This book is copyright 1974 by Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA
So, who is William Hamilton?
As usual, Wikipedia has a decent page on him. The article mentions that he sold his first cartoon to “The New Yorker” in 1965. At that time he was in the Army.
In the above book, he talks about some of the questions he has been asked.
For those of us wondering what it is like to work at “The New Yorker,” there is an interesting review of a book, “The Receptionist” written by a long time receptionist, Janet Groth, at the New Yorker. The review, by Mae Anderson, of the Associated Press, was published July 29, 2012 in the Portland Oregon, “Oregonian,” The book (320 pages long) is published by Algonquin Books. The review mentions Groth saying that she was seduced and then abandoned by a cartoonist. Hopefully, not the cartoonist of this blog. Since that time Groth says she has learned to avoid cartoonists, and has found lasting love. Awaaa. Here is the article, courtesy of the “Oregonian.”
And speaking of the “New Yorker,” in a publication entitled “The Complete Cartoons of The New Yorker”, The Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc. 151 West 19th Street, New York, NY 10011, copyright 2004, we find 29 of his cartoons, the first one in 1967. The date differs from the Wikipedia date for the first cartoon, however I will not get in the middle of that discussion. First, the 1967 cartoon.
And then, the 2003 cartoon.
“People” magazine, volume 12, number 8, August 20, 1979 has an in-depth article (People??) about the 40 year old Hamilton, in which he talks about his brief marriage, and an almost shotgun wedding. The article ends with the following:
Recently Bill Hamilton celebrated his 40th birthday with a gala party at Ethelwild. It recalled an earlier and particularly convivial evening he loves to describe. He was driving home when suddenly he realized he was bracketed by two police cars. Thinking fast, he slammed on the brakes and jumped out, shouting, “Help! Help! I’m drunk!” The startled and amused state troopers thereupon drove him home without even giving him a ticket. His mother heard him at the front door, urging the cops to come in. He wanted to read them his latest play.
Well worth a look to read the whole article.
The “New York Sun” of January 2005 has a nice article summarizing his life up to that time, with emphasis on his Off-Broadway show, ”White Chocolate.” The article also mentions his second marriage:
He recently married a Kentucky horse breeder, which has put him in comfortable financial circumstances. He’d like them to buy an apartment in New York, but she’d rather own a private plane.
We should all have that quandary.
While the “Sun” gives nice review the “Talkin’ Broadway,” which is some type of on-line volunteer group dealing with the theater scene is not as kind. Maybe if Hamilton had dropped a few ‘g’s’ it might have helped.
Dan Bacalzo, in a December 1969 review in “Theater Mania” is somewhat kinder..
From 1988 interview in “The New York Times” we have:
Although he is a novelist, essayist, radio commentator and playwright, Mr. Hamilton is best known for his distinctive drawings poking fun at the rich and self-satisfied.
His fascination with the horse-and-BMW set, he said, ”comes from being near money, but far enough away that I couldn’t quite get my fingers around it.”
Mr. Hamilton, 49 years old, was raised on a ranch in California’s Napa Valley. ”We lived on one of those dwindling trust funds with a hint of money in the past, but not much in the present.”
He became a cartoonist, he said, because ”the freelance life is the only way you can have an ersatz trust fund.” Indeed, to his dismay, he relies on the income from the drawings to support his other projects, which include a play scheduled to open in New York next spring.
”I’ve decided that in this day and age, artists and writers really have to be their own patrons,” he said.
The interview is either by Susan Cheever, or Michael Freitag, her name is at the start of the article, his at the end. I mean no disrespect to either, but I am not certain who to credit, so they both get mentioned.
Here is a link to a nice collection of his cartoons, along with a photo of him.
And before I share some cartoons from the “Anti-Social Register”, I want to mention a great blog on his cartoons. The Koshersamurai.
The writer of the blog:
Criminal Defence Lawyer.
Two kids (aka The Kiddie-Winkers): Exhibit One (23 yr old daughter); Exhibit Two (20 yr old son)
Jewish. Italian. Love Japanese culture and history.
And now for some cartoons from Hamilton’s 1974 publication, “Anti-Social Register.”
I think that ‘coming out in 1974 had a different connotation than today. However, the cartoon works either way.
Obviously, from his Army days…
How about some office cartoons,
On to education, at least at least I think it is an educational setting,
On to the Family at home,
And a nice religious ending.
Well, William Hamilton.
Hope you enjoyed it.
We have several updates on his life and times.
We appreciate all the contributations. The first one:
As I said, I appreciate all the follow up comments.