84 Years Ago: The Sixth New Yorker Album of Cartoons

I love all of the New Yorker Albums that have come out in the magazine’s 92 years, but this one I like maybe just a teeny-tiny bit more than many of the rest (partially due to the fact that it was a gift from Jack Ziegler, back in the days when I was building a set of all the albums, with their dust jackets.  Jack’s copy arrived with a gold star on it, which, as you can see, is still there).

Published in 1933 by Harper & Brothers, the 6th Album sports a collage cover by Harry Brown (who contributed 18 covers to the magazine from 1931 thru 1937); the collage was a first — it was the first time the magazine allowed something other than a reproduction of one of its covers to grace an Album. I like the burst of color, but am thrilled the cover’s designer left the Thurber drawings, running up the strap, in black and white.

Starting top left on the cover, we see Otto Soglow’s Little King and his Queen and a couple of footmen in red with yellow sashes. Going clockwise, Peter Arno’s “Major” and his wife, then down at the bottom at the cover, Rea Irvin’s iconic Eustace Tilley. On the left is a William Steig father holding his son. In the middle of the cover, two Barbara Shermund ladies standing close to each other; directly below them, a classic Helen Hokinson woman (a so-called Hokinson “lunch lady”) holding her dog.

The inside cover flap shows us a partial list of the artists represented:

    

Looking through this Album I’m always struck by the variety.  Variety of sensibilities, of art, of subject.  Published just eight years after the very first issue of The New Yorker appeared on newsstands it’s loaded with artists whose work is instantly recognizable. It’s an excellent portrait of the New Yorker‘s first stable; a wealth of exceptionally talented artists such as Peter Arno, Helen Hokinson, James Thurber, William Steig, Barbara Shermund, Rea Irvin, Charles Addams, Otto Soglow, Carl Rose, Gluyas Williams, Whitney Darrow, Richard Decker, Syd Hoff, George Price, Alan Dunn, and Mary Petty.

Artistry was all over the place back in those early years (there’s a huge difference in Thurber’s work from Reginald Marsh’s, or Soglow’s from Perry Barlow’s). What a fun,  exciting, beautiful mix. 

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Note: you can sometimes find a copy of this collection in used bookstores, or here online (although I don’t see any listed, at the moment, with a dust jacket). With the dust jacket, or without, you’re still in for a real treat.  

 

The Monday Tilley Watch: The New Yorker Issue of October 16, 2017

The Monday Tilley Watch is a meandering take on the cartoons in the current issue of The New Yorker.

Wowzers! 23 cartoons in this issue, and it’s not even a double issue.

The cover was mentioned here last week.  If you want to read what David Plunkert, the cover artist had to say about his design, go here

Without pausing at the renovated Rea Irvin Talk of The Town masthead (yes, that’s still an “issue” here at the Spill) we move onto the very first cartoon — it appears on page 22.  Bruce Kaplan’s been on a roll these past many weeks, with two covers and weekly appearances.  This makes sense to me, and reminds me of the system once in place at the magazine that kept us in touch with a number of artists over time. In this case, Mr. Kaplan gives us a Kaplanesque restaurant scene with a Kaplanesque caption.  Nice.

Nine pages later, following David Remnick’s “Postscript” about the late Si Newhouse,  we come to a well-placed Mick Stevens caveman drawing. I wonder sometimes if we will ever reach the end of the road, cave people drawings-wise.  Hope not. Imagine how much material has come from so little: cave people, their caves and rocks.  Someone should really do a book of these drawings.  Five pages later we come to a Sara Lautman art museum cartoon.  From a distance (that is, viewing it on a tablet) its use of blocks of black ink resembles an Ariel Molvig drawing. As I’ve mentioned a few times on the Monday Tilley Watch, certain brand new drawings immediately summon up drawings out of the magazine’s deep catalog. I cannot see an art museum cartoon these days without recalling this (captionless) Helen Hokinson classic from the issue of February 6, 1926.

 

Three pages later a gingerbread man-inspired drawing by the one-and-only Danny Shanahan. I’m assuming the carrot cake man’s hair(?) is made of frosting. The world could use more talking cake drawings right about now; Mr. Shanahan is the cartoonist for the job.

Five pages later P.C Vey dips into the literary world as well as the world of apartment plumbing.  Men-in-bathtub drawings always make me think of George Booth’s recurring guy in a claw foot tub (usually viewed from an adjoining room).  Here, Mr. Vey takes us right into the bathroom. I particularly enjoyed the recessed soap tray.  

On the very next page is a Liana Finck drawing.  I needed to reach out to a family member in her mid 20s for help on this one, and here is what she emailed me, cautioning she is not an expert on the subject, having never used the app:

I believe it’s a Tinder thing. I think if you like someone, you swipe right. Then if you match (if they swiped right on you too) you can talk to the person. Some people swipe right for everyone just to increase their chances. I think that’s what she’s commenting on: people frantically, desperately looking for love on their phones to the point that they’re numb to Cupid’s arrows.

