Category Archives: Cartoons

Jack Davis, 1924-2016

Jack Davis, cartoonist, caricaturist, comics artist illustrator
Cartoonist, caricaturist, comics artist and illustrator illustrator Jack Davis had a pen that connected directly to the funny bone.

Noted for his horror comics work for EC Comics and Warren magazines, his movie posters, TV Guide covers, celebrity caricatures and, in particular, his loopy, wild, frenetic, over-the-top and uncannily hilarious comics and covers for Cracked and MAD Magazine, Davis influenced cartoonists and comics artists across the board.

Davis often left his readers in simultaneous paroxysms of laughter and wide-eyed admiration for his drawing skills, producing contorted reading positions that looked like.. well, like jack Davis illustrations.

Jack Davis died on July 27, 2016 at the age of 92.

The links below are mostly to recent obits and articles. For more links to image resources, see my previous post on Jack Davis.

 
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Je Suis Charlie, Charlie Hebdo: Georges Wolinski, Jean Cabut, Charb (Stephane Charbonnier), Tignous (Bernard Velhac)

Je Suis Charlie, Charlie Hebdo: Georges Wolinski, Jean Cabut, Charb (Stephane Charbonnier), Tignous (Bernard Velhac)

Among the 12 dead and 11 wounded in today’s cowardly and loathsome attack on the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris were four cartoonists: Georges Wolinski, Jean Cabut, Charb (Stephane Charbonnier) and Tignous (Bernard Velhac).

I dug up what I could quickly find on the four cartoonists, and have included relevant links below. Most of them don’t seem to have a dedicated web presence, but my French is weak, and I’m not certain where to look. (I also have not taken the time to translate the text in the drawings above, so I’m not certain what they say. I was just trying to quickly find some representative artwork.)

Charlie Hebdo (Charlie Weekly) is known for it’s provocative cartoons and mocking satires of religious fanatics (across the board), political corruption and whatever they find worthy of ridicule. They have pissed off just about everyone, but they have particularly come under attack from professed Muslim extremists (I say “professed” because claiming you are something does not make it true, and certainly does not give you the right to speak for others). The Charlie Hebdo offices were firebombed in 2011, supposedly in response to cartoons about the Prophet Muhammad.

To those who are tempted to respond to this kind of act with anti-Muslim sentiment, I’ll point out that in doing so, you are handing these terrorists their victory. They want nothing more than to incite kneejerk, reactionary anti-Muslim sentiment in the West, and fan the flames of religious and cultural intolerance on all sides. To do so allows them to think they are warriors in a holy war, rather than the rat-like, delusional petty criminals they are.

Those who are doing the most to defeat their aims are spreading messages of tolerance and acceptance, not returning hatred for hatred.

Supporters of freedom of expression are using the phrase “Je Suis Charlie” (I am Charlie) and the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie in messages of solidarity around the world.

[Images above: “Je Suis Charlie” from Charlie Hebdo website, Georges Wolinski, Jean Cabut, Charb (Stephane Charbonnier), Tignous (Bernard Velhac)]

[Via The Comics Reporter]

[Addendum: Slate has been publishing some of the responses to the tragedy, in the form of cartoons, from cartoonists in France and elsewhere: #JeSuisCharlie: Cartoonists Raise Their Pencils in Solidarity With Charlie Hebdo.

Also, reader julien has contributed an account of Cabu and the history and place of Charlie Hebdo in French society, with insights only available to someone living in France. See this post’s comments.]

 
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Chris Riddell

Chris Riddell
Chris Riddell is British illustrator and political cartoonist, known for his cartoons in The Observer, and for a series of children’s books he has illustrated, written or co-written, including The Edge Chronicles, Goth Girl, Muddle Earth, and his new colaboration with Neil Gaiman, The Sleeper and the Spindle (images above, top three). The latter title is not yet formally released in the U.S.; there is a review on The Guardian, with an image gallery.

His own website focuses on his cartoons, including “Illustrations to Unwritten Books”; the latter consisting mostly of terrible (i.e. wonderful) literary puns.

There is also an Edge Chronicles blog at Weird New Worlds. In addition, Riddell contributed an illustrated essay to the Guardian’s series, “Love Letters to Libraries“.

