50 Years Ago in The New Yorker

Every so often I like to take a look at a random issue of The New Yorker from well before my time there, or well before my time, period. This issue, of April 29, 1967 is solidly in the former category. The New Yorker was not yet on my mind —  I was in fact, just about to begin transitioning out of comic books, and into underground comics. My last (non-underground) comic book bought at the time of its release was this one, Superman and The Flash, December 1970 (yes, I still have it — I don’t throw much away).

 

 

Flipping through this Spring-time issue of The New Yorker, the first thing I noticed, besides the lovely Abe Birnbaum cover, was the  very simple Table of Contents, when the magazine seemed intent on just offering up a few clues as to what was inside. No listing of artists or writers, just column headings such as “The Air” and “Current Cinema”  — we’ve come a very long way since then.

Of the seventeen cartoonists represented in this issue, not one was a woman. This was a time when only one veteran female cartoonist was still on the scene, the great Mary Petty.  But her run at the magazine had ended a year before in the issue of March 19, 1966 (she died in 1976). The next female cartoonist to show up was Nurit Karlin, and she wouldn’t begin publishing until 1974. 

These are the seventeen  cartoonists in this issue: Charles Saxon, Warren Miller, Lee Lorenz, William Hamilton, James Mulligan, Dana Fradon, William O’Brien, Edward Koren, Ton Smits, James Stevenson, Robert Kraus, Donald Reilly, J. B. “Bud” Handelsman, Carl Rose, Barney Tobey, Robert Weber, and William Steig. Many of these names will ring a bell with New Yorker cartoon aficionados, and some names will ring a very large bell.  Edward Koren and Lee Lorenz are still contributing to the magazine.  Dana Fradon and Warren Miller are still hail and hearty.  James Stevenson, Robert Weber, and William Hamilton  were among the recently departed slew of New Yorker cartoonists this past year. 

For me, the most surprising cartoonist to see  in the issue was Carl Rose (“surprising” because I unfairly tend to place his work more in the 1920s – 1940s). Mr. Rose contributed his very first cartoon to The New Yorker in the Halloween issue of 1925, when the magazine was about nine months old; his last cartoon appeared in the summer of 1971. (Below: Mr. Rose’s April ’67 drawing)

Though he had  a great run in the New Yorker,  he only published one collection, One Dozen Roses — but what a collection.

 And here, for a little more on One Dozen Roses and other noteworthy New Yorker cartoon moments in Mr. Rose’s career, I’m going to lift some of the info from his entry on the Spill‘s  “New Yorker Cartoonist A-Z” section: 

this collection contains essays by Rose on cartoon themes. Especially of interest is his essay concerning Harold Ross, “An Artist’s Best Friend is His Editor”. Carl Rose will forever be linked to E.B. White for the December 8, 1928 New Yorker cartoon of the mother saying to her child, “It’s broccoli, dear.” and the child responding, “I say it’s spinach, and I say the hell with it.” The drawing was by Rose, the caption was adapted by White from Rose’s original idea (for a slighty expanded explanation go here). Rose also had a Thurber connection. In 1932, Rose submitted a drawing captioned, “Touche!” of two fencers, one of whom has just cut off the head of the other. Harold Ross ( according to Thurber in The Years With Ross) thinking the Rose version “too bloody” suggested Thurber do the drawing because “Thurber’s people have no blood. You can put their heads back on and they’re as good as new.” The drawing appeared December 3, 1932.

One last thing about Carl Rose: there aren’t a lot of photographs of him around but when Irving Penn (whose work is now being celebrated at New York’s  Metropolitan Museum), photographed a number of The New Yorker‘s artists in 1947 for a spread in Vogue, an unassuming looking Carl Rose was right up there on the top-most platform with Otto Soglow and Alajalov, seated just behind Charles Addams. Among the others in the photo: Steinberg, Steig, Helen Hokinson, George Price, Richard Taylor, Perry Barlow, Barney Tobey,  Barbara Shermund and Whitney Darrow, Jr. —  an array, if ever there was one, of New Yorker cartoonist royalty. 

