Danny Shanahan’s Hudson Valley Interview; An Al Ross Sampler

Danny Shanahan, one of the best there is in the New Yorker cartoonist universe, will sit down for a rare interview and Q&A next week as part of the Hudson Valley Celebrity Series.  Info here (scroll down to the Shanahan section).

 

 

Below: An early classic Shanahan New Yorker drawing (published May 8, 1989), and one of his New Yorker covers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dick Buchanan takes a look at some mid-early work of the late great Al Ross.  You can see them all on Mike Lynch’s website here.

Al Ross’s  entry on Ink Spill’s “New Yorker Cartoonists A-Z”:

 

Al Ross Born Al Roth, Vienna Austria, October 19, 1911. Died, March 23, 2012. One of four Roth brothers, all of them cartoonists ( Ben, Salo, and Irving are the other three). NYer work: 1937- 2002. Collections: Sexcapades – The Love Life of the Modern Homo Sapiens ( Stravon Publishers, 1953), Bums vs billionaires (Dell, 1972)

 

 

 

James Stevenson’s Life & Work Celebrated

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friends, relatives, and colleagues gathered yesterday morning at the Century Association in Manhattan to honor the late New Yorker Artist & Writer, James Stevenson. Among those from The New Yorker were Danny Shanahan, Arnie Levin, Anne Hall Elser, Roger Angell, Kennedy Fraser, Susan Morrison, Anthony Hiss, Mark SingerThe New Yorker’s “Jack-of-All-Trades” Stanley Ledbetter, the New Yorker‘s former Television Critic, Nancy Franklin and the magazine’s former Art Editor/Cartoon Editor, Lee Lorenz.

A blow-up of one of Mr. Stevenson’s color pieces hung behind a podium where guests made their way to recall movingly and often hilariously, Mr. Stevenson.

On our way out, we were offered a jar of  Creamy Skippy Peanut Butter (a Stevenson favorite), as well as the booklet of drawings shown above, and partially below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mr. Stevenson’s entry on Ink Spill’s New Yorker Cartoonists A-Z:

James Stevenson Born, NYC, 1929. Died, February 17, 2017, Cos Cob, Connecticut.  New Yorker work: March 10, 1956 -.   Stevenson interned as an office boy at The New Yorker in the mid 1940s when he began  supplying ideas for other NYer artists. Nine years later he was hired a full-time ideaman, given an office at the magazine and instructed not to tell anyone what he did. He eventually began publishing his own cartoons and covers as well as a ground-breaking Talk of the Town pieces (ground breaking in that the pieces were illustrated). His contributions to the magazine number over 2000.   Key collections: Sorry Lady — This Beach is Private! (MacMillan, 1963), Let’s Boogie (Dodd, Mead, 1978).  Stevenson has long been a children’s book author, with roughly one hundred titles to his credit.  He is a frequent contributor to the Op-Ed page of The New York Times, under the heading Lost and Found New York. Stevenson’s recent book, published in 2013, The Life, Loves and Laughs of Frank Modell, is essential.

A 2013 Ink Spill piece of interest: James Stevenson’s Secret Job

 

The “…other cartoonists for The New Yorker…”

tilt-brush-logo

A recent New York Times article, “The Making of Virtually Real Art with Google’s Tilt Brush” (January 4, 2016) named just two of the New Yorker cartoonists who joined Bob Mankoff and Roz Chast in exploring, what the Times described as Google’s  “virtual reality setup that allows people to paint with light….”

In the article we are told that “Bob Mankoff, Roz Chast and other cartoonists for The New Yorker have also checked it out…” and further down in the article:  “Mr. Mankoff, the cartoon editor at the New Yorker, came up with some characteristically Mankoff-like 3-D drawings during the two days he spent using Tilt Brush with Ms. Chast and other colleagues at Google’s offices.”

The “other cartoonists”(“other colleagues”) were The New Yorker‘s  Danny Shanahan, Emily Flake, Ben Schwartz, Farley Katz, and Liana Finck.

 

New Yorker Cartoons of the Year 2016 Index

new-yorker-best-cartoons-of-the-year-2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Ink Spill tradition continues with the posting of an Index for the Cartoons of the Year bookazine.   Why an Index you might ask.  Mostly because I always enjoyed seeing them in the magazine’s hardcover anthologies (the New Yorker‘s Cartoon Albums) and missed having an Index for these yearly bookazines (they started in 2010). I wouldn’t read too too much into the numbers of drawings you see listed for each cartoonist, but the Index itself is a reasonably good snapshot of the New Yorker‘s somewhat boisterous stable of cartoonists in these last few years.

You’ll see that few of the entries have a “(cc)” beside certain page numbers.  The “cc” refers to the Caption Contest.  So those particular drawings appeared on the magazine’s back page.  You might notice that there’s an asterisk next to Julia Wertz’s name.  That’s because her name does not appear on the list of contributing cartoonists found on page 4 of the bookazine. She is, however, included on the Contributors page (p.2).

