Talk of Interest: Joe Dator; New Yorker State of Mind Looks at Ralph Barton; An Intersection of Steinberg, Walt Disney and Ungerer?; Stanley Kubrick and Peter Arno; Cartoon Companion Rates This Week’s New Yorker Cartoons

Talk of Interest: Joe Dator

From The Pioneer, April 3, 2018, “New Yorker Cartoonist Shares Insight”—  a piece about a recent talk at Long Island University by one of the New Yorker‘s best contemporary cartoonists (above, right, a segment of his classic piece, How We Do It  from the New Yorker,  September 24 2012

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A New Yorker State of Mind Looks at the Issue of March 16, 1929

This blog is enjoyable as heck. Bonus: lots of Ralph Barton in this particular post . See it here

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Book of Interest: Van Spatz by Anna Haifisch

A book bringing together Walt Disney, Tomi Ungerer, and Steinberg? Read about their fictional intersection here.

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Arno Included in a Stanley Kubrick Photo Exhibit

An exhibit of Stanley Kubrick’s photos for Look magazine will open May 3rd at the Museum of the City of New York.  Peter Arno will be among the subjects on display. Kubrick spent three days photographing Arno in late July 1949. As I wrote in my Arno bio: “The photographs amount to the best visual insight we’ll likely ever have into Arno’s private life…”

I used two photos from the Museum’s Kubrick collection in the Arno bio; one appears on the back cover shown above (that’s the actress Joan Sinclair he’s with at Joan Braun’s Palace Bar).  You can see all the photos — nearly 300 — in the Museum’s collection  here.  

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Cartoon Companion Rates This Week’s New Yorker Cartoons

It wouldn’t be Friday without a brand new Cartoon Companion (well, it would be, but never mind). The CC’s “Max” and “Simon” return with a rated close look at the cartoons appearing in the issue of April 9, 2018 (it’s the one with the Bruce McCall gluten themed cover). It’s always fun to see how much one agrees or disagrees with their ratings.

 

 

Armed Services Editions: Thurber, Benchley, White, Arno, O’Hara, Parker, Woollcott & More

The Spill has been very fortunate over its decade plus span to receive numerous contributions to its archives. The latest is a treasure trove of Armed Services Editions from Prof. Brian Anderson of Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, NC..  Prof. Anderson, seeing an ASE-related post on this site, recently supplied a list of the New Yorker related editions as well as a box of editions (many of which you see above). Also in the box: a pony edition of The New Yorker, dated January 27, 1945, cover by Perry Barlow.  Prof. Anderson, along with Molly Guptill Manning are curating an exhibit of Armed Services Editions at the Grolier Club in the spring of 2020.

Here’s a short list of titles by some favorites (the bolded ones are in the Spill‘s archives):

The New Yorker’s Baedeker 819
New Yorker Profiles 955
The New Yorker Reporter at Large 1066

By Thurber
My World and Welcome to It A-11 (reprinted as S-5)
My Life and Hard Times L-2 (856)
Let Your Mind Alone N-7 (rpt 755)
The Middle Aged Man on the Flying Trapeze I-253 (rpt 705)
The Thurber Carnival 970

With E. B. White
Is Sex Necessary M-2 (rpt 1016)

By E. B. White
One Man’s Meat P-26
Quo Vadimas 696

With Katharine White A Subtreasury of American Humor  F-176 

Margaret Case Harriman Take Them up Tenderly  Q-26

 Walter Bernstein Keep Your Head Down  903

Charles Boyer Dark Ship  1156

John McNulty Third Avenue, New York  1180

Joseph Mitchell McSorley’s Wonderful Saloon D-108

Dorothy Parker Selected Short Stories R-4

John O’Hara Pipe Night 741

John O’Hara The Doctor’s Son and Other Stories 979

Robert Benchley After 1903 What? R-5

Samuel Hopkins Adams A. Woollcott 931

The Bedside Tales / Introduction by Peter Arno 933

 

Spiegelman on Maus & Post-Maus; Cartoonists & Cookbooks

From Kentwired.com, March 7, 2018, “Pulitzer Prize Winning Author Art Spiegelman Discusses Politics and Identity”Maus and more from the celebrated cartoonist who began contributing to The New Yorker in 1992.

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Cartoonists & Cookbooks

The Cartoonist Cookbook popped up on an online search yesterday.  Published in 1966 by Hobbs, Dorman & Co., it includes 45 favorite recipes by strip cartoonists. I was only able to find a partial list of contributors.*  Here’s a short post about the book.

