The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue of June 18, 2018

Ah, a Father’s Day cover.

 I find this cover puzzling. The sink is dripping, yet the repair work seems to be going on under the sink.  My understanding is that a dripping faucet is repaired within the faucet itself — it’s usually just a gasket replacement. Work below the sink is reserved for clogged, damaged or leaking pipes or water lines.  As the father and daughter shown on the cover are working under the sink you might assume they are doing something along those lines — something involving the pipes or water lines.  Yet anyone working below the sink would not begin working below the sink until first turning off both the hot and cold water (which only involves reaching in under the sink and closing the water valves). Thus they would not be set to work, such as they are, below the counter with the water still running. I know, I know, lighten up, Ink Spill — it’s not an illustration from a manual describing how to fix a dripping faucet.  As a cartoonist who has only worked on dripping faucets and leaking pipes in a non-professional capacity, I admit I could be completely wrong about all of the above.

From the Department of Just Sayin’:

# of illustrations in this issue: 20 (including photographs, but not including Tom Bachtell’s wonderful drawings that appear regularly in The Talk of The Town).  5 of the illustrations are full page.

# of cartoons  in the issue: 14 (none are full page).

As in previous weeks, I’m not going to go cartoon-by-cartoon, but will instead note a few.

Interesting that for two of the cartoons the humor involves walking through or onto something.  That is to say, the act of walking itself is the core of the drawing.  In Julia Suits cartoon (p.16), a  blindfolded fellow is being led to step onto an upturned rake. Ka-pow, right?  In Will McPhail’s drawing (p.39), a just arriving visiting couple will momentarily walk through hot coals. Ouch!

  The New Yorker cartoon subway series is back after a hiatus; this week’s subterranean drawing courtesy of Roz Chast (page 34). 

 The Spill does not rate cartoons like they do over on the Cartoon Companion, but it does applaud exceptional work, such as Joe Dator’s drawing (p.21) and Bruce Kaplan’s tight graphic treat (p.42).

Finally, as has been the case for just over a year now, I’m showing Rea Irvin’s spectacular Talk of the Town masthead.  Why show it?  Because it was replaced last spring by a look-alike.  To read a Spill piece about Mr. Irvin’s drawing and its unnecessary replacement, link here.

Here’s the real thing:

To see all of the cartoons in this issue, link here and scroll down to the slideshow, “Cartoons from the Issue”

— See you next week

 

 

 

 

 

T-Shirt of Interest: Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell; Four Questions:Bruce Eric Kaplan

T-Shirt of Interest: Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell

From bustle.com, thred-UPS Earth Day T-Shirt Collection Hilariously Drags All of Us For Being Awful to The Planet”.with Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell content.

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Four Questions: Bruce Eric Kaplan

From Publishers Weekly, April 17, 2018, “Four Questions For Bruce Eric Kaplan”

Mr. Kaplan’s website

 

Monday Tilley Watch: The New Yorker Issue of April 23 2018

This week’s cover by David Hockney, artiste! 

First order of business: for those hoping that Rea Irvin’s classic Talk Of The Town masthead would suddenly pop up for Spring: alas, such is not the case. Here’s what it looks like, lest we forget:

And below is the barely one year old re-do. Irvin’s classic wins by a knock-out.

Last week in this space it was mentioned that illustration in that week’s issue seemed to be everywhere. This week is the same, but more so. I count 20 illustrations/photographs, including a double-page spread as well as two full pages. You might wonder why this is even mentioned. I trace it back to (some) cartoonists’ sensitivity surrounding the arrival of New York magazine.  It made liberal use of illustration and photography —  a model that spawned a flotilla of like-designed publications. There was not a cartoon in sight.

It’s interesting watching the Monday Tilley Watch trying to find its footing.  It began lightheartedly as a breezy look through each new issue, commenting on the cartoons (but not criticizing them). I’ve found, as each new issue presents itself, that there are sometimes cartoons that don’t work (for me) or that escape me (which actually is the same as not working for me). But what’s always been the most fun is coming across a cartoon that is so good its energy comes off the page or screen. I came across two in this current issue: Liana Finck’s and Bruce Eric Kaplan’s. Ms. Finck’s drawing of a sun going off to work is in Steig territory.  Mr. Kaplan’s drawing is slice of life from the school of classic New Yorker cartoons. Very good solid work.

