Here’s a piece by the Washington Post’s Michael Cavna that fills us in on the above cover (by Malika Favre) that would have run if Hillary Clinton had won the election.
The Monday Tilley Watch is a meandering take on the cartoons in the current issue of The New Yorker.
Visitors to the Spill (and social media) have already had the weekend to digest the cover of the latest issue — it features the looming top-noggin of North Korea’s leader. The cover artist, Eric Drooker told Michael Cavna in a Washington Post piece: “I came up with the concept for next week’s New Yorker cover when I realized how little I know about Kim Jong Un. He’s an enigma. Who knows what goes on under the hood?…All we can see is the tip of the iceberg — an incomplete picture.” Fair enough.
Before getting to the cartoons this week, and instead of zipping through the GOAT (Goings On About town ) section, I’d like to mention a couple of non-cartoon graphics that made me pause, for better or worse: a painting on page 6 by the artist Brian Calvin and a (colorized?) photograph on page 12. I won’t say which made me pause for the better or which made me pause for the worse; the Monday Tilley Watch is not my soap box — it’s the curb I sit on while watching a parade go by.
Now on to the cartoons. It doesn’t take long to reach David Borchart’s C.S. Lewis flavored drawing (If I’m wrong about this, someone please speak up). (Above: an illustration from the The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe)
Mr. Borchart, who has been contributing to the magazine since September of 2007, uses one of the most reliable tools in the cartoonist’s kit: a mash-up of fantasy and the all too real. As with every new cartoon I come across I automatically recall some previous cartoon with a similar stand-out characteristic — in this case the unicorn. I cannot see a drawing of a unicorn and not picture this classic Charles Addams drawing. It appeared in The New Yorker, March 10, 1956.
Four pages later is a subway drawing by J.A.K. (Jason Adam Katzenstein — his first New Yorker cartoon appeared in November of 2014. It’s not my imagination, the magazine has run a goodly number of New York City subway drawings in the past few months (I’m not going to go back and count them. Trust me). It has dawned on me this very second that I could probably summon up a Charles Addams classic drawing somehow related to every cartoon in this issue. In this case, Addams had a number of subway classics (here’s one). But enough of that game.
Seven pages later is a Joe Dator bar scene. Mr. Dator’s first New Yorker appearance was in August of 2006. It’s always a gift when the cartoon gods hand a cartoonist a one-word switcheroo to make for a successful caption: in this case using “stopping” instead of “starting.” Fun sidebar: Mr. Dator has a podcast, Songs You’re Sick Of.
A Roz Chast three panel drawing is next (her first cartoon appeared in 1978). I like that Ms. Chast has ventured out of what we’ve (perhaps?) come to think of as a Chastian living room setting. We get to see a kitchen and foyer. I’d love even more of a tour around her cartoon environment. For instance: let’s see the basement…or the attic (It’s possible we’ve already seen these spaces… Ms. Chast has published well over a thousand cartoons in the magazine).
Ten pages later, after a long piece about North Korea, is a Stephen King-ish Will McPhail drawing. I have great sympathy for Mr. McPhail’s cartoon pinata in this cartoon. I’m resisting the temptation here to recall one of many many Charles Addams’ drawings featuring mischievous children (or a mischievous child). I think I can safely say that none of Mr. Addams’ cartoon children ever threatened to harm a cartoon pinata. (Mr. McPhail’s first New Yorker cartoon: December of 2014).
On the very next page is a thief-in-a-in-home drawing by newcomer Maddie Dai. As mentioned earlier in this post and previous posts, I try hard to keep subjectivity in check in the Monday Tilley Watch, but this drawing gets a check plus. Can’t wait to see what the Cartoon Companion boys say about it later this week (their stock-in-trade is cartoon dissection and evaluation). Ms. Dai’s first New Yorker appearance was this past June.
Three pages later is a BEK (Bruce Eric Kaplan) drawing. Signature style, signature caption. Mr. Kaplan’s first drawing appeared in 1991. Six pages later, an Emily Flake drawing, sort of in the area of Mr. Borchart’s: a mash-up of contemporary technology (texting) and slowing-moving-out-the-door lingo: actually hanging up a phone (and slowly-moving-out-the-door actual activity of hanging up a phone). Ms. Flake’s first drawing appeared in September of 2008. Five pages later, a drawing by Barbara Smaller. Like Mr. Kaplan: signature style, signature caption. Here Ms. Smaller avoids the cartoonist’s go-to shrink’s divan for the patient and opts for a sofa.
Three pages later is the last drawing in the issue (not counting the Caption Contest drawings), and it’s by the ever reliable Paul Noth (in earlier years such cartoonists as James Stevenson, Frank Modell, and Donald Reilly were among the magazine’s sturdy cartoon oaks (seemingly) effortlessly providing us with good work week after week after week (after year after year after year). Mr. Noth began at the New Yorker thirteen years ago.
See you next Monday.
Event of Interest: Not OK: Great Cartoons That Weren’t Good Enough
What fun! An exhibit of cartoons that did not make the cut at The New Yorker. Many of the contributing artists are newbies at the magazine, either in the print version and/or on the magazine’s website.
