The Tilley Watch Online: July 9-13, 2018; Wouldn’t It Be Nice?

This week’s Daily Cartoon: Trump 3, World Cup 1.  The contributing New Yorker cartoonists were Jon Adams, David Sipress, Brendan Loper, and Darrin Bell

And over on Daily Shouts, the contributing New Yorker cartoonists were : Liana Finck, Jeremy Nguyen (with Annelise Capossela), Farley Katz (with Kathryn Doyle), Olivia de Recat, and Mick Stevens

You can see all of the above, and more here.

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Wouldn’t It Be Nice?

Here’s an interesting title I happened across this morning while searching online (it’s available from a bookseller in Toronto). 

Here’s the listing:

Green printed wrappers (16 cm.) with name of Jaffray B. Smith embossed in gilt to lower corner of front panel; staple-bound. Contents: [2], 17, [1] pages. Well-illustrated, with 6 full-page illustrations by Irvin, one of those being a double-paged workflow diagram, and a small photograph of Dictograph intra-office telephone equipment. An incredible advertisement for the Dictograph Interior Telephone System, centred upon a narrative of miscommunication by humorist Benchley and illustrated by the New Yorker’s Rea Irvin

Wouldn’t it be nice to see Rea Irvin’s “6 full-page illustrations”?  

Here’s Irvin’s entry on the Spill‘s A-Z:

Rea Irvin (pictured above. Self portrait above from Meet the Artist) *Born, San Francisco, 1881; died in the Virgin Islands,1972. Irvin was the cover artist for the New Yorker’s first issue, February 21, 1925. He was the magazine’s first art editor, holding the position from 1925 until 1939 when James Geraghty assumed the title. Irvin became art director and remained in that position until William Shawn succeeded Harold Ross. Irvin’s last original work for the magazine was the magazine’s cover of July 12, 1958. The February 21, 1925 Eustace Tilley cover had been reproduced every year on the magazine’s anniversary until 1994, when R. Crumb’s Tilley-inspired cover appeared. Tilley has since reappeared, with other artists substituting from time-to-time.

 

 

A Price Playbill; Ziegler’s Letterman Appearance; A Couple of Hokinson Dachshunds

A Price Playbill

Without generous donors, the Spill‘s archives would be so much poorer.  Here’s the latest addition: a Playbill with cover art by the great George Price. Stalag 17 premiered at the 48th St. Theatre in May of 1951.  Mr. Price’s work, as a spot artist, premiered in The New Yorker in 1929. In his book, The Art of The New Yorker: 1925-1995, Lee Lorenz, the magazine’s former Art/Cartoon editor (who called Price one of the magazine’s great stylists, along with Helen Hokinson, Peter Arno, William Steig, and James Thurber) described Price’s transition from spot artist to cartoonist:

 After purchasing a few spot drawings from Price, Katharine White invited him in for an interview. She encouraged him to try his hand at cartooning. George was reluctant at first.  He was not an idea person. Mrs. White promised to supply him with gag writers, and on this condition George was persuaded  to begin submitting to the magazine.

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Ziegler’s Letterman Appearance

I’ve linked to this video before, but just happened to see it again last night.  Broadcast June 20, 1983, here’s the late very great Jack Ziegler’s Late Night with David Letterman appearance.  See it here.

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A Couple of Hokinson Dachshunds

I didn’t know that dachshunds were at one time called “liberty hounds” — did you?  Read more  here on Attempted Bloggery about a 1947 Helen Hokinson drawing featuring two of them.

 

 

 

New Yorker’s Tom Bachtell Talk of The Town Illustrations End After 23 Years; Article of Interest: Maggie Larson; Personal History: “How many do you send in?”

New Yorker’s Tom Bachtell Talk of The Town Illustrations End After 23 Years

Mr. Bachtell, whose first Talk of The Town illustrations appeared in the New Yorker‘s issue of March 20, 1995, posted the following on Facebook this afternoon:

Tom Bachtell’s website

Mr. Bachtell on A Case For Pencils

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Article of Interest: Maggie Larson

From the Philadelphia Inquirer, July 11, 2018, “This Bryn Mawr grad is part of an exclusive — but growing — group: women cartoonists of the New Yorker”

— this piece on Ms. Larson, who first began contributing to The New Yorker in July of 2017.

Above: Ms. Larson and one of her New Yorker cartoons (from the issue of December 4 2017). 

Link here to Ms. Larson’s website

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Personal History:

“How many do you send in?”

I’ve found that this question is eventually asked in any cartoon-centered conversation with someone curious as to how it works, working for The New Yorker. It’s a question with as many different answers as there are cartoonists.  A rumor was spread some years ago that the magic number was 10: you had to submit 10 a week. No such rule exists, or ever existed. I believe that that number still haunts the cartoon community — why, I don’t know.

This afternoon, while going through cartoon stuff, I ran across a box of index cards from my earliest years as a cartoonist for the magazine. To illustrate my point about sending in 10 cartoons a week, I noticed I had a run of sending in 20+, but there were also weeks of 30+, and then I found a few much higher.  Here’s a cropped photo of the last page of one week’s submissions — the week of March 8, 1978:

 57 submitted. Not one sold to The New Yorker or to any other publications that saw the work after the New Yorker (I think those red dots indicate drawings I felt might work for some other magazines). I don’t remember any of these cartoons, but judging by the captions, I’m not surprised they failed to be placed. For me, rejected work is best quickly forgotten; by the time drawings are rejected (or bought, if I’m lucky enough) I’ve already moved on to the next week’s batch, however many drawings that turns out to be. 

