“A Very Complicated Thing”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 At the recent event covered here on the Spill (“Wall-To-Wall Cartoonists at David Remnick’s Hello Goodbye Party”) Mr. Remnick said of the New Yorker‘s former cartoon editor, Mr. Mankoff:

“I want to tell you that Bob’s effort to bring not only the work of cartoonists and artists who’ve been around for quite awhile forward, and to put them in their best light, but also to bring new artists into the picture, which is a very complicated thing, has been an enormous boon to the New Yorker…”

 Mr. Remnick’s focus on  the magazine’s cartoonists was notable and welcome.  It struck me while reading the recent news pieces about Mr. Mankoff’s departure as The New Yorker‘s cartoon editor  that all of them focused primarily, and nearly exclusively on Mr. Mankoff himself and his work as a cartoonist, with nary an exploration of exactly what happened with and to the magazine’s cartoonists and cartoon department during the past 20 years during his watch. Of course it makes perfect sense to focus on him — after all, he was the cartoon editor, and his departure was news,  but surely the greater part of his legacy are all those cartoonists that swelled the magazine’s stable these past twenty years.  I’m slightly puzzled as to why several of these news pieces showed us, almost in the form of a greatest hits or a summing up of his career, a good number of Mr. Mankoff’s own cartoons — he’s not retiring as a cartoonist, and in fact has said he will continue to submit work.  My puzzlement is over the absence of discussion of the 128 new cartoonists he brought in to the magazine (Mr. Mankoff mentioned, but only in in passing, 17 of his discoveries in one piece. That only leaves 111 more to talk about).

R.C. Harvey did a long piece that appeared in late March on The Comics Journal site looking at Mr. Mankoff’s editorship.  Selfishly, perhaps, I’m hoping there will be more such pieces looking at how the New Yorker‘s cartoons changed, for better or worse, during these past 20 years; how Mr. Mankoff shaped those changes; and how those changes affected the culture of the New Yorker cartoon department and the cartoonists themselves.  In other words, a critical examination of the Mankoff years. “A very complicated thing” is a thing worth exploring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wall-to-Wall Cartoonists at David Remnick’s Hello Goodbye Party

 The New Yorker‘s editor, David Remnick threw a Hello Goodbye party last night (Hello, Emma Allen, the magazine’s new cartoon editor; Goodbye, Bob Mankoff, the former cartoon editor). It was, by far, the largest gathering of New Yorker cartoonists since  1997, when forty-one gathered for an Arnold Newman group photo (it appeared in the magazine’s first cartoon issue, December 15, 1997). Here are a bunch of photos from the evening, courtesy of Liza Donnelly, the Spill‘s official photographer for the evening; additional  photos by  Sarah Booth, Marshall Hopkins, and Paul Karasik.

Photo above, l-r: Drew Dernavich, Sarah Booth, John Klossner, George Booth, Chad Darbyshire (back to camera), Matt Diffee, (New Yorker writer) Sarah Larson, Ken Krimstein, Bob Mankoff, Eric Lewis, Bob Eckstein

Edward Koren and Francoise Mouly (The New Yorker‘s Art Editor)

 

 

 

 

 

Emma Allen, The New Yorker‘s Cartoon Editor, and Stanley Ledbetter, the magazine’s jack-of-all trades.

 

 

 

 

 

George Booth and Roz Chast.  That’s Lars Kenseth in the background (photo courtesy of Sarah Booth)

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Karasik, Liana Finck and Gabrielle Bell (photo courtesy of Paul Karasik)

 

 

 

 

Jason Adam Katzenstein, unidentified, Roz Chast speaking with Sara Lautman (back to camera), and Chris Weyant far right.