Three pages later is a drawing by newbie, Maddie Dai.  This is graphically ala Roz Chast, utilizing a magazine cover as a humor conveyance vehicle. There’s some pointed messaging going on in this cartoon.

On the very next page a drawing by Kate Curtis,  a not-so-newbie relative to Ms. Dai.  There’s some helpful color in this cartoon (pinkish chewing gum).  I’ve spent most of my time on this one trying to understand if the gum was pre-chewed. It looks pre-chewed. I hope it’s not though.

Five pages later, A Will McPhail drawing.  Somewhat atypical for this cartoonist (at least  of his work I’ve seen in the magazine), the drawing is not a close-up of an individual or individuals.  Even enlarging the drawing on my laptop, the mouth of the woman speaking seems a black-hole void. Is that intentional, or smudged ink, or or or…?  Bonus(?) element: a guy with a man-bun.

Three pages later a Zach Kanin drawing.  Having just yesterday driven past and heard some part of a marching band competition in a nearby metropolis, I’m delighted to see this drawing. Kanin cartoon children are always a treat.  On the very next page, a Trevor Spaulding drawing concerning 401(K)s. Interesting drawing style, sort of a mash up of Kim Warp,  Marcellus Hall and Herge (the fellow responsible for Tintin).

Four pages later, Roz Chast gives us a Trumpian geography lesson. This would’ve made for a good New Yorker cover back in late September when the president came up with the nonexistent country, Nambia.

A Tom Toro Frankenstein-related kitty drawing is next. As with all of Mr. Toro’s drawings, we get more than our money’s worth in the detail department.  Two Frankenstein-ish drawings in two weeks (Liana Finck’s drawing of last week had some  Frankensteinian elements) — we must be getting close to Halloween. Two pages later, a drawing I momentarily mistook (again, while looking at the small screen of my handheld tablet) for a Charles Addams drawing.  But it’s an illustration by Bill Bragg, not an Addams cartoon. It would’ve been quite a shock had it been a full page cartoon. As mentioned here from time-to-time, full page single panel cartoons are rarities in The New Yorker. 

Speaking of rarities, the very next cartoon is a duo effort: Emily Flake and Rob Kutner. Here’s a Spill post from 2013 about collaborating cartoonists. This cartoon, based on one of the classic scenes in the film, Casablanca, was also the subject of a Bob Eckstein cartoon not too long ago (November 30, 2015, to be precise):

Perhaps Casablanca airport farewell scenes will take the place of desert island cartoons.  Nah…

Two pages following the collaborative effort is a drawing by Frank Cotham. A sparser look than usual for Mr. Cotham, but the subject matter is as Cothamy as you can get.  As much as I love his horses I think I love the little hut in the background even more.

Two pages later, a cartoonist making his debut in The New Yorker (if I’m wrong about this, someone please advise).  Joseph Dottino delivers a prayer at bedtime cartoon;  a seldom seen scene (seldom anymore that is.  They were once nearly as plentiful as talking parrot drawings).   Again, my thoughts go to several from the archives, but I’ll mention just one, by one of the masters, Dana Fradon (from the issue of September 23, 2002).

 

Opposite Mr. Dottino’s drawing is a beautifully placed John O’Brien cartoon. Mr. O’Brien is the magazine’s contemporary master of caption-less drawings.  This time round though,  he provides a caption (in a speech balloon).  As I’ve said in almost every one of these Monday posts, I try to stay away from heaping praise on any one drawing, but I can’t resist applauding this particular drawing (there are a few others in this issue as well, but once I begin applauding this one and that one, or holding my applause for that one or this one, I’m well into Cartoon Companion territory).

Following Mr. O’Brien’s drawing is another reliable cartoonist scenario: human evolution. This one’s from J.A.K. (Jason Adam Katzenstein). I’m a big fan of evolution drawings having returned to the standard human evolution graphic (seen below) a number of times.

Five pages later, yet another brand new cartoonist (again, if I’m wrong, someone please let me know).  Sophia Wiedeman debuts with a drawing of a person experiencing a mole or crumb moment.   Five pages later, Robert Leighton has us in space. The floating woman astronaut is close to Thurber-like. Thurber-like is always a very good thing. Three pages later, is a William Haefeli  drawing, the polar opposite of Thurber’s minimalism.  Mr. Haefeli’s caption reminds me of Kevin Bacon’s line in the Chisholm Trail scene in Diner: “You ever get the feeling there’s something going on we don’t know about.”

Three pages later work by yet another newbie.  Teresa Burns Parkhurst brings us a touch of Fall with a farm stand-like setting featuring apples.  A nicely placed drawing. 

