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George Booth Obituary: George Booth, New Yorker Cartoonist Of Sublime Zaniness, Dies At 96

The New Yorker cartoonist George Booth, better known for representing modern husbands and their wives, with cats and oddly humorous overweight dogs, died on Tuesday at his residence in Brooklyn. He was 96. 

The New Yorker cartoonist who successfully created a world of oddballs sharing chaos in lives is only survived by Sarah Booth, his daughter. It is stated that George Booth died because of the complications of dementia. 

Legendary New Yorker Cartoonist George Booth Died At Age 96

The New Yorker is famous for its cartoons, ever since the magazine’s founding in 1925. Over the years, the magazine has published the artworks of hundreds of cartoonists, but only a few have been prolific like George Booth. 

George Booth New Yorker Cartoonist  Dies At 96

A typical cartoon born from the hands of George Booth, shows a lot happening at once. A stunned dog leaps 3 feet in the air, and the presence of the pretty cat- all as his wife stands in the kitchen peeking into the hall with blackened eyes, yelling “Eyeliner is back!”

Moreover, the man in pajamas relaxes on his easy chair, reading a newspaper when his wife says: “Edgar, please go to the shopping center right now, get some cat food and milk, and do not get chicken, liver or canned tuna, or any such awful combinations. Also, shop around and prepare a surprise, because the pussies like surprises.”

George Booth’s repertoire is not always about cats and dogs but also encounters with the IRS ( Internal Revenue Service) and banking to the perils and joys of gardening and car repairs. Whenever asked, he lacked a proper answer for his dog’s unmatched popularity. “A thing is either funny, or it’s not at all funny.” Mr. Booth added, “I started drawing when I thought it was nothing but an awful-looking dog.”

George Booth Obituary

Later, a letter writer asked him if it was an English bull terrier, and he replied, “I went to a library, tried to implement improvisations on his breeding, and made him an English bull terrier.”

Interestingly, Mr. Booth’s record for a specific cartoon included 74 dogs and 86 cats. When the record-making counting was done, the cloud of flies he drew around some characters was excluded. 

“From a different perspective, it doesn’t make sense to draw 74 dogs and 84 cats, but I enjoyed it,” he said, although he wasn’t period extra, but only at flat rates.

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However, it was a surprise that George Booth, who often portrayed dogs and cats, had no dogs, and parenthetically, he doesn’t much care about the cats he owns. 

For the inside pages alone, Mr. Booth has drawn numerous zany cartoons and roughly a score of covers- all within a half-century. Eventually, he became one of the most successful magazine stars whose readers often enjoy sophisticated cartoon wit.

He also drew shaggy cavemen, a few with good manners. One of Mr. Booth’s best-selling offerings- a 12-panel spread, published on Jan. 12, 1975, “Ape Gets a Girl,” talked about cavemen who often chance upon a frustrated, furious ape who is dying for a mate. However, the caveman ends up with a cave girl and he later finds the ape and six little creatures and ultimately wonders about the existence of the first cave offspring. 

But the readers were always a fan of Mr. Booth’s bull terrier, who used to scratch himself a lot and whirl in circles until he gets dizzy. He adorned New Yorker shirts and turned out as the magazine’s mascot (but, unofficial). 

New Yorker’s editor, Lee Lorenz once said,

“You better get a magazine in Braille, in case you can’t recognize a Booth cartoon.”

Ed Koren, Charles Addams, Roz Chast, Jules Feiffer, Art Spiegelman, David Levine, and George Price were his colleagues.

George Booth, who reluctantly rejected commercial offers, was once asked to draw his trademark bull terrier, exclusively for an anonymous celebrity. Instead of delivering what he was asked for, he said he definitely drew a sort of “diseased chicken.”

Later, he learned that the gift was supposed to be handed over to President Ronald Reagan. When the two finally met in the Oval Office, Mr.Booth realized that the president was “very gracious.”

Bonnell Robinson, the curator of the 1993 Boston cartoon exhibition, told the media that he believed Booth’s works were about hope in the midst of what looks like calamity.

“Booth cartoons (majority of them) express the will to continue in the heels of disaster,” he added. 

His pen-and-ink cartoons were collected in a dozen books, they were also reproduced as artworks and sold in galleries. Until he slowed down after the age of 90, he frequently went to discussions at museums, schools, and cartoon-art exhibitions. 

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