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Won’t you be my neighbor
James McMullan Collection Box 2 Folder 2. Push Pin Graphic no. 50, 1966. On Flickr.
April 24, 2014

Won’t you be my neighbor

This 1966 issue of the Push Pin Graphic consisted solely of an excerpt from Jane Jacobs’ The Death and Life of Great American Cities and illustrations by James McMullan. Jacobs’ exploration of the public and private nature of city sidewalks is rather perfectly complemented by McMullan’s drawings, which depict the common public daily interactions among strangers without romanticizing them; residents and shopkeepers are also shown standing alone in their doorways, staking out their private space. Jacobs writes, “A good city street neighborhood achieves a marvel of balance between its people’s determination to have essential privacy and their simultaneous wishes for differing degrees of contact, enjoyment or help from the people around.”

Four drawings of people looking outside from their shop and residence doorways.


Drawing of a man leaning against a parking lot booth and observing a walking passerby.


Drawing of baristas or bartender employees behind a counter. A woman employee's back is in the foreground, followed by two male employees and one customer in the background.


Two drawings in a barbershop. The left is of a stylist cutting a customers hair, the right is of a customer casually sitting in a barber chair.


A drawing of a pedestrian waiting at the corner of a street.


Six sketch thumbnails of James McMullan's work.


For a later perfect marriage of writer and artist, see James McMullan’s work for Joan Didion’s The White Album.