David Sipress Two

Michael Maslin writes:

We don’t see many memoirs from New Yorker cartoonists. Peter Arno started one, but it never went further than lists of names and snippets of memories to explore. Bruce Eric Kaplan wrote one, I Was A Child — “profusely illustrated” according to the publisher. Edward Sorel recently published Profusely Illustrated: A Memoir;  Michael ffolkes published a memoir in 1995 — ffundamental ffolkes: An autobiography — but I’ve yet to get my hands on a copy (from the few pages I’ve seen it looks heavily illustrated). I’m working on a New Yorker-centric memoir, with more text than graphics.  Jack Ziegler wrote a memoir, still under wraps. Dana Fradon reportedly worked on one as well. Art Young wrote a memoir (“His Life And Times”), but let’s face it, with nine New Yorker cartoons spread out over eight years, his published world was clearly elsewhere. James Thurber never wrote a full-on memoir, but we can piece together much of his life from reading Thurber Country, The Years With Ross, and, of course, My Life And Hard Times. 


The publication on March 8th of David Sipress’s What’s So Funny: A Cartoonist’s Memoir is then a special occasion [read an excerpt on newyorker.com, “The Day I Declared Myself A Cartoonist”]. Although there are plenty of cartoons in the book, there is far more text. That in itself, as just noted, is an unusual thing as far as New Yorker cartoonist memoirs go.   

New Yorker cartoonist/historian Michael Maslin interviews David Sipress
in a wide ranging, and illustrated, interview in two parts. Part One. Part Two.


This exchange makes me wonder how sheltered Michael’s young life was, or maybe he’s just young:

DS: That particular moment I was in graduate school studying in the Department of Soviet Studies at Harvard very much knowing deep down that it was a mistake. It was a choice I had made to please my father, and also a choice I had made to avoid the draft. I had to be in grad school. At the end of a semester there was a party; there were about eleven of us, first year, in the department. And at the party there was a lot of Boone’s Farm and marijuana and stuff…

MM: Sorry to interrupt…what’s Boone’s Farm?

DS: Boone’s Farm is the cheap wine that we hippies drank back in the 60s. 



One thought on “David Sipress Two

  1. Based on his UCONN graduation date, I’d have to lean toward very sheltered teen-aged years.

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