Exhibit of Interest: Not OK: Great Cartoons That Weren’t Good Enough; Cartoon Companion Rates Latest New Yorker Cartoons; The Tilley Watch: Lillian Ross

Exhibit of Interest: Not OK

From the New York Times, September 21, 2017,  “The New Yorker Said No, But These Cartoons Just May Make Your Day” — this piece on tomorrow’s sure-to-be-fun show of rejected work. 

So what is an “OK”?  It’s what every cartoonist submitting to The New Yorker hopes to see in their inbox at the end of the week (sent by the New Yorker‘s cartoon editor, Emma Allen).  A drawing that has been OKed is a drawing that has been bought by the New Yorker

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Cartoon Companion Rates Latest New Yorker Cartoons

The CC boys (they call themselves “Max” and “Simon”) are back with a look at the cartoons in the current issue of The New Yorker.  Among the cartoons dissected are those featuring  beans, huddled football players, big shoes, E.T., and a hot air balloon.  I don’t always see eye-to-eye (or cartoon-to-cartoon) with many of their evaluations, but that’s part of the fun.  Read it all here.

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Word went out yesterday that Lillian Ross, long time contributor to The New Yorker had passed away at age 99.  Ms. Ross began her New Yorker career in 1945, and continued publishing there until 2012 (on the magazine’s blog). Her last piece in the print magazine, according to her New York Times obit, was 2011. 

Here’s a link to the Times obit.

And here’s a link to Rebecca Mead’s “Postscript” on Ms. Ross on the magazine’s website. 

On a personal note, my interactions with Ms. Ross were always interesting.  I first met her at a New Yorker party back in December of 1999.  I summoned up my courage to walk over and introduce myself when I noticed she was sitting by herself at a small round-top table right behind me. I was on a mission in those years to interview everyone at the magazine who possibly could have known Peter Arno.  She looked puzzled at first as I approached, but she broke into a grin when I mentioned I was working on a biography of Arno.  She invited me to sit with her, and immediately launched into a wonderful very short Arno tale (it went into the Arno biography —  she repeated the story elsewhere in print). In short, she was at the big party held (in February of 1952) to celebrate William Shawn’s official appointment as Harold Ross’s successor. Peter Arno, in attendance, asked Ms. Ross if she wanted a ride home. Mr. Shawn leaned over to her and whispered in her ear, “He’s dangerous.” 

  Some weeks after I’d introduced myself to Ms. Ross we were on the phone discussing all sorts of New Yorker “stuff”– but mostly Mr. Shawn’s feelings (according to her) about the magazine’s cartoons and cartoonists in general.   “Ask me anything about what went on,” she said to me — “I know a lot.”

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Fave Book Find of the Week: Frueh On The Theatre: 1906 – 1962; Sam Marlow Pencilled; New Yorker Cartoonists in Life & Judge; Signed By The Cartoonist; Reading Every Issue of The New Yorker!

Here’s a wonderful collection of the late great Al Frueh’s theater work for The New Yorker and elsewhere. The New York Times had Al Hirschfeld, The New Yorker had Al Frueh.  Mr. Frueh’s New Yorker colleague, Brendan Gill provides an informative and insightful intro. For more on Mr. Frueh, here’s a Spill piece about him, “The First New Yorker Cartoon” — posted way back in 2011.

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Sam Marlow Pencilled

Sam Marlow, whose first cartoon appeared in The New Yorker May 9, 2016 is the latest subject of Jane Mattimoe’s splendid Case For Pencils blog.  See Mr. Marlow’s tools of the trade here.

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Buchanan’s Files Continue on Mike Lynch’s Site

If New Yorker cartoonists work not published in the New Yorker is your thing, then head on over to Mike Lynch’s site where you’ll find a number of Life and Judge cartoons from the 1930s. All the scans courtesy of Dick Buchanan, including the Ned Hilton drawing above (Life, 1935). Mr. Hilton’s cartoons appeared in The New Yorker from May 19, 1934 — June 15, 1957.

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Signed By The Cartoonist

Stephen Nagler’s Attempted Bloggery site has been posting signed books by some famous cartoonists, Peter Arno, Helen Hokinson, and William Steig among them.  Check them out here.

