George Booth (cartoonist)
Born in Cainsville, Missouri, he was the son of schoolteachers; his mother, Irma was also a musician and fine artist and cartoonist, and his father, William became a school administrator in Fairfax, Missouri, where Booth grew up on a vegetable farm. Booth attended, but did not graduate from, the Corcoran College of Art and Design, the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, the School of Visual Arts, and Adelphi College.
Drafted into the United States Marine Corps in 1944, he was invited to re-enlist and join the Corps' Leatherneck magazine as a staff cartoonist; when re-drafted for the Korean War, he was ordered back to Leatherneck. As a civilian, he moved to New York City where he struggled as an artist, married, then worked as an art director in the magazine world. During this era he worked on the comic strip Spot in 1956. Fed up, he quit and pursued cartooning full time, beginning a successful phase in 1969 with his first New Yorker cartoon sale. He also created the comic strip Local Item in 1986.
George Booth currently resides in Stony Brook, New York, where he continues to be a cartoonist and a collector of local artwork from artists in the area.
Over time, his cartoons have become an iconic feature of the magazine. In a doodler's style, they feature everymen beset by modern complexity, goofballs perplexing their spouses, cats, and very often a fat dog. One signature element is a ceiling light bulb on a cord pulled out of vertical by another cord attached to an electrical appliance such as a toaster. Most of the household features in his cartoons are taken from his own home, such as the rugs, chairs, ferns, and cats. One of his own cats, adopted later in his career, was described as being "more like my drawing than the drawings...when he lies down, his back feet go out in back-straight out."
The National Cartoonists Society recognized his work with the Gag Cartoon Award in 1993 and the Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010.
- Cat People, Bill Hayward, introduction by Rogers E. M. Whitaker. New York: Dolphin/Doubleday, 1978 (p. 68)
- Booth, George. 1989. Booth again!: more of George Booth. Kansas City, MO: Andrews and McMee. ISBN 0-8362-1843-4.
- Strickler, Dave. Syndicated Comic Strips and Artists, 1924-1995: The Complete Index. Cambria, CA: Comics Access, 1995. ISBN 0-9700077-0-1.
- NCS Awards: Gag Cartoons
- "The Illustrated Man" 1999 profile in The Boston Phoenix
- The Cartoon Bank George Booth's work from The New Yorker