Friday, September 07, 2007

Happy Birthday Roy Doty!

From The Complete Guide to Cartooning By Gene Byrnes, Grosset & Dunlap (1950):

"A crowd to Roy Doty isn't just a lot of people repeating themselves. It is a big and wonderful collection of individuals, each doing something different. The throng behind the radio announcer is worth studying for the variety of action portrayed, and for its pattern of beautiful linework."

"In the mad rush to buy automobiles, people come by bicycle, parachute, baby-carriage, and pogo-stick -- all happily hopeful of getting a car. The point of this advertisement... was to convince advertisers that CBS would increase their business, and Doty's art work matches the copy with its particular quality of humor."

"The over-the-counter drawing" (above) "was a brochure 42 x 6 inches and in it were 131 figures."

"Note the balancing blacks used for the salesclerks' clothing,"

"making a modified repeat pattern across the pages, besides holding together the parade of customers and the slightly toned background."

In his biography, Roy Doty tells us that he was born in 1922 and began freelancing in New York in 1946. So when the 26 year old Roy Doty drew this subscription ad for Pic magazine (below) he was only two years into his professional career. What a remarkable feat for Doty, to be included in Gene Byrnes' 1950 book on cartooning... he had only been working professionally for some 3 or 4 years at that point and was already considered to be one of America's top cartoonists.

This weekend another "big and wonderful collection of individuals" would like to thank Roy Doty for all the fun, entertainment, and inspiration he has brought us over the years with his delightful drawings. Happy Birthday, Mr. Doty - on behalf of your many fans from all around the world!

* If you'd like to see these and the rest of this week's images at full size, go to my Roy Doty Flickr set.

And for a look at just one more really remarkable Doty illustration, go to this link in Glen Mullaly's Flickr photostream.


  1. Barbara Bradley asked me to post this message on her behalf:

    Thank you, Roy Doty, for having brought pleasure to me the first time long ago, when your incredible work first appeared, and having brought renewed delight and amazement to me as Leif shows it once more.

    This time, I appreciate your work even more than I did before, its composition, skill, and wonderful humor. I wish you a very Happy Birthday with many good years to follow.

    Barbara Bradley

  2. Unforgettable week! His art it’s very amazing and I’m very happy for knowing his beautiful drawings.
    My best wishes on your birthday Mr. Doty and many many more!


  3. This is my last chance to make a final comment. Your great design ability is what I think makes all those masses of figures work as a cohesive flowing unit. Organizing chaos in a composition, is perhaps the most difficult task an illustrator can face. Roy Doty, few can equal your ability to organize chaos so beautifully... and that is one of many wonderful features you put into your drawings. You make the very difficult look free and easy. I thank both you and Leif for a week of pleasurable entertainment.

    Happy Birthday and wishing you the best of health.

    Tom Watson

  4. Anonymous3:52 PM

    Happy birthday, Roy Doty, and thank you for giving the beautiful gift of your art to all of us for all these years.

  5. Anonymous5:54 PM

    Happy Birthday Roy Doty... Great post and thanks for writing!

  6. Anonymous7:46 PM

    Happy Birthday, Roy Doty!!!!

    Your crowd scenes are awe-inspiring, and I always enjoy your work in MAKE! You're certainly one of the illustrators that inspire me the most to keep drawing!

    Here's to many more happy years, and may you always derive as much joy from your work as it inspires in others!

    All the best,

  7. Many happy returns, Roy! Thank you for all your wonderful work.

  8. Happy Birthday and many happy returns to a giant among cartoonists with an impeccable line and great wit. You certainly must know how much you have inspired imitators, none of whom could come close. I recall art directors in Boston asking us in the early 1950s to come up with your technique. Bless you for the inspiration you have been to all of us and stay well.

  9. Anonymous12:45 PM

    Happy Birthday, Mr. Doty; I am 65 years old and have been admiring you art since I was just a kid, with your Wordless Workshop my most-looked-forward-to feature ever. (Well, I was also a heavy "Pogo" fan, although I was too young to get most of the political llpoint). Glad to hear you are still active.