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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Cartooning of Flannery O’Connor

Back in the mid-1990s, I traveled to Milledgeville, Ga., to examine the archives of the author Flannery O’Connor. I published the resulting article way back in Hogan’s Alley #2, but I wanted to share the artwork with I.T.C.H. readers.

portrait

 

While in college at the Georgia State College for Women, O’Connor wanted to pursue both cartooning and fiction writing, and the student newspaper carried her cartoons from Oct. 9, 1942, right through her 1945 graduation. She even submitted cartoons to The New Yorker, but none were published or even, apparently, survived.

girlsandthanksgiving

caneand3girls

climberanddentist

archerand4girls

eyesandbooks

gangoffour

jumpingand3girls

libraryandtheater

 

You’ll note the bird-like shape of her signature, which is composed of the four letters of her name: Mary Flannery O’Connor. O’Connor had a lifelong interest in birds and owned several at home.

 

musicfeet

streetscene

 

O’Connor went on to produce a remarkable body of work, despite debilitating physical pain brought on by lupus, beginning in 1952 with Wise Blood. She died on August 3, 1964, at the age of 39 of the same form of lupus that took her father in 1941 when she was completing high school.

So her body of cartooning work is a small, but nonetheless noteworthy, footnote to a life and career cut far too short. And for myself, I love her outlook on creativity: for her, cartooning was as artistically valid a form of expression as prose, and both of them allowed her to express her view of the world. So from one cartoon-loving Georgian to another, Mary Flannery, thanks!


Tom

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6 Responses to “The Cartooning of Flannery O’Connor”

  1. Craig Says:

    i’m amazed how modern these look! i’m reminded what john updike said when he called himself a “failed cartoonist”. flannery coulda shoulda! a wonderful post, tom!

  2. Gabriel Says:

    Very greatful for sharing this!!
    I love Flannery O’Connor and cartoons and this has been a total revelation to me -never best said in this case ;) I was clueless abuot her cartooning bent…

  3. Flavorwire » Flannery O’Connor: The Cartoons Says:

    [...] via I.T.C.H] Add a comment var addthis_config = { username: "flavorwire" } Email to a friend [...]

  4. Flannery O’Connor, the…Cartoonist? « firstfire Says:

    [...] not have told you is that she originally aspired to make her living drawing political cartoons. Here is a link to some of the cartoons she did for her college newspaper, courtesy of superitch.com. Share [...]

  5. simone gad Says:

    Just love her work so much! A wonderful revelation.

  6. simone gad Says:

    Just love her work so much! A wonderful revelation. She was so ahead of her time.

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