 

I’m certain that that’s a Virgil Partch drawing in the first column, five squares down on the front cover. Here’s his Spill A-Z entry:

Virgil Partch ( VIP) (pictured above) Born, St. Paul Island, Alaska, 1917; died in a car crash on Interstate 5, north of Los Angeles. California, August 1984. NYer work: six drawings, beginning in November 21, 1942. His last appeared May 3, 1976.

Also showing up online was this Charles Addams cookbook that I somehow missed over the past few years (Simon & Schuster, 2005):

The only thing close to either of these in the Spill‘s library is the below desserts cookbook featuring a Peter Arno cover (but, alas, no recipes by Arno, who liked to cook).

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*Thanks to the cartoonist, Eli Stein, we now have the entire list of contributors to the Cartoonist Cook Book.  My thanks to Mr. Stein for forwarding. 

 

And In This Corner, At 656 Pages and Weighing 9 Pounds, The Complete Cartoons of The New Yorker

Wow. Seems like only a few years ago this heavyweight was published, not 14 years ago.  An undertaking so far unequaled (at least measured by heft) in the magazine’s history. The book weighs about 9 pounds and is 656 pages, with two cds containing every New Yorker cartoon in the magazine (up to that time).  A subsequent paperback edition, though 14 pages longer, isn’t as heavy, is smaller in size and contains just one cd.  There is, as Spillers know, an even lengthier New Yorker book coming at us this Fall, The New Yorker Encyclopedia of Cartoons @ 1536 pages (Simple math tells us this new one is then more than twice as long.  Wow, wow.). 

So what to make of this 2004 giant album.  There was much to like about it, and some not to like. First, the good and bad (quibbles, I call them) about the enclosed cds. 

  The 2 cds, as advertised, gave us access to the huge number of cartoons published in the magazine. The cd database was not perfect.  There were some issues with cartoons assigned to the wrong cartoonist. There were omissions as well as questionable additions (my memory is finding what we would normally call illustrations included as cartoons).  But let’s be real: in a project this enormous, no one could expect perfection, and the final product should be applauded. Those issues with the database were overshadowed by the ability to see the work, anyone’s work, with a few clicks.

The arrival the following year of The Complete New Yorker with its 8 DVD-Roms made the Complete Cartoon discs, for me, obsolete.  Why? The Complete New Yorker‘s discs allowed one to see the cartoons presented as they were published in the pages of the magazine, and not isolated on the screen. The Complete Cartoons database presented the cartoons solo, sans surrounding text — to my eyes a cold environment.  For me, seeing the cartoons the way they appeared in the magazine (their natural habitat), and how they were presented along with text and other cartoons was (and always has been) the preferred way to experience New Yorker cartoons.

The book itself: 

Picking up a 9 pound book is a commitment — it’s best looked at while it rests on a coffee table or heavy-duty plank of wood. Once anchored, the page-turning experience is highly enjoyable. The large format (11″ X 13″) allows the cartoons a lot of breathing room on the page.  A very slight quibble: the format of 4 cartoons to a page or 3 could’ve used a little shaking up. Unless I missed it, there are no drawings allowed to carry over to the opposite page, no playful use of the all that space.  True, there are full page drawings sprinkled throughout, but variety otherwise (as in the much earlier albums) would’ve added to the layout. The paper quality is just good enough to avoid seeing through to the next page. 

  There are written pieces introducing the decades (some by such marquee names as John Updike, Calvin Trillin and Roger Angell) and short unsigned essays on cartoon themes (drinking, nudity, slipper dogs and cell phones, etc.). There are also  profiles of certain cartoonists — the flap copy calls them “key cartoonists” identified with each decade.  These include Arno, Thurber, Addams, Steig, Steinberg, Booth, Ziegler, etc.. One quibble with these key cartoonist profiles: out of 10 cartoonists profiled, only one is a woman. While doing research for my biography of Peter Arno in the New Yorker‘s archives (found at the New York Public Library) I came across an in-house New Yorker document rating the golden age artists;  two cartoonists were at the very top of the list in a class by themselves above all other artists: Peter Arno and Helen Hokinson.  Ms. Hokinson is not profiled in the book.  I would argue that Barbara Shermund and Mary Petty also deserved recognition.

