The early release Barry Blitt Trump flat-on-his-face cover (above, right) was mentioned here last week, so onward we go to the brand new issue. Fifteen cartoons in the issue, eighteen illustrations. With five of those illustrations full page, I’d say the magazine is most definitely in a new age of illustration (the old age was during Tina Brown’s reign as editor. She brought illustration, including photographs, big-time into the magazine). The magazine had a golden age of cartoons that began in the late 1930s and roughly extended into the early 1950s. A new age of sorts (golden, platinum, silver — does it really matter?) began in the late 1960s, early 1970s and lasted several decades. I wouldn’t put a label on the age we’re in now because we’re in it (kind’ve a can’t see the forest for the trees thing).
Three cartoons really stand out for me in this issue:
Kim Warp’s Dog Watching A Guy Grill Burgers Cartoon
I immediately saw a good bit of Jack Ziegler’s work in Ms. Warp’s wonderful cartoon. The burgers, of course (see Mr. Ziegler’s classic collection: Hamburger Madness) as well as the situation of the guy grilling on the deck. And then there’s the deck itself, with the deck boards so well delineated. Mr. Ziegler loved that kind of detail. The dog’s thought balloon also recalls Ziegler’s work as does the wording. What’s so great is that while the drawing has its Ziegleresque elements and a Ziegleresque feel to it, it’s 1000% Warp. I asked Ms. Warp if her drawing was in any way Ziegler inspired and she replied in an email:
In some way it was inspired by Jack Ziegler’s food/BBQ cartoons as I loved his work and they are in my brain forever. I was thinking of our dog, Maggie, who always has an eye out for spills, and somehow the Ziegler vibe came through. I think it sold partly because of the word ‘bungle’ which they said they hadn’t seen in a while. It comes up in my life all the time.
Joe Dator’s “…rock-based content” Cartoon
Mr. Dator’s work continues to fascinate. You can just see how much he enjoys drawing his world. I especially like his attention to detail in this drawing: the lighting, the instruments…geez, it’s all clicking.
Danny Shanahan’s Excellent Jack-and-the-Beanstalk Cartoon
Mr. Shanahan’s giants drawing is solid work, an evergreen. Seeing a drawing that works as well as this reminds me of what someone said about the difference between Fred Astaire’s and Gene Kelly’s dancing: with Kelly, you see the sweat. In cartoonville, I’d rather not be distracted by seeing the sweat. With Shanahan, you don’t see the sweat. I asked Mr. Shanahan if there’s anything we should know about this drawing, and he replied via email:
No real interesting back story, other than that I was a bit disappointed when it wasn’t run fairly quickly after being purchased (the week of 6/28/2016!), because I thought that it might lose its topicality. No such luck- some gifts just keep on giving.
Of Further Interest
In this issue is a Talk piece by the magazine’s cartoon editor, Emma Allen, who went to a cartoonists lunch and spoke with the lunching cartoonists as well as “crasher” Gus Van Sant (his new movie is based on a memoir by the cartoonist, John Callahan). I’m searching my memory bank now to recall the last time a New Yorker cartoon editor showed up at a cartoonists lunch. It was a very very long time ago, perhaps as long ago as the James Geraghty years (he was the art editor from 1939- 1973).
Some paperwork: Elisabeth McNair‘s work debuts in this week’s New Yorker. Ms. McNair is the 14th cartoonist to be brought in by Emma Allen since she took up the position of cartoon editor in May of 2017.
For the record, the 14 are (with their debut issue alongside their name):
1. Sharon Levy (July 10, 2017)
2. Joseph Dottini (October 16, 2017)
3. Jon Adams (October 16, 2017)
4. Sophia Wiedeman (October 16, 2017)
5. Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell (November 20, 2017)
6. Emma Hunsinger (November 27, 2017)
7. Sophia Warren (November 27, 2017)
8. Maggie Mull (December 11, 2017)
9. Mary Lawton (December 11, 2017)
10. Pia Guerra (December 18, 2017)
11. Julia Bernhard (January 1, 2018)
12. Navied Mahdavian (February 26, 2018)
13. Bishakh Som (March 19, 2018)
14. Elisabeth McNair (July 30, 2018)
Rea Irvin’s Talk Masthead
Before this post wraps up, I’d like to bring in a guest, David Ochsner. Mr. Ochsner, the fellow behind A New Yorker State of Mind: Reading Every Issue of The New Yorker Magazine, has graciously allowed the Spill to run his findings about the changes to Rea Irvin’s Talk Of The Town masthead over the years. As regular visitors to the Monday Tilley Watch know, there’s a weekly nod to Mr. Irvin’s Talk masthead due to its having been dismayingly eighty-sixed in May of 2017 for a redrawn version by Christoph Niemann (his redraw appears all the way at the bottom right below — you can read about it here).
Here’s Mr. Ochsner:
The first change I noticed was six months after the magazine launched (Aug. 22, 1925), when the masthead lost some of its shading and some shadow structures were introduced in the foreground. A week later Woollcott was dropped from the masthead and replaced by Hugh Wiley. The following January the editors’ names were dropped altogether. On Jan. 30, 1926, the letters were enlarged and superimposed over the buildings, which rose up on the notched, curving line that Irvin introduced. Then 54+ years later, in 1980, the letters shifted to the right, the “K” rather than the “E” now superimposed over the tower (to accommodate the re-drawing or standardization of the Irvin font–most noticeable is the serif clipped from the “N”).
— Til next week