The New Yorker section of the upcoming Swann auction is an awful lot of fun. The Addams cover shown above is just one of the gems listed. To see the “3D catalog” go here. Other New Yorker artists whose work is going under the gavel include Charles Barsotti, Bemelmans, Abe Birnbaum, Whitney Darrow, Jr., Richard Decker, Ed Fisher, Heidi Goennel, Edward Gorey, Theodore Haupt, John Held, Jr., Helen Hokinson, Maira Kalman, Arnie Levin, Rick Meyerowitz, Bill Mauldin, Donald Reilly, Mischa Richter, Arnold Roth, Charles Saxon, Ronald Searle, Seth, Steinberg, Tom Toro, and Gahan Wilson.
Tom Gauld’s cover for this new issue is one of the best covers I’ve seen in the post-Lee Lorenz as editor era (Mr. Lorenz was the New Yorker‘s art editor from 1973 through 1993, and cartoon editor from 1993 through 1997. During his years as art editor he edited both covers and cartoons). Here’s Mr. Gauld talking about his Spring offering.
Ink Spill puts its hands together for the cover.
My first run through of the issue earlier today made me wonder if this was the Illustration Issue (there isn’t an official Illustration Issue, but if there was, this could be it). Here’s what I saw:
Goings On About Town, is as usual nearly a full page photograph.
A small color illustration in the Theater section.
A nearly half-page illustration for Night Life.
A three column wide photograph for Food & Drink.
A more than quarter-page photograph for Personal History.
A two column wide illustration for Shouts & Murmurs.
A nearly half-page photograph for The Sporting Scene.
A full page illustration for Profiles.
A page-and-a-half illustration for The World of Fashion.
A full page photograph for Fiction.
A three-quarter page illustration for The Theater.
An large illustration center of the page for Vinson Cunningham’s review in Books.
A more than quarter-page illustration for James Woods review in Books.
A center of the page illustration for Cinema.
And now to the cartoons:
The very first cartoon is by the veteran Mick Stevens. It’s an inside a whale cartoon. I immediately paused to consider the bend in the gullet of the whale. Having never been inside a whale I don’t know what it looks like in there but the cartoonist in me has always thought the inside of a whale was one huge space, like an airplane hanger. So yes, the bend caused me to stop and think awhile.
Up next five pages later is a super-dee-duper detailed William Haefeli drawing. Its graphic-ness (I don’t think that’s really a word) is startling. Perhaps it’s the use of so much black space (windows especially).
Five pages later a Paul Noth drawing (Mr. Noth has a new book out, so congrats to him). This is an airlines passengers themed cartoon. As someone who has almost never flown I’m outta the loop on the whole boarding routine, so…
Two pages later a Seth Fleishman captionless drawing (as mentioned in previous posts here, Mr. Fleishman is solidly in the captionless cartoon school — which isn’t to say there are never captions). Here we have brick-oven pizza blended with a fossil fuel. I can’t get enough of pizza parlor cartoons. I’m sure everyone remembers this classic from Gahan Wilson.
Six pages later, a P.C. Vey cartoon. Not sure anyone else could’ve done this (maybe the aforementioned Mr. Wilson). There’s a tiny bit of sinisterism (is that a word?) in the air with this drawing. Seven pages later an outta the box (or boxes) Roz Chast drawing. We’ve become accustomed to her comics-like structure of three panels (or more). This single panel is striking, graphically.
Equally striking on the very next page is a teethy Edward Koren drawing starring one of his famous beasts. Perhaps the best placed drawing in the issue (there are several cartoons vying for worst placed cartoons). Breathing room galore for Mr. Koren’s dental drawing.
Four pages later Kate Curtis three bears cartoon (one bear unseen, as is Goldilocks). The window in the drawing looks out onto a dark forest. My gaze kept returning there, expecting to see something. But no…
Three pages later an ashes in an urn drawing from David Sipress. Comedic use of ashes in urns summons up (for me) this scene from Meet the Parents. Mr. Sipress makes use of Milton Glaser’s I heart NY campaign, introduced in 1977.
Two pages later a Ben Schwartz scientists observing behavior cartoon. The cartoon rests on the hope that the reader has some familiarity with a particular author mentioned. If you’re not familiar with the author then it’s off to Wikipedia for a crash course.
