1968 was JB Handelsman’s Year
So I bought myself a copy of The Complete New Yorker Cartoons cause I wanted to know what I was talking about. You can, and should buy one. Here ‘s a link to it at Powell’s http://www.powells.com/biblio/2-9781579123222-10
Going through the book in no particular order. Lots of great surprises. Here’s one: JB Handelsman, who I never knew. 1968 was a good year for him/her. The first one that jumped out at me was this one:
Great for its timelessness (of course it could run now), it’s great long, rolling caption, great staging and composition (the young officer stock still and the older authorities falling into place slightly more organically and care-free), great drawings (every face is different, specific and funny).
Just scrolling through the rest of that year, you’ll find:
Notable for the complete switch in rendering style, this one loose and fast and a real drama/action in the poses, just delightful.
Another good cartoon that fits perfectly into the Bush-era. Note here how far he goes to render this scene. Not just 2 guys, but 3, one staring out the window, framed in light as he surveys the rest of the world below. Great great body language on that right character, legs spread out, butt sitting hard and comfortable in that big easy chair.
Again, a delightful, full scene. Great detail and flourish in the drawing, and a perfectly relevant, funny joke. Here’s another great us vs. them cartoon:
The blithe stance of the bartender, the slightly crazy face of the speaker, the lost in thought bystander. Again, great everything here. And completely at home in 2012 or 1968, politically and visually.
A charmer. Cartoonists, note that this is one of the few cartoons with a straight-on composition. Not a lot of angles. Why? Because in this one there’s a sense of security. The woman is stable, nothing is threatening her world view. It’s a simple world, the straight forward composition continues this idea. The other ones above, in the bar, in the war room, all skewed and unsettled. This one, calm, the stable suburban home in the dead center.
Another simple charmer. Almost works without the picture, the text being pretty funny. The fabulous drawing sends it into greatness. The sick man in the back, round, sloppy and troubled, the super lanky, lost girl in the center, her only connection to the real world this wire running off to the side of the panel. GREAT! I love this cartoonist.
And just in case you thought he was going light on us, here’s a killer. Again, the interrogated standing stock still, all lines leading towards her.
One last good one about race and colonialism:
These are about half of the Handelsman cartoons from 1968, all great. Again, all from The Complete New Yorker Cartoons