Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Roy Doty Draws a Crowd

Long before Sergio Aragonés or that Where's Waldo guy began drawing massive scenes of teeny tiny people in amusing situations there was one cartoonist garnering a reputation for not being afraid to draw a crowd. That artist was Roy Doty.

What you see below might look at this size like a big diagramatic map of Manhattan Island with a grey screen over it... but in fact its one of Roy Doty's most remarkable illustrations: a map composed of hundreds and hundreds of tiny Manhattanites, each one a unique individual, standing shoulder to shoulder in the shape of New York City.

You really need to see the full size version to even begin to appreciate the magnitude of the daunting task Roy Doty accomplished when he accepted this assignment from the editors of Look magazine back in February of 1958.

This coming Sunday (Sept. 9th), nearly 50 years after these illustrations appeared in print, Roy Doty will once again be drawing a crowd as his pals at the Great Lakes Chapter of the National Cartoonists Society surpise their friend with a party to celebrate his 85th birthday.

When my pal, cartoonist extraordinaire Mike Lynch, let me know about the event I thought it would be great to spend this week showcasing Doty's work from the 40's and 50's in anticipation of the happy occassion.

I hope that, whether you've admired Roy Doty's work for years as I have -- or are only now being introduced to it for the first time -- you'll take a moment to leave a comment, greeting, or best wish for Mr. Doty at the end of one of this week's posts.

Mike tells me that they will make Mr. Doty aware of the TI blog after the fact as a sort of bonus birthday surprise. And remember - its a surprise party - so don't tell Roy!

You can see all of these images at full size in my Roy Doty Flickr set - and thanks in advance for helping us celebrate this wonderful, talented artist's illustrious career!


  1. Hi Roy,
    I admire the intricate work and your great style. Congratulations on your birthday... all the best!

  2. Killer stuff, Leif. I'm looking forward to all your great finds.

  3. arThis is the first time I have become aware of your work, and it is amazing. You are a great conceptualizer. They certainly picked the right guy for such an ambitious project depicted in Leif Peng's Today's Inspiration.

    Happy Birthday from a new admirer,
    Tom Watson
    retired illustrator... more or less.

  4. Mr. Doty---your work was cool then & it's even cooler now!

    Congrats on a long & productive career--!

    Zach Trenholm

  5. I'm a "Worldless Workshop" Fan, a great feature in Popular Science.
    Thank You and Happy Birthday

    Tom Johnson

  6. Mr. Doty- Congrats and heartfelt thanks for the inspiration that you have provided. Happy Brithday!

  7. Happy Birthday Mr. Doty, nice illustrations, consider me a new fan :)


  8. Oh my gosh,what a timely accident. I stumbled across this entry while looking for something else entirely.

    Mr. Doty, I've been a fan of your work ever since I was a little boy and used to read your "Wordless Workshop" column in my grandfather's Home improvement magazines (the one that later became "Family Handyman".) I've seen your work in numerous other venues since then, all throughout my life, and it's never failed to bring a smile to my face.

    One of my prized possessions is the Wordless Workshop collection in book form I found a few years back.

    Anyway, I'd never seen your "Manhattan" illustrations before. All I can say is wow.

    Wishing you all the best and continued good health and success on your birthday, Mr. Doty. Hope to see more from you in the future!

  9. Happy Birthday from another new admirer! What an incredible body of work. Best wishes to you, Roy! Here's to another 85!