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Reading Every New Yorker

And speaking of Ms. Hokinson, here’s her beautiful New Yorker cover from the summer of 1928.  The fascinating blog, A New Yorker State of Mind takes a very close look within.  Read it here.

Must See: George Booth — A Cartoonist’s Life at the Society of Illustrators; Talking Nancy with Karasik and Newgarden

We have New Yorker cartoon gods among us. George Booth is one (Edward Koren, Lee Lorenz, Dana Fradon, Warren Miller and Sam Gross would be others).  Here’s an opportunity to hear Mr. Booth speak about his career. and see his work up close. Details here.

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Karasik and Newgarden Talk Nancy

From Print, September 18, 2017, “How Can You Not Love Nancy (or Sluggo)?” — Steve Heller interviews the How To Read Nancy co-authors, New Yorker contributor, Paul Karasik and Mark Newgarden.

The Monday Tilley Watch: The New Yorker issue of September 25, 2017

The Monday Tilley Watch is a meandering take on the cartoons in the current issue of The New Yorker.

As this is the Style Issue I decided to tackle the issue while listening to Starring Fred Astaire, a set of songs recorded by Mr. Astaire between 1936 through 1940. What a great photograph. What style. What a great top hat.

And now to the issue:

In the habit of expecting some political commentary on the cover of the new issue, I paused to examine the cover art, wondering if president Trump’s face was hidden in the leaves (ala the hidden Beatles on the Rolling Stones album, Their Satanic Majesties Request cover).  No such luck.

It takes seconds, once past the cover, to get to the very first cartoon.  If it’s a theme issue, there’s an excellent chance the first cartoon will tie-in to the theme. Bingo!  The first drawing,  by Carolita Johnson, whose first New Yorker cartoon appeared in the issue of October 20, 2003, features Elton John-ish stage shoes. As is always the case, my mind associates what I’m seeing with what I’ve previously seen in the New Yorker, and the first thought was this fabulous Steinberg cover from May of  1993: 

 

Flipping through the Goings On About Time (or GOAT) section, page 28 stood out.  Why? It is a page completely devoid of graphics (no illustration, photographs, etc.). The layout is a throwback to what was once common place in the magazine. The only design element is the renovated Rea Irvin nervous horizontal line across the top (“renovated” in that it is slightly less nervous than his original lines).   Beautiful nonetheless. 

We don’t arrive at the next cartoon until page 40, where we’re greeted by Tom Chitty’s frankfurter-ish figures involved in the age-old scenario of a couple arriving at a home,  bringing a bottle of wine. Mr. Chitty’s first New Yorker appearance was in the issue of October 13, 2014. Nice use (essential use!) of the phrase “limited expectations” here. Four pages later is a David Sipress cartoon. I note that Mr. Sipress’s drawing and Mr. Chitty’s drawing share similar standard rectangular space on the lower left of their respective pages. The drawings have just enough breathing room on the page.  Mr. Sipress’s first New Yorker appearance: July 1998. Perhaps Mr. Sipress will someday give us a ten years later sequel to this drawing (it’s about a couple possibly about to explore the idea of whether or not to have children).  I’m curious if they had children and if they did, if it was the right decision for them. 

Eleven pages later we come to a Charlie Hankin courtroom scene (Mr. Hankin’s first New Yorker appearance: August 2013). The drawing is given some nice breathing room at the upper right hand corner of the page.  I love courtroom scenes (Perry Mason, and all that).  The Monday Tilley Watch, as I keep reminding visitors (and myself), is not an overtly critical column. However, with a nod to my friends over at Cartoon Companion, I occasionally find myself wanting to applaud a certain drawing. This week I applaud Mr. Hankin’s drawing. There’s a (James) Thurber, (Charles) Barsotti feel to it — and that is always a very good thing.

Mr. Hankin’s drawing is immediately followed by a BEK drawing (and we’re back to the lower left rectangular space).  I think of every issue of the magazine as having at least one anchor artist, and hopefully three or four. Mr. Kaplan is the definition of an anchor artist. Contributing since 1991, his work does not disappoint.

