Henry Martin's Spots

Henry Martin, class of 1948, worked as a cartoonist and illustrator for more than forty-five years, publishing in the New Yorker, Ladies’ Home Journal, Saturday Evening Post, and many other magazines. He also had a single-panel comic strip, “Good News/Bad News,” which was nationally syndicated.

Martin had his first drawing accepted at the New Yorker in April 1950 but it was another ten years before his first cartoon was accepted there. It is, in fact, these drawings or “spots,” for which Martin is best represented in the magazine. A search of the New Yorker’s cartoon database reveals 188 cartoons but our archive of Martin’s drawings shows he made over 1,000 spots. These are the tiny drawings that fill the spaces above and below the stories, articles, and columns of the magazine.

In March of 2005, New Yorker editor David Remnick changed the handling of these spots (Martin was by then retired). The earlier spots Martin drew had no running narrative of their own; no connection with politics or current events or each other. They were visual poems living gloriously apart from daily life. This changed with the magazine’s 80th anniversary issue. The spots, now created by a series of artists, have their own narrative or running theme throughout an individual issue. This week, for instance, they are all about garbage.

We include a few here in the old style.

And one cartoon for good measure.

For some other Princeton University related Henry Martin cartoons, see: http://tigernet.princeton.edu/

For an extended commentary on the redesign of the New Yorker, see http://www.aiga.org/

Books illustrated by Henry Martin,

The Little Limerick Book; [an uncensored collection] illustrated by Henry R. Martin (Mount Vernon, N.Y.: The Peter Pauper Press, [c1955]) Rare Books (Ex) PN6231.L5 P63 1955
Laundered Limericks from Wicked Pens / illustrations by Henry R. Martin (Mount Vernon, N.Y. : Peter Pauper Press, [1960]) Rare Books (Ex) PN6231.L5 P47 1960
William Hewison, Types behind the Print (London : Museum Press, c1963) Graphic Arts Collection (GA) 2006-1453N
Sigmund Gottfried Spaeth (1885-1965), The Importance of Music (New York, Fleet Pub. Corp. [1963]) Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) ML60.S748 I4
Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956), Memorials of Gormandizing ([Princeton, N.J.] : Princeton University Press, 1965) Graphic Arts Collection (GA) NC139.C66 M46 1965
Henry Martin, All Those in Favor : a Cartoon Collection ([New York] : American Management Association, [c1969]) Graphic Arts Collection (GA) 2008-2578N
Henry Martin, Good News/Bad News (New York : Scribner, c1977) Graphic Arts Collection (GA) NC1429.M4242 A46
Henry Martin, Yak! Yak! Yak! Blah! Blah! Blah! (New York : Scribner, c1977) Graphic Arts Collection (GA) NC1429.M4242 A58
Going Back : 50 Years of the Class of 1948 ([Princeton, N.J.?] : Princeton University, 1998) Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Oversize NC1429.M4242 A45 1998q