It’s too late now, but if they had it to do all over again, I would’ve been happier if the editors had provided us with either more profiles of “key cartoonists” and less introductory text (it is, after all, a book of cartoons and cartoonists far more than a book about cartoons) or no profiles of key cartoonists at all.  Once you begin noticing who’s not profiled (Alan Dunn, for instance — whose work is in the top five of all-time published New Yorker cartoonists along with James Stevenson; Rea Irvin, Frank Modell, Robert Weber, Whitney Darrow, Edward Koren, Lee  Lorenz, Charles Barsotti, Danny Shanahan, the aforementioned Shermund and Hokinson — just to name a few) you realize you’re only getting part of the picture.  I’d argue that after the magazine found its footing in late 1926 or early 1927, it was a team effort that ultimately made the New Yorker cartoons great, not a team carried by less than a dozen.  

Final quibble: I’ve never been fond of the mini essays on drinking, cell phones and slipper dogs etc. —  why categorize unless you’re turning out a theme cartoon book ala The New Yorker Book of Cat Cartoons.  For me, categorizing takes away the organic punch an individual cartoon delivers.  Give us ten desert island cartoons in a group and they each lose a little something.  

All in all, with the above exceptions noted, the Complete Cartoons is a major effort and a loving tribute to the magazine’s artists and their art. Let’s hope we see it equaled, if not bettered, in 2025, when the magazine turns 100 years old.

The paperback edition of The Complete Cartoons, published in 2006, gives us a few more pages and a few more years of newer cartoons (and some newer cartoonists). As mentioned earlier, it’s a lot lighter than the hardcover so you can pick it up and sit back with it. No coffee table necessary. The single DVD-Rom adds approximately 1700 cartoons. 

 

 

 

Marcellus Hall’s Debut Graphic Novel; Liana Finck’s “Passing For Human”Cover; A Passing of Note, 50 Years Ago Today

Marcellus Hall’s Debut Graphic Novel

New Yorker artist Marcellus Hall’s debut graphic novel, Kaleidoscope City will be out next month.

From the publisher:

“A lone man navigates the streets of Kaleidoscope City in the aftermath of a broken romance. Buoyed by his curiosity and a search for meaning, with sketchbook in hand, he finds inspiration in unexpected places, from far-flung neighborhoods to fleeting glimpses of a mysterious woman.” Info here!

Mr. Hall’s website

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Liana Finck’ s “Passing For Human” Cover

New Yorker cartoonist Liana Finck  has posted the cover of her upcoming graphic memoir, Passing For Human ( Random House, September 18). 

From the publisher:

“A visually arresting graphic memoir about a young artist struggling against what’s expected of her as a woman, and learning to accept her true self.”

Link here for more info.

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50 Years Ago Today

I’m not one for remembering death dates, but this is one to note: One of the New Yorker‘s cartoon gods, Peter Arno, died 50 years ago today. Here’s the headline on the front page of The New York Times, February 23, 1968.

  

American Bystander #7 On Its Way!; More Spills…Ken Krimstein’s New Book; New Yorker Encyclopedia of Cartoons Cover (Cont’d)

Hungry for comic humor?  American Bystander, now up to its 7th number, will do it for you. 

  Here are just some of the contributors in this issue : Charles Barsotti, R.O. Blechman (who’s provided the cover for #7), Harry Bliss, George Booth, M.K. Brown, Roz Chast, Tom Chitty, Randall Enos, Drew Friedman, Rick Geary, Sam Gross, Tom Hachtman, John Jonik, Lars Kenseth, Stephen Kroninger, Peter Kuper, Sara Lautman, Stan Mack, Brian McConnachie, P.S. Mueller, Mimi Pond, Mike Sacks, Maria Scrivan, Rich Sparks, Ed Subitzky, Shannon Wheeler, P.C.Vey, and Jack Ziegler.

Think they don’t make magazines like this anymore?…well actually, they do.  

  Go here to find out how you can get hold of American Bystander  #7.

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Krimstein’s New Book…Here’s New Yorker cartoonist Ken Krimstein holding a galley of his forthcoming graphic biography, The Three Escapes of Hannah Arendt: A Tyranny of Truth.  Photos by Alex Sinclair. The book is due this September, published by Bloomsbury. Mr. Krimstein’s previous book was Kvetch As Kvetch Can. More info here on the publisher’s website.

Link here to see Mr. Krimstein’s work.

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The New Yorker Encyclopedia of Cartoons Cover (Cont’d)…

I’m fascinated by the “journey” sometimes taken by a new book’s cover as it is listed online (my fascination probably began with the posting of a dummy cover for my Peter Arno book). 

The upcoming heavyweight New Yorker Encyclopedia of Cartoons cover went from its initial listing (“No Image Available”) to a dummy cover (in black) to the finished cover (in red), then back to its dummy cover, and now (at least on Amazon) back to “No Image Available”… like so: