Pictured above: a handful of World War II era publications from The New Yorker. Beginning at twelve o’clock high, with the red cover is The New Yorker Cartoons with The Talk of The Town (1945) — it’s the hard cover version of the New Yorker booklet to the left (cover by Alajalov). This is an exciting publication, chock full of great work. The Introduction is by New Yorker writer Russell Maloney who speaks of the qualities that define a New Yorker cartoon. Here’s an excerpt:
The editors of The New Yorker have, from the very beginning, made things just much more difficult for themselves by insisting on a closer relation between pictures and captions. In a good New Yorker drawing — and mind you, I’m saying they’re all good — the picture doesn’t mean much without a caption, and vice versa. If a picture is self explanatory without a caption, it is printed without a caption; you’ll find a good many in this volume. In The New Yorker the pictures do not illustrate the jokes; they are the jokes.
Continuing clockwise is The New Yorker War Album (cover by Peter Arno, published by Random House, 1942), then a pony edition* New Yorker (cover by Helen Hokinson), Another booklet, this one titled The New Yorker War Cartoons (cover by the ultra-prolific Alan Dunn). The Introduction is by E.J. Kahn. Here’s an excerpt:
One of the principal virtues of this collection of war cartoons is that they are not aimed at anybody in particular, unless it be the man with a capacity for absorbtion of humor…These cartoons show that a purely civilian organization can good naturedly tickle a military body without hurting any feelings.
Rounding out the collection, another pony edition (cover by James Thurber).
*By following the pony edition link above you’ll be taken to the From the Attic section of Ink Spill. Scroll down to the “New Yorker Overseas 1945″ post for a brief history of the The New Yorker Pony Editions