Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Diamonds are This Artist's Best Friend

By popular demand, I am reprising Vol. I, No. 4's (2013) edition of this post (with some minor updating).

By who's demand?  Mine, of course.

It's our annual salute to Baseball, and it simply accommodates my schedule this time around to run this post once more.


Ah, April.

That may mean one thing to tax accountants. But to yours truly, it means the start of -- depending on where you begin its history -- the 110th combined (National and American Leagues) season for our National Pastime.

Welcome to the horsehide-and-stitches edition of Not Your Usual Caricature Artist from Caricatures by Joel.

When I was a kid growing up in New York City, many considered that time to be a Golden Era of Baseball. After all, the Yankees had names like Mantle and Maris, Ford and Berra. The Dodgers and Giants eventually moved to the West Coast and the Mets came along to fill the National League gap with their own names (often of both repute...and ill repute): Throneberry and Hunt, later Seaver and Swoboda.

During that time, there were two newspaper cartoonists chronicling the exploits of these teams: New York World Telegram artist Willard Mullin and Daily News cartoonist Bill Gallo. For a kid like me -- the son of two artists and spellbound by Baseball -- it was a delight to check the paper each day and see what subject each of them might tackle.

Interestingly, each one came up with his own original character that has gone down in Baseball illustrated lore: Gallo's "Basement Bertha," generally representing the lowly Mets...and, more famously, Mullin's "Brooklyn Bum," depicting the Dodgers.

Now, ironically, I have no "pure" Baseball caricatures of my own to show; what I've done in the past have been given away as gifts.

But here are caricatures I did of two young men for their Bar Mitzvah Sign-In Board...and because for these sports multi-taskers there's a bat and a New York Yankees logo in them, they will have to suffice.

Here, too, are a drawing I did of one of the amateur sports coaches for the Powerade State Games tournament...and of Jordan Danks, a former Charlotte Knight, as commissioned by the team and presented to him -- at home plate -- as the all-time team hits leader.

What sport do you or a client, colleague, friend or family member enjoy...either reminiscing about or actually playing?

I'd love to help you put him or her in their own, personal Hall of Fame.

In the meantime, "Play Ball!" And see you again the first Tuesday of next month for another pitch right down the middle, from Not Your Usual Caricature Artist.

Joel Kweskin