George Booth (cartoonist)
June 28, 1926
Cainsville, Missouri, U.S.
|Awards||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 usually feature an older everyman, -woman, or couple beset by modern complexity, perplexing each other, and interacting with cats and dogs (frequently large numbers of them).
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. He also worked on the comic strip Spot in 1956.
Fed up, Booth quit and pursued cartooning full-time, beginning successful in 1969, with the sale of his first New Yorker cartoon. One signature element of Booth's generally messy or run-down interiors is a ceiling light bulb on a cord pulled by another cord attached to an electrical appliance such as a toaster. Most of the household features in his cartoons were drawn from his own home. He described one of his cats, adopted later in his career, 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.
Booth lived for many years in Stony Brook, New York with his wife Dione. They now lives in Brooklyn, where he continues to be a cartoonist and a collector of local artwork from artists in the area.
The National Cartoonists Society recognized his work with the Gag Cartoon Award in 1993 and the Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010.
Booth's cartoons have been collected in the following books:
- Rehearsal’s Off! (1977)
- Pussycats Need Love, Too (1981)
- A Friend is Friendly (1981)
- Think Good Thoughts About a Pussycat (1983)
- Omnibooth: The Best of George Booth (1984)
- Booth Again (1989)
- The Essential George Booth (1998)
- About Dogs (2009)
- 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.