 

 

 

Chris Weyant (partially obscured), Farley Katz, unidentified, David Sipress, New Yorker writer Matt Dellinger (in checked shirt), Andy Friedman, Danny Shanahan. The group in the back: Drew Panckeri, Mitra Farmand, Sara Lautman, Kendra Allenby

 

Sam Gross and Robert Leighton

 

Bob Mankoff and David Remnick

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chris Cater, with the New Yorker‘s assistant cartoon editor, Colin Stokes, and Avi Steinberg

 

 

 

George Booth and David Borchart

 

 

 

 

 

Joe Dator and Peter Kuper

 

 

Felipe Galindo and Carolita Johnson

 

 

 

John O’Brien and Bob Eckstein

 

 

Three former cartoon department assistants: Marshall Hopkins, Emily Votruba, and Andy Friedman (photo courtesy of Marshall Hopkins)

 

 

 

 

 

Chris Weyant and Paul Noth

 

 

Matt Dellinger with  Stanley Ledbetter, and Matt Diffee (and way back by the window: Chad Darbyshire to the left, and Amy Hwang to the right)

 

 

 

 

P.C. Vey and Trevor Hoey

 

 

 

 

 

Kim Warp, Pat Byrnes, and George Booth

 

 

 

Sam Gross and Roz Chast

 

 

 

 

l-r: P.C. Vey, Liza Donnelly, Danny Shanahan, George Booth, and Michael Maslin (photo courtesy of Sarah Booth)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chris Weyant and Liana Finck.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sam Gross and Lars Kenseth

 

 

 

 

 

Eric Lewis, Andy Friedman, and Barbara Smaller

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pat Byrnes, Paul Karasik, and Peter Kuper

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marc Philippe Eskenazi and Ben Schwartz

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charlie Hankin, Amy Hwang, Kendra Allenby, and Avi Steinberg

 

 

 

Marshall Hopkins with Bob Mankoff’s first assistant, Emily Votruba (Mr. Hopkins was also at one time Mr. Mankoff’s assistant)

 

 

 

Far left: David Sipress speaks with Andy Friedman.  Foreground: Barbara Smaller, Emily Flake and P.C. Vey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

l-r: Felipe Galindo, Marshall Hopkins, Sam Gross, Mort Gerberg, and Ed Koren

 

 

 

 

 

Edward Koren, Michael Maslin, Liza Donnelly and a photobombing David Remnick. That’s Charlie Hankin in the back, far right.

 

 

 

 

Here’s an  incomplete list of all the cartoonists who were there (if you were there and don’t appear on this list, please let me know)

Kendra Allenby, George Booth, David Borchart, Pat Byrnes, Chris Cater, Roz Chast, Joe Dator, Chad Darbyshire, Drew Dernavich, Matt Diffee, Liza Donnelly, Bob Eckstein, Mitra Farmand, Liana Finck, Emily Flake, Andy Friedman (aka Larry Hat), Felipe Galindo(aka feggo), Mort Gerberg,  Sam Gross, Charlie Hankin, Marshall Hopkins, Amy Hwang, Edward Koren, Trevor Hoey, Carolita Johnson, Paul Karasik, Farley Katz, Jason Adam Katzenstein, Lars Kenseth,  John Klossner, Ken Krimstein, Peter Kuper, Amy Kurzweil, Sara Lautman, Robert Leighton, Eric Lewis, Bob Mankoff, Sam Marlow, Michael Maslin,  Paul Noth,  Jeremy Nguyen, John O’Brien, Drew Panckeri, Corey Pandolph, Ellis Rosen, Jennifer Saura, Ben Schwartz, Danny Shanahan, David Sipress,  Avi Steinberg, P.C. Vey, Kim Warp, Chris Weyant.  

