“Many Of the funniest drawings The New Yorker has published originated through a complete misunderstanding between editor and artist”

We’ll just keep looking at New Yorker Albums on Sundays until we run out of Albums to look at. Today it’s the Second Album, published by Doubleday, Doran & Co. in 1929. By 1929 the magazine was on track and feeling its oats —  its near-death in 1925 was just an unpleasant memory. The Album’s cover, originally on the magazine itself (the issue of September 15, 1928) is by Peter Arno. The Foreword, credited to The New Yorker, spends some time answering “Who thinks up the ideas?”

 Carl Rose’s newly famous “It’s broccoli, dear.” “I say it’s spinach, and I say the hell with it.” (published December 8, 1928) not only appears in the Album, it’s presented all by itself on the back cover, and is mentioned in the Foreword.  It’s further elevated by the front flap text: 

The Album contains an all-star lineup including Helen Hokinson, Arno, Rea Irvin, Gluyas Williams, Alan Dunn, Mary Petty, Otto Soglow, Reginald Marsh, and Barbara Shermund (the period covered  is pre-Thurber as cartoonist, and pre-Addams, in case you’re wondering why they’re not mentioned).  Unless you’re a New Yorker Cartooniac, I suspect that most of the work in the Second Album will be unfamiliar.  Even though it’s a sort of greatest hits from the magazine since the first album was published (just a year before!) many of these drawings never appeared again in the big round-up albums of later years (the 25th Anniversary Album,  the 50th Album, the 75th Anniversary Album, or the weighty Complete Cartoons of The New Yorker from 2004). Herein you’ll see work by Nora Benjamin, Johan Bull, and One Clubbers* Milt Gross and Palmer (about whom I know nothing, other than his or her name — first or last? — is Palmer). There are also a few cartoons with signatures that require more sleuthing than I have in me. I also spotted one cartoon — a lovely drawing– in an unfamiliar (to me) style with no signature at all. Looking through the collection this morning I found a cartoonist I’d never known about: John Elmore (he will be added pronto to the A-Z).

Here’s the unsigned cartoon:


So plenty to discover and wonder about and/or puzzle over — but mostly, to enjoy in this Second Album.  If you’ve ever wondered why the New Yorker‘s cartoons have fascinated for so long, look no further than the work in this Album. Diversity of style — the not-so-secret ingredient — is fully on display here, from the sleight-of-hand simplicity of Gluyas Williams’ line to the density of Reginald Marsh’s and everything in between.  The work succeeds.

Below: early Otto Soglow.  A far cry from his Little King style.

*The One Club is the Spill‘s way of indicating that a particular cartoonist was published only once in The New Yorker.  Every one-timer’s entry on the A-Z  is accompanied by the small red top-hatted fellow shown below.  To qualify for inclusion, twenty years have to have passed following that first and only appearance. 


Note: The Second Album is not difficult to find.  AbeBooks.com has two copies.  Finding one with its dust jacket though, well, that might be more of a hunt. 




Q&A of Interest: The New Yorker’s Cartoon Editor, Emma Allen; Fave Photos of the Day: Edward Sorel at The Society of Illustrators; Thurber Obits and More Soglow From Attempted Bloggery; PR: Chast

Q&A of Interest: The New Yorker’s Cartoon Editor, Emma Allen

From Yale Alumni Magazine, Nov/Dec 2017, “She Got Her Start By Giving Bad Advice” — a fun Q&A with Emma Allen, the New Yorker‘s cartoon editor.


Fave Photos of the Day: Edward Sorel

Here’s Edward Sorel lecturing yesterday at The Society of Illustrators for an Association of American Editorial Cartoonists event.  (photos courtesy of Liza Donnelly)


Thurber Obits and More Soglow From Attempted Bloggery

Attempted Bloggery has posted yet another obscure Otto Soglow piece as well as a trio of Thurber obits from November of 1961 (one of them includes the above 1943 photo, by Helen Taylor). See it all here.


…from 99U“Roz Chast: From Free Fall to Full Time Cartoonist”



Advertising Work by New Yorker Cartoonists, Pt. 22: John Held, Jr.; More Booth!

Advertising Work by New Yorker Cartoonists, Pt. 22: John Held, Jr.

I know, I know… you woke up this morning wondering if John Held, Jr., who became famous for his drawings of flappers in and on the cover of the pre-Luce Life ever did advertising work.  Well courtesy of Warren Bernard‘s detective work, we have some examples of Mr. Held’s commercial work. My thanks to Mr. Bernard for sharing his findings with Ink Spill.

New Yorker readers who have dipped into the magazine’s cartoon anthologies or looked through ancient issues would certainly have come across Mr. Held’s work — but it wasn’t the style that brought him fame. His New Yorker work looks like this:

  Harold Ross, the New Yorker‘s founder and first editor (who met Held in high school when they both worked on the school newspaper,The Red and Black)  wanted Held in his new magazine, but he didn’t want Held’s famous flapper style work. According to Thomas Kunkel, in his magnificent biography of Ross, Genius in Disguise:

“Ross and [Rea] Irvin eschewed his [Held’s] overexposed flappers, instead publishing his contemporary twists on the Gay Nineties woodcuts Ross had loved as a boy.”

