Unseen Kovarsky: Unpublished Cartoons and Covers From the Late Great Artist

A special treat!  In celebration of the upcoming exhibit at The Society of Illustrators, Kovarsky’s World: Covers and Cartoons From the New Yorker,  the Spill is presenting unpublished work by this wonderful artist who contributed cartoons and covers to The New Yorker from 1947 through 1969. Today and next Wednesday, and possibly even a few more Wednesdays after that, I will  post cover sketches and drawings generously provided by Mr. Kovarsky’s family.  My sincerest thanks to them for allowing us to see this beautiful work.

— Note: all the work shown is copyright the Estate of Anatol Kovarsky.

 

— And for those who may have missed it, here’s a link to the Spill piece on Mr. Kovarsky from the summer of 2013, “Anatol Kovarsky at 94: Still Drawing After All These Years”

 

 

A Rafter of Kovarsky Turkeys; A Favorite Thanksgiving Cartoon Revisited

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Thanks to the generosity of Anatol Kovarsky’s family, here are a number of the artist’s unpublished sketches (mostly turkeys, plus a few chickens) as well as an unpublished sketch of his Thanksgiving New Yorker cover of November 24, 1962 ( the finished cover art appears as well).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).

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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.

 

 

 

New American Bystander Cover Revealed; Advertising Work by New Yorker Cartoonists, Pt. 23: Anatol Kovarsky; More Spills: A Blitt Book Party

New American Bystander Cover Revealed

Michael Gerber, publisher of The American Bystander has released the cover for issue #6.  Needless to say the art is by Arnold Roth (needless to say because he’s signed the art and  it could only be the work of Mr. Roth.  No one else draws like that).

If you love New Yorker cartoons, you’ll love the Bystander.

Go here to read more, to contribute to the Kickstarter campaign, to order a copy, and/or better yet, subscribe.

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Advertising Work by New Yorker Cartoonists, Pt. 23: Anatol Kovarsky

Continuing on in this series now with the first of a number of ads sent to the Spill by Anatol Kovarsky’s daughter, Gina. You’ll be seeing Mr. Kovarsky’s wonderful art pop up on the Spill throughout the holiday season as we head toward the opening of an exhibit of his work at the Society of Illustrators in January. Here are three undated ads for an underwear company.

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The New Yorker‘s editor, David Remnick hosted a book party  for Barry Blitt last night celebrating the release of Mr. Blitt’s Blitt (Riverhead, 2017).  Among those seen in the crowd: illustrators Steve Brodner, Joe Ciardiello, John Cuneo, Gayle Kabaker, Istvan Banyai and the New Yorker‘s art editor, Francoise Mouly;  cartoonists Liza Donnelly, Art Spiegelman, Maggie Larson, Peter Kuper, Jeremy Nguyen, and the New Yorker‘s cartoon editor, Emma Allen  and the New Yorker’s assistant cartoon editor, Colin Stokes.

Below: Blitt by Blitt

 

 

The Monday Tilley Watch: The New Yorker Issue of November 27, 2017

The Monday Tilley Watch is a meandering take on the cartoons in the current issue of The New Yorker.

I’ve spent a little time this morning looking through New Yorker Thanksgiving covers over the years. My all-time favorite — it’s the only cover I ever detached from the magazine (for shame!) so I could hang it on the wall — was Steinberg’s from 1976 (the same year he produced the now iconic so-called view from New York cover). His Thanksgiving cover, to my way of thinking, was and is the New Yorker cover at its best (not including Rea Irvin’s very first cover) — and I believe it was Steinberg at his best.  Disagree with me if you’d like, but you’ll never change my mind.

There have been many other great New Yorker  Thanksgiving covers, so very many.  I saw some beauties this morning  by George Booth, one by Anatol Kovarsky, Arnie Levin, Peter Arno, Frank Modell(!), James Stevenson, CEM (Charles E. Martin), William Steig…and on and on.  Gems all. Someone should do a book of them.

