Sam Gross: 27,592 Cartoons and Counting

In this age of hype, maybe a hyperbolic phrase like "if you read only one cartoonist interview, the read THIS one" would come as ho hum and cliched. But, really, this is one of the best interviews with one of the greatest cartoonists and well worth the time to take in.

Above: Matt Diffee, Sam Gross and Ken Krimstein at the June 24, 2010 Bunny Bash.

Veteran cartoonist Sam Gross gives a career-spanning interview to Richard Gehr at

Below are just 2 of the many informative questions and answers from the piece:

Above: an early wordless Sam Gross cartoon.

RICHARD GEHR You seem very organized. What’s your working process? How many cartoons do you generate per week?

SAM GROSS Every Wednesday I just clear everything, sit down, and trip. I don’t draw for markets like The New Yorker at all. I just trip. I’m still doing stuff as if National Lampoon still existed. This week I got sixteen or seventeen drawings. I number and date all my drawings. First they get photocopied on forty-four-pound stock paper. Then I punch three holes and they go into loose-leaf books like the black books back there and in the kitchen. And I think I got 27,592 cartoons now.

Above: Another early Gross cartoon.

GEHR: What’s your equipment?

GROSS: Number 1 and 2 ½ Rapidograph pens. That’s it. And a pad of cheap-shit paper. This is twenty-four-pound stock scratch and for finishes I have two-ply vellum.


1987 S. Gross Interview

Sam's famous "frog legs" cartoon on eBay

Some of Sam's early cartoons from the book TABOO edited by Charles Preston (1966): Parts one and two.

And it's true what Sam says: Bill Woodman is one great cartoonist.

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