What's on Tap

What's on Tap

Bob's Books: Jack Pittman

Posted May 4
Updated June 27

— Author and book reviewer Bob Cairns recently caught up with Jack Pittman, an award winning humorous illustrator. His clients range from Fortune 500 companies to mom-and-pop enterprises. Pittman’s illustrations have won numerous awards, including a Silver Star in New York’s One Show, and three times awarded in the National Cartoonist Society’ Reuben Awards for Best in Advertising and Best in Magazine Feature Illustration. Pittman shared his favorite older book with Cairns.

Here's what he had to say:

"Two of my favorite books deal with humor, to no surprise, being a humorous illustrator. The first was my 'textbook' from editor emeritus of MAD Magazine, Nick Meglin—The Art of Humorous Illustration. Nick was my idol as a kid and is now my best friend since he retired from 50 plus years at MAD and moved to North Carolina. His book was THE textbook for cartoonists when it was in print and we did a tribute to one of its chapter subjects, Norman Rockwell, on WUNC’s radio program “The State of Things” hosted by NPR’s Frank Stasio. Nick knew Rockwell personally and I often parodied Rockwell’s Saturday Evening Post covers as have many cartoonists.

The other book is Pure Drivel by one of my favorite humorous writers, Steve Martin. This book is laugh-out-loud funny and demonstrates Martin’s wonderful gift with words. The chapter on “How I Joined MENSA” is one of my favorites (with my often-challenged 187 IQ.)

I’ll mention a third book, Jim Valvano’s Guide to Great Eating. Yes, I illustrated the book, but I mention it because it was not only fun to do, but Jimmy V was also such a great sport at letting me caricature him. His only constraint was, 'Just don’t make my nose too big!' It was such a fun collection of his favorite food and he was funnier in person than my drawings do justice."

Bob Cairns runs the site "Page Turners from the Past," a website devoted to bringing readers reviews of older books that deserve a good dusting off! His reviews are featured once a month on WRAL.com.

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