Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Great Bosc - part 2 - interview with Alain Damman

On the occasion of the Bosc exhibition in the ECC (Jan 1- April 5, 2009) I had an interview with Alain Damman, nephew of the Great Bosc and webmaster of the magnificent Bosc-site.

How many 'hits' you get when you type' bosc 'on google?
- When I type Bosc on Google, there are 3,130,000 results and I have my site on the first page, first line. Of course there are the Bosc Pears, and 3 other famous Bosc: a protentant pastor wrote many books, an anthologist and a scientist. That is why my site is named ‘J-M-Bosc’.

Are all the Bosc drawings published? Are there still unpublished Bosc cartoons?
- The 2 books that I have edited (by Cherche Midi) in 2003 and 2005 each contain 95 drawings never published before on book. Just as the book "dessins inédits” (unpublished drawings) published in 1991, these drawings were published a day in a newspaper 50 years ago ... but never in a book. - And yes, I have drawings that have never been seen by anyone. From time to time I publish one.
- On occasion I find a Bosc formerly published in a magazine that I did not know. E.g. this drawing found last week by Jean-Marie Bertin in an "Antologia" of 1957.

The bibliography of Bosc is impressive: 225 books with drawings of Bosc. What book (s) Bosc would you recommend you for a starting collector of cartoon books?
- In general, "the Boscaves" I would recommend to beginners. Many graphic art teachers advised their students this book as a bedside book.

Imagine your home is on fire, and you can save only one book. Which one would you save?
- If there was a fire, I save “Je ‘t Aime”(I love you) because it’s the book that gave him the price of black humor in Grandville in 1970.

Can we expect new books on Bosc in the future?
- I have personally edited the last 3 books published by Cherche Midi in 2003, 2005 and 2007 and the book published in German in 2008, as well as 2 beautiful catalogs: Cluny in 2007 and Zemun in 2008. - A new book will be released by Cicero in Berlin in 2010. Cherche Midi will release a new book on condition that I find in Paris a beautiful Bosc exhibition, which is so far proved impossible.

Finally: Do you know Wikipedia?
- For Wikipedia, you need to type "Bosc jean":
Of course the French article is very insufficient, but I do not really have time to complete all search sites.

Alain, merci beaucoup pour cet interview!

Learn more (and other links):
Bosc Part 1
Bosc search on this blog

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Coupon Clippers by Mark Doeffinger

Some time ago, Mark Doeffinger (USA) sent me his little book "Coupon Clippers". His cartoons, most with a explanatory text, are quite difficult to understand for non-Americans. Nevertheless, there are some good findings in the book and Mark was very helpful to explain some cartoons for us. Here's what Mark wrote:

Many of my cartoons from the book depend on an intimate understanding of American English and American culture from the early 80's. I had lots of puns back then. I'll try to explain a few.

The blue light special" cartoon refers to a loudspeaker announcement in a discount shopping chain called K-Mart. A blue light would come on in the store and the announcer would say: "Attention K-Mart shoppers. There is a blue light special sale on (umbrellas). 25% off regular price." And shoppers would hurry over to the umbrella counter and get their blue light special discount. It became a sort of joke. So I have drawn blue lights on sale for the Blue Light Special.

Just a pun, and not a particularly good one.A Tie-in is a way of advertising two products together. "Dynasty" was a hit TV show in the 80's, so I advertise a tie and the show "Dynasty" together to make a "tie-in." Just another pun.
Other puns or double-entendres which you may or may not get: Two bits is slang for 25 cents. A bit is also a drill. So I play on the double meaning. Haywire is an expression for "crazy"--"he drives me haywire." So the drawing is of wire which seems a little crazy. A golfer hits a ball off of a wooden peg called a Tee. If the ball he hits should go toward someone, he must yell FORE to warn the other player.

So the wordplay is on the double meaning of Tee and T-shirt. Likewise, when one has an alcohol problem, one can quit "cold turkey," that is, all at once. So the turkey leg in the wine glass. Baloney and blarney are synonyms for talking nonesense, as is "phoney baloney"( Bologna is an alternative spelling for baloney). There used to be a group of jokes called "Knock Knock" jokes. So the door knocker. "Nit wits" are crazy people; the alligator and penguin were logos for 2 lines of sportswear shirts or "knits."

A postage stamp lawn is a small lawn. The lawn was (is?) a sort of status symbol in America, perhaps worthy of a stamp. Die Hards are people who never give up; it is also the name of a long endurance battery for cars. And Firestone is a brand of tires. Dirt cheap is an expression for real inexpensive. Ho-hum means boring and a cutup is a person who is always doing nutty things.
I once knew a guy in a heavy metal band, and he said my heavy metal cartoon captured the genre's nature. So, looking back, I like that cartoon, the computer dates one and the Volklore one best (though Volkswagen has brought the beetle back in amended form). Other people prefer other cartoons in the book. Meanwhile, if you are familiar with all my puns, please excuse my digressions on meanings. But it takes a while for even my friends to "get " the cartoons from Coupon Clippers. And if you have any more questions I will be more than glad to answer them."

Thanks to Mark for his kind permission.

