George Booth (cartoonist)
June 28, 1926
Cainsville, Missouri, U.S.
National Cartoonists Society Gag Cartoon Award, 1993|
National Cartoonists Society Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award, 2010
George Booth (born June 28, 1926) is a New Yorker cartoonist. 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.
Born in Cainsville, Missouri, Booth 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, Booth 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, Booth 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, Booth quit and pursued cartooning full-time, beginning a successful phase in 1969, with his first New Yorker cartoon sale. One signature element of Booth's cartoons 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."
Booth also created the comic strip Local Item in 1986.
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)
- Gehr, Richard. "George Booth: Semper Fi," The Comics Journal (Aug. 12, 2013).
- 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.