One of the many books on my parents’ bookshelves was a volume of Paul Conrad’s collected work. Conrad’s book, which, to me, had always graced these shelves, stood amongst volumes on other artistic greats: Duchamp, Dalí, Kahlo, Picasso. Conrad belonged there.
Conrad’s sharp and funny cartoons were both an inspiration and an historical record of several decades of American history, unflinchingly showing us at our worst. His drawings for The Los Angeles Times earned Conrad the enmity of Nixon and Nancy Reagan, as well as the Pulitzer Prize (three times). Conrad didn’t pull any punches.
With Conrad’s retirement in 1993, The LA Times lost some of its power as a critical journalistic voice. Conrad’s mordant pen yanked the mask off Reagan’s grinning face. Conrad’s pen spared no one: it revealed the dark miasma of paranoia emanating from Nixon’s being; lampooned Ross Perot (a cartoonist’s dream); transformed the first George Bush into a weedier, crankier version of Reagan; shrunk Jimmy Carter into a well-meaning, sad-faced milquetoast; and refused to be charmed by Clinton’s grin.
Conrad will be missed. Some of his work can be seen here.
Hello! I’m Emily Gordon, an editor, critic, copywriter, and pre-web internet nut. Emdashes, born in 2004, spent many years as a New Yorker fan blog. The project garnered some nice compliments and press.
The blog’s now treading the territories of punctuation, publications, movies, design, and other things that stir me.
Over the years, I’ve worked with a brilliant brigade of culture writers, editors, and artists. You can read all about the people who've helped build Emdashes here at “Who We?” (That’s a New Yorker joke. Old habits die hard.)
I welcome submissions, questions, corrections, and ardent, obsessive contributors. I also host occasional book-related contests and giveaways. Questioners and publishers, just email me.
Jennifer Hadley designed the original Emdashes pencil logo, based on a 1943 Dorothy Gray ad.