The blog of Richard Thompson, caricaturist, creator of "Cul de Sac," and winner of the 2011 Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Cartoon Appreciation Week

For Cartoon Appreciation Week I'd like to offer a real treat; an Arnold Roth drawing I'll bet youall have never seen. It's from a magazine called Ameryka that was produced by (I think) the USIA during the cold war as a way to spread American culture around in Poland, then behind the Iron Curtain. And this issue was dedicated to American literature, so here's a cartoon map of American literature, drawn by Mr. Arnold Roth himself. Isn't it just a delight to study? To me his work always seems to make a noise, his lines hitting the page like notes in the air, sounding like something free & jazzy, which is fitting as Roth is a jazz saxophonist. And it's late and I'm prone to synesthesia. But look at those skewed New York buildings, and all those undulating, everysized figures, all fitted together as neatly as the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle

How many great moments in American literature can you identify? The winner will get his or her name mentioned in the exclusive comments section of one of our luxuriously appointed blog posts. Probably this very one.


Mike Lester said...

I met Roth in NYC in my salad days of youth when they still held the Humor Awards. We spoke, smoked and drank and I told him that he was the reason I quit using photos as reference. One day I was looking at a car he'd drawn for some piece in Esquire and I realized he didn't give two sh*ts if it looked like a real car or not. He just made it up. And that's exactly what I wanted to do. He's a treasure.

Kid Shay said...

This is a great example of a drawing somebody might look at and not think about all the work that went into making it. But when you say, "hey, some guy had to DRAW ALL THAT," you realize how amazing it really is. It just makes me realize (all over again) how unassuming an art cartooning really is.

Mike Rhode said...

Jeez, Richard, where the hell did you find that? It's lovely though, isn't it. I think I'd need to print it out to match the books though - a laptop screen just doesn't work for it.