The Rough-roughs I talked about Monday became roughs and the roughs went to NYC, where one of them hit the big time and became an OK. That one will be done up in ink and wash and sent back to Bob. I’m not sure I can reproduce the finish here as I had originally intended, due to the terms of my contract at the magazine, which doesn’t allow publication of the drawing until a while after it appears in print. Here are examples of the rough-rough and the rough versions, though.
The Rough-Rough…

The Rough…

Hopefully, those of you interested will see the final result soon in the magazine.

Exciting, isn’t it?

And now I really must return to the dizzying weekly cycle of cartoon activity, starting by searching my mental in-box for ideas.

The Results So Far…

I can see why those old guys used ideas from elsewhere. It came as a surprise to me back in the day, when I first started submitting to the magazine, that a lot of the the giants of the profession were furnished ideas, either by the magazine itself or from gag-writers. The magazine actually bought a few of my initial attempts at cartoons as ideas only, wisely rejecting my bad drawing and purchasing only the idea part (For a pittance) which they then assigned to one of their contract artists. In my case, I sold about a dozen of those, most of which ended up as Charles Addams cartoons. I had to admit the results were a million times better than my initial attempts, but I was very disappointed that they had rejected my drawings. (Of course, they eventually made that up to me).



  1. Paul Karasik says:

    I want to know which of your ideas ended up as Chas. Adams cartoons.

    Wait…let me guess: was it the one where Gomez is standing on a cloud throwing Morticia like a thunderbolt? Or was it the one about Gomez stretching the guy out on the medieval rack using only his palm pilot?

    Nice work.


  2. Roz says:

    As I was reading this, I started to feel a little dizzy with anxiety, remembering the millions of Tuesdays or Wednesdays of the past and worrying about all the ones in the future, if there is a future.

    Once I asked Bob (before he was cartoon editor) how many ok’s in a row a person would need before a non-ok week didn’t matter. Without a moment’s hesitation he answered, “A million.”

  3. jxc says:

    I had heard many of these stories before and frankly, until i saw them in print, I thought there were’t true. I though Mick Stevens was the fantasy name for the guy who works at the place where I buy my sandwiches. I am a better person for this blog.

  4. liza says:

    The older guys -and they were all guys, except I think Nurit Karlin went to lunch with the Tuesday crowd (just because she was invited to that lunch, not because she was older)- did go in on Tuesday, and I have a feeling it was Lee Lorenz needing to have two groups, there were so many of us. The lunch tradtion is very old, and I believe the gatherings were originally on Tuesday. I was invited to come to the Tuesday lunch a few times, and it was scarey for me. Charles Saxon, Frank Modell, Ed Arno, George Booth, Boris Drucker, Ed Fisher, Ed Frascino, Bill Hamlton, Joe Mirachi, Al Ross. I can’t remember who everyone. I think Everett Opie, too–he was an unusual fellow.

    Anyway, the Wednesday lunches were fun, and I looked forward to it every week, meeting up with Roz, Jack, Mick, Bob. We would meet in the Lobby of the old building, sometimes in the coffee shop that was down there. Sometimes after lunch we would go play pool down at Tin Pan Alley and drink beers for the afternoon. Once we went on the Circle Line, remember that?

    Once Roz found a grasshopper in her salad. A memorable moment.

    Its fun remembering, Mick. Thanks for doing this!

  5. Tom Cheney says:

    30 years of submitting to The NYer, and I never made it to lunch. Believe me, I tried to get there, but I ended up in Honolulu instead. Damn those gas station maps! Great blog, Mick.

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