   

 

Spinach, Part 2 with Shanahan, Steiner, and Weber

As anyone who follows cartoon art knows, nearly everything and anything is fair game, including other cartoons. The famous Carl Rose “spinach” cartoon from the December 8, 1928 New Yorker  (shown above) that was yesterday’s subject here (well, more precisely, its caption origin was the subject) spawned a number of later cartoons.  Danny Shanahan gets the credit for causing me to think about casting around the Cartoon Bank site, using search words/terms like “spinach”  “broccoli” and “the hell with it”  — here are three takes by three masters of the art of cartooning:

Danny Shanahan’s from the February 28, 2005 New Yorker:

Peter Steiner’s from the July 24, 2000 New Yorker:

 

Robert Weber’s take, the February 21, 1994 New Yorker:

 

 

A Hmmmmm About Spinach

The Monday Tilley Watch, which usually appears in this place at this time, will be back next Monday as we’re in the second half of the last New Yorker‘s double issue week (the issue dated July 9 & 16, 2018).  In its stead, this brief puzzlement:

A Hmmmm About Spinach

Above: Carl Rose, E.B. White, A Can of Spinach

 

In December of 2013 the Spill posted a piece about the evolution of the caption of one of the most famous New Yorker cartoons.  The piece was updated and reposted in January of this year.  Here’s a further update (following the short burst of asterisks **********) — this time there’s a curious twist:

E.B. White is remembered as author of one of the most popular cartoon captions of the magazine’s earlier days, but perhaps it might be more accurate to say he was co-author, having adapted the caption from the artist’s original submission. The published caption, as it appeared beneath Carl Rose’s drawing in the December 8, 1928 New Yorker:spinach

“It’s broccoli, dear.”

“I say it’s spinach, and I say the hell with it.”

 

The original caption, below, as submitted by Rose himself provided the framework for White’s sterling re-working. Rose’s original caption:

“Mother, if I eat my spinach, may I have some chocolate pudding?”

“No, dear, there isn’t any chocolate pudding today.”

“Well, then, the hell with the spinach.”

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This morning while rereading Carl Rose’s New York Times obit (June 22, 1971), I was somewhat startled to see the quote from Mr. White included in the paragraph below (I’ve bolded it).  I’d read Mr. Rose’s obit before without this quote causing a scene here.  This is why I re-read what I’ve read, and then re-re-read:

“With the December, 1928, publication of the cartoon, “spinach” took on a new, inedible meaning as a slang synonym for the distasteful. E.B. White, the man who supplied the caption, recalled in a telephone interview yesterday: “The spinach drawing came in with a caption that he (Rose) had put on it — some entirely different thing.”

Here’s the Hmmmm part: Was Mr. White’s caption an entirely different thing?  I immediately went to Scott Elledge’s wonderful biography of Mr. White hoping for clarification and/or amplification. Curiously, Mr. Elledge glides quickly over the spinach drawing, saying only: 

Soon nearly every issue of The New Yorker carried ten or twelve of his [White’s]  newsbreaks, five or six of his paragraphs of “Notes and Comment,” and one or more cartoons whose captions he had written or rewritten (Mother to child at the dinner table: “It’s broccoli, dear.” Child to mother: “I say it’s spinach and I say to hell with it.”).

From Elledge I went to The Letters of E.B White (the revised edition, published in 2006). In a letter dated April 12, 1980, White says (in part):

“The spinach cartoon was not a collaboration in the strict sense of the word…one day a Carl Rose cartoon turned up on my desk for a fix. I didn’t think much of Rose’s caption, so I wrote an entirely new one…”

And after checking several other possible sources (Kunkels’s Ross biography for one), I finally came across a letter from Harold Ross citing the “spinach” drawing (it can be found in Kunkel’s Letters From The Editor: The New Yorker’s Harold Ross).  Here, in part is his letter to a Mr. Stark, dated June 5, 1931:

The dope on the “spinach” caption is this.  Sometime, not very often but occasionally, we get a caption in the office here for a picture, rather than use the artist’s caption.  This is because we insist on the artist putting the idea into the picture rather than into the wording…Carl Rose sent that drawing in and E.B. White saw it and wrote the caption we used in the picture…I didn’t think it was anything very hot. I went away to Florida and Mrs. Katharine Angell, who subsequently became Mrs. E.B. White, and who always insisted it was hilariously funny or something, printed it. It very shortly became a by-word much to my surprise.

I return to Carl Rose.  In his one and only collection One Dozen Roses: An Album of Words and Pictures, published in 1946, Rose devotes considerable space to talking about his famous drawing:

Obviously, Rose felt it necessary to let it be known that he had a part in the caption itself.  For without his original submitted captions that included the words subsequently used in the published caption:  “spinach” and “the hell with” Mr. White would’ve been faced with a drawing of a mother and little child sitting at a table, and nothing more. Could White have come up with the published caption without seeing Rose’s captions?

It seems fair that Mr. Rose receive some credit for the published caption (much as Yoko Ono was finally granted co-credit for John Lennon’s song, Imagine). Ordinarily, gagwriters receive no credit for their work (the Spill has covered this in previous posts. Here’s one).  But as Mr. White’s contribution to the drawing became public knowledge and his authorship of the published caption undeniable, Mr. Rose’s contribution to the published caption should be accepted as well. 

I leave you with this quote from One Dozen Roses. Mr. Rose, obviously proud of his skill as both writer and artist, writes:

I did not originate every idea in this book.  Of the 115 drawings in this collection, 92 are mine, mine!