Like clockwork, The Cartoon Companion‘s Max and Simon are back with their takes on the cartoons in the New Yorker‘s latest issue (February 8th ’18) . In a first (I think!) the CC boys give a blue ribbon to two cartoons in the issue (one of them, I was happy to see, was this Frank Cotham gem). Go here to see the post.
Liza Donnelly shows us her State of the Union Address live-drawings here!
Link here to Ms. Donnelly’s website.
More & More Hoff From Attempted Bloggery
Want to see cartoons by the late great Syd Hoff that you’ve probably never seen before? Then head on over to Attempted Bloggery where Stephen Nadler continues to keep his site’s spotlight on Mr. Hoff’s work.
A Kenseth in The White House
Lars Kenseth posted on social media that one of his New Yorker drawings (shown above. It was published January 30, 2017) found its way to the White House.
Here’s the link to the New York Times story. As Mr. Kenseth suggests in his Facebook post, to see the mention of his drawing scroll to the final paragraph.
For more, here’s a recent Spill piece on Mr. Kenseth’s drawings.
Brief Interview of Interest: Ben Schwartz
From Scarsdale 10583, January 30, 2018, “Balancing Act: A Doctor Who Creates Cartoons for The New Yorker”— this interview with Ben Schwartz.
…The listing shown below recently popped up online. The “Semi-Serious” in the title seems to be a bit a cross-promotion with a 2015 documentary starring the magazine’s former cartoon editor, Bob Mankoff. Note that we are not shown the final cover (it says so right there: “Cover Not Final”), but it’s a start! Additional copy from the publisher appears below in green. Note to the publisher, Black Dog & Leventhal: you might want to correct the length of Mankoff’s tenure: it was close to twenty years, not thirty years.
Further copy from the publisher’s website:
The is the most ingenious collection of New Yorker cartoons published in book form, The New Yorker Encyclopedia of Cartoons is a prodigious, slip-cased, two-volume, 1,600-page A-to-Z curation of cartoons from the magazine from 1924 to the present. Mankoff–for thirty years the cartoon editor of the New Yorker–organizes nearly 3,000 cartoons into more than 250 categories of recurring New Yorker themes and visual tropes, including cartoons on banana peels, meeting St. Peter, being stranded on a desert island, snowmen, lion tamers, Adam and Eve, the Grim Reaper, and dogs, of course. The result is hilarious and Mankoff’s commentary throughout adds both depth and whimsy. The collection also includes a foreword by New Yorker editor David Remnick. This is stunning gift for the millions of New Yorker readers and anyone looking for some humor in the evolution of social commentary.
An ice skating cover (titled “Figured Skaters”) on this week before the magazine’s 93rd birthday issue. On the way to the cartoons I’m sensing less graphics and more text in the Goings On About Town section. Or is it just my imagination. Take away the weekly near full page photograph and the magazine seems edging to its graphic roots. For an idea of what I’m getting at, here’s a GOAT section from the March 14, ’59 issue atop a couple of GOAT pages from the new issue.
Now on to the cartoons and cartoonists. The very first cartoon, by Ellis Rosen, takes us to familiar territory for many a New Yorker cartoonist (including this one): the wise man on the mountaintop. Mr. Rosen gives us a competitive situation that includes further incentive for prospective wisdom seekers. I would love to see what the other mountain top looks like once the pizza oven is installed.
Four pages later, Liana Finck takes us to medieval times with another cartoonist favorite: King and castle. Even better: King, castle and moat. I can’t quite make out what is in the castle window. Is it the Queen, or a kitty? Maybe it doesn’t matter. A drawing that looks as if it might be in color (the moat), but run in b&w.
Five pages later, a Will McPhail drawing and it’s yet another cartoonist fave scenario: the house mouse. This is the first white house mouse cartoon in my memory (versus the usual grey mouse) And I believe it’s also the first cartoon that shows a house mouse wearing what appears to be eye makeup (the makeup makes sense what with the lighted vanity mirror). Then there are the high heels visible through the mouse baseboard hole. A lot of elements to pause and consider here, but I’ll leave that to the Cartoon Companion guys when they post their take on the new cartoons later this week. That minimal caption is short and sweet.
Ten pages later we are taken even further back in time than Ms. Finck’s drawing with a cave drawing by this cartoonist. It’s a mash-up. On the opposite page a William Haefeli drawing bookstore drawing. I’m a big fan of bookstores and bookstore drawings — glad to see this cartoon. On the very next page a David Sipress domestic scenario — the subject is the upcoming Super Bowl. I don’t know anything about the Eagles or the Patriots (other than the headlines) but this drawing seems to be playing to the Greater Metropolitan NYC area football fan base. Could be wrong. (I feel badly for the child on the sofa. He doesn’t appear to have a drink or snacks for the big game).
Five pages later, a Roz Chast woman on a sofa drawing. She shows us a stressful time, long long ago before we were able (sometimes) to know who was calling without answering the phone. Caller ID: great invention.