 — See you next week

 

 

 

 

 

The Monday Tilley Watch: The New Yorker Issue of April 9, 2018

Here’s  Bruce McCall speaking about his gluten-free-gluten cover, along with three cover sketches (a nice touch).

And here are the cartoonists in the issue:

A slightly different Monday Tilley Watch this week…I’m listing my first response as I (electronically) flip through the issue, as if the drawings are flashcards.

Bruce Eric Kaplan…rodents and a tiger — I really like the tiger.

Lars Kenseth…a Snidely Whiplash reversal.  Funny that the train is a toy (shades of Charles Addams).

Tom Cheney…internet mischief in olden times.

John Klossner…support food. Wonder what kind of animal is being served.  

Harry Bliss…Jake LaMotta on ice.  A very outta left field drawing.

Roz Chast…a wicked queen’s magic mirror, updated.

Paul Noth…a patient prefers male doctors.

Pia Guerra…a sacred cow & more

Ed Steed…strong strange man drawing, or strange strong man drawing.

William Haefeli…a lesson in capitalization.

Seth Fleishman…a turkey display, with color.

Joe Dator…a NYC tour bus. Finally, a comment on those noisy things that rumble around the great metropolis. 

Frank Cotham…a witness explains. 

Teresa Burns Parkhurst …an egg ponders. A candidate for The New Yorker Book of Poultry Cartoons.

Mike Twohy…a doggy snow globe.  I can’t get enough of dogs and snow globes. 

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Keen-eyed observers will note that Rea Irvin’s classic Talk of The Town masthead is still in absentia. Here it is:

and here’s the stand-in:

To read more, go here.

 

 

 

 

The First New Yorker Cartoon Issue…and the Last

From 1997 through 2012, the New Yorker published a “Cartoon Issue”; that there was a special issue wasn’t news — the magazine had started publishing them in its new era of ownership under Conde Nast (purists might argue that the issue of August 31, 1946 was the magazine’s first special issue. Beyond the Goings On About Town section, the entire issue was devoted to John Hersey’s Hiroshima. There were no cartoons, and no illustrations — just spot drawings).  The first Cartoon Issue came in the year of more change: the cartoon editorship passed from Lee Lorenz, who had held that position for 24 years, to one of the magazine’s cartoonists, Bob Mankoff, who had been contributing to the magazine for 20. [The Spill will take a look at the How and Why of that change in editorship in a future post].

The very first Cartoon Issue, dated December 15, 1997 was a celebratory explosion of the magazine’s signature art.  From the fold-out cover collage to the wonderful Jack Ziegler cartoon, “No comment” appearing where the “Comment” section would normally appear, it set the bar very high.  Also in this issue, the three section (originally planned as two section)  fold-out photograph of cartoonists taken by the acclaimed Arnold Newman, the mini bios of each cartoonist in the issue, Roger Angell’s Onward and Upward With the Arts piece (“Congratulations! It’s a baby”), Roz Chast’s graphic ode to Charles Addams, a double page photograph of George Price, a special feature by Richard Cline, Lee Lorenz’s “Cover Stories” …and more. 

In that first issue, the cartoons nearly took over the magazine. The majority of the pieces on the Table of Contents were cartoon-themed; 51 cartoonists were given brief bios.  In  the last Cartoon Issue,  28 cartoonists contributed and the issue’s special cartoon features were bundled together in the middle of the book, from page 60 to 76, with a smattering of single panel cartoons (16 cartoons to be exact) 5 multi-page spreads and 2 full page spreads, one of which, Joe Dator’s, “How We Do It: A Week In the Life of a New Yorker Cartoonist” is a classic piece of work.   As I wrote in 2012 when the issue appeared, “this Cartoon Issue veers from its predecessors in that its cover, cartoons and cartoon spreads are predominantly politically themed.”  

 Although all of the Cartoon Issues had elements that were exciting and fun — for instance, the Charles Barsotti cover on the second Cartoon Issue in 1998, and covers by New Yorker cartoonists such as George Booth, Ms. Chast, Harry Bliss, Edward Koren, Bruce Eric Kaplan, etc. —  that first Cartoon Issue, with its electric zeitgeist, remained the one to beat.  By October of 2011, when I mentioned to Jack Ziegler that the latest Cartoon Issue was probably due any week, he responded to me (via email) that it was “the moment we all dread.” By that time, the so-called “bookazine” Cartoons of The Year had already appeared and would shortly supplant the Cartoon Issue. On June 13, 2013, the magazine’s cartoonists received an email from the cartoon editor saying: “there definitely is not going to be a cartoon issue this year.” And that, as they say, was that.

