A Must See at The Society of Illustrators! “Funny Ladies at The New Yorker: Then and Now”

On Thursday, July 26th, the center of the New Yorker cartoon universe will temporarily shift from 1 World Trade Center (the magazine’s home) to the Society of Illustrators as the exhibit, “Funny Ladies at The New Yorker: Then and Now” kicks off with a panel of some of the best in the biz. New Yorker artist, Liza Donnelly, who curated the exhibit will moderate the panel discussion featuring the New Yorker‘s Cartoon Editor, Emma Allen, and New Yorker artists Roz Chast, Carolita Johnson, and Liana Finck. 

(Above: the panelists. Top row, left to right: Emma Allen, Roz Chast, Carolita Johnson. Bottom row:  Liana Finck, and the moderator, Liza Donnelly)

The exhibit features work (the majority of it original art) by thirty-four New Yorker cartoonists, past & present. (below: an Alice Harvey drawing, published in The New Yorker, October 24, 1925, and below that, a drawing by Maddie Dai from the issue of August 21, 2017)

Here’s the full list of artists:

Marisa Acocella, Kendra Allenby, Julia Bernhard, Roz Chast, Maddie Dai, Liza Donnelly, Liana Finck, Emily Flake, Pia Guerra, Carolita Johnson, Alice Harvey, Helen Hokinson, Emily Sanders Hopkins (nee Richards), Emma Hunsinger, Amy Hwang, Nurit Karlin, Amy Kurzweil, Maggie Larson, Sara Lautman, Mary Lawton, Sharon Levy, Huguette Martel, Doris Matthews, The Surreal McCoy, Mary Petty, Ethel Plummer, Victoria Roberts, Barbara Shermund, Barbara Smaller, Bishakh Som, Julia Suits, Kim Warp, Sofia Warren, Sophia Wiedeman

 

Link here to The Society of Illustrators for more info.

 

Personal History: Tearsheets

Quite a while ago (decades, in fact) I began collecting tearsheets of my New Yorker work (and back then, tearsheets from other publications that would have me). The New Yorker drawings  were kept in the black 3-ring binders you see above (non-New Yorker work was placed in 10″ x 13″ envelopes).  The binders seemed like a great idea, as the only record keeping I knew of were the black books the New Yorker kept (and keep) of everyone’s work. Here’s a shot of my black book (book-ended by some recognizable names) in the New Yorker‘s library. 

For a very long time this household received two copies of each issue, making it easy to rip out my work (and/or my wife, Liza Donnelly’s work) from issues and save the other issue.  This practice went on until the early 2000s when I decided that the New Yorker’s Cartoon Bank was, in effect, doing my work for me by running a well-organized easily searchable database.  While it wasn’t ever a complete picture (a hundred or more of my drawings never made it into their database), it was a good source.  Along with that was the publication of several databases: The Complete New Yorker‘s 8 discs, and The Complete Cartoons of The New Yorker‘s 2 discs (just 1 disc in a later edition).

As all the work, up that time, was right there, all printable, it seemed silly to continue ripping out pages from the print magazine. The Complete New Yorker‘s discs covered February of 1925 through February of 2005 — with a promise to continue updating the work; The Complete Cartoons covered 1925 thru 2004.

Now some ten years after abandoning the tearsheet practice (the last tearsheet in my black volumes shown above is dated October 20, 2008), I regret not continuing.  There is currently no reliable contemporary archive online or on disc. The magazine’s online search function (available to subscribers) is inadequate.

I’d hoped that any forthcoming celebration of the magazine’s cartoons for The New Yorker‘s 100th birthday in 2025 might update the cartoon database. Heck, update the database for the entire magazine. If you own the aforementioned 8 discs from the Complete New Yorker, you’ll eventually discover that the discs will not work with modern computer systems. Luckily I have an ancient  iBook around and use that to search the database. 