And lastly in the issue (not counting the contest drawings on the last page) is a Harry Bliss drawing incorporating Sherlock Holmes, Watson, and a missing, or misplaced  illegal substance.

–See you next week

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fave Book Find of the Week: Frueh On The Theatre: 1906 – 1962; Sam Marlow Pencilled; New Yorker Cartoonists in Life & Judge; Signed By The Cartoonist; Reading Every Issue of The New Yorker!

Here’s a wonderful collection of the late great Al Frueh’s theater work for The New Yorker and elsewhere. The New York Times had Al Hirschfeld, The New Yorker had Al Frueh.  Mr. Frueh’s New Yorker colleague, Brendan Gill provides an informative and insightful intro. For more on Mr. Frueh, here’s a Spill piece about him, “The First New Yorker Cartoon” — posted way back in 2011.

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Sam Marlow Pencilled

Sam Marlow, whose first cartoon appeared in The New Yorker May 9, 2016 is the latest subject of Jane Mattimoe’s splendid Case For Pencils blog.  See Mr. Marlow’s tools of the trade here.

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Buchanan’s Files Continue on Mike Lynch’s Site

If New Yorker cartoonists work not published in the New Yorker is your thing, then head on over to Mike Lynch’s site where you’ll find a number of Life and Judge cartoons from the 1930s. All the scans courtesy of Dick Buchanan, including the Ned Hilton drawing above (Life, 1935). Mr. Hilton’s cartoons appeared in The New Yorker from May 19, 1934 — June 15, 1957.

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Signed By The Cartoonist

Stephen Nagler’s Attempted Bloggery site has been posting signed books by some famous cartoonists, Peter Arno, Helen Hokinson, and William Steig among them.  Check them out here.

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Reading Every New Yorker

And speaking of Ms. Hokinson, here’s her beautiful New Yorker cover from the summer of 1928.  The fascinating blog, A New Yorker State of Mind takes a very close look within.  Read it here.

Two Blog Posts of Interest: A New Yorker State of Mind & Attempted Bloggery

Two favorite New Yorker-related blogs making for fun Saturday reading.

First, A New Yorker State of Mind: Reading Every Issue of The New Yorker with its look at the issue of June 30, 1928 featuring the ever pleasing work of Helen Hokinson on the cover. Work shown in the post: Alice Harvey, Al Frueh, and Peter Arno. 

And then there’s Attempted Bloggery, frequently mentioned on the Spill, and for good reason. Stephen Nadler, who runs the site, tirelessly examines all kinds of New Yorker cartoon and cartoonist related angles (original art, auctions, obscurities, etc). Right now he’s looking at the work of Gregory d’Alessio, a somewhat forgotten figure.  Mr. d’Alessio contributed a handful of covers and one cartoon to The New Yorker

Shown above: on the left is the June 30, 1928 New Yorker. On the right, a drawing by Mr. d’Alessio from the May 1937 issue of College Humor.

The Spill’s A-Z entries for cartoonists mentioned:

Peter Arno (Pictured above. Source: Look, 1938) Born Curtis Arnoux Peters, Jr., January 8, 1904, New York City. Died February 22, 1968, Port Chester, NY. New Yorker work: 1925 -1968. Key collection: Ladies & Gentlemen (Simon & Schuster, 1951) The Foreword is by Arno. For far more on Arno please check out my biography of him, Peter Arno: The Mad Mad World of The New Yorker’s Greatest Cartoonist (Regan Arts, 2016).

Gregory d’Alessio (Photo above from College Humor, 1938) Born Sept. 25, 1904, NYC. New Yorker work: 1934 -1940.

Al Frueh (pictured above) Born, Lima, Ohio 1880; died, Sharon, Connecticut, 1968. New Yorker work: 1925 – 1962. Here’s a good piece about Mr. Frueh’s life.

 

 

 

Alice Harvey  (above) Born 1894, Austin, Illinois. New Yorker work: Oct. 17th,1925 – May 1, 1943.

Helen Hokinson (above) Born, Illinois,1893; died, Washington, D.C., 1949. New Yorker work: 1925 -1949, with some work published posthumously. All of Hokinson’s collections are wonderful, but here are two favorites. Her first collection: So You’re Going To Buy A Book! (Minton, Balch & Co, 1931) and what was billed as “the final Hokinson collection”: The Hokinson Festival (Dutton & Co., 1956)

 

Fave Photo of the Day: George Booth at His Desk; The Latest New Yorker Cartoons Rated; BEK Talks about Summertime Television; Ellis Rosen, Emma Allen, and Colin Stokes On a Bench; Advertising Work by New Yorker Cartoonists, Part 5: Helen Hokinson

Fave Photo of the Day: George Booth

Sarah Booth recently took this photo of her father, the one-and-only George Booth.  My thanks to Sarah for permission to post here.

