Sunday, October 23, 2011

Return to Boney Island

Reports of Boney Island's demise weren't exaggerated or premature but they are now happily inaccurate. The annual Halloween lawn party in Sherman Oaks has returned with many new displays as well as a few of the old ones that didn't get snapped up on Ebay. Go to the Boney Island website for times and directions. And, of course, they can be followed on Facebook and Twitter.

The amazing treehouse is still there, now with a water show. It's like a Bellagio of slime.

Sing-along with the shrubbery.

The fortune teller will astound the unskeptical.

New video. It's even better when it moves.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Life Drawing 43: The Gluyas Williams Reader

January 6, 1921

Obviously he could draw, but Gluyas Williams also wrote well, and funny. In the early 1920s he seems to have spent nearly as much time at the typewriter as he did at the drawing board. He introduced the blowhard Senator Sounder in the May 27, 1920 issue of Life, a feature (and the subject of a future post) that would become increasingly text-heavy over the next few years. Williams also wrote humorous articles lampooning a variety of contemporary topics that were, best yet, illustrated by the author.

February 24, 1921

August 18, 1921

November 3, 1921

January 26, 1922

May 25, 1922

July 27, 1922

Drawings created solely as illustrations for Life's text pieces were extremely rare. The wall between the art in the magazine and the writing was breached only slightly more often during the '20s. Below is one of those occasions, with Williams illustrating a story by Alan Patrick Herbert.

August 10, 1922

September 28, 1922

Happily, while all this writing was going on Williams did not completely abandon the sequential strips or the full-page drawings showcasing the amazing play with perspective, crowd control and deftly spotted blacks that he was known for.

August 17, 1922

September 14, 1922

October 5, 1922

Turns out there actually was a game played in London that involved spotting men with beards and shouting, "Beaver!" Williams seems to have been right on top of things with this drawing, as most citations date the origin of the game at 1922. He may have been the first, but he wasn't the only Life artist to do a beaver cartoon. It's worth mentioning that this game is likely the source of beaver's more contemporary usage, which first appeared in England in 1927.

October 12, 1922

November 23, 1922

Devember 7, 1922

December 21, 1922

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Life Drawing 42: Rea Irvin 1917-1920

More of Rea Irvin's work from the pages of Life.

March 1, 1917

March 1, 1917

November 29, 1917

September 5, 1918

March 6, 1919

January 22, 1920

The Japanese Schoolboy feature returned in March of 1920, and disappeared again just as suddenly. 
March 18, 1920

Those who wish to read the complete text can find the second page here.

March 18, 1920

This drawing is unsigned, but if it's not by Irvin then it's by the best of the Irvin imitators (of which there were quite a few.)
April 29, 1920

May 6, 1920

May 13, 1920

June 3, 1920

June 17, 1920

with Calvert
July 22, 1920

July 29, 1920

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Life Drawing 41: A Gibson Father's Day

December 3, 1898

Where would the Gibson Girl be without her Gibson Dad? Working long hours in endless condescension as a shopgirl or as a seamstress locked in a burning shirtwaist factory, or married and raising six kids on a iceman's salary, that's where. She'd be nowhere near a Gibson drawing, that's for sure.

October 20, 1898

In 1898 Gibson began a series of drawings that followed a henpecked husband and beleaguered father on an extended tour of Europe with his two beautiful daughters and his wife (who kinda looks like Fred Mertz in Gay Nineties drag.) These drawings would be collected the next year into a book. They might have been created with a book in mind, as Gibson's books had by this time proved to be a hugely popular and lucrative venture for the artist. What follows is a sadly incomplete look at the series The Education of Mr. Pipp by Charles Dana Gibson.

September 29, 1898

October 6, 1898

October 13, 1898

October 20, 1898

October 27, 1898

November 3, 1898

November 10, 1898

December 1, 1898

December 8, 1898

October 5, 1899