John Donohue on Drawing Disappearing Eateries; Julia Wertz is Pencilled; The Tilley Watch: The New New Yorker Masthead

From  newyorker.com, May 23, 2017, ““Drawing the Vanishing Restaurants of New York” — this post by John Donohue, who has been tirelessly attempting to draw all the restaurants in New York.

 

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Next up on Jane Mattimoe’s Case For Pencils blog is Julia Wertz, whose new book, Tenements, Towers & Trash: An Unconventional, Illustrated History of New York City will be out this coming October. 

A bunch of links to Ms. Wertz’s work, New Yorker and otherwise can be found on the Pencils post.

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…Stephen Nadler, who runs Attempted Bloggery, one of my fave New Yorker-related sites, notified me last night that someone had been busy monkeying around with Rea Irvin’s  iconic New Yorker masthead. Now’s a good time to take a look at how the masthead has changed (and when it changed) in the magazine’s 92 years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Above is how it looked in the very first issue, February 21, 1925, with Of All Things beneath Rea Irvin’s design. The Talk of The Town was elsewhere in the issue, but would soon find a better fit…

 

 

 

 

 

…in the next issue, in fact: February 28, 1925 (above). The above masthead stuck around only half-a-year…

 

 

 

 

 

…until the issue of August 22 1925 (above), when it was obviously redrawn; the typeface changed too. 

 

 

 

 

 

In January 30, 1926 a cleaner, un-boxed masthead appeared, and again redrawn. This is the masthead most of us have known our entire lives.  It has stayed like this, unchanged, excepting the disappearance of the tiny little white dots on Eustace Tilley’s shoulder — they faded away somewhere in time.  A modern addition was a designery horizontal thin line above it in the anniversary issue of February 21, 2000. 

 

 

 

 

 

This brings us up to date. The above redesign first appeared in the issue of May 22, 2017.  Mr. Irvin’s charmingly imperfect scroll-like line has met a white-out brush.  His owl has been re-drawn, his buildings re-drawn too (with the inclusion of One World Trade Center in this new assortment).  Tilley himself has changed just a bit, from the neck up.  The designery horizontal line from 2000 remains (why toss out a perfectly good clean straight line?).  

A fond farewell to Mr. Irvin’s brilliant diamond.  Perhaps we’ll meet again?  

More Tilley: here’s a piece I wrote for newyorker.com back in 2008, “Tilley Over Time”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Objet D’art of Interest: A Thurber Bobblehead

Well here it is: the ultimate (?) gift for a Thurberite.  I’m not sure if any other New Yorker artist has been so honored.  A quick search for an Addams bobblehead and a Steinberg bobblehead turned up nada (I would love to see a Steinberg bobblehead).  

As you can see on the packaging, the bobblehead was issued as part of Columbus Ohio’s bicentennial.

The only similar object I’ve ever seen was a small painted plaster Eustace Tilley figurine. Neither the Tilley nor the Thurber objets d’art are in the Spill‘s archives, but one can dream.

The Thurber bobblehead can be found on Ebay for a song.

 

 

“…Vaguely Somewhere in Ross’s Mind…”

Here’s an interesting little booklet from the Spill’s archives (little as in 5″ x 8″  and just 97 pages), but there’s so much within.  The chapter “The New Yorker Cartoon and Modern Graphic Humor” by M. Thomas Inge is especially of interest, for obvious reasons. Mr. Inge provides a survey of the magazine’s art from inception through to the beginnings of the Lee Lorenz era  (although that era is mentioned only briefly at the end).  I’ve re-read this chapter from time-to-time, and each time some quote stands out a little bit more than on previous run-throughs.  In this morning’s reading was this one, which sounds as though it could’ve been written by James Thurber:

“It was under Ross’s eccentric but superb editorship from the beginning until his death in 1951 that the New Yorker cartoon was formulated and achieved its definitive and influential form. As was true with the entire premise for the magazine, what was wanted was vaguely somewhere in Ross’s mind.”

And this:

“…the truth is that The New Yorker has served primarily as a vehicle for major comic talents to develop their individual styles and distinctive visions.”

Well said, Mr. Inge.  If the New Yorker hadn’t provided its artists a home to develop their styles we would have missed out on a truckload of incredible comic worlds (“visions”) through the decades (Jack Ziegler’s world over these past 43 years comes to mind as do so many other worlds provided by Mr. Ziegler’s cartoon colleagues). 

Here’s the table of contents from the booklet.  If you can get hold of a copy you won’t be disappointed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How A Cartoonist Falls In Love With Cartoons; A Thurber Home For Sale

From The Daily Beast, May 20, 2017, “This Is How A Cartoonist Falls In Love With Cartoons” — a piece by Anthony Haden-Guest (with Charles Addams content), His exhibit, The Further Chronicles of Now is at Anderson Contemporary, 180 Maiden Lane, NYC, until June 9th. .

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From Connecticut’s News-Times , April 7, 2017, “James Thurber Slept Here” — this piece about a Thurber home for sale.

