Classic Cartoonist PROfiles*


Chicago Tribune Cartoonist Carey Orr

A newspaper cartoon is a combination of two basic arts­ — the art of writing and the art of drawing — and the best car­toon is one with the best idea expressed by a snappy caption and good craftsmanship, says Carey Cassius Orr, recent Pul­itzer Prize winner, who has been drawing daily editorial cartoons for nearly 50 years.

After years of meeting a daily deadline and pioneering with ROP color cartoons, which have become a hallmark of the Tribune’s front page, Mr. Orr still thinks a “snappy caption” is equally as important as the vehicle drawn to express the idea.

Allan Holtz gives us a 1961 Editor & Publisher piece on  Carey Orr.




Edward Gorey Too

Now, in the nineteen-seventies, [Gorey] finally became famous … By then, most of Gorey’s books were out of print. [Andreas] Brown got them back on the market, with the publication, in 1972, of “Amphigorey,” an omnibus edition of fifteen of Gorey’s earliest volumes. Those volumes, I believe, are the best things Gorey ever produced, and now people noticed. (With the book’s three sequels—“Amphigorey Too,” in 1975; “Amphigorey Also,” in 1983; and “Amphigorey Again,” in 2006—they noticed some more.)

I was the perfect age for those first two anthologies and fell in love with Edward Gorey.

“It joined them at breakfast and presently ate / All the syrup and toast, and a part of a plate.”

Joan Acocella, for The New Yorker, profiles Edward Gorey while reviewing the new biography by Mark Dery.




George T. Eggleston, America First Activist

Before the United States entered World War II, there was a popular movement to keep the U.S. out of the fray. The controversial America First Committee (AFC), founded in September 1940, was the foremost U.S. non-intervention pressure group against American entry into World War II. George T. Eggleston (1906-1990), a cartoonist, author, yachtsman, editor and isolationist, became embroiled in the America First controversy during the 1940’s.

The Life and Death (Pearl Harbor) of Eggleston’s America First Activism from American Heritage Center.




Peter S. Newell’s Early Artistic Career

“His strength lay in whimsical interpretation of nonsense set forth in simple and direct terms,” wrote one biographer of Newell. “He was inventive rather than imaginative, giving a certain zest to his own cartoons which is not felt in his illustrations of the ideas of others.”

The Journal Courier looks at Peter Newell‘s life in Jacksonville.




‘Tis the season…
How Skinny Saint-Nicolas Became Jolly Santa Claus

Before Santa Claus, there was Saint-Nicolas. The tall, skinny bishop the people of Lorraine honor as their patron saint on December 6th eventually became the pot-bellied fellow we know today. An American writer, a German-born cartoonist, and a famous brand of soft drinks are each partially responsible for his transformation.

Okay not a cartoonist profile, but it does reference Thomas Nast, Louis Prang, and Haddon Sundblom.

Anthony Bulger relates how America’s Santa became world famous.



*hat tip: Jud Hurd