This Monday Tilley Watch will be a little different than the ones that have come before. For most, this is a busy week, with a lot of rushing around.  I actually saw people rushing around while I was in a grocery store yesterday.  In that spirit (of rushing) I’m going to mention just five drawings in this new issue (there are 19, with a full page “Comic Strip” by Edward Steed making the total 20). For more on the others I suggest visiting the Cartoon Companion at week’s end [to those who have asked if the Spill is affiliated with the Companion, the answer is nay.  We’re in touch, but their numbered opinions are strictly their own]

And now on to the five:  the first is BEK’s (Bruce Eric Kaplan) drawing (it’s on page 39).  Wonderful caption, perfectly capturing the mood (for many) of the times.  Four pages later, on page 42, a terrific commuter drawing by David Sipress.  Mr. Sipress delivers a drawing that lives up to Peter Arno’s high-bar one-two punch test.  On the opposite page another winner by Liana Finck. She has a knack for taking us away in fairy tale situations. Moving on to page 76, a cartoon by the ever-reliable Paul Noth.  I love that Mr. Noth has put so much into his Thanksgiving football drawing.  Opposite the Noth cartoon, a feast for the eyes: an Edward Koren drawing. Mr. Koren is our longest active contributing artist, having first published in the New Yorker in 1962. 

The “mix” of these drawings is what has always been one of my favorite parts of that first look through every issue of the magazine. Great writing, combined with interesting, oft-times exceptional drawing.

Final notes: Regular Monday Tilley Watch readers perhaps have grown weary of my unrelenting campaign to bring back the Rea Irvin Talk of The Town masthead to the magazine.  Sorry to disappoint, but here it is again:

 To me, removing Mr. Irvin’s creation from the magazine is akin to removing the top of the Chrysler building and replacing it with the top of Philadelphia’s One Liberty Place :

Further note:  debut appearances in this week’s issue by Emma Hunsinger and Sofia Warren, bring the number of new cartoonists introduced under Emma Allen’s cartoon editorship to seven — an average of one new cartoonist a month (Ms. Allen began editing the cartoons this past May).  

 

Must See: George Booth Exhibit at The Society of Illustrators

Here are a bunch of photos taken at last night’s opening reception for The Society of Illustrators exhibit, George Booth: A Cartoonist’s Life, curated by J.J. Sedelmaier

A ton of original George Booth covers and drawings in one place. What more could anyone ask for?  It’s a wonderful show. Go see it.

Above left, Danny Shanahan with Seth Fleishman (and right behind Mr. Fleishman is Stephen Nadler who runs Attempted Bloggery). Photo right: seated, John Cuneo, with the Director of the Society of Illustrators, Anelle Miller. Behind them is Felipe Galindo, and Stephen Nadler speaking with the cartoonist, Marc Bilgrey.

Below: two similar group photos. Can you spot the difference?

Top group photo: Mike Lynch, Michael Maslin, Liza Donnelly, Danny Shanahan, Jane Mattimoe, Felipe Galindo, George Booth, Mort Gerberg, Sam Gross, Ellis Rosen and Hilary Campbell.In the second group photo, Mike Lynch has disappeared and been replaced by John Cuneo, who is between Liza Donnelly and Danny Shanahan).

Below right: Seth Fleishman and the New Yorker‘s cartoon editor, Emma Allen.

Below: animator, Bill Plympton. Right: Eric Lewis

Above left: the show’s curator, J.J. Sedelmaier. Right: the Booth family

Below: Mike Lynch with Gina Kovarsky, daughter of the late very great New Yorker cartoonist and cover artist, Anatol Kovarsky

(photo courtesy of Mike Lynch)

Below: George Booth, with the illustrator,Tom Bloom in the background — he’s the fellow with the beard. (This photo courtesy of Stephen Nadler). 

Above left: Sam Gross.  Above right: Felipe Galindo with Colin Stokes, the New Yorker‘s assistant cartoon editor.

Below: Liza Donnelly, George Booth

 

–All photos above by Liza Donnelly, except where noted. My thanks to her for being the Spill’s official photographer.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So Long, 2016. Howdy, 2017

HNYGeez, what a year.  I’ve spent this morning looking back through Ink Spill’s  2016 posts. This was the year we lost more New Yorker cartoonist colleagues  than in any previous twelve month period in the magazine’s history:   William Hamilton, John Caldwell, Gerald Dumas, Michael Crawford, Anatol Kovarsky, Frank Modell, Robert Weber, and Peter Porges.

Their combined published work in The New Yorker adds up to approximately 5,000 drawings. An astounding number.  But of course what they really contributed to the magazine, and to us, whatever number of drawings published, were their distinct worlds, beautifully, thoughtfully, artfully  and engagingly set down on paper.

All of these artists helped define what a New Yorker cartoon is, and what it could be.  As as the old year takes a hike, and a sparkling new year begins, I suggest a fitting tribute to these fine fellows would be to seek out their work and revel in it.

 

 

 

Note: So Long, 2016. Howdy, 2017 is pinched from a line in Bob Dylan’s song, “Talkin’ New York”:  “So long, New York. Howdy, East Orange”