Three new videos featuring three of the best: Liza Donnelly, Emily Flake and Roz Chast
First up: Liza Donnelly speaking at TedxBayArea, December 6, 2014
And here’s a link to Emily Flake appearing on Bloomberg, December 26, 2014
2015 looks to be an exciting year for new books from New Yorker cartoonists. Here’s a sampling:
A collection by the one-and-only Gahan Wilson, Out There (Fantagraphics, July 3, 2015). As anyone who visits this site knows, Mr. Wilson was recently the subject of a documentary film by Steven-Charles Jaffe, Born Dead, Still Weird.
From Marisa Acocella Marchetto, the author of the hugely popular Cancer Vixen, Ann Tenna (Knopf, September 1, 2015). Sorry, no cover image yet.
A review provided by the publisher:
“I am in awe: this is the work of a master craftsman at the top of her game. Ann Tenna is a great work of art, its storytelling fabulous and fresh. Marisa Acocella Marchetto defines our moment with social commentary that’s sharp, witty, and wise. Here is a universe of characters that will amaze and enchant you—a winning narrative that is timely, bold, and brilliant. Brava Marisa!” —Adriana Trigiani, author of Big Stone Gap and The Shoemaker’s Wife
From Roz Chast, author of the acclaimed memoir Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant, Around the Clock! (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, January 13, 2015).
A review provided by the publisher:
“New Yorker cartoonist Chast presents a zany, hour-by-hour look at the activities of 23 different kids…the off-the-wall mayhem of Chast’s illustrations is what makes this quirky offering stand out…good, ridiculous fun, and future fans of alternative comic artists will eat this one right up.” (School Library Journal, January 2015)
From Liza Donnelly, author of Women on Men, a 2014 Thurber Prize finalist, The End of the Rainbow (Holiday House (January 1, 2015).
From Bruce Eric Kaplan, a memoir, I Was a Child (Blue Rider Press, April 14, 2015).
A review provided by the publisher:
“In his poetically illustrated memoir, Bruce Eric Kaplan manages to capture all that is beautiful, hilarious and painful about growing up human. He will make you laugh with recognition, cry with nostalgia and longing, and somehow wish you were growing up bored in New Jersey.”
Ink Spill’s good friend over at Attempted Bloggery has an interesting post examining a preliminary cover sketch by Charles Saxon and comparing it to the published cover. Look for yourself.
Below: Ink Spill’s New Yorker Cartoonists A-Z entry for Mr. Saxon:
Charles Saxon (self portrait above from Best Cartoons of the Year 1947) Born in Brooklyn, Nov 13, 1920, died in Stamford, Conn., Dec 6, 1988. NYer work: 1943 – 1991 (2 drawings published posthumously). Key collection: One Man’s Fancy ( Dodd, Mead, 1977).
Less than a year before Harold Ross published the very first issue of his brainchild, The New Yorker, he briefly edited a well-established humor magazine, Judge. I recently bought a copy of the Ross period Judge to see what I could see (it’s the issue of July 19, 1924).
it was odd, but of course not unexpected, to see in tiny type across the bottom of the inside cover, “Harold W. Ross, Vice-Pres.” Unexpected was the cartoon caption contest that filled the rest of the page, “Judge’s Fifty-Fifty Contest No. 59.”
The “fifty-fifty” refers to the cartoon’s caption having two parts, with two individuals speaking. The first part of the caption is given — it’s up to the reader to provide the second part. New Yorker cartoon aficionados might recall that two part captions (sometimes referred to as “he-she”) were the go-to single panel cartoon format in the major humor publications of the day. That isn’t to say they were the only format. Captionless cartoons appeared as did New Yorker style single captions. As Judge’s caption contest reflects the format of its day, using the he-she caption, the current New Yorker caption contest reflects its time, asking of the readership to supply a single caption, with no lead in line.
