“Max” & “Simon” are back with a close rated look at all the cartoons in the brand new issue of The New Yorker (the one with John Cuneo’s swamp on the cover). Ed Steed’s drawing is awarded Top Toon of the week. See it all here.
It’s always a great pleasure to see one of John Cuneo‘s covers on the magazine. His restless pen never fails to amuse and amaze. Read what Mr. Cuneo had to say about his swampy cover on this week’s issue.
The Tilley Tweak Watch: Is it my imagination or is this a first: the Talk of the Town masthead (that would be the year old new masthead, not Rea Irvin’s classic masthead) appears on the left side of the magazine’s gutter instead of the right side. If someone can point to an earlier issue sporting it on the left side please contact me.
Below: The masthead in its usual place, on the right side.
Below: this week’s masthead on the left side.
And just for fun, here’s a blast from the past: the Talk masthead from May 24, 1947 featuring Rea Irvin’s classic design:
Speaking of design, here’s a little quiz: without first looking at this week’s issue which one of the photos below do you think is the actual photograph appearing on the lead page of Goings On About Town? The other two belong to ads. (*The answer is below)
And now (finally!) on to two cartoons in the issue that really struck me. I’m a big fan of seeing things I’ve never seen before. It’s a difficult thing to do in cartoonville. Mick Stevens’ drawing leads off the issue with a wonderful drawing. We don’t see many rut drawings. I’d say the same for the second drawing in the issue, courtesy of Ed Steed. Applause for both drawings:
For the record, here are the cartoonists appearing in this issue:
Also for the record: this issue contains sixteen cartoons and nineteen illustrations. The illustrations (including photographs) are given five full pages (including the GOAT photo, which, for those wondering is… * the middle photo above).
— see you next week
Here’s Bruce McCall speaking about his gluten-free-gluten cover, along with three cover sketches (a nice touch).
And here are the cartoonists in the issue:
A slightly different Monday Tilley Watch this week…I’m listing my first response as I (electronically) flip through the issue, as if the drawings are flashcards.
Bruce Eric Kaplan…rodents and a tiger — I really like the tiger.
Lars Kenseth…a Snidely Whiplash reversal. Funny that the train is a toy (shades of Charles Addams).
Tom Cheney…internet mischief in olden times.
John Klossner…support food. Wonder what kind of animal is being served.
Harry Bliss…Jake LaMotta on ice. A very outta left field drawing.
Roz Chast…a wicked queen’s magic mirror, updated.
Paul Noth…a patient prefers male doctors.
Pia Guerra…a sacred cow & more
Ed Steed…strong strange man drawing, or strange strong man drawing.
William Haefeli…a lesson in capitalization.
Seth Fleishman…a turkey display, with color.
Joe Dator…a NYC tour bus. Finally, a comment on those noisy things that rumble around the great metropolis.
Frank Cotham…a witness explains.
Teresa Burns Parkhurst …an egg ponders. A candidate for The New Yorker Book of Poultry Cartoons.
Mike Twohy…a doggy snow globe. I can’t get enough of dogs and snow globes.
Keen-eyed observers will note that Rea Irvin’s classic Talk of The Town masthead is still in absentia. Here it is:
and here’s the stand-in:
The latest New Yorker is the “Spring Style” issue (it says so right at the top of the Table of Contents). The huge feathered Carol Channing-esque hat on the cover (by Maira Kalman) sets the tone, or theme. There’s a lot of color in this issue (ads, illustrations, and one cartoon) — more so than usual, I think. Makes sense: Spring = color.
Was hoping Rea Irvin’s iconic masthead (below) would be reborn for Spring, but alas. Had it popped up in this issue, it would look exactly like this.
And now off to the cartoons. The first, on page thirty-three, is by Carolita Johnson. For those visiting New York, or living in New York, Ms. Johnson’s titled drawing, Dressing For the Manhattan Climate, will ring true any time of year. Six pages later a Harry Bliss drawing. Mr. Bliss’s single panel cartoons are instantly recognizable — they’re always in a box. I’ll be curious to see how the fellows at the Cartoon Companion dissect this drawing.
