The Monday Tilley Watch: The New Yorker Issue of December 4, 2017

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

Back in February of 1996, the New Yorker celebrated its 71st anniversary with a “Special Women’s Issue.” Of the 23 cartoonists in the issue, 20 were men. The three women cartoonists were Victoria Roberts, Roz Chast, and Liza Donnelly. The cover, a take-off on Eustace Tilley, dubbed “Eustacia Tilley” was handled by a man, R.O. Blechman.

Now, just 21 years later, we have what I believe to be a first: this is the first issue of the New Yorker where the number of women artists outnumber the men (if anyone can provide an earlier issue where this was the case, please let me know). Of the 14 cartoonists contributing to this latest issue, 8 are women. The cover is by a woman as well. 

Before heading on to the cartoons and cartoonists, I note this modern Tilley take (below left)  on page 4, below the list of Contributors:

Poor Eustace!  He’s lost most of his facial features, and he seems to have gained a large strand of red licorice around his shoulders. Just as a reminder, I’ve placed Rea Irvin’s original Eustace alongside, lest we forget.

Now on to the business at hand (at eye?). The first cartoon is the not-too-often-seen -anymore people-in-line drawing.  Memorable people-in-line moments that come to mind: the line waiting for soup in Seinfeld’s  “Soup Nazi” episode, and this classic  Woody Allen scene. Mr. Vey’s caption has a faint Horton Hatches The Egg-ness about it. The drawing itself features an abundance of stanchions that immediately reminded me of this wonderful captionless cartoon by Bill Woodman that appeared in The New Yorker, May 8, 1978:  

Five pages later is Sofia Warren’s second-ever New Yorker drawing (her first appeared last week). Sometimes New Yorker drawings drive me to the closest dictionary (via a search box) to clarify some word or phrase I’ve felt I generally understood (but didn’t really). There are two drawings in this issue that caused me to seek further definition.  The use of “vortex”  in Ms. Warren’s drawing was the first. Webster‘s defines it as “something resembling a whirlpool”  — Aha! That’s in the ballpark of what I thought it meant. Ms. Warren, confronted the challenge of drawing a stand-alone whirlpool by giving  us an energetic mass somewhat resembling birds nest pasta. Works for me (both the vortex and the pasta).

 

Three pages later a father/son factory “Someday this will be all yours” drawing. Updated, I suppose, with a reference to offshore shell companies.  In tried and true trope fashion, Mr. Noth has shown us framed images of the company’s previous generations of owners. Next up, a mash-up drawing by newbie, Jon Adams. Here we have the Michelin Man (in a sash). I had to look that up as well. I didn’t picture him in a sash — apparently, he doesn’t always wear one. The rubbery fellow is mixed up with the famous Michelin Guide. Also apparently, the Michelin Man is a Michelin Guide food critic who has been escorted out of a restaurant by a chef. The restaurant apparently (yes, the third “apparently”) does not allow customers to wear sashes.  An awful lot of apparentlys here. 

Three pages later another newbie, but not as new as the previous newbie.  In this Teresa Burns Parkhurst drawing both of the folks seem to be speaking (both have open mouths). I suppose it doesn’t really matter who’s doing the talking.  The caption works either way.  I was surprised that this drawing and the last were so close together as they are graphically similar.

In another three pages we come to the always welcome art of Joe Dator.  I can’t quite explain how (or why?), but I feel Mr. Dator brings a Mad Magazine/National Lampoon-quality to the New Yorker.  And that, of course, is a very very good thing. 

Four pages later is a Roz Chast drawing — it’s the second drawing of the issue that took me to the search box for a clear definition.  I’ve heard “life hacks” for awhile now, but never took the half-second to look it up. Well, okay…got it now.

Four pages later a Tom Chitty police line-up drawing. Mr. Chitty went at this head-on which almost (almost) makes the fellows in the line-up look like they in a painting or photo on the wall. Maybe they are, but I don’t think so. I wondered why it was possibly a #7 missing from the line-up and not #6.  Anyway, funny idea. On the opposite page is a Liana Finck drawing — the style recognizable from across the room. Nice grizzly bear.