Four pages later, Julia Suits has a toga drawing featuring some lovely draping. On the very next page Trevor Spaulding has a cartoon related to a recent cultural movement. Interesting drawing.
Three pages later a somewhat complex drawing from Lars Kenseth combining fringe mob activity with fine art (see Mickey Blue Eyes for more on this).
Seven pages later, the last drawing in the issue (not counting those that are part of the caption contest): a Carolita Johnson cartoon in a slim space on the bottom of page 72. The drawing is about lip balm which strangely(?) reminds me of an interview I saw the other day with Joseph Kennedy III wherein he discusses “Chapstick-gate.”
And that’s that, except for this *
*Rea Irvin’s classic Talk of the Town masthead design has been missing for nearly a year now. Just as a reminder, it looks exactly like this:
Roz Chast Looks For a Pen
A fun post on Jane Mattimoe’s Case For Pencils blog: Roz Chast is asking for pen suggestions. Read it here.
Note: Ms. Chast (along with the cover artist, Liniers, and several others) is a guest of honor at the upcoming MOCCA Festival at the Society of Illustrators. Info here.
Tomorrow Night’s Book Signing of Interest: Marcellus Hall
This notice from the illustrator & New Yorker cover artist, Marcellus Hall:
New Gahan Wilson Collection: “Rejects”
From the publisher:
This is a collection of new cartoons by Gahan Wilson. Never before seen cartoons by the Master of the Macabre will delight your senses.
Available now on Mr. Wilson’s website here.
A Cartoon Companion Two-fer: Mick Stevens Interview (Pt.2) and the CC’s Take on the Latest New Yorker Cartoons
Cavna on Sikoryak’s Trump Book
From Michael Cavna’s Washington Post Comic Riffs blog, “The Unquotable Trump’ uses the president’s own words to comic effect”
…From the Litchfield County Times (Connecticut), November 2, 2017 “See Cartoonist Barry Blitt at booksigning in Roxbury.”–November 18th
…Roz Chast, whose latest book is Going Into Town: A Love Letter to New York, will appear November 9th for a “craft talk” at the University of Albany. She’ll be joined by a former New Yorker editor. Details here.
The Monday Tilley Watch is a meandering take on the cartoons in the current issue of The New Yorker.
We are definitely in the Halloween mode in the new issue, and it all begins with Carter Goodrich’s cover; a scary clown looking remarkably similar to our current president peers out from the woods. For some reason my thoughts drifted back to what I believe was the first appearance of the Donald on the cover way way back in 1992; the Robert Risko high-kickin’ chorus line cover was on the 13th issue of Ms. Brown’s tenure.
Skipping through GOAT (Goings On About Town), and, sigh, the redrawn Rea Irvin Talk of the Town masthead, we come to page 18, and the first cartoon of the issue. Zach Kanin is back with what at first might seem like a Halloween themed drawing, what with the full-face ski hats, but it’s not Halloween-related — it’s a pizza crime cartoon. Not the first pizza drawing in the magazine (for instance: who could forget Gahan Wilson’s 1997 classic), but possibly the first incorporating a stick-up using bank robbery terminology. My one microscopic quibble with the drawing is not with the drawing at all, but the proximity of the Otto Soglow spot drawing just above it. I’m firmly in the camp of letting the New Yorker‘s cartoons have plenty of breathing room.
Roz Chast’s gingerbread man drawing, appearing five pages after Mr. Kanin’s, is an example of plenty of breathing room. A Danny Shanahan carrot cake man two issues ago, and now a gingerbread man. Somebody should really do a book of pastry people cartoons.
Nine pages following Ms. Chast’s couch-bound confection (with a Trump illustration appearing along the way) is an Amy Hwang drawing that, at first glance, appears to be Halloween-related. But, like Mr. Kanin’s, it’s not a Halloween drawing (although I’ve seen situations like this set up in front yards of homes at this time of year). A buff executioner stands beside a rope-less(?) guillotine. Five pages later is a Will McPhail drawing with its figures in silhouette (guillotine, silhouette…what an issue). Lovely night sky, Mr. McPhail. On the very next page is another William’s drawing (William Haefeli). I should mention that all of the drawings, from Ms. Chast’s on, have been beautifully placed on the page. Mr. Haefeli delivers a principal’s office cartoon drawn in his trademark style. This drawing might even have more going on than the usual Haefeli contribution. I found myself enlarging the cartoon on my computer screen to see what was on the cartoon computer screen and what was going on out in the cartoon hallway.
