A Note About My Note to New Yorker Cartoonist Henry Martin in 1988

I was totaly saddened to hear about the passing of New Yorker cartoonist Henry Martin. He died on June 30th, 94 years young.

I always looked forward to seeing Mr. Martin’s cartoons in The New Yorker and other publications, and they usually brought smiles to my face. I consider him to be a giant in the field of gag cartooning.

Although I never met Mr. Martin, on one occasion in 1988 I sent him a short note. The reason for the note was a cartoon of his that appeared in the July 18, 1988 issue of The New Yorker. It happened to be amazingly similar to a cartoon of mine that appeared a few months before in the National Business Employment Weekly, on October 18, 1987. These are the two cartoons:


Henry Martin, The New Yorker, July 18, 1988


Eli Stein, National Business Employment Weekly, October 18, 1987


For those of you who aren’t familiar with the National Business Employment Weekly, it is a long-defunct publication of Dow Jones & Co. (the same organization that publishes The Wall Street Journal). The weekly publication printed only one cartoon per issue, and I was fortunate enough to have had over a hundred cartoons in their pages over the years of its existence. Other cartoonists who appeared regularly were Henry Martin and another New Yorker cartoonist, Tom Cheney. Many of our cartoons were even included in a booklet published in 1992 by Dow Jones, “The Best Cartoons from the National Business Employment Weekly”.

I sent my note to Mr. Martin simply to let him know about the coincidence, and I didn’t expect an answer from him. But he did answer, with this hand-written note:

“Dear Eli, Thanks for your note and for the two cartoons. I guess the idea was a natural and these things happen. Be assured it was not intentional. I gather you are the cartoonist Stein. Good to meet you. Best. Henry”

As I said, I never did meet Henry Martin in person. By the time I started going to the offices of The New Yorker on Tuesdays (to show my cartoon roughs to then-editor Bob Mankoff and to hobnob and eat lunch with the other cartoonists), Henry Martin had already “retired” from active cartooning. My loss.

Rest in peace, Henry Martin. Your cartoons brought great joy to the world.


  1. Enjoyed meeting you on Sunday
    Enjoyed meeting you on Sunday. I will be following your blog off and on. Thank you for sharing your blog address and your thoughts.

  2. Same here, Ramona. I had

    Same here, Ramona. I had despaired of ever meeting up with you and your husband, but now it’s finally happened, sort of — at least virtually.

    I hope you look over my blog/archive and maybe even particpate in a contest or two.

    I think I heard you mention singing and playing Hank Williams songs. I’m a Williams devotee, and have written a few things here about that era of what I call “classical country music” (even including a unique You Tube selection). You can find all of that if you click on my “Eli’s Corner” department.

    Just a suggestion: If you want to continue to talk to me about private or family matters, it would be better to contact me by email, rather than on this rather public forum. You can find my email address on my homepage. Thanks — hope to hear from you again soon.

  3. “It’s Lou Costell again, Sir.
    “It’s Lou Costello again, Sir. I told him you’re busy
    with the guy, who’s, on first-base right now!”

  4. “It’s the pro-scout, Henry
    “It’s the pro-scout, Henry Martin! He said thanks for the note, and heard you had some ‘good-stuff’ for a rookie!”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Welcome to the Eli Stein Cartoon archive. To begin, read my introduction and personal notes, and then please look at the cartoons, which are categorized by either decade, publication name or topic. I’ve included some personal comments, memories and photos below many of the cartoons. I’ll be adding cartoons, memories and photos ad infinitum. Remember, your comments are appreciated (just click on the “comment” link at the bottom of each post).