Flipping further through this issue of Judge I came upon a good number of future New Yorker cartoonists: Milt Gross, Gardner Rea, Paul Reilly, Frank Hanley, Tousey, Walter J. Enright, Crawford Young, John Held, Jr., and Alfred Leete. Mr Leete and Mr. Rea would appear in the inaugural issue of the New Yorker in February of 1925. Paul Reilly would contribute twice to the New Yorker in 1925. Tousey just once in November of 1926. Mr. Enright just once in 1927. Mr. Gross just once in 1929. Mr. Hanley contributed six cartoons in the New Yorker’s first year, but none thereafter. Only Mr. Rea would go on to have a long career at The New Yorker (his last contribution appeared in 1965). Below is his “he-she” drawing from this issue of Judge (actually, it’s really she-he as the “Grim Lady” speaks first).
It’s entirely clear, after looking through Judge a time or three that Ross sponged-up the best of the publication (as he did with other humor magazines, including Punch and Life) imagining what kind of magazine he wanted, and what kind he didn’t want.
From left to right: Richard Gehr (author of I Only Read It For the Cartoons), Lee Lorenz, Sam Gross, Arnie Levin, and Victoria Roberts at The School of Visual Arts on December 11th. If you didn’t make it to the event last week, you are now able to watch most of it here .
Felipe Galindo posted the below photo taken at The New Yorker’s holiday party. It’s posted here with his permission.
Left to right: David Borchart, Felipe Galindo, Charlie Hankin, Farley Katz, Liana Finck, Corey Pandolph, Chris Weyant, Ben Schwartz, Joe Dator (waving), and Drew Dernavich (bent over in the foreground).
Two photos, taken December 15, 2014 in lower Manhattan.
Above, left to right: Felipe Galindo (Feggo), P.C. Vey, David Borchart, Sam Gross, Colin Stokes (writer & assistant to the New Yorker’s cartoon editor), Liza Donnelly and Joe Dator (who is currently the magazine’s Daily Cartoonist).
(photos courtesy of Liza Donnelly)
I was leafing through Thomas Kunkel’s book, Letters From the Editor (the Editor: The New Yorker’s founder and first editor, Harold Ross) when I came upon the one letter in the book to Rea Irvin (Irvin was The New Yorker’s art consultant from the magazine’s inception through 1952). Written in May of 1942, Ross’s letter concerned a recently purchased cover of Irvin’s. It reads, in part:
I put through the Halloween cover with Hitler, although it violates my solemn stand about no more specific people on covers.
Ross’s mentioning “no more specific people on covers” meant that there had to have been previous New Yorker covers with specific people, or at least one cover with a specific person. Curious, I took The Complete Book of Covers from The New Yorker off the shelf and began looking at the magazine’s covers, beginning with the very first New Yorker cover –- you know the one: Irvin’s very own top-hatted dandy commonly referred to as Eustace Tilley. Paging through the book I didn’t find a “specific person” cover until I arrived at the issue of November 22, 1941. A child at the door of a wealthy home is sporting a Hitler mask. The artist: Rea Irvin.
The next issue with a specific person is the cover Ross referred to in the May ’42 letter to Irvin. It’s a Halloween themed cover (the issue is dated October 31, 1942) and again Hitler is the specific person -– this time he’s a witch.
Paging through the years and all those magnificent covers, it wasn’t until July 15, 1944 that another cover with a specific person (in this case it’s persons) presented itself. The subject matter: D-Day. Besides President Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, General Eisenhower and Field Marshal Montgomery, there again was Hitler. The artist: Rea Irvin.
And that was the end of the string of specific people on New Yorker covers in Ross’s lifetime (he died December 6, 1951), unless you count Santa Claus, Abe Lincoln, and busts of philosophers.
Reading Ross’s letter was also a reminder of how The New Yorker has completely turned around, specific-people–on-the-cover-wise from those long ago days. A look back at just the past three years turns up close to 25 specific people covers. The specific people represented include the Pope, President Obama (numerous covers), New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Nelson Mandela, Derek Jeter, President Putin, Anthony Wiener, Mitt Romney…well, you get the idea.
Richard Gehr (pictured on the extreme left), author of the recently published book of New Yorker cartoonist interviews, I Only Read It For the Cartoons, hosted a panel discussion last night at the School of Visual Arts. Panelists (left to right): Sam Gross (filling in for Edward Koren, snowed-in up in Vermont), Victoria Roberts, Lee Lorenz, and Arnie Levin (also filling in). (photo for Ink Spill courtesy of Bob Eckstein).