Thursday, April 05, 2018
My Book Report
The response was less than overwhelming, but a few suggestions were made. The only one that got a seconding vote was for Gilbert Seldes's The Seven Lively Arts, which is certainly a seminal book and absolutely worthy of our interest here on the blog. Unfortunately, my search of copyrights indicates that it is not in the public domain due to being renewed in 1951. That affords it protection until at least this year, and probably longer.
There was a request for the chapters in Our American Humorists that cover cartoonists, but that book has already been digitized. You can access it here.
I pulled some books off my shelf that seemed like possibilities. Here's what appealed to me, and why they ended up n ot making the cut:
* The Life and Times of Kin Hubbard by Fred Kelly is perhaps too esoteric to be of general interest, and I seem to recall that there was not by any means an overwhelming amount of content about cartooning.
* Roses and Buckshot by James Montgomery Flagg is certainly an interesting read, but it covers the world of illustration much more than cartooning, so perhaps not really quite on target here.
* Portrait of an Era (about C.D. Gibson) by Fairfax Downey is another interesting read, but it is profusely illustrated, making it a real bear to digitize.
* Drawn from Memory by John T. McCutcheon is, to the best of my memory, predominently about the author's adventures away from the world of cartooning. I seem to recall wondering when McCutcheon ever found time to draw his cartoons, as much time as he spent running around the world. A World Worth While by W. A. Rogers is another memoir that runs on the same trajectory.
* Art Young's On My Way seemed perfect. I was surprised, though, to find that the book has already been digitized.
* There are several memoirs of the New York Evening Graphic that I considered. They're all great fun, but considering that cartoonists are at best bit players in them, sadly not appropriate.
* John Wheeler's I've Got News for You would be a fine candidate, but it's definitely still in copyright.
That's about all I found, so we're going to dump the books for now, unless someone comes up with a good choice not yet mentioned.
Thanks for the article DD.