Article of Interest: A Wave of New Yorker Cartoonists
Graham Techler’s article in Paste, March 1, 2018, “The Exciting New Wave of New Yorker Cartoonists” spotlights eight cartoonists — all veteran newbies (meaning they are not among the very latest cartoonists appearing in the magazine), and a few cartoonists who’ve moved beyond the newbie classification (I’ve provided the year each began contributing to the magazine): Charlie Hankin (2013), Paul Noth (2004), Jason Adam Katzenstein (2014), Tom Toro (2010), Amy Hwang (2010), William McPhail (2014), Maddie Dai (2017), Emily Flake (2008). For what it’s worth, the eight mentioned are among the 128 cartoonists that have debuted since 2004, the year of Mr. Noth’s first New Yorker cartoon. More a New Tsunami than a New Wave.
A couple of Spill footnotes on the below segment of Mr. Techler’s piece:
“They [the cartoons] were never actually bad (I mean, come on, each era of the magazine was represented by everyone from Peter Arno to James Thurber to Bruce Eric Kaplan—legend has it that the improved quality of the cartoons in the 1940s was attributed to office boy Truman Capote throwing away the ones he didn’t like); they were just perceived as a little out of touch with what the rest of the comedy world was embracing.”
First: “…legend has it that the improved quality of the cartoons in the 1940s was attributed to office boy Truman Capote throwing away the ones he didn’t like)”:
Perhaps it’s time to retire the myth that Mr. Capote was throwing away drawings he didn’t like. Mr. Capote worked as a copy boy at the New Yorker for approximately two years in the early 1940s (he was hired sometime in 1942 and left the magazine sometime in 1944). One of his responsibilities was going through the unsolicited drawings in the slush pile looking for anything with promise. The drawings with some promise were then gone through by the art editor, James Geraghty. If he found anything worthy he’d bring it along to the art meeting. If you go to page 73 of Gerald Clarke’s biography, Capote (Simon & Schuster, 1988), you’ll hear find this passage with Mr. Capote talking about the lost drawings:
“Sometimes I would get the cartoons all messed up and confused. Then I would just throw them into one of those holes and say to myself, ‘Well, I’ll straighten that out later.’ I managed somehow to to lose about seven hundred of them that way. I didn’t deliberately destroy them, and I don’t know how I lost track of them. But I did…”
Second: “they were just perceived as a little out of touch with what the rest of the comedy world was embracing.”
I’m not exactly sure what Mr. Techler means. Which era or eras is he referring to? A specific era? All eras? When were they “perceived as a little out of touch” (and who was doing the perceiving?).
(If Mr. Techler wishes to clarify, The Spill will gladly post his remarks).
Cartoon Companion Rates Latest Cartoons
If it’s Friday (and it is), then a brand new Cartoon Companion awaits. The CC boys “Max” and “Simon” have run their trusty fine tooth combs through the cartoons in the latest New Yorker. Read it here.
The Attempted Bloggery E. Simms Campbell Fest Continues
Stephen Nadler has posted a lot of interesting pieces in the last few days, including cartoons appearing in a small promotional Esquire booklet (or sampler); a bunch of work by Dorothy McKay, and of course more work by his current fest focus: E. Simms Campbell. Go look!
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.