s skippy the bush kangaroo

skippy the bush kangaroo

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

our pen stops for a moment

in his younger days, skippy doodled with cartooning...a few panels in the local college town paper, and tons of comic books for his school friends.

so it is with heavy heart that the staff at skippy notes the passing of two greats in the pen and ink arena this week.

al hirschfeld, the man who could say the most with the fewest lines about broadway and hollywood, passed away earlier this week at the age of 99.

in a career that spanned the 20th century, he probably saw more shows than anyone else. he drew a vast and imaginative portrait of the performing artists of his lifetime, particularly in the theater. he was a familiar figure at first nights and at rehearsals, where he had perfected the technique of making a sketch in the dark, using a system of shorthand notations that contributed to the finished product.

mr. hirschfeld's caricatures were famous for hidden instances of the name of his daughter, "nina," somewhere in the sparse, elegant lines. next to his signature he put the number of "ninas" in his drawings, creating a sort of pleasurable sunday game for his admirers.

take a look at a nytimes gallery of his work, you will realize you have been a fan of his without even knowing it.

here's what the blogging cartoonists have to say: elayne riggs and ampersand and pop culture gadabout (technically not a cartoonist, but he knows everything about pop culture!) on hirschfeld.

and for those of you who remember when the us waited for provocation before going to war, we are also sad to report the passing of bill maudlin, the creator of the willie and joe strip that got so many g.i.'s through the night in those hellish foxholes overseas during world war ii.

bill mauldin, the army sergeant who created willie and joe, the cartoon characters who became enduring symbols of the grimy, irrepressible american infantrymen who triumphed over the german army and prevailed over their own rear-echelon officers in world war ii, died yesterday in newport beach, calif. he was 81...after willie and joe won the war, mr. mauldin became a syndicated newspaper cartoonist and went on for more than 50 years to caricature bigots, superpatriots, doctrinaire liberals and conservatives and pompous souls in whatever form they appeared. he won the pulitzer prize twice, once in 1944 for his world war II work, again in 1959 for his commentary on soviet treatment of boris pasternak.

skippy's father, who served on a sub in the pacific theatre in that war, loved willie and joe, and would often regale young skippy with tales of their antics, and how much they meant to the grunts and swabbies on the front lines.

here's what pop culture gadabout and tom tomorrow and body and soul and ampersand (who has more great links to other blogs' memoriums) had to say about maudlin.

the world is a sadder place tonight...at least it is, in skippy's cartoon.

posted by skippy at 10:54 PM |


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