Saturday, May 29, 2010

Luminaries of the NCS: Warren King

The Reubens, the annual awards ceremony of the National Cartoonists Society (of which I am a proud member) was last night. I'm actually putting together this post in my hotel room on the morning after what was another terrific ceremony. As in previous years, I'm using this memorable occasion as an opportunity to showcase some of the Luminaries of the NCS. Today, Warren King.

My friend Tom Sawyer (whose career was the subject of a week of posts here on TI in 2008) has graciously agreed to share another excerpt from his memoirs.

Tom mentioned a group of cartoonist friends who all worked and laughed together in those days. He wrote, "Through Leonard, John [Augustin] and Tex, I began to meet and socialize with other artists, some who’d drop by the studio, several of whom would become close friends, meaningful players in my life for years to come, Stan Drake, Warren King, John Prentice and Howard Post, to name a few." That quote has been the basis for this NCS series.

I asked Tom to elaborate on Warren King, whom he only mentioned in passing in that memoir excerpt, but of whom he clearly had a lot of fond memories.

Tom wrote back, "About Warren King, he had for years been Rube Goldberg's assistant (during Rube's long career as an editorial cartoonist). And when Rube retired (and took up sculpture in his late 70's or early 80's, Warren became the editorial cartoonist for the NY Daily News."

"Rube, BTW was a lovely, witty man, whose most memorable quote in my presence was: "Tits never hurt anybody." And speaking of quotes, one of Warren's that I particularly remember was his description of dogs. He referred to them as "hairy shit-machines."

Tom concluded, "Warren was a very entertaining guy with a singular, distinctive laugh - so particular that even in a roomful of people laughing, his stood out. And we did a lot of laughing in those days."

* Many thanks to Tom Sawyer for sharing this wonderful excerpt from his memoirs with us. The text today is Copyright © 2010 by Tom Sawyer Productions, Inc.

* Thanks to Flickr member, Tribe for sharing his scan of a 1949 comic book page by Warren King that appears in today's post.

* Thanks also to Lee Dunbar for sharing his photo of an original Warren King political cartoon.


  1. lief,
    Thanks for that.
    Not really familiar with warren's work, but obviously another of these postwar american illustrators, of whom there seem to be so many, who were just so non nonsense and no bulls--t. Must have been amazing to be around them.
    And the lesson is -let's go do more swimming and sailing!

  2. Anonymous9:52 PM

    Hey! Warren is my step-grandfather!

    1. If any of you know how to reach Suzanne the daugbter of Warren King its an emergency I speak to her. Contact Mr. Lankford