Kinda Nuts

It's been too long since our last installment of Richard Gehr's excellent "Know Your New Yorker Cartoonists" column, but now the long wait is over, and Richard is back interviewing Jack Ziegler, who's been published in the magazine for nearly 40 year, and now lives in Kansas. Here's a brief excerpt:

GEHR: Did you read The New Yorker at home?

ZIEGLER: No. It was in my friend’s home. [Laughs.] We had Life, Look, Time, and The Daily News. My father didn’t like The New York Times. I had the feeling he might’ve been a Republican, but we never talked about that.

GEHR: Was it [television writer] Brian McConnachie's parents who bought The New Yorker?

ZIEGLER: Yeah. I’ve known him since we were six years old, probably. His parents always got The New Yorker. So it was always at his house. His mother was kinda nuts. [Laughs.] She was an ex-showgirl. And his father had a small company in New York that made industrial films. Brian lived about a mile and a half away from me. We used to walk and meet each other halfway. Then we’d wander off somewhere.


GEHR: McConnachie has said you used to visit the homes of cartoonists like Basil Wolverton and Bernie Krigstein.

ZIEGLER: Not Basil Wolverton. We used to look for the addresses of comic-book artists in the phone book. Krigstein lived in Queens off of Queens Boulevard, not far from where we lived, so we visited him one day. And once in the city we went to EC Comics and met a few people there. I remember one visit to Atlas Comics, which became Marvel, eventually. The people there were very nice, very tolerant of these little kids coming in all excited. It was fun. I remember visiting the guy who drew Blackhawk and watching him actually draw a page. It was really quite something. I had totally forgotten about that until right now.


—The Toronto Comics Art Festival just announced the guest list for this year's show, and it's some lineup! Perhaps most impressively, they're hosting the North American debuts of Taiyo Matsumoto, Gengoroh Tagame, and Blutch. What with the similarly ambitious recent guest slates at SPX and BCGF, it feels like we're in a sort of golden age for this kind of show. I wonder how long it can last?

—Interview Dept.: Tom Kaczynski talked to The Rumpus, and Roger Langridge (Popeye) talked to School Library Journal.

—Paul Gravett has a long, thorough "best of 2012" list up, filled with comics that didn't get a lot of attention.

—Aspiring cartoonists should definitely take the time to read this career advice passed along by Kate Beaton, at least if they haven't already seen it through the million other websites who linked to it earlier.

—Alan Gardner rounds up recent controversies around political cartoonist Bill Day, alleging plagiarism and self-copying.

—I'm not the world's biggest fan of Max Allan Collins's crime fiction, but his newest pulp novel is set against the 1950s comic-book hearings and features a thinly veiled Fredric Wertham stand-in.

—Caitlin McGurk at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library has a nice post with a gallery of Richard Guindon cartoons.