The Tilley Watch: New Yorker’s 16th new cartoonist of 2016; An Arno Ad

Posted on 5th December 2016 in News

Tilley Watch...

The inclusion of a cartoon by Ellis Rosen in the December 12th issue of The New Yorker marks a record-breaking moment for new cartoonists added to the magazine’s stable; so far in 2016  16 new cartoonists have been published. Last year 15 new cartoonists were added. In 2014, 13 new cartoonists were added.  Between 1997, when Bob Mankoff became Cartoon Editor and initiated his so-called open door policy, through 2013, the average number of new cartoonists per year was 5.

Link here to Mr. Rosen’s website.


...Also of note in the December 12th issue: a full page (under the heading Sketchbook) by the fabulous George Booth.



From the Department of Shameless Self-promotion

Regular visitors to Ink Spill may have noticed that I do not run ads on the site. I’m making an exception just this once and posting an ad produced by my publisher, Regan Arts. And as long as I’m bringing up Arno, I thought I’d share Edward Short’s thoughtful review of Arno in the December issue of England’s Literary Review. It appears below the ad.

And with that, I bid self-promotion adieu…at least for what’s left of this year.



The Great Satyrist Peter Arno: The Mad, Mad World of the New Yorker’s Greatest Cartoonist By Michael Maslin (Regan Arts 287pp $26.95)

Many things made the New Yorker successful in its heyday. The magazine showcased the work of America’s best humorists, from James Thurber and Robert Benchley to Dorothy Parker and S J Perelman. Its eccentric founding editor, Harold Ross, knew how to coax good work out of his writers, even though he was fanatical about fact-checking. (Thurber recalled that if the Empire State Building were mentioned in a piece, Ross would not let it run until someone had called to verify that it was still standing.) The magazine could count on an audience ripe for its signature wit and sophistication. As F Scott Fitzgerald wrote, ‘New York had all of the iridescence of the beginning of the world … there was gala in the air.’ But what ultimately made the magazine a hit was its cartoons, and the greatest of its cartoonists was Peter Arno. The patrician son of a judge who disinherited him after he dropped out of Yale, Arno turned to cartooning largely to spite his father. Indeed, the butts of his cartoons were often men of his father’s class and generation, greybeards at play in the new cafe society that emerged after the First World War. When his father divorced his English mother to marry a secretary sixteen years his junior, Arno was given his greatest character: the sugar daddy infatuated with buxom showgirls and typists on the make. If Evelyn Waugh got his own back at his Dickens-loving father by sending up his mania for the Victorian novelist in A Handful of Dust, Arno got revenge on his by creating cartoon after cartoon showing what he nicely referred to as the ‘goggle-eyed lubricity’ of ageing lotharios. In Peter Arno, Michael Maslin (a cartoonist for the magazine himself) serves up the first full-length biography of the handsome, high-living, debonair artist. Before Arno, most cartoons in American publications were formulaic and decorous. In his bold, often sexually suggestive cartoons, Arno introduced a new urbanity, at once whimsical and subversive. Without Arno’s lead, as the artist in Maslin appreciates, the New Yorker might never have published the cartoons of Thurber, Charles Addams or Saul Steinberg, all of whom owe Arno an immense debt. As for Arno’s life, Maslin shows how the artist spent much of his time ringing the midnight bell in swanky nightclubs. Maslin gives a particularly memorable glimpse into Prohibition New York when he describes Ross closing down a speakeasy he had created for his staff after finding Arno and his first wife, Lois Long, deshabille on the floor. Apparently, as Long later recalled, the couple began drinking in the afternoon and simply forgot that they were married and had an apartment of their own to go to. On the subject of his club crawls, Arno could be eloquent: ‘At no time in the history of the world have there been so many damned morons gathered together in one place as New York right now … The town squirms with them … You don’t do good work of this sort unless you’re mad at something.’ If saeva indignatio was one source of his talent, a fine sense of the ridiculous was another. In one of his cartoons, a man bathing in the sea turns to a young woman and says, ‘Pardon me, Miss. You’re standing on my flippers.’ In another, an old satyr cavorts before a young blonde sitting beneath a tree. Her response is immortal: ‘Oh, grow up!’ At the end of his life, weary of playing the sardonic bon vivant, Arno left Manhattan for Westchester, where he discovered the joys of country life before succumbing to emphysema. He also found that he could forgive his papa. His last cover for the New Yorker shows an old polar bear touching noses with one of his cubs, a fitting farewell to the anger that had animated his earlier muse. Maslin’s book is a fascinating tribute from one artist to another, which does proper justice to a masterly draughtsman and an inspired wag.

Q&A of Interest: Bob Eckstein

Posted on 3rd December 2016 in News

Eckstein's booksFrom Book Culture, this Q&A with New York Times bestselling author, Bob Eckstein. Mr. Eckstein will be at Book Culture on December 6th signing and speaking about his new book, Footnotes From the World’s Greatest Bookstores.

Link here to Bob Eckstein’s website.