So what you see here are examples of Held’s non-New Yorker style. The Ovington Gift Shop ad was published during the heart of the Roaring 20s (1926), and the others were published in 1929 — the year that ended so badly.

Here’s John Held, Jr.’s entry on the Spill’s A-Z:

John Held, Jr. (Pictured above. Source: Sketchbook of American Humorists, 1938) Born, January 10, 1889, Salt Lake City, Utah. Died, 1958, Belmar, New Jersey. New Yorker work: April 11, 1925 – Sept. 17, 1932.


More Booth!

Mike Lynch and Jane Mattimoe have posted pieces about the wonderful George Booth exhibit at The Society of Illustrators.  The exhibit, as you can see in the poster, is up now and will run through the end of this year. Do not miss!




New Gahan Wilson Collection: “Rejects”; A Cartoon Companion Two-fer: Mick Stevens Interview + the CC’s Take on the Latest New Yorker Cartoons; Cavna on Sikoryak’s Trump Book; PR: Blitt, Chast

New Gahan Wilson Collection: “Rejects”

From the publisher:

This is a collection of new cartoons by Gahan Wilson. Never before seen cartoons by the Master of the Macabre will delight your senses.

Available now on Mr. Wilson’s website here.


A Cartoon Companion Two-fer: Mick Stevens Interview (Pt.2) and the CC’s Take on the Latest New Yorker Cartoons

Here’s Part 2 of the Cartoon Companion‘s Mick Stevens Interview, and here’s a link to their dissection of the cartoons appearing in the issue of November 6th.


Cavna on Sikoryak’s Trump Book

From Michael Cavna’s Washington Post Comic Riffs blog, “The Unquotable Trump’ uses the president’s own words to comic effect” 


…From the Litchfield County Times (Connecticut), November 2, 2017 “See Cartoonist Barry Blitt at booksigning in Roxbury.”–November 18th

…Roz Chast, whose latest book is Going Into Town: A Love Letter to New York,  will appear November 9th for a “craft talk” at the University of Albany. She’ll be joined by a former New Yorker editor.  Details here. 


New Yorker Cartoonists Live; Obscure Otto Soglow; Book of Interest: Cartoons From Maine; Drawing Dogs w/ Booth

New Yorker Cartoonists Live

Event of interest tomorrow night! This just posted on Instagram a few hours ago by the magazine’s cartoon editor, Emma Allen:

 Emily Flake, Jeremy Nguyen and Farley Katz will join Ms. Allen at Dover Street Market. Somebody who’s going please take photos and send to the Spill.


Obscure Otto Soglow

Stephen Nadler, over at Attempted Bloggery, has posted a rarity: an Otto Soglow cover for Broadcasting: The Weekly News Magazine of Radio, dated March 24, 1941.  Above is a snippet.  To see the whole thing go here.


Book of Interest: Cartoons From Maine

It’s a long way off (due out in May of 2018) but here’s the cover for a collection of cartoons about Maine by Maine cartoonists, edited by Mike Lynch.

 The contributors: Bill Woodman, David Jacobson, John Klossner, Mike Lynch, and Jeff Pert


Drawing Dogs with Booth

From The Paris Review, “Drawing Dogs in George Booth’s Living Room”  — this fun piece about Sandra Boynton drawing with Mr. Booth.



Liza Donnelly Draws Halloween; Andy Borowitz On His Work: “It’s almost like the verbal equivalent of a New Yorker cartoon”; Tom Toro in The Paris Review; Advertising Work by New Yorker Cartoonists, Pt. 21: Addams for Sani-Flush; Steinberg: Artiste or Cartoonist?

Liza Donnelly Draws Halloween

From Liza Donnelly, Halloween drawings for CBS This MorningSee them here


Andy Borowitz On His Work: “It’s almost like the verbal equivalent of a New Yorker cartoon”

From Poynter, October 31, 2017 —“Satirist Andy Borowitz Explains the Fine Art of Lampooning Trump” —  the interview by James Warren includes this quote from Mr. Borowitz describing his work: “It’s almost like the verbal equivalent of a New Yorker Cartoon.”


Tom Toro in The Paris Review

Tom Toro will be illustrating one sentence at a time for The Paris Review in an eight part series,  The Complete Sentence.


Advertising Work by New Yorker Cartoonists, Pt. 21: Addams for Sani-Flush

Thanks to the generosity of Warren Bernard, the series of New Yorker cartoonists advertising work continues on. Here are four Sani-Flush ads by the great Charles Addams (it being Halloween you just know that Mr. Addams would turn up here on the Spill).  All these ads are dated 1942.


Steinberg: Artiste or Cartoonist

From Escapeintolife.com, “Toon Musings: Saul Steinberg / Artiste or Grubby Cartoonist”