Posts Tagged ‘Denys Wortman’

Giving Thanks for Denys Wortman


Friday, November 26, 2010

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Happy Turkey time. Here are some hobo drawings, just to keep it real! Just kidding. Well, not sort of. Anyhow! I have already professed my love for James Sturm and Brandon Elston’s new book, Denys Wortman’s New York. It’s maybe my favorite book of the season. So I asked James if he’d be willing to share some drawings that didn’t make it in the book and he sent these 10 killers along with this missive:

“I love these hobo drawings. Wortman has an obvious affection for them. It’s easy to imagine Wortman, like most cartoonists, as a homebody, and to tramp around vicariously through his characters must have felt liberating. Mopey Dick and the Duke were at the height of their popularity, not surprisingly, during the great depression. The hobos were based on Wortman himself (the Duke) and an old sea captain, William Morris Barnes (Mopey). Hilda Wortman met Barnes in NYC in the mid-twenties and was fascinated by the old captain’s stories—so much so that she recorded his history that was published in 1929, “When Ships Were Ships and Not Tin Pots.”

Barnes was also a painter, creating canvasses of ships at sea which he would sell to the Wortmans. According to Wortman VIII, after a sale Barnes would disappear for weeks on end and go on a bender. When he ran dray he made and sold another painting. Wortman VIII still has a few hanging in his home. Below is a drawing of Barnes by Milt Gross himself.

Some of these drawings show off Wortman’s great feel for organic forms. He did rural as well as he did urban. In addition to the NYC work, He also did a lot drawings of New England, the country side, and documented trips to Europe and Central America. Most of these have yet to be scanned.”

So, dig in and enjoy on this lazy Friday. Then click over to the NY Times to read more about Wortman or just dive into the official site. My thanks to James for sending these along.

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These Guys…


Friday, November 19, 2010

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Coffee and Conversation at DAP

An excuse: Well, it’s been a week of nothing but Brian Chippendale and CF for me. I just put the boys in a cab to JFK and tonight they will be at Floating World Comics in Portland OR, for a party and interview with Matt Fraction. Tomorrow night they’ll be at Family in Los Angeles. Let me say this: Their slide shows are pretty damn great, and not to be missed. It goes on… Just to keep the fun going, here are a couple brand new interviews with Chippendale at Inkstuds and Arthur. Compare and contrast and see if he contradicts or repeats himself. Try it at home!

An item: I direct your attention over to Same Hat, where CC pal Ryan Holmberg is doing some group research on Lone Wolf and Cub writer Koike Kazuo. Apparently he also wrote a Hulk comic book for the Japanese market in the 1970s. I would like to read that.

A recommendation: I love Denys Wortman’s New York. It’s a beautifully produced book of this forgotten cartoonist’s vivid NYC-observed cartoons. The drawings are nuanced and yet amazingly muscular and gritty. I’d never seen the work before and found myself completely absorbed in Wortman’s bygone world. Great drawings and a great historical presentation by James Sturm and Brandon Elston. Kudos to D&Q for supporting such a wonderful project. There is a an exhibition on now at The Museum of the City of New York, which I look forward to checking out asap.

End on a stupid note: A very brief “Dapper Dan’s SuperMovies Column”: Let me just say: The Green Lantern trailer totally blows, except for the monster dude that looks like the Elephant Man. That part is cool. But does everything have to be a wise cracking hunk who grows up and finds responsibility? It’s creepy! And why are ALL sci-fi sets seemingly designed by the same boring people? I want more architectural phalluses and glistening drops of liquid, not boring faux-cities. Well, the boys and I hold out hope for Darren Aronofsky’s Wolverine movie. That should be good.

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