The Monday Tilley Watch: The New Yorker Issue of April 30, 2018

Baseball in the air, on the field and on the cover of the latest issue of The New Yorker (actually, stickball’s on the cover, which appears, to me anyway, as if it’s a page out of an illustrated book).

Fewer illustrations/photos this week than last, but still, there are three full pages (including a full page photo of Hitler), and close to full page photo on the Goings On About Town lead page. How I wish we could see cartoons occupy a larger space every so often. Below are two pages from the issue of November 15, 1930. You can see how the drawings dominate the page and how the type follows the drawing. For instance: in the drawing on the left, by the great Barbara Shermund, the hanging plant is allowed to push up and compress the column of text. Notice too how the space afforded her beautiful drawing allows us to get far more visually involved in her work than if it had been squished in a rectangle.   

And now on to the issue’s cartoons.  A fun issue, mostly.

  It starts off well with a Danny Shanahan politically tinged(?) monkey drawing. Going out on a limb here, but Mr. Shanahan’s fabulous monkeys are the obvious heirs to Charles Addams’ takes on our ancestors.

Next up, three pages later, Jason Adam Katzenstein (aka JAK) goes to where many-a-cartoonist before him has gone: to the myth of Sisyphus. After I sped through an online refresher course about the King’s uphill struggle, I realized how this scenario beloved by cartoonists has oftimes become untethered from its backstory. No matter — that’s how we cartoonists roll. As Robbie Robertson wrote: “Ya take what ya need and ya leave the rest…”

Speaking of backstories, three pages later Ben Schwartz gives us Beethoven on stage. What’s really interesting about the drawing is Mr. Schwartz’s sly nod to the great Al Hirschfeld.  Do I, or do I not see Nina-esque shout-outs in the drapes. I do.

Five pages later, a Mick Stevens cave man drawing (he also had one two issues back). I like that he’s used the words stalagmites and stalactites. A little memory trick I learned back in fourth or fifth grade — how to tell the difference between stalagmites and stalactites: stalactites are the ones pointing down; they need to hold on “tite” to the ceiling. 

Three pages later, a shrink meets legume drawing by the wonderful Victoria Roberts. A fun and funny drawing. What more can one ask for.

Next up,  a domestic situation courtesy of Will McPhail. Funny. Another three pages brings us to a sidewalk scene from Pia Guerra. Dogs lined up to use a fire hydrant. I found myself wishing for a line-jumping dog instead of a fireman…

Two pages later another intensely graphic drawing from William Haefeli. Detail-city! And very slice-o-life.

Three pages later, a typically formatted (three panel) Roz Chast drawing. The word “Comix” pops out here. On the very next page, A Haefeli-like (in its use of detail) drawing by Jeremy Nguyen. Yet another slice-o-life drawing. I like how he’s given us two folks in silhouette in the foreground — that’s different. 

Four pages later a subway drawing from P.C. Vey (although here the subway is not central to the drawing — the situation could’ve taken place in any number of situations). A few pages later A Zach Kanin drawing focused on recreational drugs. On the very next page, A Lars Kenseth drawing.  You know it’s his work within a nano-second of turning the page. No one draws like this. I don’t rate cartoons like the Cartoon Companion boys do, but occasionally I applaud a drawing. 

On the next page Kim Warp  has drawn a Spill favorite scenario: a bakery (in this case, a cupcake bakery). I didn’t realize at first that there as an enormous Charles Addams-like cupcake involved in the drawing (initially saw the drawing on a tablet screen before switching to a laptop).  An unusual cartoon in that I think it works both ways (with the big cupcake, and without).  Sweet. 

On the following page, a Paul Noth drawing with a splash of color.  You have to be familiar with the commercial character who’s central to this cartoon. Three pages later a Carolita Johnson umbrella triptych just in time for May showers. Six pages later, immediately following that aforementioned full page photo of Hitler, is an Amy Hwang domestic situation — another go-to for many cartoonists: the couple discovered in bed by a significant other. Three pages later, the last cartoon of the issue (not counting the caption contest drawings): an online whack-a-mole scenario from Sam Marlow.