Twenty-one pages later (!) is a Liza Donnelly drawing of an off the grid little piggy. I can’t tell if he’s happy to be off the grid or not.  Has he made the right decision for him or herself?  Only the little piggy knows. Opposite Ms. Donnelly’s drawing is a Frank Cotham drawing that caused me to, as Bob Dylan once said (in the song “Belle Isle”), “stay for awhile.” I couldn’t decide who was “clinging to territory”— the dog or the guy. I still can’t decide.

Four pages later a drawing by another newbie, Maggie Larson (but this isn’t her first New Yorker drawing). Ms. Larson’s style here reminds me of someone we don’t hear about much anymore: Charles Sauers. Both Ms. Larson and Mr. Sauers work employs a particular perspective as well as simple line drawing.   Here’s a Sauers drawing from the August 20, 1984 New Yorker:

And the last drawing of the issue (not counting the work on the Caption Contest page) is by Kate Curtis. A really well drawn piece, solidly in the Charles Addams school of everything.

So that’s that for this week…other than mentioning my campaign to reinstate Rea Irvin’s Talk of the Town masthead.  Here’s Mr. Irvin’s original.  Perhaps someday it will get back to where it once belonged. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 2007, 2008, and 2009 New Yorker Cartoon Yearbooks

The three New Yorker Cartoon Yearbooks  shown above were published following the anvil heavy Complete Cartoons of the New Yorker that appeared in 2004 (and the lighter updated paperback Complete Cartoons in 2006).  I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to see these Cartoon Yearbooks. Why? For starters, they are hardcover, and are 9″x12″ — the size of the Albums of the Golden Era (such as we’ve been discussing these past many Sundays). I note that a cartoonist colleague, Trevor Hoey was responsible for the design.  My hat’s off to you, Mr. Hoey.  Job well done. The 2009 Cartoon Yearbook was (sigh) the last time a non-thematic New Yorker cartoon collection appeared in hardcover. 

Each of these Yearbooks has an introductory piece, each of them jokey. To paraphrase Bruce Springsteen, someday we’ll look back on these and maybe they’ll all seem funny.  But for now, these intros cause me to think of what is written on the inside flap of the very first New Yorker Album: “Oh, just look inside!” 

The Yearbooks were designed with care, using decent paper stock, ensuring you don’t see the drawings bleeding through from the other side (as was the case in the behemoth 2004 collection). The back covers lists all the artists represented, a welcome practice that began with the 1958 New Yorker Album of Sports & Games and carried on with most, but not all, subsequent Albums.  There is also an Index to the artists represented, something that I find respectful to the individual artists.  

How I wish these Annuals were continued; they were well-produced (produced in-house) hardcover books definitely built to last, unlike what came after them: the magazine format Cartoons of the Year, published from 2010 -2016.  Sometimes referred to as bookazines, there is nothing bookish about them; they are magazines, containing advertisements, and special features that never ran in the New Yorker (including several pieces by yours truly). It’s true that people collect magazines that are meaningful to them, but if I had to guess, I’d guess that a whole lot more people have book shelves in their homes containing hardcover New Yorker cartoon collections  than magazine shelves holding New Yorker “bookazine” collections.

Going back to the Yearbooks, I believe this is the perfect format for collecting New Yorker cartoons.  Whether it’s done annually or every five years or ten years, it’s how the work deserves to be presented: no-frills, no banners, no cover hype, no advertisements, no jokey forewords or informed forewords or essays — just the facts, ma’am, or should I say, just the cartoons.    

Below: left – right, the Artists Represented on the back covers of the 2007, 2008, 2009 Yearbooks.

 

 

The Latest New Yorker Cartoons Rated; Advertising Work by New Yorker Cartoonists, Pt. 25: Peter Arno, Pt. 2; An Otto Soglow Wartime Original; Applause Applause! Julia Wertz

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).

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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.

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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). 

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Applause, Applause!

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. 