And here you go:

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Darrin Bell   62

Harry Bliss 5, 12, 15, 45, 53, 57, 60, 77, 115, 142 (cc)

David Borchart 12

Pat Byrnes 32

Roz Chast 7, 55, 75-76, 89, 117, 138

Tom Cheney 9, 48

Tom Chitty 29

Frank Cotham 30, 34

Michael Crawford 78, 96, 133

Joe Dator 46, 120, 134, 139(cc)

Drew Dernavich 60, 90, 117

Matthew Diffee 138

Liza Donnelly  28

J. C. Duffy 59

Bob Eckstein 70, 102

Liana Finck 13, 37-40, 55, 95, 137

Emily Flake 26, 28, 87, 121

Seth Fleishman 79, 80

Alex Gregory 70, 124

Sam Gross 135

William Haefeli 22, 122

Kaamran Hafeez 74, 94, 123

Tim Hamilton 93

Charlie Hankin 6, 25, 36, 56, 88

Amy Hwang 21, 51, 54

Carolita Johnson 136

Zachary Kanin 11, 27, 59, 69, 93, 140(cc)

Bruce Eric Kaplan 14, 25, 67, 91, 123,

Farley Katz 11, 15, 24

Jason Adam Katzenstein 10, 13, 57, 62, 136

John Klossner 91

Edward Koren 8

Ken Krimstein 19, 82

Peter Kuper 17

Amy Kurzweil 122, 124

Robert Leighton 53, 72, 98, 101, 102, 104

Christian Lowe 78

Robert Mankoff 35, 119

Michael Maslin 80, 132

William McPhail 23, 42, 45, 63, 81, 98, 141(cc)

Paul Noth 61, 65, 71, 73, 74, 79, 83, 85, 92, 97, 135

John O’Brien 44

Drew Panckeri  88

Jason Patterson  86, 133

Victoria Roberts  120

Dan Roe  14

Benjamin Schwartz  13, 33, 56, 64, 83, 84, 101, 116

Danny Shanahan  8, 9, 23, 64, 141 (cc)

Michael Shaw  67

David Sipress 10, 24, 33, 52, 58, 66, 71, 116, 119, 134

Barbara Smaller  19, 22, 27, 30, 36, 54, 94, 118

Trevor Spaulding  43, 85

Edward Steed  16, 34, 43, 44, 49, 68, 86, 99, 103, 105-114

Avi Steinberg  96, 99

Mick Stevens  6, 47, 52, 86, 89, 103

Matthew Stiles Davis 18

Mark Thompson  61

Tom Toro 16, 21, 46, 48, 50, 69, 82, 104

P.C. Vey 31, 35, 90, 95, 137, 140(cc)

Liam Walsh 18, 41, 47, 49, 50, 84

Kim Warp 7

Julia Wertz * 125-131

Christopher Weyant  31, 42

Shannon Wheeler  73

Gahan Wilson  20

Jack Ziegler  63, 66, 100

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The Outer Boroughs’ New Yorker Cartoonists: An Ink Spill Map

Joining two previous Ink Spill maps, The New Yorker’s New York, and New Jersey’s New Yorkers, is the Outer Boroughs’ New Yorker Cartoonists. Cartoonists included were born in the boroughs.  I’m fairly certain this is not a complete picture — corrections and suggestions always welcome (for instance: please advise if Staten Island had at least one native born New Yorker cartoonist).

[Click on the map to enlarge it].

outer-boroughs-nyer-cartoonists-map

Cartoon Chocolate; New Additions to Ink Spill’s New Yorker Cartoonists Library

Danny Cartoon Chocolate Bar

Over the years Danny Shanahan has generously donated New Yorker cartoon “stuff” to Ink Spill‘s archives (a Thurber eraser, New Yorker stamps, an Al Ross wristwatch, books, artwork, etc.,etc.), but I believe this is the first time he’s handed over something edible.  What you see above is a one-and-a-half ounce chocolate bar distributed by the magazine’s Cartoon Bank back in 2001. The cartoon on the label is Danny’s classic “Lassie! Get Help!! which was published in The New Yorker (sans chocolate) in May 8, 1989. A good ten years before the drawing adorned a chocolate bar it was used on the cover of and title for his first cartoon collection, published in 1990 by Pantheon.

The bar, now fifteen years old, is still sealed in foil, and for at least a couple of reasons, will remain so.  Along with the chocolate, Danny also added a stack of books to Ink Spill’s Cartoon Library.  Here are just a couple of the books, shown because I’d never seen them before: Pocket Books’ 1965 paperback version of Charles Addams’ Monster Rally — the hardcover originally published by Simon & Schuster in 1950. And  Pocket Books 1953 paperback edition of Cornelia Otis Skinner’s Excuse It, Please!; the hardcover originally published by Dodd, Mead in 1936.  Cover & llustrations by the great  Otto Soglow.  My thanks to Danny for all!

Soglow Addams pbs

 

New Yorker Cartoonist Michael Crawford: An Ink Spill Appreciation

MC

 

Michael Crawford,  who began publishing his drawings in The New Yorker in 1984, passed away this past Tuesday afternoon.