Finally: we are oh-so-close to the one year anniversary of the disappearance of Rea Irvin’s classic Talk Of The Town masthead. Here’s a Spill piece about it from last Fall when I was convinced the masthead would soon return. Not giving up hope on this, folks! 

Here’s the missing masthead:

 

*Dept of Corrections: an earlier version of the Monday Tilley Watch for the April 30th issue incorrectly listed Sam Marlow as Sam Means.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Insurance Goes On Forever”; Panel of Interest: “I Was Only Kidding!”; Krimstein in Shrewsbury

Slightly Underwritten, published in 1951 by Simon & Schuster was one of my most memorable used bookstore finds.  Memorable because the original of the Thurber drawing on the cover happens to be the one and only Thurber original in the Spill‘s collection. When I pulled this book off the store shelf and saw the drawing on the cover, time stood still for just a moment. The drawing is the only Thurber in this slim collection; it’s joined by other four other New Yorker cartoons, with the rest from a wide variety of publications.  New Yorker artists include Gardner Rea, Gluyas Williams, Syd Hoff, Robert Day, Richard Decker, and Chon Day.

From the inside flap:

“Here we have a collection of cartoons to gladden the hearts of both the men who sell insurance and the people who try vainly to resist them.”

And from the The Foreword :

“Almost all good things come to an end…Food will spoil.  But insurance goes on forever.”

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Panel of Interest: “I Was Only Kidding!”

Two New Yorker contributors, Ben Katchor and Liana Finck are part of the panel. All the info is right there on the above screen grab, but here’s another version.

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Krimstein in Shrewsbury

Ken Krimstein, shown above right holding a copy of his upcoming graphic novel, The Three Escapes of Hannah Arendt, is across the pond at the big Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival. Here’s a short piece with some Krimstein content.

Tilley Watch Online: Week of April 16-20, 2018; Exhibit Reminder: The Evolution of Cartoon and Comic Art

 

But of course another Trumpian week for the Daily cartoonists: Ellis Rosen (Comey/Trump); Lars Kenseth (Trump); Ben Schwartz (Lion King?); Brendan Loper (Fox News), Peter Kuper (Trump & Co.)

And these were the contributing New Yorker cartoonists on Daily Shouts: Liana Finck, Olivia de Recat, and Teresa Burns Parkhurst (with John Ficarra)

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Exhibit Reminder

  A chance to see work by a wide range of artists including the great Anatol Kovarsky (on display: three of his original New Yorker covers and studies for those covers). More info here!

Kickstarter of Interest: Maine Cartoonists; Cartoon Companion Rates the New New Yorker Cartoons

Kickstarter of Interest: Maine Cartoonists

Here’s a short Kickstarter video for Lobster Therapy & Moose Pickup Lines by Maine cartoonists Bill Woodman, John Klossner, and David Jacobson (and one very-close-to-the Maine-border-cartoonist, Mike Lynch).

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Cartoon Companion Rates the New New Yorker Cartoons

“Max” & “Simon” focus on all the cartoons in the latest issue of The New Yorker — the issue with the Hockney on the cover. Read it all here.

Video of Interest: New Yorker’s Cartoon Editor Talks to Caption Contest Whiz Kid; New Yorker State of Mind’s Look at the March 30, 1929 New Yorker

Video of Interest: New Yorker’s Cartoon Editor Talks To Caption Contest Whiz Kid

Part one of New Yorker cartoon editor, Emma Allen’s vid-chat with Alice Kassnove, the 9 year old Caption Contest Whiz Kid whose contest captions went viral not long ago.  See it here. 

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A New Yorker State of Mind’s Latest Post

One of the Spill‘s favorite blogs, A New Yorker State of Mind: Reading Every Issue of The New Yorker dives deep into the issue of March 30, 1929.  See it here!