The Passing of the Baskets

 

This week, as has been noted here, and plenty of places elsewhere, is Bob Mankoff’s last as the New Yorker‘s cartoon editor.  Emma Allen, who is the magazine’s Daily Shouts editor, will become the center of the New Yorker cartoon world next week, and as such, will automatically become the focus of all existing New Yorker cartoonists and all want-to-be New Yorker cartoonists on the planet. And along with all the perks and pecks of being cartoon editor, Ms. Allen will take the New Yorker cartoon version of the baton from Mr. Mankoff  — the baton in this case: three wire baskets —  the three most important baskets in the New Yorker cartoonists’ universe. The baskets, labeled Yes, No, and Maybe are brought to the editor’s desk every week along with a pile of submissions selected by the cartoon editor out of thousands that have come into the office.

  David Remnick, the current editor of the New Yorker, then sifts through the pile, selecting the chosen few that land in the Yes basket. These are the “OKed” drawings so valued by every cartoonist submitting to the magazine. 

In Mr. Mankoff’s twenty years, he’s carried those baskets to Mr. Remnick’s office countless times (there’s possibly or probably a log noting the date of every Art Meeting, so technically, they can be counted, but who’s counting). The Yes basket has been filled and refilled hundreds of times with  the work of veteran cartoonists and over a hundred new cartoonists Mr. Mankoff brought into the magazine. A couple of years ago, when I interviewed Lee Lorenz, Mr. Mankoff’s predecessor, he told me that he felt the most important part of his job was finding new artists for the magazine. Mr. Lorenz, who held the job for twenty-four years, brought in approximately forty cartoonists (I’ll list them someday.  And note, I’m only talking about cartoonists here, not artists who were strictly cover artists).  Mr. Mankoff, whose “open door” policy made it far easier to sell a cartoon to the magazine, brought in close to one hundred and thirty (by my unofficial but not too off the mark count). Cartoon scholars will no doubt debate the ripple effects of these two schools of introducing new cartoonists. 

If Mr. Mankoff was not a cartoonist himself and the originator of the Cartoon Bank, I’d say these cartoonists he brought in were his legacy at the magazine.  But the cartoonists he brought in are surely a big part of what he leaves behind (as is how their work changed the magazine’s cartoon landscape).  And so in the spirit of wrapping things up with a nice big bow, I’m listing all of those whose work first hit the Yes basket on Mr. Mankoff’s watch (it is possible less than a handful of these cartoonists were brought in by the magazine’s art editor, Francoise Mouly.  As always, corrections are welcome).  Ink Spill will of course carry on noting the new cartoonists brought in under Ms. Allen.  Exciting times ahead!

Cartoonists are presented in order of the year their first cartoon appeared in The New Yorker

1997: Aaron Bacall

1998: Christopher Weyant, Pat Byrnes, Nick Downes, Joe Duffy, William Haefeli, Aline Kominsky (Crumb), Marisa Acocella Marchetto, David Sipress

1999: Paul Karasik, John Caldwell, Matt Diffee, Benita Epstein, Alex Gregory, Michael Shaw, Steve Way, Robert Sikoryak, Kim Warp

2000: Ken Krimstein, Eric Lewis

2001: Chad Darbyshire, Steve Duenes, Andy Friedman (aka Larry Hat)

2002: Jonny Cohen, Drew Dernavich, Felipe Galindo ( aka feggo), Robert Leighton, Seth

2003: Donna Barstow, Erik Hilgerdt, Carolita Johnson, John Kane

2004: Marshall Hopkins, Keith Bendis, John Donohue, Glen Le Lievre, Paul Noth, Jason Patterson, Emily Richards

2005: Zach Kanin, Rob Esmay, Arthur Geisert, Sam Means, Ariel Molvig

2006: Joe Dator, Pete Holmes, Evan Forsch, Martha Gradisher, Jason Polan, Julia Suits

2007: Farley Katz, Dave Coverly, David Borchart, Caroline Dworin, Bob Eckstein, Ward Sutton

2008: Emily Flake, John Klossner, Rini Piccolo, Michael Rae Grant, Jose Arroyo, Sean O’Neill

2009: Trevor Hoey, Karen Sneider, Shannon Wheeler

2010: Amy Hwang, Kate Beaton, Isaac LittleJohn Eddy, Kaamran Hafeez, Steve Macone, Mark Thompson, Tom Toro