(Below: the last Cartoon Issue, cover by Roz Chast)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Monday Tilley Watch: The New Yorker Issue of February 26, 2018

Always glad to return to weekly issues of the magazine after doubles. This new issue sports a cover that seems like the sum of the equation: Olympics + North Korea =.

  Here’s what cover artist Mark Ulriksen had to say about it on newyorker.com

The Olympics + North Korea equation continues with the very first spot drawing appearing on the opening page of The Talk of The Town. And, as long as we’re mentioning that page,  let’s get this out of the way: Rea Irvin’s classic Talk masthead is still a-missin’.  Here’s what it looks like:

Could be wrong, but it seems like there are slightly more Otto Soglow spot drawings scattered throughout Talk than usual (along with Tom Bachtell’s always top-notch drawings). 

Doesn’t take long to get to the first cartoon of the issue (it’s on page 18). P.C. Vey delivers a very P.C. Vey-like piece of work (that’s always a good thing).  Love the little fish Mr. Vey has drawn, but wish it was still swimmin’. Five pages later Lars Kenseth takes us to the land of the pitchman. Funny drawing. Love how Mr. Kenseth uses the language. I did something in that vein a long time back — in the New Yorker, April 6, 1981, to be exact.  I remember it being a ton-o-fun playing with the structure of the television pitch. 

On the very next page one of my favorite subjects: the old west (or possibly it’s a cowboy and his horse in the contemporary west).  Zach Kanin’s coffee-drinking horse is well drawn.  I wish the cowboy’s face was easier to see on the digital edition — this is where print (might) come in handy. 

Nine pages later, a well-placed-on-the-page Frank Cotham cartoon. Cartoonists usually love to show gangsters about to toss a guy off a pier.  Mr. Cotham gives us a prequel. Nice.

Four pages later Roz Chast with an at-home Olympics moment.  A very Chastian drawing any which way you look at it. Another four pages brings us to the second-ever New Yorker drawing (unless I’m mistaken) by Olivia de Recat.  Similar to her first in that it’s mostly text. This one is approximately 97% text (handwritten text).  Her first was perhaps 91% text.  Though we don’t see them as much as we used to, the aforementioned Ms. Chast has done a number of text-driven (to use a Tina Brown era term) drawings over the years. Without doing research (unforgivable, I know!) I’m going out on a limb by suggesting Ms. Chast may have pioneered this particular form of New Yorker cartoon. If anyone wants to shoot that down, please contact me.

Five pages later, Maddie Dai weighs in on a fellow’s mid-life crisis times two.  His motorcycle (which lacks a gas tank — maybe it’s one of those new electric bikes) has at least one (unintentional?) funny feature: the bike’s training wheels are attached to the hub of the rear wheel.  If this cartoon bike was a real bike the training wheels would spin around with the tire, complicating things even further for the crisis guy.  No matter — it’s a nice drawing. 

On the very next page, a debut New Yorker cartoon by Navied Mahdavian*, that answers the oft-asked question, “What did we do before the internet?” Funny drawing.

Four pages later, veteran cartoonist, Mick Stevens gives us death having just died.  Looking at Mr. Stevens’ drawing I asked myself if this fell into the double negative column.  If death dies, isn’t death then alive? Way too much of a headache-inducing thought for this cartoonist (me, not Mr. Stevens).

Eight pages later Sara Lautman takes us to a contemporary bar moment. Found myself studying the shelves and bottles of booze in the background.  There’s a Robert Weber-ish looseness to that area.

Seven pages later a Bruce Eric Kaplan gem of a caption.  And on the very next page, the last drawing of the issue (not counting those on the Caption Contest page).  Liana Finck gives us a bird chase. Not sure what the surface is that they are on — is it pavement with a sidewalk in the rear?  It probably doesn’t matter.  The big bird — the one that’s chasing the little bird —  has an expression indicating confidence she/he will succeed, despite the lack of arms. 

*For those keeping track, Navied Mahdavian is the thirteenth new cartoonist introduced under the magazine’s current cartoon editor, Emma Allen, since she was appointed in May of 2017, and the second newbie introduced so far in 2018.

— See you next Monday