list of Ohio cartoonists might include Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes),
Cathy Guisewite (Cathy) and Phillip Martin (ah, shucks, I wish I was on
your list). But, long before any of Ohio's current batch of cartoonists
put pencil to paper, humorist James Thurber made his mark in Columbus, Ohio,
and around the world. Thurber, known for his witty cartoons in The New Yorker
magazine, was also an author, journalist and playwrite. He wrote more than
40 books including My World and Welcome to It and
the short story The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
was born in Columbus in 1894. From 1913 to 1917, he attended the Ohio
State University and rented the house at 77 Jefferson Avenue that in 1984
became the Thurber House Museum.
a year in Paris, in 1926, Thurber moved to New York City to work as an
editor for the New York Evening Post. He didn't become known as a cartoonist
until after the move to the Big Apple. It was there that fellow editor,
E.B.White (Yep, the guy who wrote Charlotte's Web)
found some of Thurber's drawings in the trash and submitted them for publication.
It must have been a very lucky Thursday for Thurber, because White only
came into the office one day a week.
celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Thurber House Museum in Columbus,
more than twenty local Columbus cartoonists were invited to make their
own renderings of Thurber cartoons in their own style. There were no rules.
Imaginations were free to run wild, and that is exactly what happened.
The exhibition, hosted by the Wild Goose gallery, eventually will move
to Jefferson Avenue for permanent exhibition.
my particular drawing, I selected Thurber's American
Male Tied up in a Typewriter Ribbon. If you are too young to fully
understand the frustration of that moment, consider yourself a blessed
member of a computer society. I updated the art to the computer age and
wrapped the American Male up in a computer mouse cord. But, it was my
intention to keep a very true element of Thurber's drawing in my version.
I tried to match every curve and twist of the typewriter ribbon with my
mouse cord. Each generation has their own problems and frustrations with
communication. But, I promise you, a mouse cord is a whole lot less messy.
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