2011: Corey Pandolph, Jennifer Saura, Ben Schwartz, Liam Walsh

2012: Avi Steinberg, Erik Bergstrom, Rich Feldman

2013: Liana Finck, Charlie Hankin. Julian Rowe, Ed Steed

2014: Tom Chitty, Jake Goldwasser, Jason Adam Katzenstein, Will McPhail, Jacob Samuel, Trevor Spaulding, Adam Cooper & Mat Barton, Chris Cater, T.S. McCoy, Jeanne Darst & Andrew Swift, Ali Rushfield, Peter Berkowitz, Michael Kupperman

2015: Zohan Lazar, Matthew Stiles Davis, Cameron Harvey, Mitra Farmand, Drew Panckeri, Dan Roe, Tim Hamilton, Julia Wertz & Josh Wertz, Colin Tom, Tom Hamilton, Dan Abromowitz & Eli Dreyfus, Brian McLachlan, Andrew Hamm

2016: Kendra Allenby, Seth Fleishman, Darrin Bell, Kate Curtis, Amy Kurzweil, Sara Lautman, Brendan Loper, Christian Lowe, John McNamee, Rich Sparks, Emily Nemens, Sam Marlow, Ellis Rosen, Lars Kenseth

2017: Jeremy Nguyen, Alice Cheng, Jim Benton

Note:

  • Bolded names: these cartoonists were at one time cartoon department assistants
  • If you see two names joined by an “&” it means they worked as a team, and were acknowledged as such in the magazine’s Table of Contents.

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Emma Allen To Succeed New Yorker Cartoon Editor Bob Mankoff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a memo to all New Yorker Cartoonists this afternoon, the magazine’s editor, David Remnick announced that  Emma Allen, a New Yorker editor will succeed Bob Mankoff as cartoon editor in two months time.

In part, the memo reads:

The person I’ve chosen to be the next cartoon editor is Emma Allen, who has worked in recent years an editor of The Talk of the Town, a writer, and the driving force behind Daily Shouts, which is one of the best features of newyorker.com. Unlike Bob and Lee, she is not a cartoonist, but then neither was James Geraghty, who did the job before Lee. (Hell, William Shawn was not a writer, either, and he wasn’t too bad in the editing department.) Emma has a terrific eye for talent, knows the history of cartooning deeply, and is an immensely energetic and intelligent and sympathetic editor. She will work with Colin Stokes on selecting cartoons, running the caption contest, and creating a bigger digital footprint for cartoons. I am quite sure that we have only just begun to figure out new ways to explore and exploit digital technologies as a way to distribute your work to more and new readers. All of this is intended to stake out a healthy future for cartoons at The New Yorker.

Ms. Allen will be the third person in the magazine’s history in charge of editing its cartoons (Rea Irvin, who helped the magazine’s founder develop the New Yorker’s cartoon culture, was considered the art supervisor).  James Geraghty,  hired in 1939, was the first official cartoon editor (his title was Art Editor).  Lee Lorenz succeeded Mr. Geraghty in 1973 and held that position (as Art Editor from 1973 -1993 and then as cartoon editor from 1993-1997) until Mr. Mankoff was appointed in ’97.

Update: In a statement released to the press, Mr. Mankoff had this to say:

“My greatest gratitude goes to the cartoonists. I know how much easier it is to pick a good cartoon than do one, much less the many thousands they have done and will continue to do,” Mankoff said. “And, continue they will, with Emma Allen who now takes over this most iconic of all New Yorker features. I wish her and them the best of luck. And me, too—I’ve got to find that old cartoon pen of mine.” 

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The filmmaker Sally Williams has been hard at work on her documentary about James Stevenson. Here’s a brief clip from the film.