So far, there is no mention in any of the promotional text accompanying the upcoming New Yorker Encyclopedia of Cartoons that it includes a database — its interests seem to be fashioned around cartoon “tropes” — but we’ll see.

Interesting then that it’s back to where it started here: with collecting hard copies.  In my case, I held on to a large number of back issues of the magazine, but not enough issues to fill in these past 8 years. In the last year I’ve started ripping out tearsheets, but they’ve yet to be placed in the binders.  The chronologist in me wants to pick up where I left off, in 2008, and move forward. 

Perhaps I should’ve known better.  Having a binder in front of you, with everything in chronological order is the best way to go. I’ve used these binders as reminders of certain moments tied-in to the drawings (if there was something memorable to record). Here’s an example: a drawing published March 16, 1987.  As you see in the note attached, the drawing includes a nod to William Shawn. 

 

 

 

Another Two Pages From the New Yorker Ency of Cartoons; Podcast of Interest: Liza Donnelly

Another Two Pages From the New Yorker Ency of Cartoons

Back on June 19th, The Spill had this to say about the upcoming New Yorker Encyclopedia of Cartoons:

Stylish packaging…can’t wait to see what more is inside. Especially curious to see how the two volumes incorporate the advertised 3000 cartoons (or “classic images” as the publisher calls them). Actually, since we now can see 3 classic images, curious to see how the other 2997 are incorporated. 

Well , the publisher, Blackdog & Leventhal, has just eeked out two more pages showing 4 more cartoons (by myself, Charles Barsotti, Danny Shanahan, and Gahan Wilson), These are, as you’ll see, under the “Clowns” heading (the encyclopedia is organized around subjects):

Alrighty then.  Now we’ve seen 7 of the 3000 images promised. Only 2,993 to go!

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Podcast of Interest: Liza Donnelly

While live-drawing in Dublin last week (I’ve shown a few of her Dublin drawings here), Liza Donnelly sat for an interview with Roisin Ingle of The Irish Times.

Link to the Irish Times podcast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The New Yorker’s First Fourth

 This stunning Ilonka Karasz cover graced the New Yorker‘s first fourth of July issue. Ms. Karasz  contributed a remarkable 187 covers to the magazine; her first was on the 7th issue, April 4, 1925, her last appeared on the issue of October 22, 1973. Of note within the issue: this Helen Hokinson drawing appearing on the Talk of The Town’s lead page:

In 1925, Ms. Hokinson, newly arrived in New York (from Chicago) enrolled at Parsons School of Design. According to Liza Donnelly’s book Funny Ladies:

One day [Hokinson’s] instructor sent the students out to sketch in the streets of New York. Hokinson drew an elderly woman waving goodbye to a departing ocean liner. Upon her return to the classroom, her teacher, Howard Giles, laughed and suggested she take this and other drawings to the new magazine down the street.

This simple drawing of a woman waving immediately won over Harold Ross and Rea Irvin. Her work had an ease to it: Ross recognized the humor in her line quality, but also in what she chose to draw. Ross purchased her first submission and invited her to return every Tuesday  with more sketches for consideration.

It’s Too Darn Hot; Fave Photos of the Day: Chast & Wertz…Shanahan, Toro & Ziegler

Here’s a Liza Donnelly classic cartoon from The New Yorker issue of August 7, 1995:

And a favorite Charles Addams cover:

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Fave Photos of the Day: Roz Chast & Julia Wertz…Shanahan, Toro & Ziegler

Julia Wertz (on the left) and Roz Chast appeared at The New York Public Library last Thursday to discuss their work. I love that Ms. Chast is looking at a projected childhood photo of herself.  (photo courtesy of Marcie Jacobs-Cole). 

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And just last night up in Bennington, Vermont, Jessica Ziegler, the daughter of the late Jack Ziegler moderated a talk with Danny Shanahan and Tom Toro.  The photo below from an interesting article posted today by Mike Peterson on his Comic Strip of the Day. Mr. Shanahan is on the far left, Mr. Toro, center, and Ms. Ziegler far right.