Wednesday, February 01, 2012

"Your money belt's too tight."

So Mitt Romney finally scored a victory. This time in Florida, a state so unique it has two time zones and a diverse and ethnically mixed population. I really don't know what Romney's win tells us, but it's a checkmark in the W column for the rich guy.

The New Yorker has some funny cartoons about rich people, which seem pertinent to the conversation. These three are from 1954, but rich is rich in any era. The cartoonists are masters Chas Addams, Peter Arno and Whitney Darrow. My feeling is that cartooning is not only a lonely life—working alone in a studio drawing funny pictures is a deadly serious business—and cartoonists have to work so hard at their craft, they like poking fun at the privileged 1%.

Lately I've been going through the New Yorker archives, specifically 1954 (a year chosen at random), and downloading cartoons I like. I am a New Yorker subscriber, so I'm allowed to go back through every issue ever published. The pages are scanned so low rez that producing anything worth showing is a chore. I blow them up and tweak them with my editing software. I've even had to re-set the captions. The New Yorker font is Caslon A, which they have used for the whole history of the magazine. That font costs money, so I use a font that is similar, the close-but-not-quite Century Schoolbook.

I have the book, The Complete Cartoons of The New Yorker, with every cartoon published up until the book was published, but have the same problem with the cartoons on DVD. I believe many of the cartoons are genuine works of art, and the low resolution scanning diminishes them.

On the other hand, I believe the magazine is doing us all a favor by scanning all their back issues, even with the low resolution. It gave me a chance to read "The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty" in its first printing from the March 18, 1939 issue, for instance.

All cartoons Copyright © 2011, 1954 The New Yorker


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