Link here for even more on Sally Williams

Link here to see some of Mr. Stevenson’s New Yorker work

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The New Yorker is Ad Age’s Magazine of the Year; The Tilley Watch: A New Yorker Christmassy Carol

Eustace Tilley's Fanned Out.

 

I took this photo of the Spill‘s Eustace Tilley collection a few years ago — seems appropriate to post it today to celebrate Advertising Age naming The New Yorker Magazine of the Year, its editor, David Remnick as Editor of the Year and Lisa Hughes as Publisher of the Year. Congrats to all!  Read the article here.

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_______________________________________________________________________________________Tilley Watch...

christmassy-carol-1

From newyorker.com, December 19, 2016 “Comma Queen: A Christmassy Carol”  See the video here

 

Below: the folks appearing in the video:

christmassy-carol-pt-2christmassy-carol-pt-3

 

 

Cartoonists Gather for The New Yorker’s Holiday Party

new-yorker-holiday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once or twice a year New Yorker cartoonists gather to do something other than show their work.  Yesterday was one of those days — the annual holiday party (which includes all of the editorial staff, not just the artists). In years past the party has been mostly out-of house; this year it was in-house. Too-many-to-count boxes of pizza were spread out on long tables. Bottles of wine and large bottles (jugs?) of beer were here and there on other tables in a hallway and adjoining conference room. The place was packed.  The magazine’s editor, David Remnick was spotted wending his way through the throng, slice of pizza in hand.

A small framed copy of the cover of the magazine’s first issue hung in one of the hallways as well as a number of blow-ups of New Yorker covers. A good number of cartoons  lined the walls (some framed, some greatly enlarged). Was happy to see that Peter Arno’s “Well, back to the old drawing board!” continues to reside among the framed pieces. I paused to spend some time with the  wonderful  Thurber drawings, lovingly installed in these new digs.

Among the cartoonists present were Sam Gross, Joe Dator, Christopher Weyant, Robert Leighton, Liza Donnelly, Emily Flake, Edward Steed, Corey Pandolf, Bob Eckstein, Amy Hwang, Harry Bliss, Jason Adam Katzenstein, John O’Brien, Felipe Galindo (aka feggo), Drew Dernavich, Ben Schwartz, David Borchart, Mort Gerberg, and David Sipress.

A splendid time was had by all!

 

The Ink Spill Jack Ziegler Interview, Pt. 2

1

 

 

In Part 1 of my interview with Jack Ziegler he mentioned having a few certain favorite drawings among [his] “children.” I asked him to name several for us to discuss over the phone. I also picked out a handful of my Ziegler favorites to discuss. As Jack said he’d like to be surprised, I had a number of other drawings in mind to bring up. What follows is a lightly edited transcript of that conversation, recorded less than a week ago.

 

MM: Let’s talk hamburgers.

 

JZ: Ok, why not.

 

MM: What is it about hamburgers?

 

JZ: There’s something funny about hamburgers. Hamburgers, toasters. parking meters…

 

MM: …Mr. Coffees…

 

JZ: I was thinking at one point of just doing a book about hamburgers, but I thought it might get a little tired.

 

MM: Well, I don’t know…right now I’m looking at the drawing on the back cover of Hamburger Madness.

hamburger-madness-back-cover-drawing

JZ: That was done especially for the book.

 

MM: Lee Lorenz’s Essential Jack Ziegler has a hamburger drawing on the cover.

 

JZ: Yeah…that’s true.

 

MM: You’re like Mr. Hamburger, or something.

 

JZ: I guess. People always used to connect me with toasters, but after all these years the hamburgers are starting to shine through.

 

MM: That’s funny, because before I started looking through the collections of your drawings, that’s what I thought of: toasters. I thought: I’m gonna have you talk about toasters.

 

JZ: I still do some toasters. I like those old 1930s toasters.

 

MM: I looked at one of your latest drawings in the New Yorker… the airplane. The airplane itself – is that sort’ve based on…

 

[laughter]

ziegler-big-plane

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JZ: it’s not based on any experience of mine. If you’re drawing a regular airplane there’s nothing amusing about it. So you try to just make it a little bit nicer.

