Whose Charlotte, you may ask? If you don’t know, you will know very soon. Charlotte is Chelsea Clinton’s new baby daughter, born this week. She is also of course the granddaughter of Hillary and Bill. When I first heard the news, I was very happy for them all, including the father Marc. But then I started worrying: will she be dressed in pink? Wear bows and sparkles, only be given dolls, tea sets, and toy kitchens? I imagine she will play with those things but also play with legos, trucks, climb trees and play sports, she will love to get dirty as much as she loves to paint her nails. Charlotte has a strong act to follow in her mother and her grandmother, but they are terrific role models. I wish her well.
It’s been a while since I’ve done a book signing, in part because my most recent book, Women On Men, is an ebook. But with print-on-demand, it can be printed, and my publisher printed a whole bunch of copies and I was invited to sign them at the National Book Festival in Washington, DC on Saturday. D.C. is my hometown– it will be nice to return for the weekend.
Here is a podcast for the Library of Congress, where Martha Kennedy, director of the Prints and Drawings Division interviews me on my work and book. I also was invited to donate some of my work to the collection, and it is a great honor for me to do so.
If you would to purchase a discounted signed, with drawing, copy of Women On Men, write me at firstname.lastname@example.org
With every national “entertainment” event on television—be it the Grammys, the Oscars, the Tonys, the Olympics, a last or first episode of a very popular TV show like Mad Men, the State Of The Union Address, or the Emmys, I am compelled to live-tweet draw my impressions of what I see. Recently, I have been hired to do so for various sites: NewYorker.com, Medium.com’s The Nib, BET.com, TheaterMania.com. It’s a lot of fun, and its a way to communicate with my audience– a way to share in the event that is not just words (although I do use words sometimes in the drawing, and in the tweets). I love this, and hope to continue to do them. The Vine recently wrote and called my Emmy sketches “beautiful,” and Jezebel wrote about my Olympic drawings for The New Yorker.
If you would like to see all of my drawings that I did last night for the Emmys, go to The NIb, link here. Enjoy!
When I was around six or seven, I was home sick from school and in an effort to make me happy, my mother gave me a pencil, a stack of paper and a book of cartoons. She knew I loved to draw, and knew this would help me get through the sick days. The book of cartoons she gave me was called Thurber Carnival, a collection of work by the renowned New Yorker writer and cartoonist James Thurber. His drawings are very simple, almost childlike, and I took to them immediately. I started tracing them. Soon, I realized this made my mother smile. I was hooked. From there, I started to draw my own cartoon characters. This is how I became a cartoonist.
So it is especially wonderful for me to be a finalist for the Thurber Prize this year for my book Women On Men (Narrative Library). It is the sole award in America for written humor, and is annually given out by Thurber House (the birthplace of James Thurber and an active literary center in Ohio). Thurber was a master humorist in both the written word and the cartoon, working primarily for The New Yorker in mid-century 1900′s. Past winners have included Jon Stewart, Calvin Trillin, Christopher Buckley and David Sedaris. The other finalists that were nominated along with me are David Letterman and Bruce McCall for their book “This Land is Made For You And Me” and John Kenney for “Truth in Advertising.” We will gather in New York City at Caroline’s Comedy Club on September 30th, where we will all do a reading and then they will announce the prize.
Ironically for me, one of the things that made some of Thurber’s cartoons so notable with the public were their misogynistic tone. Thurber was married twice to strong women, and had a daughter, but his cartoons sometimes betray befuddlement and often hostility towards women, as did his wonderful humorous essays. Who knows if he personally was a misogynist (some say he was), or that he just used it as a comedic tool, not uncommon in the humor of his time.
As a child, I remember that his cartoon women perplexed me and scared the heck out of me. I thought, is this what I have to be when I grow up? A hag, an angel, a delusional waif, a love object…and nothing in between?
This originally appeared on The Nib.