“Not OK” refers to the two letters every New Yorker cartoonist (and every prospective New Yorker cartoonist) longs to see in her or his inbox at week’s end in an email from the New Yorker‘s cartoon editor: OK (or sometimes: O.K.). An OKed cartoon is a drawing that has been bought by The New Yorker. The Not OK show is comprised of selected drawings submitted to the magazine but not bought.
Here’s a list of the participants:
Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell, Mitra Farmand, Jason Adam Katzenstein, Lars Kenseth, Amy Kurzweil, Maggie Larson, Sharon Isadora Levy, Brendan Loper, Sam Marlow, Jeremy Nguyen, David Ostow, Drew Panckeri, Ellis Rosen, Julia Suits, Colin Tom
For more info on these artists please consult the Spill’s A-Z or the personal websites of each cartoonist.
Day, time & place:
Cartoon Companion’s Latest Ratings
The CC boys are back (sans Mystery Cartoonist!) with a look at this week’s cartoons. I particularly enjoyed their dissection of Jeremy Nguyen’s Picasso cartoon. Go here to see what they have to say about that drawing and all the others in the issue.
Next Week’s New Yorker Cover Revealed
It’s become somewhat routine these days for the New Yorker to allow us a look at the upcoming issue’s cover, most especially if the cover is tied-in to current events. Here’s the cover artist, Eric Drooker, talking (very briefly) about his cover for the September 18th issue. And here’s Mr. Drooker talking about it a little more to The Washington Post’s Michael Cavna.
Way way back in December 1997, ABC’s Nightline broadcast “Drawing Laughter: the Cartoonists of The New Yorker” devoting its entire half-hour time slot to New Yorker cartoons and especially, its cartoonists. The video from ABC’s vault takes us back to the Tina Brown era, the beginning of Bob Mankoff‘s tenure as cartoon editor (he’d only been at the big desk since August), and the New Yorker’s first Cartoon Issue. The piece includes footage of the Arnold Newman photo-shoot for the fold-out group photo that appeared in that special issue (and in the Nightline piece), a photo-op at the Algonquin, as well as short profiles of William Hamilton, Roz Chast and Michael Crawford. Ted Koppel sitting in a cartoon newsroom is priceless. Among those seen in the piece, if far too briefly, are Mischa Richter, Lee Lorenz, Stuart Leeds, Leo Cullum, Al Ross, Bud Handelsman, Edward Koren, Liza Donnelly, Edward Sorel, Robert Weber, Warren Miller, Charles Barsotti, Frank Cotham, Peter Steiner, Frank Modell, Mick Stevens, Danny Shanahan, Mort Gerberg, Bruce Eric Kaplan, and Sam Gross. Bonus: a quick shot of Jack Ziegler (“It’s kinda quiet in here.”).
For more Ziegler on tape, here’s a link to his appearance with David Letterman, June 20, 1983.
Ink Spill received the following from the great Sam Gross (left) about Jack Ziegler:
Jack took a fierce pride in his drawings. On one occasion the art director at Look magazine made the mistake of putting a pushpin in one of them and then mounting it on his cork wall. Every art director in those days had a cork wall. Jack went ballistic and wanted to kill him. I calmed him down by convincing him that the art director would burn in hell for what he did. I’m sure Jack has gone to the place where there are no art directors.
From The Washington Post‘s Comic Riffs columnist, Michael Cavna: “How Jack Ziegler Became ‘The Godfather’ of The New Yorker’s Modern Wave of Cartoonists”
— Mr. Cavna on how Jack Ziegler midwifed the New Yorker‘s cartoons into its second Golden Age.
Liza Donnelly, guest blogging on Michael Cavna’s Washington Post Comics Riffs column, weighs in on the Angouleme Gran Prix controversy.
R.C. Harvey looks at Playboy‘s diminishing number of black & white single panel cartoons in his January 6th Rants & Raves column, “Less Nudity, Fewer Cartoons”
From newyorker.com, August 27, 2014:
From Michael Cavna’s Washington Post “Comic Riffs” column, August 27, 2014, “SPX 2014: From alt-weeklies to web-comics, Small Press Expo announces its programming slate”
Among those scheduled to appear are Ben Katchor, Tom Tomorrow, Jules Feiffer, Charles Burns, and Bob Mankoff.
Far off in the distance, a few books of interest have been listed on some popular bookseller websites:
From Thomas Kunkel, who authored one of the very best New Yorker biographies, Genius in Disguise: Harold Ross of The New Yorker (Random House, 1995), comes Man in Profile: Joseph Mitchell of The New Yorker. Due April 21, 2015, from Random House. No cover image & scant few details as of now.
Original critical essays on an iconic American periodical, providing new insights into twentieth-century literary culture
This collection of newly commissioned critical essays reads across and between New Yorker departments, from sports writing to short stories, cartoons to reporters at large, poetry to annals of business. Attending to the relations between these kinds of writing and the magazine’s visual and material constituents, the collection examines the distinctive ways in which imaginative writing has inhabited the ‘prime real estate’ of this enormously influential periodical. In bringing together a range of sharply angled analyses of particular authors, styles, columns, and pages, this book offers multiple perspectives on American writing and periodical culture at specific moments in twentieth-century history.