Below, an Eckstein New Yorker cartoon:


Profile of Interest: Drew Friedman

Posted on 2nd December 2016 in News

9781606999608-comic-heroes2From AI-AP, December 2, 2016, “Illustrator Profile — Drew Friedman: “Stick to your guns if you believe in your talents” — this profile/interview of Mr. Friedman.  His latest book is shown to the left.

…and don’t forget the Kickstarter campaign for a documentary film on Mr. Friedman (mentioned on the Spill a few days ago)

Interview of Interest: Liza Donnelly

Posted on 1st December 2016 in News

















From Live/Mint, December 1, 2016, “Funny Lady: The New Yorker’s cartoonist Liza Donnelly on Trump, feminist cartoons, how she works, and her favorite cartoonists” — this interview with Ms.Donnelly, who is in Delhi this week.

Follow her live-tweet drawings she’s doing while there:  @lizadonnelly

[photo: Anik Biswas]

Neither Creepy Nor Kooky: Charles Addams Westfield Home To Be Renovated

Posted on 30th November 2016 in News

addams-childhood-home-elm-st-westfield-njFrom the Westfield NJ Patch, November 30 2016, “Plans Started to Restore ‘Creepy and Cooky’ Historic Addams Family Historic Home (Snap Snap)”








Well, definitely not creepy…Addams’s biographer, Linda H. Davis had this to say about the house in  A Cartoonist’s Life (Random House, 2006):

“…the shutters at 522 Elm Street had nothing wicked to hide. ‘I know it would be more interesting, perhaps, if I had a ghastly childhood — chained to an iron bed and thrown a can of Alpo every day,’ said Addams. But ‘I’m one of those strange people who actually had a happy childhood.'”

When most folks think of the Addams Family house they think of the Victorian home that made appearances in Addams’s New Yorker cartoons, as well as on the television series,  and even on this 1954 collection of his cartoons:











For more on Charles Addams, pick up Ms. Davis’s book and visit the Tee & Charles Addams Foundation website. There’s also The Unofficial Charles Addams World Wide Website.




Kickstarting a Drew Friedman Documentary Film

Posted on 30th November 2016 in News









There’s a Kickstarter campaign afoot for a documentary film of a good friend of the Spill:  “Drew Friedman: Vermeer of the Borscht Belt” — visit the Kickstarter page here for more info, to contribute, and to see the promotional video (scanned here, but not playable here).  Here’s hoping the goal is reached!

An example of  Mr. Friedman’s work for The New Yorker, the cover of January 26, 2009:


Link here to Mr. Friedman’s blog


Newest Addition to Ink Spill’s Library: Comically Correct

Posted on 29th November 2016 in News

















Courtesy of Danny Shanahan, this promotional booklet (offered with new New Yorker subscriptions?) from 1995 has been added to Ink Spill‘s Library. Of the many promo booklets produced by The New Yorker I’d never seen this one until today. Shown are the cover, the introductory page and the list of cartoonists whose work is within (yes, Bruce Eric Kaplan’s middle name is spelled wrong).


Liza Donnelly on the 10th Anniversary of Cartooning For Peace

Posted on 26th November 2016 in News




























From, November 26, 2016, “A Celebration of Editorial Cartooning” — this piece by Liza Donnelly on the organization, Cartooning For Peace now celebrating its 10th anniversary with an exhibit and upcoming panel discussion in New York.

Link here to the  Cartooning For Peace website.

Link here to information about the exhibit and panel discussion at  The Society of Illustrators.

[Drawing: Angel Boligan, Mexico]


The First Football?

Posted on 25th November 2016 in News

Here’s Ink Spill’s traditional posting of a drawing of mine that appeared in The New Yorker in the Fall of 2006.  Possibly inspired by my father-in-law’s penchant for watching, like so many Americans, a whole lot of football at Thanksgiving time.


The Thanksgiving Turkey’s New Yorker Cover & Cartoon Debut

Posted on 23rd November 2016 in News

rea-irvin-thanksgiving-cover-1927Two Thanksgivings passed by in the New Yorker‘s earliest years before a turkey made the cover.  The artist for the issue of November 19, 1927: the one-and-only Rea Irvin.

Here’s Mr. Irvin’s entry on Ink Spill‘s “New Yorker Cartoonists 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.


And what about the first Thanksgiving-themed cartoon in the magazine?  That honor seems to belong to I. Klein, whose drawing appeared in the issue of November 21, 1925 (a cartoon in the issue the week before by Donald McKee does include a turkey, but it’s unclear if it is a Thanksgiving turkey).

The meaning of Mr. Klein’s drawing: from a quick history lesson this morning, I learned that President Coolidge upon taking office in 1923 decided to forgo the custom of receiving Thanksgiving turkeys from around the country, preferring to have only local turkeys.  By Thanksgiving of 1925 he changed his mind. The drawing reflects the reversal; we see lines of gift-givers from around the country bringing the President a turkey to taste.






Mr. Klein’s A-Z Ink Spill entry:

I. (“Izzy”) Klein (pictured above)  Born Isidore Klein, Newark, New Jersey, October 12,1897.  Died, 1986.  His papers can be found at Syracuse University. NYer work, over 200 drawings from 1925 through 1937.