Three pages later, given a full page, is the now much talked about Hillary Clinton cover that would have been had she, well, you know.  Two pages later, a cartoon by another anchor cartoonist: Roz Chast (first New Yorker cartoon: 1978).  With cargo clothing as Ms. Chast’s focus (remember, this is the style issue) I cannot help but think of the late Leo Cullum’s classic drawing from the issue of August 17, 1998:

 

Sidenote: good spacing (breathing room) for Ms. Chast’s drawing.

On the very next page is a Liana Finck drawing (first New Yorker drawing: 2013). The subject is one of those “head-in-the-hole” props you see at carnivals.  Here’s an example I lifted off of (out of?) the internet:

Ms. Finck’s drawing has a decidedly Charles Addams quality to it (I was wondering if we could get through today’s Monday Tilley Watch without mentioning Addams).  I like that Ms. Finck’s cartoon camera has a strap. Three pages later is a well-placed Emily Flake drawing (first New Yorker drawing: 2008).  I’ve never used Uber or their app-minded competition (cabs I have used), but I gather what’s happenin’ here. I wonder if the clown is a reference to the current clown film (It) scaring the pants off of everyone, or is it just a generic scary clown thing. 

Turning the page we have a cartoon by newbie, Curtis Edwards. I spent time examining the “vintage” clothing in this drawing, it being the Style Issue and all.  Note to myself: E.T. looks kind’ve like a turtle. I will remember that next time I’m drawing a turtle, or E.T..  On the opposite page from Mr. Edward’s drawing is a Will McPhail cartoon (first New Yorker appearance: 2014). Mr. McPhail’s is a romance tinged football drawing. Again, my mental library of imagery takes me immediately to this 2003 New Yorker cover  by Harry Bliss:

Next up is a hot air balloon drawing by Ed Steed (first New Yorker cartoon: 2013). I know zero about hot air balloons — was only up in one once.   I’m deeply sorry the  bearded passenger had to toss his musical instrument out of the balloon’s passenger basket.  My first thought — a typical cartoonist’s mash-up thought —  was that I would’ve tossed the actual speech balloon, say perhaps in the vicinity of where a caption would ordinarily go, thus saving a perfectly good cartoon accordion, but hey, I wasn’t there — it wasn’t my call.

Fifteen pages later we come to a domestic bean-centered P. C. Vey drawing, nicely placed. Mr. Vey’s been contributing to the magazine since 1993.  I hate to admit it, and I don’t like recalling it, but I’ve seen even bigger cans of beans than the one Mr. Vey’s cartoon character is eating from. Five pages later is a Sara Lautman energetic carnival drawing.  Her first New Yorker cartoon appeared in March of last year.  The way Ms. Lautman uses the word “things” — it’s printed as “Thiiiings”  — makes the word vibrate.  

And that is that until next Monday. By the way, I have not abandoned my campaign to encourage the return of Rea Irvin’s long running iconic masthead to the Talk of The Town.  I leave you with a common chant of wisdom, commonly heard on sports fields:

“Don’t mess, don’t mess with the best…”

Here’s the best:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertising Work by New Yorker Cartoonists, Part 19: Look Magazine Miscellany; Wheeler, Sikoryak, and Trump; Pond and Carre in Columbus

Advertising Work by New Yorker Cartoonists, Part 19: Look Magazine Miscellany

Courtesy of ComicsDC’s Mike Rhode, here’s a quartet of ads from Look magazine. The Otto Soglow Pepsi ad, the Richard Taylor Pepsodent ad and the The Richard Decker cops & robber ad are all from the issue of February 23, 1943. The Richard Decker stocking full of smokes ad is from the issue of December 15, 1942.

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Wheeler, Sikoryak, and Trump

From Forbes.com, September 16, 2017, ” In The Age of Trump, Cartoonists Get Graphic With The Critiques” — this piece on Trumpian books by two New Yorker contributors, Shannon Wheeler and Robert Sikoryak.

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Pond and Carre in Columbus

Mimi Pond and Lilli Carre are among the Special Guests at the upcoming Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (Sept. 28 – Oct. 1).  Details here.