Three pages later perhaps my favorite Frank Cotham drawing ever. Jack Ziegler once said to me “it’s always nice when cartoonists know how to draw and give us something pleasant and fun to look at.” Well Mr. Cotham has given us that. Atmosphere to spare, and a splendid caption. Bravo.
Five pages later a Bruce Eric Kaplan drawing. Politics finally enters into a cartoon in the issue. Mr. Kaplan’s caption well-honed, as usual. On the very next page is a Pia Guerra drawing (she’s a newbie, but not a brand new newbie). Curiously, a Terminator drawing. I confess I had to check on the name, Sarah Connor after initially forgetting that that is the name of a main character in the series (sorry, my Terminator recall is rusty). Two pages later, Emily Flake gets all religious with a priestly drawing. Clergy drawings were once a staple in the cartoonists kit (think Charles Addams and Peter Arno, among many others). As with looking up Sarah Connor I looked up “sleeve” as it’s used in the caption. Never really thought about how communion wafers were packaged. You live, you learn.
Three pages later, Jeremy Nguyen does a take on an iconic television ad. I like the way Mr. Nguyen has approached this drawing: clean and simple: books, typewriter, the ubiquitous potted house plant, the writer(?) sprawled on the floor.
Six pages later a debut drawing by Olivia de Recat, whose work has appeared in the Daily Shouts in very recent times. This has the feel of a postcard (see the cover of Bruce Springsteen’s first album, Greetings From Asbury Park). It has ripped edges, so maybe an old post card? Having just read the large NYTs piece on postcard collectors, I have them on my mind ( postcards and the collectors).
Finally, the last cartoon (not counting the caption contest): Paul Noth does a bang-up job on a ventriloquist drawing. I love drawings that come outta nowhere (well, it actually came from Mr. Noth, but you all know what I mean).
–see you next week for the big double anniversary issue. Will Rea Irvin’s classic Eustace Tilley return to the cover? Pressing our luck, wouldn’t it be great to see Mr. Irvin’s classic Talk of the Town masthead return. Here’s what it looks like so you’ll know it when you see it:
With the New Yorker’s 93rd Anniversary issue soon on the horizon I thought it would be fun to take a look at first Tilley covers by Harold Ross, William Shawn, Robert Gottlieb, Tina Brown and David Remnick. I’ve thrown in tidbits of Tilley trivia — mostly non-Tilley trivia — along the way.
February 21, 1925: Harold Ross
A no-brainer. It was the very first issue of the magazine. We could’ve ended up with curtains being parted on a big stage (you know, sort of an unveiling thing), but Ross wisely decided to go with Rea Irvin’s mysterious dandy for the cover of his debut issue.
February 23, 1952: William Shawn
Although Harold Ross passed away in early December of 1951, his successor, William Shawn wasn’t appointed until late January of 1952. One of Mr. Shawn’s first issues following that stamp of approval from the magazine’s publisher, Raoul Fleischmann, was the magazine’s twenty-seventh anniversary edition.
February 20, 1989: Robert Gottlieb
Robert Gottlieb officially began his tenure as the magazine’s editor, February 16, 1987. As the latest issue of the magazine is dated a week past its actual pub date (the day it appears on newsstands), the anniversary issue of 1988 would seem to have been the last edited by Mr. Shawn. Thus Mr. Gottlieb’s first anniversary issue was the following year, the issue of February 20, 1989 (if anyone out there has a different take, please advise). What made news was the return of cartoons in color. Specifically, the cartoons in a four page spread by William Steig, “Scenes From The Thousand And One Nights.” As noted in the New York Times piece I linked to above, there hadn’t been color cartoons since a Rea Irvin double page spread in 1926.
February 22, 1993: Tina Brown
Ms. Brown allowed classic Tilley on a cover just once in her tenure at the magazine. The issue of 1993 was the last in an unbroken line of Tilley anniversary issues. Ms. Brown’s choice for 1994 made news — how could it not. It was a not-so-sly-nod to Eustace, titled “Elvis Tilley” courtesy of Robert Crumb. Following Elvis we saw a gold(!) Tilley for the magazine’s 70th birthday; “Eustacia Tilley” by R.O. Blechman in 1996; “Dick Tilley” by Art Spiegelman in 1997, and finally, a complete departure from Tilley, Michael Roberts’ “California Sighting” cover in 1998.
February 19 & 26, 2001: David Remnick
Although David Remnick’s first shot at an anniversary cover came in 1999, it wasn’t until 2001 that he returned Rea Irvin’s classic Tilley to the cover. What a long strange trip it had been for Tilley since we last saw him in 1993.
Mr. Remnick’s first two anniversary covers belonged to Edward Sorel in 1999 and a William Wegman dog in 2000.
Since the classic Tilley cover in 2001, Mr. Remnick has put classic Tilley on the following covers: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007,2009, and 2011.
For more on Eustace Tilley and the anniversary issues link here to “Tilley Over Time” a piece I wrote for newyorker.com in 2008, on the occasion of the magazine’s 83rd birthday.
From the Rye City Review, January 25, 2018, “Rejected Cartoons Get a Second Chance” — this article about cartoons submitted, rejected, then revived for an exhibit. (an Ellis Rosen drawing shown above)