Getting back to Mr. Rose’s colleagues work appearing in the April issue, the magazine was, in 1967, still laying-out the cartoons with the graphic gusto it always had: a beautiful full page by O’Brien , an equally beautiful half-page Warren Miller drawing;  other drawings were run in various shapes and sizes.  The subject matter seemed to be bridging the older New Yorker art with the new: businessmen and housewives appear, as do people dealing with obviously modern cultural keystones such as  long-haired men and  hip young woman;  personal computers courtesy of Donald Reilly and  politics via Lee Lorenz, whose drawing depicts Robert Kennedy photo bombing a couples vacation picture. Dana Fradon’s drawing, about recharging electric cars,  could’ve run in modern times.  Needless to say (so why am I saying it?) that the issue was a blast to look through.  The cartoonists were in top form, providing us with a lot, a whole lot, to look at. As Jack Ziegler told me in an interview last year:  “…it’s always nice when cartoonists know how to draw so that they can give us something pleasant and fun to look at.”

 

 

 

Latest New Yorker Cartoons Rated; Tom Toro Talks Trump; Messing Around With The New Yorker’s Logo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the latest installment of The Cartoon Companion:  Ed Steed’s fowl: chickens or ducks?…plus Dernavich’s refrigerator, Cotham’s stairway to heaven, and more.

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Tom Toro has been drawing a lot of Trumps lately.  He talks about the experience on the Huffington Post: “New Yorker Cartoonist Explains Why Humor is the Heartbeat of Democracy”

Link here to Mr. Toro’s website

 

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The latest New Yorker features a Russian-inspired Eustace Tilley and Rea Irvin typeface.

You might wonder when the magazine has played with its look before.  Here are just a few examples:

 

Rea Irvin (of course!) broke  the mold first. Jan 2, 1932

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S. Liam Dunne in 1934

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rea Irvin (again) in 1947

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The one-and-only Helen Hokinson in 1948

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

James Stevenson in 1969

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Stevenson again in 1973

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Helen Hokinson on A Case For Pencils; A “New” Cartoonist from 1999; Swann Galleries New Yorker Cartoon Offerings

Jane Mattimoe’s latest Case For Pencils post features the late very great Helen Hokinson. Take a look!

Ms. Hokinson’s entry on Ink Spill‘s “New Yorker Cartoonists 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)

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This morning while revisiting Thomas Kunkel’s Man In Profile: Joseph Mitchell of The New Yorker (Random House, 2015), I came across a passage about  former New Yorker editor, Robert Gottlieb speaking of his meetings with Mr. Mitchell. The source of the quote led me to the 1999  New Yorker anniversary issue (with an Edward Sorel cover. Eustace Tilley was relegated to a small box on the advertising flap partially obscuring the cover) where Mark Singer’s “Joe Mitchell’s Secret” appears.  On the way to Mr. Singer’s piece I came upon a cartoon by a cartoonist that somehow missed my attention while compiling Ink Spill‘s “New Yorker Cartoonists A-Z”:   Ham Khan.

This is the first and only appearance (at this date) by Ham Khan in the magazine. The number of new cartoonists brought in by Bob Mankoff since he became Cartoon Editor has risen to 129.

Ink Spill will eventually take a close look at how this influx of cartoonists compares to Mr. Mankoff’s predecessors, James Geraghty (1939-1973) and Lee Lorenz (1973-1997).

 

 

 

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The Swann Galleries latest catalog is online.  It’s much fun for those who love original cartoon and cover art from The New Yorker.

Shown here: a gorgeous cover by Arthur Getz.

Mr. Getz’s entry on Ink Spill‘s “New Yorker Cartoonists A-Z”:

Arthur Getz Born, Passaic, New Jersey, 1913;  died, 1996. NYer work: 1938 -1988. Primarily a cover artist, he had one cartoon published: March 15, 1958. (You might say his career  was a mirror image of George Price’s, who was one of the most prolific cartoonists, with over 1200 published,  and one cover).    According to the official Getz website, he was the most prolific of all New Yorker cover artists, having 213 appear during the fifty years he contributed to the magazine. The official Getz website, containing his biography: www.getzart.com/

 

 

A Time-Out with Helen Hokinson

hokinson-paris-is-a-womans-town-636

 

Here are two obscure Helen Hokinson book jackets, courtesy of Tom Bloom, without whom the Ink Spill Library would be a far less interesting place. The title above was published in 1929 by Coward-McCann.  The title below was published in 1933 by MacMillan.  Mr. Bloom had this to say about What Shall I Eat?:

 

“[It’s] a curious item–in that it is a very bare-bones production. The back of the dust jacket is totally blank, and the interior pages take
a little time to get to the body of the book. The inside flap describes the illustrations by Helen Hokinson “in the style of her famous
New Yorker Sketches.” This is basically a dietary book with recipes and planned meals, 10 illustrations, about the size of a small novel.

