Friday, March 29, 2013

New Yorker cartoons

Not only did Searle illustrate dozens of fine covers for the New Yorker but also contributed interior cartoons. The magazine ran several series by Searle including a delightful collection of historical what ifs entitled 'Crossed Paths'. (Later published in a book collection 'Marquis De Sade meets Goody Two Shoes')

'Daisy Ashford meets Concise Oxford'

In the introduction to 'Marquis de Sade meets Goody Two Shoes' Searle expands on the genesis of the project:

'The theme of this collection, that of crossing a few unlikely paths, first emerged a year or two back, while I was re-dipping into the murky life of  Edgar Allan Poe and re-encountering, that same afternoon, some of the worst of E. Hemingway's macho prose. Suddenly I had this distressing vision of Hemingway blasting the brains out of Poe's quothing raven, so that nevermore would the gloomy bird go on about doom, fate and the shocking price of bird seed in New York.  From then on it was only a short trot to other fanciful encounters.  Donatien Alphonse Francois, Marquis de Sade, for example.  His sheer bad luck in crossing the path of the unspeakable Goody Two-Shoes, who was capable of crushing the spirit of men more monstrous and certainly less readable than he, was startling, to say the least of it.  
Is it not likely that one such numbing encounter - with or without skipping-rope - resulted in his incarceration and, finally, death in the lunatic asylum at Charenton?  Such unlikely pairing opened up a world of nightmarish possibilities.  Take old Omar Khayyám's brief encounter while he was lolling about with a loaf, a jug of wine and his girlfriend Thou, under a desert palm.  If only he had enrolled in the Charles Atlas Biceps Course before T. E. Lawrence kicked sand in his face, the Rubáiyát might have been less soppy.
Crosssed paths, like crossed legs, can conceal an awful lot of surprises.  Had impetuous Caesar, for example, listened more carefully, would he still have chopped de Gaulle into three parts?
Well, maybe . . . '

 Searle even interpreted the magazine's famous mascot Eustace Tilley . . .
. . . and sometimes contributed 'The Back Page'

This 'Angel of Inspiration' is, I believe, a New Yorker commission

The New Yorker's obituary for Searle

19th November 1966


Uli Meyer said...

What a post! I have not seen a lot of these, great stuff, thanks Matt!

Matt J said...

Thanks Uli, all are available as prints here-

Joe Corrao 4 Eyed Animation said...

really great stuff...alas I hope we find more

Matt J said...

Cheers Joe, that's about it from the New Yorker but I still have LOTS more Searle material to come . . .

docnad said...

I always suspected that the "Crossed Paths" cartoons were specifically created to appeal to the probable tastes of The New Yorker's new editor Robert Gottlieb, who replaced William Shawn. Gottlieb had been a high-powered book editor before Si Newhouse brought him into the magazine in 1987. I think the literary nature of these cartoons would have greatly appealed to him.

Matt J said...

Interesting Steve. I've added searle's introduction from 'Marquis De Sade meets Goody Two Shoes' here which may shed more light on the series' creation. Searle would've undoubtably had to 'pitch' the project to the editor and, as you presume, geared his more 'literary' ideas to that end.

Priscilla Wong said...

These are incredible! Thanks for sharing!