Saturday, January 10, 2009

Funny Ladies - The New Yorker's Greatest Women Cartoonists and their cartoons by Liza Donnelly

Female cartoonists are heavily outnumbered by male ones. That's a fact.
In Funny Ladies, I read in the foreword by Jules Feiffer: "If Charles Addams was Charlotte Addams, would we still know her name?" Liza Donnelly has written this book about the, sometimes forgotten, woman's cartoonists who drew for The New Yorker, the famous American magazine with a long and distinct cartoon history. Liza mailed me she LOVED writing that book, but unfortunately, that kind of subject matter is not very "popular", but at least she got it published beautifully by Prometheus. Of course, for us, this is a nice book to have in our cartoon book collection. After Funny Ladies, Liza did a more mainstream book about women called Sex and Sensibility. It's in french now, too.

It is no secret that most New Yorker readers flip through the magazine to look at the cartoons before they ever ley eyes on the text. But what isn't generally known is that over the decades a growing group of woman artists has contributed to the witty,memorable cartoons that readers look forward to each week. Liza Donnelly, herself a renowned cartoonist with the New Yorker, has written an engaging, in-depth celebrating of the rich history of woman's humor and the woman cartoonists who have graced the pages of the famous magazine from the Roaring Twenties to the present day. (like Helen Hokinson, Alice Harvey, Nancy Fay, Mary Petty, Barbara Shermund, Dorothy McKay, Roberta MacDonald, Nurit Karlin, Roz Chast, Liza Donnelly, ...)

"An entirely new and much welcome take on the history of The New Yorker is provided in Funny Ladies (2005)... Liza Donnelly has dug deep into the magazine's archives and insightfully uncovered the ups and downs of the far-more-than-expected female practitioners of this art form... Virtually every page contains a surprise or two, and then, of course, there's also a large dose of nearly a century's worth of very funny and not always 'ladylike' drawings."
JACK ZIEGLER, New Yorker cartoonist

Liza Donnelly is married with New Yorker cartoonist Michael Maslin. They form a quite unique cartooning couple.
Their new book is due out this month: "Cartoon Marriage: Adventures in Matrimony with The New Yorker's Cartooning Couple" (Random House)

Michael Maslin in The New Yorker June 9&16, 2008

Liza on YouTube - Sex and Sensibility at the Cartoon Art Museum:

1 comment:

Mike Lynch said...

They are both great cartoonists and I'm looking forward to CARTOON MARRIAGE, you betcha!