.C.S." 




       The caption reads: (WX4) WASHINGTON, Jan. 4 -- CARTOONS OF, AND FOR, IKE -- President Eisenhower is pleased by this gift from White House callers today, a bound volume of cartoons of himself drawn by members of the National Cartoonists Society. Standing at right are Rube Goldberg, honorary chairman of the Society, and Secretary of the Treasury George Humphrey, right. The drawings on the opened pages are not identified. (AP Wire photo) (EE31038 stf-hlg) 1954

So there you have it.  This story was thirty years or so in the making, but slow and steady wins the race!