A Rafter of Kovarsky Turkeys
Thanks to the generosity of Anatol Kovarsky’s family, here are a number of the artist’s unpublished sketches (mostly turkeys, plus a few chickens) as well as an unpublished sketch of his Thanksgiving New Yorker cover of November 24, 1962 ( the finished cover art appears as well). Mr. Kovarsky’s work will be celebrated this coming January in an exhibition at the Society of Illustrators.
For more on Mr. Kovarsky, who passed away in 2016, here’s a Spill piece from 2013, “Anatol Kovarsky at 94: Still Drawing After All These Years” (this piece also appeared on the New Yorker‘s website in a slightly edited form).
A Favorite Thanksgiving Cartoon Revisited
The above drawing by Bob Eckstein appeared in The New Yorker, November 26, 2012. It remains one of my all-time favorite Thanksgiving cartoons. When it appeared I asked Mr. Eckstein a few questions about it:
Michael Maslin: Bob, your drawing, The First 3-D Thanksgiving, is, I believe, the first 3-D cartoon in the magazine’s history (if anyone out there finds another, please bring it to my attention). Is it actually 3-D? If I was wearing 3-D glasses right now, and looking at your drawing, would it be appear three-dimensional?
Bob Eckstein: It works, but not as well as it could, but that is by design. It is 3-D but we reeled it back. Knowing the reader wouldn’t have glasses, I went for the most readable degree of 3-Ding the cartoon so it still looked like a cartoon and not this heavy ominous image on the page which would have distracted from the joke.
MM: We should probably give a shout-out to Norman Rockwell, whose famous 1942 Saturday Evening Post “Freedom From Want” piece is obviously referenced in your drawing. Did you have Rockwell’s work in front of you when you were working on your finished piece?
BE: I had it in front of me, and underneath me, as I did trace most of the guy in the back and then glanced over to draw the rest of the set-up. My initial sketch had the whole family shocked at the dancing turkey but it looked too forced and too different from the Rockwell iconic piece. I realized Rockwell had it right the first time except he forgot the glasses.