While Preoccupied, This Happened

Had a hectic last week, without even making it to The Reubens, so let’s catch up.

The Society of Illustrators announced their 2023 Hall of Fame inductees in July. The Society’s Hall of Fame Ceremony and Dinner took place this past weekend. Cartoonist and historian Liza Donnelly was honored to stand in and accept the award on behalf of the late Helen Hokinson.

Excerpt from Liza’s Seeing Things Substack:

It really was an incredible honor, the Society of Illustrators, also known as the Museum of Illustration, was founded in 1901 and has a long storied history of artists and illustrators as members, including Norman Rockwell and NC Wyeth. It is the oldest museum in the country dedicated to the art of illustration. Below are the remarks I made last night as I accepted the award on her behalf. There was a catalogue for the evening that contained an essay I wrote about her, which gives more history, so I decided my remarks should be more personal observation.


Staying with New Yorker cartoonists for the moment…

From The Salt Lake Tribune:

Navied Mahdavian, who is Iranian American, writes of living in deeply conservative Idaho.

People who recognize cartoonist Navied Mahdavian’s work are used to seeing it one panel at a time in The New Yorker.

Mahdavian, who lives in Salt Lake City, has put his drawing and word skills into a long-form work — a graphic novel memoir, “This Country: Searching for Home in (Very) Rural America,” that chronicles his journey of identity and belonging as a Middle Eastern American in the West.


Another New Yorker cartoonist, another book.

Roz Chast, across decades worth of her cartoons for The New Yorker as well as her own books, most notably the classic “Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?” has proved herself to be one of the funniest and most acute observers of modern urban living’s insanities and anxieties. Now she has turned her gaze away from the streets and characters of her beloved New York City and toward her own sleeping mind. Chast’s forthcoming book, “I Must Be Dreaming,” is a collection of cartoons and written observations about her own dreams, others’ ideas about dreams and, broadly speaking, wiggy stuff related to dreams.

David Marchese interviews Roz Chast for the New York Times.

If you are in Toronto mid-November go see Roz.


Has it been eight years already? It’s hard to tell, frankly.

When Tres Savage asked me to join NonDoc before the site launched in September 2015, I didn’t think I would be illustrating the silly things I do as often or as long as I have. Is this really my 355th Sundaze cartoon?

Cartoonist Mike Allen and NonDoc celebrate an eight year partnership.


Tom Tomorrow reports he has a new portal.

In a rare turn of events, I’ve got a new outlet running my comics: the Tinyview comics app. It’s a phone app, which you can download in the usual places and This Modern World will be running there weekly!

Check out This Modern World at Tinyview.


Outtagrass Cattle Co. cartoon by Jan Swan Wood

I regularly check in with The Tri-State Livestock News comics page.

I’m running this panel because it brought back fond memories of my youth.


Some newspaper features hope to become classics of the form, to be recalled with wistful nostalgia by nonagenarians and collected in sumptuous complete hardcover editions for collectors. Others are just — quite literally — created to take up space. 

Such was the inspiration between this pair of features, Clown Alley and Longshots. Somehow Universal Press Syndicate got together with the Philadelphia Inquirer on a redesign of their Sunday comics section…

Allan Holtz enlightens us about an old (late 1980s) obscurity from Tank McNamara‘s Bill Hinds.


When old comics are reprinted they are frequently different in some way from originally published.

Michael Maslin compares the same James Thurber New Yorker cover separated by 87 years.

4 thoughts on “While Preoccupied, This Happened

  1. I can’t find my way back to your article with several strips about wearing the wrong glasses. Please point me the right direction. Many thanks!

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