Why not think about blue skies and pyramids and Steinberg on this blizzardy day in the Northeast. I took a look at Stephen Nadler’s Attempted Bloggery site this morning, scrolled through the Steinberg pyramid series he’s been focusing on and immediately thought of the cover of Steinberg’s 1973 collection, The Inspector. Somewhat similar sky, rubber stamps, clouds, colors found on his pyramid series. The only thing missing from The Inspector cover is a Steinberg pyramid. To see a bunch of those head on over to Mr. Nadler’s ever-fascinating site.
The return of the New Yorker after a double issue break brings the return of the Cartoon Companion‘s “Max” and “Simon” and their rating system of 1 (bad — my word not theirs) to 6 (the polar opposite of bad).
In this first issue of 2018 the examined and rated cartoons include mattress shoppers, one of the three bears on a shrink’s couch, crystal shopping, and an author’s signing event. They also briefly mention this week’s cover by the great George Booth. Read it all here!
A Carl Rose Original on Attempted Bloggery
One of the Spill‘s favorite blogs has a Carl Rose original to show us. See it here!
Here’s Carl Rose’s entry on the Spill’s A-Z:
Carl Rose (photo above) Born, New York City; died, Rowayton, Ct., June 20, 1971, age 68. New Yorker work: 1925 – 1971. Collection; One Dozen Roses (Random House, 1946). Note: this collection contains essays by Rose on cartoon themes. Especially of interest is his essay concerning Harold Ross, “An Artist’s Best Friend is His Editor.” Carl Rose will forever be linked to E.B. White for the December 8, 1928 New Yorker cartoon of the mother saying to her child, “It’s broccoli, dear.” and the child responding, “I say it’s spinach, and I say the hell with it.” The drawing was by Rose, the caption was adapted by White from Rose’s original idea (for a slighty expanded explanation go here). Rose also had a Thurber connection. In 1932, Rose submitted a drawing captioned, “Touche!” of two fencers, one of whom has just cut off the head of the other. Harold Ross ( according to Thurber in The Years With Ross) thinking the Rose version “too bloody” suggested Thurber do the drawing because “Thurber’s people have no blood. You can put their heads back on and they’re as good as new.” The drawing appeared December 3, 1932.
Tom Toro in The Paris Review
Two blogs of note today, both very familiar to Spill visitors by now.
The first is Stephen Nadler’s Attempted Bloggery where he has posted, “Anatol Kovarsky: Leda and the Swan” — in anticipation of next week’s opening of the Kovarsky exhibit at the Society of Illustrators. Read it here.
(above: Mr. Kovarsky’s one-and-only collection, published in 1956. How I wish we had a follow-up!)
And then there’s A New Yorker State of Mind: Reading Every Issue of the New Yorker, which, in this latest post, takes a fascinating look at the issue of November 10, 1928 (shown above).
This week’s Daily cartoons (these are cartoons that appear only online and are not in the print version of the magazine) include appearances by David Sipress (businessmen in D.C.), Chris Weyant (a fortune teller sees law & order ahead), Zach Kanin (a pantsless sovereign), and Ellis Rosen (two drawings: Santa watching the results of the recent Alabama senate race, and an animated comment on net neutrality).
Over on Daily Shouts, contributing New Yorker cartoonists include a duo effort by Jason Adam Katzenstein & Farley Katz, “Some Health Insurance Plans That Would Actually Work For Me” and the third of Liana Finck’s “Dear Pepper” advice pieces.
Attempted Bloggery Uncovers Sizzling Platters
Attempted Bloggery, one of the Spill’s favorite blogs, unearths three New Yorker drawings centered on sizzling platters (one of them, by Barbara Shermund, is shown above).
While you’re on the AB site, scroll down to see a Dorothy McKay cover for the (old old) Life magazine.
Here’s Ms. McKay’s entry on the Spill‘s A-Z:
Dorothy McKay ( Self portrait above from Meet the Artist, 1943; Photo from Cartoon Humor, 1938) Born c.1904, died June, 1974 New York City. New Yorker work: 1934 -1936.
Judging by what I’ve noticed over many years of visiting used book stores, The New Yorker 25th Anniversary Album must have been the most popular in the series of their cartoon anthologies. This is the one you’re likely to find if you find any at all. Bonus: it’s easily found online for just a few bucks. The Album sports a series of firsts on the cover: the first time a monochrome Eustace Tilley appeared on an Album (the next time he would appear this close to so much solid color was on the magazine’s 60th Anniversary issue. Then editor, Tina Brown presented Eustace surrounded by, um, gold).
