They look like pointy-eared dwarf alligators on short, claw-footed stilts, and they’re seldom the point or the executor of the gag, but for cartoon lovers, Booth’s dogs are as definitive of their cartoon species as B. Kliban’s ebullient, meatloafish cats are of theirs (there are cats in Booth’s stuff, too, but they’re definitely second bananas). Their memorability has a lot to do with their utter doggyness. Only occasionally, as in the formal but irregular series one might call the Sleeper and His Dog, does a Booth pooch go human by, say, turning a key in a lock. Usually, they just sit, lie, bark, scratch, and react to what a cartoon’s unkempt, lunatic humans do and say. But, graced with an ineffably radiant tinge of the seediness that suffuses every Booth cartoon, they somehow subtly occupy a—if not the—spot on which the gazing eye must eventually rest. And they’re always funny, often enough so to turn a chuckle into a chortle, maybe even a guffaw, or, better yet, a bark.
About the Author
George Booth is an award-winning illustrator whose work has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, and several children’s books. His previous books include The Essential George Booth, Omnibooth, and Think Good Thoughts About a Pussycat. In 1993 Booth was recognized with a Gag Cartoon Award for his work in the New Yorker by the National Cartoonist Society. He lives in Stony Brook, NY. Bill Cosby is an American comedian, actor, author, producer, and activist. He is also the bestselling author of Fatherhood.