Leighton Jones
Leighton Jones
Leighton Jones

New Yorker Cartoonist Lisa Rothstein
September 29-October 8, 2023

Gallery-by-the-Sea announces the exhibition of cartoon works by New Yorker cartoonist Lisa Rothstein, opening September 29 with reception 5:00-7:00 pm. The show will run the following two weekends, Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 am-3:00 pm.

As part of the exhibition Lisa will be leading fun cartooning activities in the courtyard both Sundays between 11:30 and 12:30. October 1 will feature learning to cartoon animals. Kids and animal lovers of all ages will get tips and enjoy drawing funny pictures of our furry friends. October 8, right after the Blessing of the Animals, all are invited to bring their pets (or a photo) to the Courtyard and Lisa will draw a cartoon of them before your eyes.

Lisa (known at St. James as Lisa Rothstein Benson, a proud member of the St. James Choir) began cartooning growing up in Queens, NYC in the 1960’s, fascinated by Charles Schulz’ Peanuts and his ability to create such expressive characters as Snoopy with only a few lines. As she grew, the single panel cartoons in the New Yorker Magazine became favorites, especially since dogs were a common subject.

While her parents recognized her talents, their fears of Lisa’s becoming a starving artist led them to push her towards a “real job” in advertising, a career she began after graduation from Brown University in 1982. While her work as a copywriter, and later a creative director, garnered Lisa awards and even an 11-year dream stint working in Paris, her childhood dream of being a cartoonist never left her.

She submitted her drawings to The New Yorker in the 1980s and 90s, resulting in a few kind rejection letters, but not much else.

Fast forward to 2018, when while visiting the National Cartoonists’ Society booth at San Diego Comic Con, a New Yorker cartoonist there saw Lisa’s work and urged her to try submitting again. Encouraged, she visited the cartoon editor on a trip to New York, and soon made her first sale! She says, “It only took me two weeks and 30 years to get into The New Yorker.”

Since then, she’s been published both in the print magazine and online, with many of her cartoons featuring animals. Dogs are still a favorite, but in this show, bears, a rhino, a few horses, a whale, and even a cat or two, will be featured, among others.

Today, Lisa lends her talents as a cartoonist, graphic recorder, and trainer in drawing for communication to companies such as Bayer, Logitech, Cybercrime Magazine, Innovation Leader, and the Association for Talent Development.

In 2022, Lisa achieved her long-held goal of admission to the National Cartoonists’ Society. The Society, founded in 1946, has counted as its members many luminaries of the field … including Lisa’s childhood hero, Charles Schulz.

She lives in La Mesa with her husband, Jim Benson, and their rescue terrier Casey.