Five pages later, Joe Dator brings us a variation of pin the tail on the donkey. For me, Mr. Dator’s drawings belong in that category of cartoonists work that amuses at first sight, even before the caption is read. Four pages later, a Roz Chast drawing that drove me to a dictionary. The drawing is titled Deux Ex Caffeina. I recognized it as a play on deus ex machina — a phrase I know but never bothered (til now) to understand. Here’s how Mirriam -Webster defines it:
The New Latin term deus ex machina is a translation of a Greek phrase and means literally “a god from a machine.” “Machine,” in this case, refers to the crane that held a god over the stage in ancient Greek and Roman drama.
Got it now. Very nice drawing.
Opposite Ms. Chast’s drawing is a P.C. Vey drawing. With a caption that concerns paper shredding and includes the words “incriminating documents” there’s a heavy overtone of criminality. By the way, both Ms. Chast’s drawing and Mr. Vey’s sit well on their respective pages, sized and balanced well off each other.
The next two pages contain two cartoons as well. Mary Lawton’s, with a cat hogging a shaft of late afternoon sun and Paul Noth’s comment on gun control (or lack thereof). Following a few pages later is a drawing by relative-newbie Olivia de Recat with another in her series of word-based cartoons. Time will tell if this is her specialty.
Two pages later a Will McPhail bathroom drawing. I found the terror of the fellow in the tub very funny, but I do wonder why the text, in horror typeface, is within the drawing itself. This is the kind of big cartoon question that keep some of us awake at night.
Opposite Mr. McPhail’s tub terror is Bishakh Som‘s debut in the New Yorker. For those keeping track, Mr. Som is the fourteenth new cartoonist to make their debut since Emma Allen assumed the position of cartoon editor in May of 2017.
Three pages after Mr. Som’s drawing is one by this cartoonist, putting to use perspective I learned in a high school Mechanical Drawing class. Thank you, Mr. Minchin.
Two pages later Ed Steed employs a bit of color in a drawing featuring little identical gentlemen. At first I thought Mr. Steed had joined the cartoon tiny wind-up toy people club (Charles Addams did a lot of those drawings). But closer inspection reveals these tiny folk to be real cartoon people and not toy cartoon people (you can tell they’re not toys because they lack wind-up keys). It being an Ed Steed drawing I don’t suppose it makes any sense to wonder why these dapper miniature men are tiny and identical and appear to have some Snidely Whiplash characteristics (the hats and mustaches). Funny is funny.
Three pages later, an Emily Flake family in crisis drawing, followed thirteen pages later by a Liana Finck drawing. Ms. Finck’s style, like the aforementioned Mr. Dator’s style, is immediately welcoming (and, of course, humorous).
Eight pages later, the last drawing in the issue (not counting the Cartoon Caption Contest drawings) and the newest entry in the New Yorker‘s cartoon subway series. This one is by newbie (though not debut newbie) Sharon Levy. Having never been out west, I needed someone with left coast experience to explain it to me. Okay then.
Note: all of the above cartoons can be seen on the New Yorker‘s website here. Scroll down to Cartoons from the Issue
–See you next week
Hooray for Hollywood? This week’s cover (artist: Chris Ware) reminds us — not that we need reminding –that Tinsel Town is a troubled town.
Shout out to the Cartier folks for the pretty street lamp that greets you as you open the magazine. Nice also to see the photo of David Bowie (however much I disagree with this current usage of the Goings On About Town opening page, i.e., with a nearly full page photo. It never fails to trick me into thinking I’m seeing an ad).
Speaking of being in disagreement, the stand-in remains in place for Rea Irvin’s iconic design for the Talk Of The Town.
Here’s what the original looks like:
And here’s the stand-in:
Alrighty then, on to the issue’s cartoons.
The very first cartoon is by David Sipress. A somewhat retired theme (torture) returns. Torture rack drawings popped up more ages ago, replaced (if my unscientific memory search is slightly accurate) with another kind of torture: prisoners hanging by handcuffs up on dungeon walls. I feel for the fellow in Mr. Sipress’s drawing who is about to undergo the “procedure.”
Five pages later a couple of “Casablanca”-era Humphrey Bogart-like fellas at the end of a pier, courtesy of Carolita Johnson. As discussed last week (Frank Cotham’s drawing of thugs planning just such a pier push) this is a standard situation a lot of cartoonists are attracted to (including this one). Here’s one more — a personal favorite of mine.