MM: It’s a grand airplane.

JZ: It looks like a big cargo plane that’s designed to carry tanks and villages.

MM: I love the way you draw trucks, such as the one in this drawing. Is this truck an amalgam?

JZ: It’s not based on any real truck. Nothing I draw is based on anything real. Even when I’m drawing an elephant, it’s certainly not anywhere near a real elephant. I like them with shorter legs and fatter than they really are.

MM: So you’re suggesting it’s an improvement?

JZ: Yes –it’s an improvement.

MM: I also like the little guy in the plane window, He looks a bit woeful.

JZ: I always like to put in an onlooker.

MM: That’s a good title for a book for you.

JZ: Onlookers Anonymous

MM: I like these vista or panoramic drawings you do, like the Where the Great Wall Ends, the Empire State Building, Pipeline TV, Great Moments from the Silver Screen. This might sound like a stretch, but the Silver Screen drawing looks a little like Steinberg to me.

 

ziegler-silver-screen

 

JZ: Yeah, I guess. This was a drawing that never appeared anywhere but in this book [Hamburger Madness]. I like to get drawings out that I particularly like, that nobody else likes.

 

MM: All these drawings we’re looking at elicited a laugh beyond my brain, if you know what I mean. There’s a drawing right across from Silver Screen in Hamburger Madness — a guy in a phone booth saying Hare Krishna…very funny.

ziegler-krishna

JZ: They’re essentially really stupid drawings. Y’know, drawings for dopes. Stuff that strikes me funny, a lot of the times for absolutely no reason at all. There’s just something there that’s funny, and I don’t know why. This Hare Krishna one is hardly even a joke, but it is. There’s definitely something wrong with me.

MM: Lucky for all of us.

MM: I love the pencil sharpeners with the pencil stub [“Had enough?”]

JZ: A drawing like that is from a doodle. I just started drawing the pencil sharpener that used to be on my desk. I started drawing several of them and they looked like they were looking at something. I had to put something there they were looking at, so I went with the logical.

MM: You feel sorry for the little pencil?

ziegler-sharpeners-2

 

JZ: Yeah, it does look kind of pathetic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MM: The drawing Hamburger Madness itself I identify with you a lot, back in the early 70s – the quintessential Jack Ziegler drawing.

 

ziegler-hamburger-madnessJZ: When the New Yorker bought it they didn’t run it for the longest time and I knew I wanted to use that title [for the book] so I had to kind of pressure Lee [Lorenz] to get that drawing in the mag before this thing got published. He was great about it, and within a couple of weeks it appeared.

 

MM: Tell me again – maybe I read it in Lee’s book [The Essential Jack Ziegler] or somewhere – that you created this idea of the box around the drawing?

 

JZ: No, I don’t think so. Kliban was doing stuff sorta but not quite like this. Almost all of his drawings were in boxes. And a lot of times there’d be a title usually up at the top, almost like a panel newspaper cartoon.

I don’t think anybody at the New Yorker was doing it. Right from the beginning I was doing drawings like that, a lot of times they weren’t boxed-in though. Eventually I realized they’d be more attractive and logical if there was box around the whole thing.

MM: The drawing with hooty owl took me by surprise, and that’s what you want right?

ziegler-hooty-hoot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 JZ: That’s exactly what you want. I would think you’d want that of all cartoons as you turn the page — that there’s a surprise.

MM: What about the Electrolux vacuum cleaner that’s in the sea. That’s kind of out there.

JZ: Another unpublished drawing as I recall.

MM: Love the drawing. I don’t expect you’d remember where it came from?

JZ: I’ve done a lot of drawings about Moby Dick, y’know. I’m sure this came from a doodle. I Probably drew the vacuum cleaner in the ocean first.

MM: You would agree that this one is fairly on the spectrum of crazy.