Three pages later is a Julia Suits drawing that causes us (or maybe just me) to imagine another cartoon within her cartoon. A fellow at a very long bar is thinking about a woman who’s walked into his wet cement. That’s what I was imagining — the walking into the wet cement scene.
On the very next page is — yay! — a Halloween cartoon, courtesy of one of our modern anchor cartoonists, Joe Dator. Mr. Dator’s “last-minute” parade drawing made me think about the now famous Greenwich Village mega-parade, wherein gazillions of costumed folks gather together. Mr. Dator’s less populated parade is appealing. Four pages later, a drawing by one of the most recognizable stylists in recent times, Seth Fleishman. Looking slightly Spy vs Spy in this drawing (it’s the hat, I think, plus the mash-up of black & white figures) Mr. Fleishman dips into mobsterville — the fish wrapped in newspaper).
On the very next page is a Drew Panckeri drawing of a reclined and relaxed member of the armed forces on his bed speaking with what I imagine is a counterpart from an adversarial country. I find the fellow’s coat interesting — it looks a bit like an Eisenhower jacket, but it’s not quite short enough. Several objects in the room caused me to linger on this drawing for awhile: the lava lamp, the large model (?) of a rocket, and the framed piece which looks as if it might be based on James Montgomery Flagg’s 1917 “I Want You“ poster (itself based on New Yorker cartoonist Alfred Leete‘s earlier work, shown below far right). The fellow in Mr. Panckeri’s frame is definitely pointing at the viewer, but his clothing looks more carny than country.
Fourteen pages later (following a photo essay) is a Bruce Eric Kaplan drawing of a woman in bed. As usual with Mr. Kaplan, a winning caption. Opposite Mr. Kaplan’s drawing is a wonderful bookend to Mr. Dator’s parade drawing (it being the Halloween issue): witches standing at a boiling cauldron. This is a lovely drawing, with an Edward Gorey-ish feel to it.
Ten pages later is the last drawing of the issue (not counting the caption contest work on the last page). It’s a Paul Noth word play drawing. I see people at a table with the mention of wine and I cannot not think of James Thurber’s 1937 oft-reprinted classic drawing.
I can’t leave this week’s issue without a Charles Addams shout-out. If you have a moment, seek out his covers and drawings. With Addams it was Halloween all year long.
Til next Monday…
The Monday Tilley Watch is a meandering take on the cartoons in the current issue of The New Yorker.
The New Yorker has gone through a number of survivable events in its 92 year history. It nearly folded in its first six months of existence, but survived when Raoul Fleischmann, its original backer, suddenly turned white knight, decided to pump more money into it. The magazine survived when the magazine’s founder and first editor Harold Ross died too soon. The magazine survived its transition from the Fleischmann family to the Newhouse family in the late 1980s, and all the hooplah that ensued when William Shawn was succeeded by Robert Gottlieb, and when Gottlieb was in turn succeeded by Tina Brown, who was then succeeded by its current editor, David Remnick. It won’t go without saying that yesterday’s news of the passing of Si Newhouse, owner of The New Yorker caused a lot of ink to begin flowing (online as well as print) about what his passing means for the future of the magazine. Perhaps it’s best to acknowledge that the crystal ball is cloudiest just when we want it to be crystal clear.
And now on to the cartoons in the latest issue.
Two BEK covers in the last six issues of The New Yorker. Amazing. I’m always thrilled to see a cartoonist colleague’s work on the cover, and am ever hopeful more and more will be added into the mix.
Following all the up front of the book graphics (ads, of course, and illustrations) we come to the calm spread of pages 28 & 29 with a well placed Liana Finck drawing on the upper right. I like the use of the word “monsters” in the caption. I think the word has also suggested (at least to me) that the fellow Ms. Finck has pictured resembles ever-so-slightly the Frankenstein monster (as played by Boris Karloff).
Six pages later we come to a Jon Adams drawing (his first New Yorker cartoon appeared last week). The desert island cartoon, once seemingly on the verge of retirement is as present as ever in the magazine. I’ll be curious as to how the Cartoon Companion guys dissect this drawing (we’ll find out later in the week when they post). I’m reluctant to step on their turf, but can’t help but be concerned that the angle of the palm tree which is about to catapult one of the islanders into the ocean (presumably to safety) will throw the fellow away from the container ship off in the distance. This is part of what cartoonists do, I guess. We worry about the fate of stranded cartoon characters on a cartoon desert island.