On the very next page, a robot drawing by Navied Mahdavian, whose debut drawing was last week. I recall Zach Kanin bringing robots back into usage a few years ago (or maybe it was Roz Chast…or was it someone else. New Yorker cartoon robot aficionados please advise). In this particular case I was a bit worried that the scientists had their backs to the dancing duo. Perhaps it was this portion of the caption: “They [the robots] don’t appear to want to take over…” [bolded words mine]. Hmmm, if there’s any doubt, any doubt at all as to the robots’ intentions, perhaps it’s best to observe them in an fortified isolation booth or something.
Three pages later a Danny Shanahan drawing. Fun drawing perfectly synced with a wonderful Shanahan-esque caption. If I was awarding ribbons as they do over on the Cartoon Companion, I’d pin one on this drawing (and on the P. C. Vey drawing that we’ll get to in a minute).
Eight pages later, a Roz Chast NYC-centered alien “take us to your leader”-type drawing. I enjoyed examining the screens on the aliens’ chests. Would love to see Chastian aliens in color.
On the very next page (and I should say, very nicely sized and placed on the page) is a terrif Chris Weyant drawing. The caption’s sterling construction reminds me of captions once written by the likes of James Stevenson, Donald Reilly, and Charles Saxon. Applause applause!
Two pages later, a real gem by P.C. Vey. A cave couple. Mr. Vey’s world is such a fun treat (and isn’t that why we love cartoons?). I find it hysterical that:
1. The cave woman looks nothing like a cave woman (her hair’s perfect and she’s wearing a somewhat stylish shift).
2. The cave man is so well-groomed (both hair and beard).
The next two drawings (the first by newbie Pia Guerra, and the next by veteran-newbie Will McPhail) reminded me, in their construction (not style) of ancient friezes:
If you placed a ruler along the base of the feet in each drawing, you’d see that every foot (and one paw) touches the edge of the ruler (with the exception of Ms. Guerra’s wolf’s right paw, and a kicked-up foot on the person to the extreme right of Mr. McPhail’s drawing). There is no reason to note this other than that I don’t recall ever seeing two frieze-like drawings back-to-back before.
Four pages following the second frieze cartoon is a Maggie Dai Atlas drawing that sent me to the search box. Now I know what “leg day” refers to. On the very next page, the instantly recognizable style of Drew Dernavich, who delivers an Oscars drawing.
Three pages later a delightful Barbara Smaller drawing. Nice to see bigger picture work by her. On the very next page, an Ed Steed sports drawing (basketball). Five pages later Paul Noth references fine art. I recall that Roz Chast handled Venus on a cover not too very long ago. My memory is that Addams liked to work with Venus too. Am I wrong, but aren’t bathtubs the preferred bathroom fixture for home births rather than sinks? Of course, it being cartoonland and all, anything’s possible.
Case in point: the last drawing of the issue, by JAK (otherwise known as Jason Adam Katzenstein). We see a card game with a Wolf Blizter-like guy in an open collared rumpled shirt, a well dressed woman (she’s wearing pearls), and a wolf(?) in a tuxedo.
The popped eyes and slack jaw suggest animation as inspiration, like so:
Cover Update: The New Yorker Encyclopedia of Cartoons
If you’ve been following the Spill ‘s coverage of cover art (or lack of) for The New Yorker Encyclopedia of Cartoons (due in October from Black Dog & Leventhal) you might find it interesting that we now have the below image to contemplate:
The current president is the subject of 4/5s of this past week’s Daily Cartoons. Only Lars Kenseth’s cowboy stock market drawing did not reference Mr. Trump. The other New Yorker cartoonists represented: Peter Kuper (twice), Pat Byrnes, and Jason Chatfield (with Scott Dooley).
Over on Daily Shouts, New Yorker cartoonists Tom Chitty, Liana Finck (continuing her advice column), and Ed Steed contributed.
A New Yorker Cover is Honored
Here’s Michael Cavna’s Comic Riffs piece about David Plunkert’s cover of August 28, 2017, named cover of the year by the American Society of Magazine Editors.