Learn more:
Mark Doeffinger on The Lite Stuff
Coupon Clippers (Amazon)
Cartoonbooks file 

Friday, February 20, 2009

Fashion (and cartoons) - Alexsandro Palombo - Vanitas, Inshallah

This week I received a press release:

Available in the best bookstores as from March 2009

aleXsandro Palombo
XI years of dreamlike color

The fashion world portrayed in the incisive and brilliant illustrations of aleXsandro Palombo in a poetic and colorful universe, surreal and provocative in a new book in the series "Chic et Simpliciter" from Hazard Editions. The first catwalk-book ever.
VANITAS, INSHALLAH is a veritable illustrated tale, extravagant and provocative right from the title. The main character of this adventure is Vanitas , a clown who lives with joy and passion, between dreams, memories and reality. He loves travelling, art and culture. His gaze is able to capture the vices and virtues of our society and unmask the misdeeds of our times. His stories are full of irony and provocative, poetic and moving, making you both smile and think. His duty is to distribute dreams, yet he will have to face life’s snares.

The world of fashion becomes the set imagined by the author which brings together characters and celebrities, thoughts and surreal hypotheses, precognitions and fantasies, in a series of incisive and exceptional illustrations characterized by an amazing sense of colour.

This publication is a fascinating fresco of our society, its passions, its hopes and disappointments, its amusing aspects, its suffering and its contradictions. It shows Palombo, the story-teller and illustrator of anecdotes, who uses the simple language of dreams, of fervid and captivating fantasies, original and profound, while always retaining that ungraspable and unique element which characterizes the author’s style. A journey between the real and surreal which opens our minds and takes us into the poetical imagination of one of the most original and surprising artists of the Italian and international scene.

Learn more:
Alexandro Palombo biography.
For the fashion lovers... a Fashion Week blog.. another world.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Herluf Bidstrup (Denmark)

Although these books are of a series of 14 books at least, the signature Bid is nearly sunk into oblivion, nowadays. At the end of WW2, Herluf Bidstrup (1912-1988) joins a communist daily paper where his favorite targets are the capitalists and militarism. He gradually becomes isolated in Denmark when his cartoons are received with enthusiasm in the Eastern bloc (including China). He is awarded the international Lenin Peace Prize in 1964, and is furthermore presented with the Red Flag’s Order. His blind affection for Communism and Stalinism brought discredit upon him in the Western countries and a very little of his fame and popularity is still remaining in few rare other countries, after his death.






Herluf Bidstrup is born in Berlin from a Danish father and a German mother, in 1912. His family moves to Denmark during WW1. He is taught at the Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. He supplies the underground press with anti-Nazi cartoons, while the German occupation of his country. After the war, he supports communism and his anti anti-American cartoons are published in many papers of the whole Eastern bloc, up to China. During the Cold War, several collections of his cartoons are reprinted in books form, in the USSR and other countries, such as the GDR where a huge book (500 cartoons!) is launched by Eulenspiegel publishing. His work as a communism propagandist was also rewarded by two Soviet Prizes. It is to say the former fame of this Danish cartoonist who was almost unknown in the Western bloc.


The drawing below (from book n°9) shows the collaboration with the Nazis, and the absolution of the collaborators after the war. It is such facts which are likely to have radicalized the political positions of Bidstrup and have pushed him toward the extremes of a manichean communism.

article by

Learn more:
Herluf Bidstrup site (Russian)
Bidstrup - Wikipedia
My bidstrup - gallery with more than 400 cartoons and caricatures
Cartoonbook files:

Magritte Valentine

Mark Doeffinger (USA) sent me this nice Valentine cartoon. I received a little cartoon book from Mark too. I'll present it soon on our blog.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day Red Cross Bushfire Appeal

I received this Valentine's Day message from the Australian Cartoonists' Association.

In the aftermath of the Victorian bushfires, Sydney-based cartoonist Matthew Martin has come up with a unique way for people to help the bushfire victims. 
He has designed and supplied a free image for romantics to print out as a Valentine’s Day card.

He’s suggesting people print out the image, and donate to charity any money they would normally spend on their loved one for Valentine’s Day.

Print out Matthew’s design (see attached), and ring the Australian Red Cross on 1800 811 700 to donate to the bushfire victims.

A big thank you to Matthew for his spirit of humanity.

Monday, February 9, 2009


I was in the ECC library yesterday. I added some Mordillo books to the Mordillo book list on Picasa.
One book is the "Mordillo Jubiläumsbuch" (1997). It's a limited edition. Only 1000 books were printed and 700 were signed by Mordillo himself. The ECC library owns nr. 51.

More information:

Mordillo Books part1
Mordillo Boosk part2
All articles with Mordillo references on this blog

Saturday, February 7, 2009

L'Effet Burki - 128 drawings by Raymond Burki (Swiss)

Raymond Burki is a Swiss (press) cartoonist, born in 1949.
Before I started working on this article, I googled 'burki cartoon' . Google asked if I meant 'burka cartoon' (1). No mr. Google: I really meant BURKI.
(1) note concerning 'burka cartoon': I'll show you some burka-stuff in another post.

I found this book by accident on the Braderie de Lille a few years ago. I think I paid only 8 euro for it. I didn't know Burki before, but browsing through the book, I immediately was convinced of his talent. The book was published in 1988 (Edit. 24 heures, Lausanne).It shows 128 drawings of Burki, published in '24heures', the paper Burki still draws for, during the eighties.

It almost Valentine's day... this Burki cartoon is from 1986.
"Il y a seulement de la malchance à n'être pas aimé;
il y a du malheur à ne point aimer."
(Albert Camus)

1986: catalic convertor issue in Swiss

1987: genetic manipulation

1986: this time it' serious: France and Great Brittain
will get theirChannel tunnel.

Learn more:
Recent Burki cartoons - 24heures newspaper
Burki on Wikipedia (French)
Other Burki images
L'Effet Burki - Cartoonbook file