The latest issue is themed: The Mind Issue. Don’t mind me if I zip through the issue this week. Seeing the cover pop up digitally this morning I immediately thought of Steinberg’s 1961 collection,The Labyrinth (I also thought how much I dislike seeing drawings of or photos of brains. Squeamish, I guess).
This type of a cartoon-look-inside-the-head drawing goes way back — I know I’ve seen an animated version or three that were likely produced in the 1930s or 40s or earlier? Animation archivists would surely be able to pinpoint the dates.
A quick aside: thinking that Steinberg had done a cover using the cartoon-inside-the-head device I ended up looking through decades of New Yorker covers this morning. It was a blast spending time with The Complete Book of Covers of The New Yorker: 1925 -1989 (Knopf, 1989) taking in the art and artistry.
And now to the cartoons. The words “thinker” and “thought” appear in the first two cartoons of the issue (Tom Toro’s and Bruce Kaplan’s, in that order), thus somewhat tying them into the issue’s theme. After that the cartoons are mostly on their own, as usual (although the Frank Cotham drawing, on page 65, does have “think” in its caption).
Looking through the issue, I found myself in a thinking mode. I was thinking, or maybe wondering is a better word, if Rea Irvin’s classic Talk of the Town masthead will ever be returned to its rightful throne (sorry about that. I’ve just started watching Game of Thrones — a bit late, but better late than…). Here’s Mr. Irvin’s masthead:
As sometimes happens here on the Monday Tilley Watch, I’m not going to go drawing-by-drawing this week. Here are all the cartoonists represented (for the record, your honor):
I do want to point out a trio of graphic favorites. They each surprised at first sight:
Charlie Hankin’s The Thinker cartoon (ah, another one tied-in to the issue’s theme). I do wish this was allowed a bit more space on the page; Rodin’s man looks squeezed in there.
Seth Fleishman’s long ago subway drawing (and there it is: this week’s subway drawing!). I like that it was allowed to spread across the top of the page.
Peter Kuper’s witch-or-not-a-witch drawing with its subtle throwback to John Held Jr’s wood cut style (it also, of course, recalls this unforgettable scene from Monty Python’s Holy Grail.
For more reading on each and every cartoon in this issue be sure to check out the Cartoon Companion. They usually post their rated takes by Thursday evening.
— See you next week.