Fave Photo of the Day; An Obscure Hoff

Of many wonderful photos from Jack Ziegler‘s memorial this past Saturday,  this one really caught my eye. Taken by the New Yorker‘s former television critic, Nancy Franklin, we see, from the left, the New Yorker‘s newly appointed cartoon editor, Emma Allen, then Anne Hall Elser, and Lee Lorenz, the magazine’s art editor from 1973 through 1993, and then cartoon editor from 1993 through 1997. We have Mr. Lorenz to thank for bringing Mr. Ziegler’s work into the magazine.  Ms. Elser was Mr. Lorenz’s invaluable assistant in the art department for his 24 years in that position.

At some point during Saturday’s event,  Danny Shanahan introduced Ms. Allen to Mr. Lorenz.  I’m hoping a photo will surface.

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An Obscure Hoff

Scott Burns, of Armadillo & Dicker Books out in California has sent in this scan of a hitherto (for me) unseen Syd Hoff piece. Here’s Mr. Burns’ description:

The Jigger. Fall, 1951, Vol 3. No. 4. Philadelphia: The Drake Press. 3”x6” stapled wrappers, 24 pp. Appears to be a trade magazine for distribution to bartenders and others in the liquor industry. Recipes, thirteen cartoons plus cover by Syd Hoff, TV announcements, party hints.
 
 
Note:  The Spill posts pieces such as this purely for historical reasons, i.e., there is no commercial attachment to this bookseller or any other.

New Yorker Cartoonists Gather to Honor Jack Ziegler

 

Cartoon colleagues gathered yesterday at the Society of Illustrators to honor one of the New Yorker‘s cartoon gods, Jack Ziegler, who passed away this March

Shown above, back row, left – right: Trevor Hoey, John Donohue, Robert Leighton, Tom Toro (in profile), George Booth, David Borchart (standing tall over Mr. Toro and Mr. Booth), Anne Hall Elser (Ms. Elser was Lee Lorenz’s long-time assistant in the  New Yorker‘s Art Department), Bill Woodman, John O’Brien, Paul Karasik (in the tie), Peter Steiner, and John Klossner.

Next row: Ken Krimstein, Bob Eckstein, Amy Hwang, Roz Chast, Mort Gerberg, Bob Mankoff (directly behind Mr. Gerberg),  Sam Gross, Liza Donnelly, Michael Maslin, Marshall Hopkins (plaid shirt), Joe Dator.

Front row: P.C. Vey, Mick Stevens, Danny Shanahan, Edward Koren, Felipe Galindo, Andrea Arroyo, and Mike Lynch. 

Not shown: Lee Lorenz, Emma Allen, Colin Stokes, Liana Finck, Peter Kuper, Marisa Acocella Marchetto, Barbara Smaller.

(Photo courtesy of Liza Donnelly)

 

Firsts: Jack Ziegler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beginning today, Ink Spill will every so often, and without warning, run the first New Yorker cartoon by one of its artists.  Accompanying the drawing will be that issues Table of Contents, so we have an idea of the lay of the magazine’s cartoon land at that time.  Starting things off is the first New Yorker cartoon by the late and exceptionally great Jack Ziegler, published in the issue of February 11, 1974. This is an evergreen drawing; it could run any week, any year and still work as well as it did back in 1974. When I interviewed Mr. Ziegler last Fall (here are links to part one and two) he said: “It’s always nice when cartoonists know how to draw so that they can give us something pleasant and fun to look at.”

Below:  the Table of Contents from that issue. The New Yorker‘s editor then was William Shawn, and the art editor was Lee Lorenz.

 

“…Vaguely Somewhere in Ross’s Mind…”

Here’s an interesting little booklet from the Spill’s archives (little as in 5″ x 8″  and just 97 pages), but there’s so much within.  The chapter “The New Yorker Cartoon and Modern Graphic Humor” by M. Thomas Inge is especially of interest, for obvious reasons. Mr. Inge provides a survey of the magazine’s art from inception through to the beginnings of the Lee Lorenz era  (although that era is mentioned only briefly at the end).  I’ve re-read this chapter from time-to-time, and each time some quote stands out a little bit more than on previous run-throughs.  In this morning’s reading was this one, which sounds as though it could’ve been written by James Thurber:

“It was under Ross’s eccentric but superb editorship from the beginning until his death in 1951 that the New Yorker cartoon was formulated and achieved its definitive and influential form. As was true with the entire premise for the magazine, what was wanted was vaguely somewhere in Ross’s mind.”

And this:

“…the truth is that The New Yorker has served primarily as a vehicle for major comic talents to develop their individual styles and distinctive visions.”

Well said, Mr. Inge.  If the New Yorker hadn’t provided its artists a home to develop their styles we would have missed out on a truckload of incredible comic worlds (“visions”) through the decades (Jack Ziegler’s world over these past 43 years comes to mind as do so many other worlds provided by Mr. Ziegler’s cartoon colleagues). 

Here’s the table of contents from the booklet.  If you can get hold of a copy you won’t be disappointed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Roomful of Cartoonists

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As anyone could guess, a home inhabited by two cartoonists is bound to have a lot of cartoons around. Not just our own, but cartoons from our New Yorker family; cartoonists we’ve only known by their work, cartoonists we’ve just met, and cartoonists we’ve known for a very long time.  With the exception of our own work, our walls are covered with framed drawings by all the above, from an unpublished drawing by the relatively new New Yorker contributor, Charlie Hankin (a drawing of a clam on a lawn next to a sign that reads “Beware of Clam”  —  it cracks me up every time I look at it) to Alice Harvey‘s first captioned New Yorker drawing, published in October of 1925.

 

 

 

 

In the photo at the top of this post, from top left, clock-wise, is a New Yorker drawing by Robert Weber, a Gardner Rea drawing, one by Jack Ziegler, and an oddity: a group drawing by Mick Stevens, Mr. Ziegler, Roz Chast and Liza Donnelly.

The Ziegler solo drawing, The Jungle Never Sleeps, hangs closest to my work room doorway; it appeared in The New Yorker as a half-page, July 28, 1980.  It’s just one drawing in a career populated with many many funny and beautiful drawings, but, jeez, what a drawing.  Needless to say, the idea is gold, and funny as hell. Jack went perfectly heavy on the speech balloons. The single line of smoke drifting  up from the campfire changes from a black line to negative space and back to a black line as it moves through the silhouetted jungle to the grey sky.  You can tell he was totally involved in working that out. The fellow who’s come out of the beautifully drawn tent is perfection.  As Jack said to me in an interview last Fall: “…it’s always nice when cartoonists know how to draw so that they can give us something pleasant and fun to look at.”  Well said, well done.