The 2016 Deitch Studio Pictorama card revealed!
Pam’s Pictorama Bonus Post: It’s that time of the year – that most wonderful season of all! Here is this year’s contribution to the holidays co-authored by Kim and I as usual. This year, for better or worse, Kim let me have my head and it is perhaps a tad more Butler than Deitch. 2016 was a tough year and being curled up in bed with the kitties, reading (me on my iPad and Kim with a volume which has its own meaning – to be revealed in his upcoming book) seemed like the only sane place to end the year!
Cookie and Blackie figure prominently in the spot they pretty much hold in real life at the foot of the bed. Blackie likes to curl up behind my knees, a bit higher than shown here. Cookie is usually at my feet – on her own pillow no less. This is a perch that came into fashion while I was recovering from foot surgery and had to sleep with my leg elevated all night. Cookie decided that the pillow should stay for her benefit. C&B keep us on a fairly regular schedule and Blackie is in charge of waking us up with his gentle cold wet nose kisses (quite) early in the morning. Kim is usually the first up and the feeder of them – they know I can sleep through almost anything and therefore am a bad bet. The other morning I woke in the middle of the night feeling stiff and strangely leaden and wondered what on earth was wrong – as I went to turn over I discovered that both the kits were sound asleep on top of me!
As I indicated above, Kim is reading a book that turns out to be a Deitch studio special and I am reading one of my Moving Picture Girls or Grace Harlowe series books on my iPad. (As chronicled in Grace Harlowe, the Automobile Girls and Moving Picture Girls Novels post of a few weeks ago.) Sorry the toys, which live at the foot and side of the bed, and the many piles of books, Kim’s side of the bed, didn’t make it into the picture, but they would complete the image of the Deitch-Butler clan at home in reality.
You can count on the fact that this is where we will ring in 2017 – cats, books and all, maybe a silent western playing on the tiny television which is also crammed into a room almost no bigger than our futon!
Merry Christmas and every best wish for a peaceful and happy New Year!
Pam’s Pictorama: First, if you haven’t received yours yet, please know these cards are still making their way across the country and the world. We started off with a good lead on getting cards out this year, but somehow the month ran away with us once again.
Of course, Cookie and Blackie are featured on the card. I have never had cats from the same litter and the idea was that they would get along better – right? Not our kits – life is a constant battle over turf and access and it was an obvious theme for our card this year. Every night, just as I turn the lights off, a battle begins and eventually I hear Cookie scream and up I go, yelling for them to knock it off – usually waking poor Kim in the process!
Early in December one mad, daily romp through the apartment ended up with Cookie racing up Kim’s work chair to get away from Blackie (a favorite Cookie maneuver) and BAM! the top broke off the chair! Staples supplied a new one within days (the old one had come off the street so it wasn’t like it owed us much) – and then a fight broke out over the lovely, huge chair box which awaited opening the following weekend. I share below a series of photos of Cookie and Blackie fighting over the box spot which I took originally to amuse my mom – and ending with Cookie winning possession of the old chair before it was whisked away.
Merry Christmas and may we all triumph in 2016!
Cookie Owns the Chair Box
A Blackie Takeover!
Cookie in Action
Cookie, Queen of the Old Chair
Pam’s Pictorama: The Christmas card parade continues with this one from a couple of years ago of Zippy. I paused a moment writing that – was Zippy our or my cat? Unlike Otto who was my very first cat but adored Kim, Zippy never really decided that he was also Kim’s cat. This really wasn’t Kim’s fault – he was always good to Zips. Made sure Otto didn’t beat up on him too much and did everything right – and cats love Kim. Still, despite living in extreme close proximity for many years, Zippy remained devoted only to me – and he adored me.
It started one day 20 odd years ago when I wandered into a store where I liked to ogle antique jewelry, over on First Avenue, down near the 59th Street bridge. On that day, there on the counter, was an adorable black and white tuxedo kitten who, in design, could have been a brother to my cat Otto. He had a bad eye, an infection from being born on and living on the street, which would ultimately wax and wane over the years. When I went over to pet him, he hurled himself into my arms. Well, I don’t really need to say it, I was a goner. Although I went home without him that day, I was back shortly thereafter and Zippy and Otto started a long, contentious relationship.
Shown here, is the one Christmas we celebrated with Zippy alone, as a very elderly cat. Zippy lived to 20, the following spring, and he was a bit tatty, if scrappy at that point – as shown here.
I don’t think I knew it, but I assume I was influenced by this print which I picked up somewhere along the line, and was living in the flat files. I found it while looking for our cards. I am sure I had it – or others like it in mind. Here’s to Zippy!
Pam’s Pictorama: As an examination of our history in holiday cards continues, inspiration seems to strike us differently each year. While last week I highlighted our self-portraits as a jumping off point, this week I am sharing a few where the cat concept became less about our specific cats, and more about the idea of cats. Starting with a favorite, the parade of black and white and white cats featuring a giant cat balloon. I am pretty sure the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade balloons were the inspiration – with a touch of Aesop Fables cartoons thrown in with that long line of cats.
I have never been to the actual Thanksgiving Day parade, although Kim has a great childhood memory of going at least once*. As past readers know, my father was a cameraman for ABC news for many years. His early years there were focused on local news which meant many a Thanksgiving working – filming the balloons being blown up the night before and the parade day of were frequently part of his annual beat. I gather from him that this meant a lot of standing around in the cold, and often wet, wishing he was home with his family. Therefore, as kids we never went and frankly he could never understand why I would want to either. Nonetheless, when I moved to NYC as an adult seeing the balloons blown up was an annual joy. I went in all weather and braved the crowds and always loved it.
I am not entirely sure the precise inspiration for the sort of steam-pump robot cat, although I do love his catty feet and the jolly hat blowing off his head! I like the string of lights too. Since I do the first sketches and art direct to some degree, I always like to request lots of Kim Deitch snow and stars in our cards. I am especially fond of the anthropomorphic moon and sun as well.
Lastly, the one I think of as Cat-in-the-Box came out of the purchase of the pamphlet I featured in a recent post, Lucky Black Cat and things like it. Halloween was still on my mind that year and rather than include our kitties, we went with a Halloween meets Christmas theme and produced this little beauty.
Next week Cards of Christmas past continues followed by the big reveal – this year’s card.
*Footnote to Pam’s post. My great Thanksgiving day parade memory was when our family spotted, and met Hoplaong Cassidy waiting with his horse to be in the parade.