Don’t miss his absolutely wonderful sketchbook blog (yellow pages above), which is an extensive Tumblog with some of his most imaginative, off-the-cuff and delightfully loopy work, along with various sketches, and a sort of intermittent visual diary of his comings and goings, some of them sketched in a lined accounting ledger used as a sketchbook.

 
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Théodore Rousseau

Theodore Rousseau
Étienne Pierre Théodore Rousseau was one of the first of the French painters to be attracted to the gnarled trees, bolder-strewn hillsides and deep forests of Fontainebleau, and after visiting frequently, one of the first to move to the small nearby village of Barbizon, where he became one of the premiere painters of the Barbizon School.

After early acceptance at the critical Salon, Rousseau’s predilection for Romanticism ran afoul of the Classicists in control of the Salon at the time, and kept him from acceptance for a number of years, earning him the unenviable nickname of “le grand refusé”.

He managed to impress patrons sufficiently to carry on, however, and eventually regained acceptance, though he was consistently denied the kind of official recognition due a painter of his ability.

As a leader of the Barbizon School, his often dark and moody canvases with their roughly scumbled surfaces and open brushwork, contrasted with those in which he applied sensitive glazes, helped usher in modern styles of painting.

It would be a stretch to think of Rousseau as an actual Tonalist, but the Barbizon painters exerted considerable influence on the American painters of that style, and I see in Rousseau’s compositions — particularly those of illuminated skies seen through the framing of dark masses of foreground trees — many of the compositional conventions taken on by painters like George Inness.

Unfortunately, reproductions of Rousseau’s work on the web seem to suffer more than some of his contemporaries. The widest selection is probably at WikiArt, though the images are not large, and The Athenaeum has a decent selection. The best reproductions are probably those of the excellent collection of Rousseau’s work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the National Gallery, London.

You can also go to Artcyclopedia and search through the links to individual museums.

There is currently an exhibition of Rousseau’s work at the Morgan Library and Museum in NY, the first of its kind in the US. Titled “The Untamed Landscape: Théodore Rousseau and the Path to Barbizon“, it concentrates on his drawings and plein air oil sketches, forms at which Rousseau, much like Constable, excelled. The exhibition runs until January 18, 2015.

If you visit, and come out wanting to see Rousseau’s more finished work, the Met is just a cab ride away.

 
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A. Wilkenfeld

A. Wilkenfeld, cartoon illustrations and character design, Tanglefoot
A. wilkenfeld is an illustrator and character designer, originally from Sydney, Australia and now based in New Orleans. Aside from that, I can find little biographical information.

To my eye, Wilkenfeld’s lively, fluid drawings show an admiration for the work of great caricaturists like Al Hirschfeld, along with an affection for early 20th century magazine cartoons, and mid-20th century animation.

His characters are stretched, looped, bent over backwards and flung into outrageous positions with gleeful abandon, particularly those shown dancing.

Dancing seems central to the theme of Wilkenfeld’s personal project of an in-development webcomic titled Tanglefoot, which looks to be a treat. You can find work for it, along with some of his other drawings, on his website, Tumblr, Behance portfolio and deviantART gallery.

 
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Tony Auth, 1942-2014

Tony Auth, editorial cartoonist and illustrator
For over 40 years, Tony Auth was a glimmer of sanity amid the news of the day, in the form of his cartoons on the opinion pages of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

In 2012, Auth — a winner of the Pulitzer and Herblock Prizes — moved to the local PBS affiliate, bringing his cartoons to their NewsWorks website.

Auth’s cartoons, drawn with a wonderfully sketchy line, and little pretense, carried his commentary straight to the point, often skewering left and right alike, though most would count his politics as liberal (if only because he wasn’t rabidly right wing).

Auth died this month, on September 14, 2014, at the age of 72.

Tony Auth was also an illustrator of children’s books. You can find a number of them, along with collections of his editorial cartoons, on Amazon.

I, for one, will miss his visual voice and that occasional breath of sanity amid the screaming and finger-pointing, particularly now.

For more, see my previous post on Tony Auth (from 2006).

 
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