JZ: It’s unorthodox

[laughter]

ziegler-vacuum-cleaner

MM: Let’s talk about “Damn it, man, do I look like I have any yellow ochre?” Another one of those panoramic, sort of vista drawings.

ochre-2

 

 

JZ: Yeah, right. I wanted to make it look like a painting by one of the Impressionists. Based on those lines of trees, those tall trees. It might be from a little after I was in France that one time in 2000. There was a New Yorker gig on the QEII and a bunch of us went over and we were drawing for the passengers and the folks in steerage. It was fun –they brought us to England, and then we went over to France and stayed there for awhile. It was so great. We visited Givenchy, Monet’s hometown. Really inspirational to look around there. You couldn’t help but want to be a painter when you looked at the color and the way things were set up.

MM: A beautiful drawing. You got the little car in there.

JZ: Well he had to get there, right?

[laughter]

MM: True, true. Very practical.

MM: A number of your drawings have a far eastern influence. 30 Sumos Over Tokyo for instance.

hibachi-2

JZ: I think that was done after Sunrise on Mount Hibachi. I like looking at Japanese prints. Those woodblock prints.

MM: The clouds [in the Hibachi] drawing are great.

JZ: That’s the way the Japanese did the clouds in those days. Very organized.

MM: Bud Handelsman did a bunch of Japanese influenced New Yorker covers…

JZ: Yeah, Japanese type things. I don’t remember why.

MM: And Anatol Kovarsky with his Greek urns. Something for others to think about, I suppose. Interesting how a select few got into these different…

JZ: You have these peripheral interests in things and they kind of pop up every once in awhile when you’re doodling.

MM: The cowboy thing. We both have that in common. Why are they so fun, cowboys?

JZ: They’re just fun to draw. It’s an American icon. Everybody loves cowboys. Every guy wants at some point to be a cowboy, or have been a cowboy or hang out with cowboys. When you live out here [Kansas] you can drive up to Montana and see them all over the place.

munch-munch-munch

MM: Munch Munch Munch was another that took me by surprise. I just thought he was munching. I just realized the double meaning today.

JZ: Really? Well you have to look very closely. I’ve done a whole bunch of drawings about Munch – it’s an image everyone knows. It’s like Moby Dick if you want to refer to a book, you almost always go to Moby Dick.

MM: Here’s another far eastern themed drawing: Fleetwood Mac. I’ve always loved it because I never understood Fleetwood Mac.

JZ: This was a much earlier Fleetwood Mac I was referring to, around the time they got mega platinum. I just needed the name of a band there.

MM: You just imagined this scene?

fleetwood-mac

JZ: Yeah, right. Almost everything I do is as far as the scene background settings – it’s all made up.

MM: What are those little things off to the left on the bottom.

JZ: Oh those are just little houses down the hill. What did you think they were?

[laughter]

MM: Structures of some kind – I just wanted to be sure.

 

MM: About the burger hut franchise. I like it when you…draw.

jack-ziegler-the-burger-hut-franchise-decides-to-add-sesame-seeds-men-hammer-seeds-o-new-yorker-cartoon

JZ: I like doing a city-scape like that, as it were — a street scene. It just adds so much to it I think.

MM: Yeah, well context, of course. Although I guess you didn’t have to have those great buildings there but…

JZ: No, I didn’t but it just works so much better that way. It’s funnier I think.

MM: And that guy, who’s paused, almost paused, stopping and looking back at the work being done.

JZ: My onlooker!

[laughter]

MM: I found myself doing this today while working on a drawing — I kept drawing behind the main thing, adding buildings, rooftops. Is that what happened here?

JZ: It probably did. You know that giant duck on Long Island. You think about selling various things out of various houses… those wiener houses. I just kept drawing buildings in the background until it looked right, until I didn’t think it needed anymore.

MM: It looks like it could actually be a thing.

JZ: I know –you drive in, you drive out.

