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Take a peek over Jim Borgman's shoulder

Jim Borgman has been the Enquirer's editorial cartoonist since 1976. Borgman has won every major award in his field, including the 1991 Pulitzer Prize, the National Cartoonists Society's Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year in 1993, and most recently, the Adamson Award in 2005 as International Cartoonist of the Year. His award-winning daily comic strip Zits, co-created with Jerry Scott, chronicles the life of 15-year-old Jeremy Duncan, his family and friends through the glories and challenges of the teenage years. Since debuting in July 1997, Zits has regularly finished #1 in reader comics polls across America and is syndicated in more than 1300 newspapers around the world.

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Monday, October 15, 2007

The Bill

For that matter, both of my baby-gets-the-bill images owe a debt to Edward Sorel's The Bill.

In the late 1970's my wife and I, newly married and poor as churchmice, were visiting my sister in New York City. We walked past Graham Gallery which had a Sorel exhibit up at the time. My heart shot into my throat. I had seen very little original cartoon art at the time, and here, by chance!, was an entire show by one of my heroes.

I remember quaking as we walked through the show, each drawing more amazing than the last. We lingered in front of The Bill. The energy and fury of the line was mermerizing. It was $600, money we did not have. We moved on.

A week later Lynn said to me, "Do you ever think about that drawing we saw in New York?"

"Every day," I said.

She said, "I called the gallery today. They said we could pay for it over six months."

I swallowed hard.

"I told them we'd take it," she said.

It hangs in my house today, the best money I have ever spent.


at 10/15/07, 1:54 PM Blogger Marci Yesowitch said...

Best wife ever? I think maybe, yes.

at 10/15/07, 3:32 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Jim, thanks for revealing your sources. So glad you were able to get a piece of your inspriration. Great observations never fade.

Did he use a brush or a pen?



at 10/15/07, 7:14 PM Anonymous J. Carey (NJ) said...

Reminds me of a time during the late 70's when I used to work for a Madison Avenue gallery (packer, doorman, gofer). On one errand to Christie's or Sotheby's I saw a gorgeous, fantastic John Graham painting that was ready for auction. I couldn't have afforded it ($13,000) in my wildest dreams, but I still think of that painting with great longing.

PS I'm curious about the new Schulz biography. (Jim Borgman, as I recall you said that he struck you as a very sad guy.) I hear that his family isn't too thrilled with the book.

Zits: 'The worst name for a comic since "Peanuts".' High praise indeed!

at 10/15/07, 7:25 PM Anonymous Weekly Cartoonist. said...

Great story.
Sorel!!! Yes!!! His picture -- and a few others -- grace the inside of the lid my art box. A great influence.

at 10/15/07, 9:00 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

In a Sorel vein, sometimes illustrator Victor Juhasz does some good stuff.

at 10/15/07, 9:52 PM Anonymous tim of sioux falls said...

I agree with Mr. Borgman's admiration for Edward Sorel. David Levine,Brad Holland, Robert Grossman, and Ronald Searle also created strong, political illustrations, especially in the 70's. I admired Mr. Sorel's drawings of Nixon in a illustration entitled Milhous I, Lord of San Clemente, Duke of Key Biscayne, and Captain of Watergate from 1973 and in an illustration entitled "Sysphus" from 1974. Ralph Steadman of Rolling Stone Magazine also did some impressive graphic drawing in the early 70's.

at 10/16/07, 12:23 AM Blogger richardcthompson said...

Oooh. I want a gallery tour of your place, Jim.

at 10/17/07, 3:27 PM Blogger Patrick O'Connor said...

oo! oo! me too!

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