 

book-dj-helen-hokinson-what-shall-i-eat-gh-a-debutante-665
Here’s Ms. Hokinson’s entry on Ink Spill‘s “New Yorker Cartoonists A-Z”:
helen_hokinson
Helen Hokinson 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)

“Bending of Lines: The Women of Cartooning” Exhibit at the Kenosha Festival of Cartooning; More Spills with Liza Donnelly and Bob Eckstein

KFOC+2016+KPM+Poster+image+SSThe Kenosha (Wisconsin) Festival of Cartooning is almost upon us (September 15 – 17).  Three days of presentations as well as an exhibit of original work by over 30 artists, including the likes of Helen Hokinson*, Liza Donnelly, Trina Robbins, Isabella Bannerman,  Rina Piccolo, Maria Scrivan, Hilda Terry, Ramona Fradon, Jen Sorensen & Hilary Price.  Details here.

*bolded names are New Yorker contributors

 

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More Spills Icon Edited

arts Mid-Hudson logoMs. Donnelly will also be in an exhibit closer to home this Fall, joining me in a show of some of our New Yorker cartoons at Arts Mid-Hudson .  Details here.

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Bob Eckstein‘s eagerly awaited  Footnotes From the World’s Greatest Bookstores: True Tales and Lost Moments from Book Buyers, Booksellers, and Book Lovers is the subject of Brenda Cronin’s  Wall Street Journal  article (& video), “Bob Eckstein’s Tribute to Beloved Bookstores”

Eckstein's books

 

 

A Reminder: There’s A Mary Petty Exhibit Happening in Pensacola

MPI was reminded today while reading an article that there is right this very moment an exhibit of Mary Petty’s work at the Pensacola Museum of Art. Here’s a link.

Shown here is my favorite cover of hers (I’ve no idea if it’s in the exhibit), and one of my favorite New Yorker covers of all-time (let’s say it’s in the top 100).

In that issue of August 4, 1945 are two cartoons by Ms. Petty’s husband, Alan Dunn as well as two by the great Helen Hokinson. Also in the issue are drawings by: Steinberg, Robert Day (a full page!), Whitney Darrow, Jr., Otto Soglow, Julian de Misky (a sequential drawing running over the gutter and onto the following page), Eric Ericson, Sam Cobean, Charles Addams, Garrett Price, Perry Barlow, and Chon Day. For anyone interested in why this era was called the golden age of New Yorker cartooning, seek out and enjoy the artistry of these contributors. (it’s available to New Yorker subscribers online; it’s also available on  the Complete New Yorker, and any library still holding bound New Yorkers).   

 

George Booth: An Ink Spill Appreciation

Screen+Shot+2016-06-30+at+12.21.02+AMAttempted Bloggery has been focusing on George Booth this past week (including a close look at the drawing shown here), and why not? Mr. Booth turned 90 the other day; what better time to sing his praises and talk about what he brought to the New Yorker when his work first  appeared in the magazine in 1969. Mr. Booth’s style was a brand new creature, unlike anything the magazine had published before.

Booth arrived at the tail end of a decade that saw the introduction of a tidal wave of new artists appearing in The New Yorker: J.B. Handelsman in 1961, Charles Barsotti in 1962, Edward Koren in 1962, Robert Weber in 1962, Henry Martin in 1964, Donald Reilly in 1964, Edward Frascino in 1965, Mort Gerberg in 1965, Peter Porges in 1965, Ronald Searle in 1966, Dean Vietor in 1967, Rowland B. Wilson in 1961, Vahan Shirvanian in 1968,  Sam Gross in 1969 and George Booth in 1969.