 

 

A Spill Favorite Leftovers Cartoon…and a Bonus; A Trio of Non-New Yorker Cartoon Books of Interest; The Tilley Watch Online: Loper, Larson, Rosen, Flake, Gerberg, Warp, and Finck; John Lennon’s (New Yorker) Diaries

A Spill Favorite Leftovers Cartoon…and a Bonus

Yesterday I posted an evergreen Thanksgiving drawing by Bob Eckstein.  Today, an evergreen for the day after.  This Liza Donnelly drawing appeared in The New Yorker, November 26, 2007.

Ms. Donnelly has also provided the Spill with an unpublished cartoon that I particularly like.

 

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A Trio of non-New Yorker Related Books of Interest

Here are three titles I came across while scouring upcoming releases.  As far as I know none include a New Yorker contributor (but, hey, ya nevah know). 

Thomas Nast: The Father of Modern Political Cartoons. What better artist to explore right now than Mr. Nast. This book by Fiona Deans Halloran is due February 1, 2018.  Published by The University of North Carolina Press.  A reprint — it was originally published in 2013.

Screwball: The Cartoonists Who Made the Funnies Funny.  Authored by Paul C. Tumey, this looks to be a good addition to any comics library.  Due in September 2018.  Published by the Library of American Comics.

French Cartoon Art in the 1960s and 1970s. By Wendy Michallat. I plead guilty to knowing very little about modern-ish French cartoons/cartoonists. This title looks like a good place to start an education. Published by Leuven University Press.  Due: March 15, 2018

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…as you’d expect from this holiday week, a number of Thanksgiving-related works. Some chatty turkeys by Brendan Loper; a forgetful pie-maker by Liana Finck; a long line of pre-Thanksgiving Day shoppers & their thoughts by Maggie Larson; an Ellis Rosen pugilist T-Day; and politics, of course, courtesy of Mort Gerberg, and Kim Warp;  yesterday, Emily Flake advised how to keep the peace on the big day.  

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John Lennon’s (New Yorker) Diaries

Reading the November 21st New York Times piece “Man Arrested in Berlin Over John Lennon’s Stolen Diaries” I couldn’t help but notice the accompanying photograph shows that Mr. Lennon used two New Yorker Diaries to record his thoughts.  One from 1975, and the other, sadly, from 1980. Also of interest: on the 1975 diary, Eustace Tilley was covered-over with a photo of Mr. Lennon (the photo appeared on his Walls & Bridges album).

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.

 

 

 

Just Opened! Library of Congress Exhibit “Drawn to Purpose: American Women Illustrators and Cartoonists; Advertising Work by New Yorker Cartoonists, Pt. 24: Otto Soglow’s Pudding Drawings; More Spills: Weyant and Twohy

Library of Congress Exhibit: Drawn to Purpose: American Women Illustrators and Cartoonists

From the LOC’s press release:

Original works by women cartoonists and illustrators are featured in a new exhibition opening at the Library of Congress on Nov. 18. Spanning the late 1800s to the present, “Drawn to Purpose: American Women Illustrators and Cartoonists” brings to light remarkable but little-known contributions made by North American women to these art forms.

Among the artists represented are New Yorker contributors Roberta MacDonald, Helen Hokinson, Liza Donnelly, Peggy Bacon, Roz Chast, and Anita Kunz.

Details here.

Above: March 1920 Vanity Fair cover by Anne Harriet Fish.

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Advertising Work by New Yorker Cartoonists, Pt. 24: Otto Soglow’s Pudding Drawings.

Here are three Royal Pudding ads by the great Otto Soglow.  All feature his iconic “Little King”;  for those wanting more Soglow I suggest finding a copy of the fab Cartoon Monarch: Otto Soglow & The Little King,  edited by Dean Mullaney (IDW, 2012). I’ve shown the cover below the ads.

All these pudding ads ran in 1955.  As has been the case with a very large percentage of the Spill’New Yorker ads series, my thanks go to Warren Bernard for his generosity.

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Two books of note.  One out in January and one not out for awhile. Both for kids.

Christopher Weyant has illustrated Laura Gehl’s My Pillow Keeps Moving (Viking Books for Young Readers).  Due in mid January 2018.

Mike Twohy‘s Stop! Go! Yes, No!: A Story of Opposites (Balzer & Bray) due in August of 2018.   Cover art not yet available