Sunday, November 18, 2012

Larry's Cartoon Vault: Drawings in the flyleaf

I collect art books and I collect original artwork by cartoonists and illustrators.
For me the best of both worlds merge when I chance upon a used book with an original sketch in it.

Here are a few from the archives:

A sketch by renowned New York Herald cartoonist W. A. Rogers. This was done in a copy of his autobiography, A World Worth While, published in 1922.

A self-caricature by illustrator, printmaker, teacher and cartoonist John Groth drawn in 1949.  This page was torn out of a Groth book.  I purchased it at a bookstore in Portland.

I was much pleased and surprised when I opened an old copy of Starwatcher to find this drawing by the great French comic artist, Moebius.  Found in a junk shop.

A self-caricature by scholar, Arthur Asa Berger. Berger was a professor of popular culture at San Francisco State. This drawing was in a copy of his book The Comic Stripped American (1978). Berger also wrote L’il Abner: A Study in American Satire, An Anatomy of Humor and The Genius of the Jewish Joke among numerous titles. He also draws cartoons.

Draper Hill was an editorial cartoonist and a comic art scholar. He authored biographies on James Gillray and Thomas Nast. This drawing was in an art exhibit catalog, Illingworth On Target, on the work of Leslie Illingworth written by Draper.

This inscribed drawing, done in 1949, is by Midshipman Thomas A. Hamil, USN. Hamil illustrated Ploob: A Midshipman’s First Year at Annapolis.  

A sketch from Dr. Do-Little and the African Potato by the South African cartoonist  Zapiro.  (Zapiro was recently sued by Jacob Zuma, the president of South Africa, for drawing defaming cartoons). This one found in another junk shop.

A drawing by editorial cartoonist Dwayne Powell from his 1978 collection Is That All You Do?

Over the years I've acquired a number of personally inscribed books as well.

This one was done by illustrator/cartoonist Leslie Cabarga  (My once upon a time roommate and author of the animation history The Fleischer Story). 

My old cartoonist pal, Michael T. Gilbert inscribed a copy of his Strange Brew (1982)

Two really nice drawings by Steve Leialoha:

This one from The Mo’o Files  (2000)

and this one from Line Dancing  (2003).

A drawing by the great Mad artist Sergio Aragones from his book Boogeyman.

Roberta Gregory did this drawing in a copy of Bitchy Strips (2001).

A recent drawing by Ben Katchor done in a copy of The Jew of New York.

A very cool sketch by Dan Piraro in his political parody Three Little Pigs Buy the White House (2004).


  1. This is going back a long while, but growing up on the Monterey Peninsula our family, through our church, became great friends with a rather well known political cartoonist, Vaughn Shoemaker, the person who brought us the term "John Q. Public". Anyway, at Christmas we would always look forward to his amazing cards. Occasionally he would do little illustrated talks and stories for our church and I would sit there soaking it all up with rapt attention while his large easel pad drawings came to life. Thanks for reminding me of these memories. I never turned into a very good Christian, but I will never forget Vaughn Shoemaker's incredible drawing abilities and the stories he told.

  2. I was a friend of Sarah and Draper Hill. Sarah recently passed away 2 months ago in North Carolina. The cartoon that you have on your blog posts their Grosse Pointe, Michigan home phone number by which a lot of personal information can be found on the internet. It would be considerate of you to take this down from your blog.

  3. Congratulations! It´s amazing that you got that moebius sketch on your book. A spectacular an unforgettable artist for the ages

  4. Lovely post. I have taken the liberty of borrowing your sketch by Ben Katchor for a post on original character sketches for The Jew of New York.