The 25th Album was the first to reproduce a number of full cartoons on the cover (minus the captions, which due to the size of each cartoon shown, would’ve been virtually impossible to read without a magnifying glass. The exception is John Held, Jr.’s work where the text is within the piece). And it was the first to be divided into sections: The Late Twenties, The Early Thirties, The Late Thirties, The Early Forties, and The Late Forties.
All the big names are here, of course, and so are some of the most memorable cartoons in the magazine’s history, including Thurber’s Seal in the Bedroom, Addams’ skier, and Arno’s “Well, back to the old drawing board.” This is the Album for anyone who has heard about the New Yorker‘s Golden Age, and wants to know what all the fuss was about.
The design of the book is excellent, with paper of good quality, allowing for Gluyas Williams’ masterpieces, run full page, to glow. Arno’s brushstrokes look as if he just swept them across the page fifteen minutes ago. On the pages where a number of cartoons appear, the layout is handled with great care, never too busy; each page was obviously fussed over by someone (or someones) who knew what they were doing. Just look at the graphic balancing act directly below:
The contributors are a Who’s Who of the magazine’s pantheon of great artists, including the founders, and the ones who showed up while Harold Ross was still messing around with the ingredients. Steig’s Small Fry are here, as is Soglow’s Little King. Helen Hokinson’s Club Ladies are generously presented, as are spreads by Rea Irvin, and and and…gee willikers, so much more (to see more scroll down to the back cover’s list of artists). This is one of the very best Albums of cartoons the magazine ever produced (as another 67 years have passed since its publication it shares the top shelf with a few others).
The flap text (above) reminds us that the cartoons are a record of the times. I’ll go along with that. As the magazine moves closer to its 100th year it’s essential for the cartoons to change with the times and reflect the times. I expect that the Introduction to The New Yorker’s 100th Anniversary Album will express something close to that sentiment, if not exactly that.
If you’ve read Genius In Disguise, Thomas Kunkel’s great biography of Harold Ross, you might remember that book’s prologue has a wonderful section devoted to the party at the Ritz-Carleton celebrating the New Yorker‘s 25th Anniversary. It was a party, wrote Kunkel, “celebrating accomplishment, about creating something of enduring importance.”
— My thanks to Bruce Eric Kaplan for bringing this to the Spill’s attention.
…A lot More Soglow
Attempted Bloggery has posted a cart full of rare Otto Soglow drawings (some of them are what used to be referred to as “naughty” — nowadays we’d call them not-PC. )
The Latest New Yorker Cartoons Rated
And they’re off! “Max” & “Simon” dive into the latest New Yorker cartoons, apprising and rating as they go. I noticed a lot of “4”s handed out this time around (and one “6” — the tippy-top number of their system).
Advertising Work by New Yorker Cartoonists, Pt. 25: Peter Arno, Pt. 2
We continue the ad series with Peter Arno’s second solo appearance (his was the first in the series. Arno always needs to be first). My thanks, as usual, to Warren Bernard for all of his work and generosity in sharing these pieces with the Spill folk. What is shown here, according to Mr. Bernard, is promo work for newspapers. As you can see, the drawings contain clues. The reader is supposed to put 2 and 2 together to come up with a proper name. In the first drawing the reader sees “All Benny” and comes up with “Albany”…and so on. Someone has helpfully provided the solution below each drawing. We don’t have dates for these pieces but judging by the style and signature, I’d place the work somewhere in the very early 1930s. If someone can be more precise, please advise.
More Soglow from Attempted Bloggery
Otto Soglow’s name continues to pop up here on the Spill, and that’s mostly due to Stephen Nadler’s wonderful site, Attempted Bloggery wherein he presents scans of original art, explores auctioned cartoon pieces, and shows us off-the-beaten-path New Yorker cartoon materials, among other fun stuff. Here’s yet another recent Soglow post from Mr. Nadler (a portion of the drawing he’s focused on is shown above).
The New York Times has named Julia Wertz’s Tenements,Towers & Trash: An Unconventional Illustrated History of New York City (Black Dog & Leventhal) as one of its 100 Notable Books of 2017. The Spill heartily congratulates Ms. Wertz.