For about seven years, I illustrated a cartoon written by Bruce Handy for TIME magazine that appeared regularly on the back page of that magazine. I am getting into the cartoon making business again and here is one of the latest.
For four out of the last five years, it has been my honor to design the Nyack Halloween Parade poster for the local Chamber of Commerce. The parade is of Nyack’s greatest traditions (that’s pretty much everybody’s opinion that lives here), and it has been going strong for 27 years.
This year, along with the poster, I also had to design street signs and magazine and newspaper ads.
At the right is a poster I did for the 2014 parade and below is the poster from 2 years ago.
I was lucky enough to participate in this year’s Fountain Art Fair at the 69th Regiment Armory in NYC – opened March 7, 2014.
Paul Fernandez-Carol from Seven Arts Gallery showed my drawings along with several other artists represented by his gallery. I sold the “Caveman” illustration that had appeared on my wiki page for many years. Later, in April the Seven Arts Gallery featured more of my work in a show “No Hat, No Gloves, No Scarf” along with the really cool art work of Margaret Roleke (margaretroleke.com). Thank you Paul. It’s really beautiful up in Ridgefield so go visit some time. Seven Arts Gallery (54 Ethan Allen Highway, Ridgefield, CT 06877).
Some Christmases past, I illustrated an essay written by Sonia Shah about her childhood as Jainist whose family meekly accepted some Christmas holiday traditions.
[T]he highlight of the holiday was the exchange of heartfelt gifts. This couldn’t have been a more foreign idea to my parents. My father to this day doesn’t know when his real birthday is, and never in their lives had he or my mother celebrated a birthday, let alone exchanged gifts. In keeping with the Jain tradition, they didn’t accept presents even on their wedding day, a hot, sunny Dec. 25 in Bombay. Still, for the sake of us kids, they relented at Christmas.
The essay, “My Fake Christmas,” was intriguing as I knew very little about this ascetic Indian religion and its precepts.
I came to learn that Jainism is one of the oldest religions in the world, and it prescribes a path of non-violence that emphasizes equality between all forms of life. Jainists believe that non-violence and self-control are the means by which they can obtain “liberation.” Two other primary principles of Jainism are non-absolutism and non-possessiveness. Non-absolutism refers to the principle of the multiplicity of viewpoints – truth and reality are perceived differently depending on ones point of view, like the parable of the blind men and an elephant. “To ignore the complexity of reality is to commit the fallacy of dogmatism.”
Non-possessiveness, of course, emphasizes “taking no more than is truly necessary. Followers should minimize material possessions and limit attachment to current possessions. Wealth and possessions should be shared and donated whenever possible. Jainism believes that unchecked possessions can lead to direct harm to oneself and others.” My information about Jainism comes from Wikipedia – so I gave them $3.
I have to go buy a dead tree for my living room now and then to the mall to buy more stuff for Christmas. Hope I don’t run over a squirrel on the way.
But today, Weiner has become a poster child for political mischief makers. Yet New Yorkers apparently forgave him for tweeting his bird while in Congress and for a while he was given serious consideration in this year’s mayor’s race. But alas, he blew it again when he was involved in yet a another sexting scandal, this time with a 22-year-old woman while using the hilariously cloak-and-dagger handle of “Carlos Danger.” Weiner was crushed in the Democratic primary.
Now, I’m hearing that Weiner is being considered for an hour-long radio show on either WABC or WOR, two New York AM stations. He may yet make another comeback and I hope he does.
I couldn’t resist portraying Weiner as one of the two sleazy R&B crooners (Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg) of “Dick in a Box” fame. Weiner may be a putz, but he is the comedic gift that keeps on giving.
I’ve parted with many of my illustrations over the years; a few I’ve sold, others I’ve given as gifts to friends, and yet others I’ve traded with my fellow illustrators.
About two years back, one of the illustrations I parted with resurfaced. I drew Paul Simon for The Detroit News back in 1991 as part of an article about his Rhythm of the Saints album and his related tour, which stopped at the Palace of Auburn Hills just north of Detroit that February.
Draper Hill, a colleague at the News (where I worked as a page designer), saw the Simon original drawing at a gallery show in Detroit and he inquired about it. Back then, I was somewhat in awe of Hill. He was considered one of the deans of editorial cartooning. He was also a preeminent illustration historian, having written the biographies of Thomas Nast and James Gillray. Draper was also a terribly nice guy, unpretentious, kind and supportive of the younger artists at The News.
Draper and I agreed to a trade. In return for my Paul Simon illustration, I received two editorial cartoons by him that appeared in the News. One was of then Detroit Mayor Coleman A. Young and another of President H.W. Bush, both of which I still cherish.
Draper passed away in 2009 and his estate either donated or sold part of his massive collection to the Library of Congress. In 2011, I was called by a curator at the Library of Congress who notified me that my Paul Simon would be used in an upcoming show, which I thought was a great honor. When the show, Timely and Timeless: New Comic Work Acquisitions debuted, I was even more honored that the Simon illustration was used in press materials and was reprinted by the Washington Post and other beltway media outlets.
Timely and Timeless put me in the company of an eclectic mix of American cartoonists, such as Gillray, Al Hirschfeld, Charles Addams, John Held, Jr., Aaron McGruder (The Boondocks), Bill Griffith (Zippy the Clown), and Steve Ditko (Spider-Man).
Now, I’m surprised to find that reproductions of the Paul Simon illustration are now part of a Library of Congress collection called “Miscellaneous Items in High Demand,” which means that some people out there have purchased prints from the Library.