In the history of drawn cartoons the name George Booth brilliantly shines like an unshaded 60 watt (incandescent) light bulb hanging from a lone electrical cord. Booth’s characters and situations are familiar to all of us, but what he chooses to pluck out of reality and represent in his spot cartoons is genius. I find his work very similar to the character work and vignettes in films by W.C. Fields (“It’s A Gift”/“The Bank Dick”) and Jacques Tati (“Mr. Hulot’s Holiday”/ “Mon Oncle”). He makes the combination of drawing style, caricature, environment and writing, seem very matter of fact and effortless, and that’s the magic of the cartooning world he’s created for himself, and has been generous enough to share with the world.
George was born in Cainsville, Missouri in 1926. The son of schoolteachers, his mother Irma (MawMaw) was also a musician and a fine artist/cartoonist. His father William, was the Superintendent of Schools in Fairfax, Missouri. One of their homes was a one room schoolhouse converted into a home for the Booths. This was “Dust- Bowl” depression era and they paid part of their rent in Cherry Trees one year. George was drafted into the U.S. Marine Corps in 1944, invited to re-enlist and join the Corp’s “Leatherneck Magazine” as a staff cartoonist, then when re-drafted for the Korean Conflict, he was ordered back to work with “Leatherneck”.
After his discharge from the service, he moved to NYC to try his hand as an artist, married, and entered the publishing world in 1959 as corporate art director at Bill Brothers publications and remained there until1968. He jumped with both feet into being a fulltime cartoonist with his first sale of a cartoon to The New Yorker magazine in 1969, beginning a relationship with the publication that lasts to this day.
George has illustrated numerous books and there are several collections of his hilarious cartoons that have been published. His work has been translated into animation by studios such as R.O. Blechman’s The Ink Tank, Frank Terry Productions and J.J. Sedelmaier Productions, Inc.
The National Cartoonists Society has recognized Booth with both the Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award and the Gag Cartoon Award.
This is the first exhibit exclusively dedicated to George Booth’s work.
Curated by J.J. Sedelmaier, President/ Director J.J. Sedelmaier Productions, Inc.