MM: It’s all very believable. These guys could be adding sesame seeds — not real sesame seeds. It could happen.

JZ: It probably did happen. I’m sure it has, somewhere.

[laughter]

MM: The cashews drawing: pretty wild drawing.

jz-spray-cashews

 

JZ: I just love the way the cashews are coming out of that spray can.

MM: It in a way reminds me of early underground stuff. It has that freaky quality to it.

MM: And First marriage?

JZ: It’s a standard set-up. I thought it’s just a funny thing for the new husband to say.

MM: I’m looking at the details, the guy taking the photo, the stained glass. When you’re drawing these things are you slightly laughing out loud, amused?

jz-first-marriageJZ: When I get the original idea yeah, I’m amused. I like that line. I’m not particularly amused when I’m drawing finishes.

MM: That’s why I don’t draw finishes. Does it happen with you – it happens with me all the time — that you come up with a drawing you really like but know the caption you come up with that moment is terrible, so you wait on it?

JZ: That’s true. That happens to me a lot. Well, not a lot, but occasionally.   I have a drawing I think is really nice but I don’t have an idea to go with it. And then I hang onto to it until something eventually comes to me.

MM: I can sit here and try to come up with something, and nothing. It happened yesterday. I did a drawing I liked, but there wasn’t a caption. And then this morning, I was in the motion of sitting down to look at that drawing and the right caption came to me.

JZ: Yeah, never throw those drawings out. The last drawing I sold The New Yorker was of a cat and dog looking at each other. I didn’t have any real caption. I put it away for a week and I got the proper caption.

MM: The Olympic guy. It’s a different kind of drawing. The guy’s in a little vestibule…

 

olympic-torch-guy

JZ: A little alleyway off the street.

MM: Very little.

JZ: Yes, very little. Very tiny.

MM: Could be a niche.

JZ: Could be a niche. What the hell is that?

MM: How about the doggy in the window drawing. You do a lot of bar drawings.

 

JZ: Well, I’m a bar guy. I’m always drawing from the bartender’s point of view.

doggie-in-the-window

MM: There’s a quote that keeps popping up in interviews with you: “I just want to do funny drawings.”

JZ: When I say funny drawings, I mean funny to me. A lot of my drawings are funny to me but definitely not funny to anyone else. But I always hope that if it’s gonna appeal to me it could possibly appeal to others as well.

MM: What you’re saying is fundamentally the way I operate. I’m trying to please my own sense of humor. Several people over the years have said to me, “I wonder what Lee Lorenz finds funny,” or “I wonder what Bob [Mankoff] finds funny,” or “what does [David] Remnick find funny,” and I always say to them, don’t think like that.

JZ: You can’t — you have to just really think about yourself; whenever I do drawings I never think about the New Yorker – I’m just trying to come up with drawings that I like.

MM: That’s the key to success.

JZ: That’s what I tell all the new kids.

MM: One more hamburger drawing: the big hamburger on the beach. Wondering if this is a Gulliver’s Travels thing?

JZ: Yes, Gulliver’s Travels. It has no meaning.

MM: So that’s his hamburger that’s arrived in the little people’s land?

JZ: Your guess is as good as mine.

big-hamburger-on-the-beach

 

 

 

 

(Photo of Jack Ziegler edging closer to Lake Erie, Windsor, Ontario, c.2008,  courtesy of Mr. Ziegler. Photo by Kelli Ziegler)

Jack Ziegler’s favorites among his children:

Sunrise on Mt. Hibachi – New Yorker May 7, 1984

Spray Cashews – New Yorker November 19, 2001

“…yellow ochre…” New Yorker November 11, 2004

“…bitchin’ set of wheels…” New Yorker  June 30, 2008…shown in Part 1 of the interview

“First marriage?” New Yorker  July 20, 2009

Cannon in bushes  New Yorker  February 9, 2015…shown in Part 1 of the interview