Below left: a “Booth Dog”

Here’s Mr. Booth’s entry on the Spill’s A-Z :

George Booth (photo above taken in NYC 2016, courtesy of Liza Donnelly) Born June 28, 1926, Cainesville, MO. New Yorker work: 1969 – . Key collections: Think Good Thoughts About A Pussycat (Dodd, Mead, 1975), Rehearsal’s Off! (Dodd, Mead, 1976), Omnibooth: The Best of George Booth ( Congdon & Weed, 1984), The Essential George Booth, Compiled and Edited by Lee Lorenz ( Workman, 1998).

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Latest New Yorker Cartoons Rated by Cartoon Companion

If you like your New Yorker cartoons rated, there’s only one place to go. The Cartoon Companion boys (their true identities are secret) take a look at this week’s offerings which include colluding ice cubes, a kangaroo with a handy pocket, an emergency room with live music, some tusky elephants, and a gluttonous fish.

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Bruce Eric Kaplan on the New Yorker Radio Hour

Here’s Bruce Eric Kaplan on the magazine’s Radio Hour talking about summertime tv.

 

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Video: Ellis Rosen with Emma Allen and Colin Stokes

One of the Cartoon Department’s newest stablemates, Ellis Rosen,  joins cartoon editor, Emma Allen, and associate cartoon editor, Colin Stokes, for a look at some NYC subway-related cartoons. See it here. Extra reading: an Ellis Rosen article of interest here.

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Advertising Work by New Yorker Cartoonists, Part 5: Helen Hokinson

In earlier days at The New Yorker, the cartoonists were rated: AAA, AA, A. Two cartoonists were, on paper, unrated, listed above all the others in their own upper stratosphere:  Peter Arno, and Helen Hokinson. Ms. Hokinson was the magazine’s earliest star.

The Spill is grateful to Warren Bernard for providing his entire collection of ads by New Yorker cartoonists, including the three by Ms. Hokinson shown here.

Dates of ads: Flit, 1935; Ry-Krisp, 1945; Maxwell Coffee, 1949.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ms. Hokinson’s entry on the Spill’s A-Z:

Helen Hokinson (above) Born, Illinois,1893; died, Washington, D.C., 1949. New Yorker work: 1925 -1949, with some work published posthumously. All of Hokinson’s collections are wonderful, but here are two favorites. Her first collection: So You’re Going To Buy A Book! (Minton, Balch & Co, 1931) and what was billed as “the final Hokinson collection”: The Hokinson Festival (Dutton & Co., 1956)

Fave Photo of the Day: Nurit Karlin and Liza Donnelly; Eldon Dedini’s Concours d’Elegance Posters; Latest Addition to Ink Spill’s Archives: A 1926 New Yorker Advertising Booklet

Below’s a photo of two wonderful New Yorker cartoonists taken this morning in Tel Aviv. On the left is Liza Donnelly (no stranger to the Spill)  and to the right is Nurit Karlin, who we don’t see enough of here.  I think of Ms. Karlin’s work (as I think of Ms. Donnelly’s work) in the Thurber school: a simple line beautifully executing a solid idea.

Here’s Ms. Karlin’s entry on the Spill’s A-Z: Born in Jerusalem. NYer work: 1974 – . Collection: No Comment (Scribner, 1978). For more on Karlin see pp 124 -130 of Liza Donnelly’s Funny Ladies : The New Yorker’s Greatest Women Cartoonists and Their Cartoons (Prometheus Books, 2005)

photo: Daniel Kenet/Gretchen Maslin

 

 

 

 

 

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From Attempted Bloggery, June 4, 2017, “Eldon Dedini: Concours d’Elegance” — Stephen Nadler, who specializes in digging deep, takes a look at some lesser-known  work by the great Mr. Dedini. See it all here.

 

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Tom Bloom, indefatigable collector and illustrator, dropped by the Spill’s world headquarters yesterday, bearing a splendid gift: May we say a few words about our contemporaries” — a 23 page booklet, bound with a string cord,  printed on “nice” paper (that is to say, it’s not lightweight bond).  Aimed at advertisers, it offers a survey of other publications in the New York market (The New York Times, The World, The Herald Tribune, etc.) before finally getting around to the virtues of advertising in The New Yorker. The pages are adorned with a good number of  New Yorker spot drawings by such artists as  Alice Harvey, Hans Stengel, Helen Hokinson, Alan Dunn, and the one-and-only Rea Irvin, who supplies the Eustace Tilleys . 

The copy shown below states the New Yorker had been publishing for a “scant twenty months”  — placing the booklet’s vintage approximately October of 1926. 

My thanks to Tom for this fabulous addition to the archives.