Looking at the dates of entry, one can see how carefully James Geraghty (the magazine’s Art Editor at the time; he was hired by Harold Ross as Art Editor in 1939) had  infused the magazine with new blood. These fifteen arrivals  were scattered  over the course of a decade, fitting easily into (and not displacing) the existing pool of talent. In the best tradition of the magazine’s art department, they all brought something of lasting value to the magazine.  Indeed, every one of them had long careers.

Mr. Booth was and is no exception. His use of reappearing characters is somewhat akin to  Helen Hokinson’s so-called “lunch ladies” and Syd Hoff’s Bronx families of the the 1930s as well as George Price’s eclectic characters appearing in his drawings all through his long career. Booth, however, revisits specific characters in his work, people we’ve come to know and in situations we’ve grown to love:  the man in the claw-foot bath tub, for instance, or the garage mechanics in their oily splotched coveralls, or Mawmaw, a character based on his mother.  Henry Martin once said to me that certain cartoonists “draw funny” (trust me, it’s a highly complimentary remark).  Booth draws funny.  Before you reach the caption, the drawing itself has already begun working on you the way the very thought  of Charlie Chaplin works on you. No one draws like Booth.  As a beginning cartoonist I found his graphic mastery intimidating.  But it was also, of course, highly educational.  Look at the way he’s drawn the ceiling and the ceiling fan in the drawing accompanying this piece; the inclusion of the floor boards found behind cafe counters; the characters in wash in the background.  Each one of those customers has a story.  The two cooks in the foreground (Laurel & Hardy types) are perfect, most especially the smaller fellow. This is a scene out of life filtered through Booth’s comic genes.  These elements of style are what Booth does best. Lee Lorenz (who succeeded James Geraghty as Art Editor in 1974) once said that the best cartoonists are the ones who bring their own world into their work. In all of his work for the magazine in all these years Booth has stayed true to his world. He is, by definition, one of the best.

 

More Booth:

Here’s a George Booth interview  conducted by Richard Gehr in 2013

and David Owen’s  Profile of Mr. Booth in The New Yorker in 1998

All of Mr. Booth’s cartoon collections can easily be found on AbeBooks.com

A selection of both Booth’s drawings and covers (and even a few products adorned with his drawings) can be found on The New Yorker‘s Cartoon Bank site.

 

New Yorker Scrapbooks; Last College Humor Arnos From Attempted Bloggery

 

 

NYer Scrapbook 1931

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back in 1931 The New Yorker published something called The New Yorker Scrapbook; unfortunately it contained zero cartoons, spots, covers, or illustrations. It’s a collection of writing from the then six year old magazine.

 

Over the years I’ve come across (either bought, or received as a gift) a number of scrapbooks containing clipped New Yorker art. In some cases they weren’t technically scrapbooks as the art wasn’t glued or pasted in a book, but stuffed in a manila folder. Those loose drawings are fun to look at,  but you need to dump them out like Pick up Stix before wading through (I won’t show those here). Below are a few more orderly examples from Ink Spill’s archives.

 

The first scrapbooks I ever encountered were in a small used bookstore (The Book Cave?) in Woodstock, New York. Two volumes of New Yorker covers, each a three ring binder such as a student would have in high school.  Someone had (unfortunately) used reinforcement hole protectors on every cover in the earlier binder.  The earliest cover, seen on the left, is dated November 24, 1928 (artist: Julian de Miskey) —  that’s a Helen Hokinson  cover on the right. The last cover in the binder, barely visible in the photo (it’s the pink cover peeking out from the bottom) was the last cover of the 1930s (artist: Charles Addams).

NYer Covers Scrapbook #1

 

 

 

 

 

The second volume, spared the hole reinforcements,  picked up in the 1940s.  Scrapbook #2Shown here: Rea Irvin‘s terrific cover of July 15, 1944 commemorating D-Day.

 

A more recent arrival to the Ink Spill archives (courtesy of a relative) is  dated 1939-1940. The scrapbook contains carefully arranged New Yorker spot drawings.  Though the pages are brittle the cover has  aged well as have the spots:

NYer Spots Scrapbook #1NYer Spots Scrapbook #2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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IMG_0430Attempted Bloggery finishes up its week-long look at some of Peter Arno‘s work for College Humor. Kudos to Stephen Nadler for the great detective work resulting in this fine series.