On the very next page is a Michelangelo moment courtesy of Julia Suits. Her drawing is based on one of the master’s greatest hits within one of his greatest hits: the “Creation of Adam” (seen below) on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Ms. Suits has given us the origin story of a slightly shocking moment we’ve all experienced at one time or another.
A couple of pages past the beginning of a Janet Malcolm piece on Rachel Maddow we come to a two-fer spread: an Edward Koren drawing on the left side and a Matthew Diffee on the right. Mr. Koren is our longest serving cartoon contributor, having first been published in 1962. It’s always a good week when one of his drawings graces the pages of the magazine. Selfishly, I would’ve loved to see this drawing run at least half-a-page. But as the Rolling Stones so memorably sang, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime you find you get what you need.”
A quartet of pages later we come to a drawing by newbie, Maddie Dai; the drawing itself carries a candidate for longest caption in a New Yorker cartoon. I think of George Booth when I see a lot of caption. Here’s an example of a long-form Boothian caption from The New Yorker, February 18th, 1985:
Strangely enough, on the page following Ms. Dai’s fortune teller drawing is another longish captioned drawing — this one by David Sipress. I like the whiskerless cat(?) on the floor of this drawing. It looks a bit distressed. Four pages later a Roz Chast triptych incorporating the word “illuminati”; I’m beginning to get the feeling this issue is thematic in a mystical, monstrous, space agey way (Ms. Finck’s monster, Ms. Suits Michelangelo drawing, Maddie Dai’s fortune teller, Mr. Sipress’s a newly discovered planet drawing, and now Ms. Chast’s illuminati). Probably just coincidence.
Two pages later, the theme goes up in smoke as P.C. Vey takes us shopping. I note that none of the products on the shelves carry labeling. I’m reminded of the books in Chairman Mao’s library. On closer inspection, there is writing present on Mao’s books, but the first impression is similar (for me anyway) to Mr. Vey’s supermarket shelving.
On the very next page after Mr. Vey’s shopping expedition we’re thematically back to religion with an Adam and Eve drawing courtesy of Will McPhail. I suppose it’s possible it’s not Adam and Eve as the female here has to my eyes a contemporary haircut. You can’t see much of Adam, as he’s behind a giant leaf that doesn’t quite cover the “all” mentioned in his caption. Someone who knows leaves can set me straight if Mr. McPhail’s leaf is similar to this maple leaf I grabbed off of Google images.
A couple pages later another relative newbie, Kate Curtis (her first drawing appeared in the New Yorker in January of 2016). Back to contemporary life with an airline check-in moment. The drawing looks vaguely Kim Warpian (it’s the airline employee’s fingers I think that bring Ms. Warp’s work to mind). Seven pages later we’re whip-lashed back to King Arthur’s big sword in the stone moment with a contemporary twist, courtesy of Ben Schwartz. Lars Kenseth had a sword and stone drawing recently. I wonder if sword and stone drawings are going to give desert island drawings a run for their money.
Nine pages later, we remain (somewhat) in ancient times with a couple of medieval towers (sans Rapunzel…possibly), and a dragon…and a lawn mower? All from Avi Steinberg’s pen. This drawing reminds me of the George Price classic below (published in The New Yorker June 3, 1939). Both Mr. Steinberg’s and Mr. Price’s have guys outdoors doing something in the yard; both have woman in the window calling out to the guys; both have something wrapped around a structure: Mr. Steinberg has a dragon, Mr. Price has ivy.
On the following page a talking clock from Eric Lewis. I’m always reluctant to favor a drawing in the Monday Tilley Watch (again, that’s what they do over on the Cartoon Companion site), but I’m going to favor this, the last drawing in the issue. I see shades of various artists in the drawing itself — this isn’t unusual: I see some vague hint of various cartoonists’ work in every cartoonist’s drawing (including my own). In this case it’s a little Stuart Leeds, a little Gahan Wilson, and a shadow of Pierre Le-Tan. Of course, the drawing itself is pure Eric Lewis — an excellent way to end the issue.
— see you next week.