The first time I laid eyes on him, thirty-two years ago, I was sitting in a street level apartment next to Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Lady Studios in Greenwich Village. The apartment belonged to another New Yorker cartoonist, Richard Cline. I was waiting for Cline to finish up a phone call so we could cab uptown to the Pierre Hotel on 5th Avenue for the magazine’s annual anniversary party. Crawford suddenly came in through Klein’s Seinfeldian unlocked apartment door. More specifically, Crawford sidled in like a sand crab – looking as if he wasn’t sure he really wanted to be there or was supposed to be there. This kind of entrance became, for me, his trademark over the years: looking like he was ready to leave as soon as he entered a room.

 

In those early days of his run at The New Yorker he was struggling to catch William Shawn’s discerning eye. Crawford got his work into the magazine, but rather than getting in and advancing, he plateaued. As he told me in an interview in 2013:

 

“Shawn ran a total of 6 between ’83 and the year he departed [1987]. Once Bob Gottlieb [Robert Gottlieb was William Shawn’s successor as editor] took over, the buy rate increased.” [Shawn actually only ran a total of four in those years].

 

Crawford's 1st June 25 1984

Early Crawford seemed to owe a bit to Jack Ziegler’s work. His very first drawing in The New Yorker, in the issue of June 25, 1984, [above] reserves a Ziegleresque word for the “pow” at the end. By his third drawing he was showing us, appropriately enough, a baseball. Baseball was one of Crawford’s greatest passions. Again, from my interview with him: “Baseball was life for me, from the beginning.” He soon became a fixture on The New Yorker’s baseball team.

As Gottlieb’s editorship gave way to Tina Brown’s, Crawford thrived. He told me: “Tina was relentlessly cordial, encouraging and welcoming of spread ideas.” He contributed color work (color was no stranger to him. Like many New Yorker artists he wore two hats: cartoonist and fine artist). His good friend Danny Shanahan said of him not long ago: “Michael’s not really a cartoonist – he’s an artist.”

 

Somewhere during his middle years at the magazine his family moved from the Boston area to a house at the end of a dirt road in a burg along the Hudson — a scenic town already lousy with New Yorker cartoonists (the aforementioned Danny Shanahan, Liza Donnelly & myself). In all the years he lived here this is how many times I spotted him walking around town: 0.

 

Some short scenes from my interactions with him over the years:

 

* I met him at a local bar & grill shortly after he moved here. He came up to where I was sitting, his eyes fixed on the television screen over the bar. “Are those the Bulls?” he said. “Oh,” I thought to myself, “he likes basketball – he’s a sports guy.” Another small window to the man.

 

*I was sitting in his house once staring at a painting he’d done of a rowboat. “What’re those,” I asked, pointing to the dark areas below the boat’s seats, “cast shadows?” “Yeah,” he replied, and laughed a quick laugh – as if it accidentally escaped.

 

Some years later his life changed again and, now single, he moved into Manhattan where he eventually met a model who soon became a fellow New Yorker cartoonist, and eventually, near the very last weeks of his life, his wife. They became the fourth New Yorker married cartoonist couple (in chronological order the four couples are: Mary Petty & Alan Dunn, Liza Donnelly & myself, Emily Richards & Marshall Hopkins, Carolita Johnson & Crawford).

 

I think of Crawford’s hundreds of contributions to the New Yorker: his odd energetically layered wash or marker drawings with au courant captions; his other art: the paintings of mobsters and the Kennedy assassination. I think of his sidling in and out of parties, chin up, checking out the scene (he rode a motor scooter for a while and would show up at events holding onto his helmet, ready to bolt, and jump back on his two-wheeler and vroom into the night). In any conversation his eyes never fixed on me for more than a half-second. They were wandering around, looking here there and everywhere; he wasn’t really here with me, he was somewhere way way over there. A social attention span like mercury, unless — so I’ve heard — he was painting.

 

All these quirky observations of Crawford — they’re like slides quickly fast forwarding on an old slide projector. Here’s one final slide: many years ago, not long after Crawford moved to this town, he wrote me and said he was gathering together, on tape, versions of the song “On Broadway” … could I think of any unusual recordings?… Well, yes, I told him, I could. So I sent him a copy of The Dave Clark Five’s rendition, which caused him to smile ever so slightly.

 

…They say that I won’t last too long
On Broadway
I’ll catch a Greyhound bus for home they all say

 

Aug 6 2012 MC

 

 

Link here for Ink Spill‘s 2013 interview with Michael Crawford

Link here to a New York Times article from 2009: “Where Punchlines Pay the Rent”

Link here to Mr. Crawford’s New Yorker Contributors Page from a few years back

NOTE: There are no collections of Michael Crawford’s New Yorker cartoons.  In 2003 he edited and wrote the Introduction to The New Yorker Book of Baseball Cartoons (originally published in 2003, it was reissued in 2012).  And of course his work can be found in all the New Yorker cartoon anthologies beginning with the The New Yorker Cartoon Album 1975 – 1985.

[The cartoon above appeared in The New Yorker August 6, 2012]

Correction: In the initial post, I misstated Mr. Crawford’s age at the time of his death. According to Mr.Crawford’s wife, he was 70 years old, not 75.