— my thanks to the New Yorker writer, Bill Franzen for passing along this piece.

81 Years Ago in The New Yorker

Just for the heck of it, I’ve taken a bound volume of The New Yorker off the shelf, and opened it up to the issue dated May 23, 1936. The cover is  by Perry Barlow. The cover’s colors are supplied by Mr. Barlow’s wife, Dorothy Hope, as Mr. Barlow was partly color-blind.  The festive cover moment doesn’t hint at all of what’s going on in the world (specifically Nazi Germany); you need only wait til you get to Notes and Comment in The Talk of The Town for that:

“…Truth stays up all night, and that something keeps flickering in the world while Ministers of Propaganda snooze.”

Continuing on into the body of the magazine, and focusing on the cartoons (I apologize for not showing all the cartoons — I don’t want to tax the patience of the New Yorker‘s rights & permissions person), we come to a Richard Decker that swallows up the page graphically, and opposite it a very Charles Addams-like  Richard Taylor cartoon (shown here). 

An un-pc  Robert Day jungle cartoon follows, and following that a beautiful (of course!) Peter Arno drawing of a cafe scene with a young pretty woman shouting into an old gent’s hearing aid, “I say I hate the city, Mr. Gromer! I love everything in the fields! Everything that’s growing! Everything that’s wild!”

Next up is a rarity (shown below): one of only three cartoons  — and the last of the three –the artist Adolf Dehn contributed to the magazine. Here’s his A-Z entry:

Adolf Dehn  Born, Minnesota, Nov. 22, 1895; died, New York City, May 19. 1968. Primarily a lithographer, Dehn’s work is said to be collected by 20 museums, including The Smithsonian and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY. NYer work: three drawings, Sept. 6. 1930; June 15, 1935; May 23, 1936. A bio from the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art: www.sama-art.org/info/publications/catalog/dehn_cat/dehn_text.html

This is followed by a full page Carl Rose drawing titled: Strange Events Of An Election Year.  A few pages later is a large drawing by Alan Dunn (one of the most published New Yorker cartoonists of all-time, right up there with Lee Lorenz and William Steig). Next are drawings by Richard Decker and Mr. Barlow (the same fellow responsible for the cover). The following page is a very very funny Mary Petty drawing (shown):

One page later: a beautiful James Thurber  drawing, with tennis as the topic. Next up, a drawing by Ned Hilton (someone whose work doesn’t get much attention these days, although Mike Lynch did post a Hilton drawing the other day and mentioned Mr. Hilton’s interesting signature).

 

A number of pages later we come to a quarter-page Helen Hokinson drawing of a woman trying on a new hat. The saleswoman is saying: “You mustn’t think of it in New York, Mrs. Brewster. Think of it in Lenox.”

 

And last:  Alain, with  a caption-less drawing (shown):

Not a bad collection of artists and art in one issue: Barlow, Hokinson, Thurber, Arno, Alain, Robert Day, Ned Hilton, Richard Decker, Alan Dunn, Mary Petty, and a bonus  —  the rare Adolf Dehn drawing. Two full pages, and several more nearly full. 

The spot drawings are pretty great too, including this one:

 

 

Latest New Yorker Cartoons Rated; More Von Riegen, and Some Corey Ford

 

 

 

It’s good to see those anonymous critics, Max and Simon, are staying the course and digging into the cartoons appearing in each and every new issue of The New Yorker. This week they look at (and rate) cartoons featuring, among other things, a snail, a yodeler, a proud woodsman, subway rats, and some gangsters wearing matching pants and shirts. 

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And swinging back over to Attempted Bloggery, the William Von Riegen material keeps on-comin. I like that this book jacket cover featuring Mr. Von Riegen’s art was featured.  One of the book’s co-authors is Corey Ford, who will be no stranger to New Yorker history buffs (he gave name to Eustace Tilley).  Here’s the very rare book containing the Making of a Magazine pieces Mr. Ford contributed to the New Yorker in its infancy (this is a screen grab — the book is, alas, not in the Spill’s library, although a promotional booklet of the material, donated by a generous collector, is).  

You can read Mr. Ford’s pieces here

Bob Eckstein Named Writer’s Digest Columnist; The Tilley Watch: A Steed Full Page; Emma Allen Plays Ball

 

 

Writer’s Digest has announced that Bob Eckstein, whose latest book (shown to the left) has received great notices, will become their recurring columnist beginning this summer. Read all about it here.

Visit Mr. Eckstein’s website here (where you’ll find links to his New Yorker work, and work elsewhere)

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In the latest episode of The Cartoon Lounge, The New Yorker‘s cartoon editor, Emma Allen plays ball with Colin Stokes, the associate cartoon editor.  And they also take a look at Ed Steed’s full page (yes, a full page!) drawing appearing in the magazine’s latest issue. Nice glimpse of the Thurber wall drawing around the 2:05 mark.

also of note: Kim Warp is now doing the Daily Cartoon.