The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue of June 25, 2018

Noted that this week’s cover (above right) is by Harry Bliss, one of the New Yorker‘s cartoonists.  Noted because the majority of the magazine’s covers were once mostly handled by its cartoonists (somewhat more than 60% a year by my iffy calculations). The number of cartoonists contributing covers these days can be counted on one hand: Mr. Bliss, Roz Chast, Bruce Eric Kaplan, Danny Shanahan, and George Booth.

The change came, as so many changes did, with the arrival of Tina Brown as editor in 1992.  At a meeting of cartoonists called by Ms. Brown just before she took the reigns as editor of The New Yorker, a bunch of us sat around a large table in an upstairs conference room at the fabled Algonquin. Arriving late (Amtrak issues), I sat next to then art editor Lee Lorenz and asked him what I’d missed.  He leaned over and whispered, “She’s going to bring in a lot of illustrators.” He then added something else, which you’ll have to wait to read in my memoir.

Some of Mr. Bliss’s cover has that Hitchcockian “Rear Window” feel to it; the structure of the cartoon (using balconies) has been put to good use by a few cartoonists over the years. Here’s an example that readily came to mind: a Liza Donnelly drawing that appeared in the January 20, 2014 New Yorker:

To read what Mr. Bliss had to say about his cover, go to this mini-interview here on  newyorker.com.

From the Depart of Just Sayin’:  The number of illustrations in this issue outweigh (in space) the number of cartoons appearing.  Sixteen illustrations (not including Tom Bachtell’s wonderful drawings that are laced through the Talk of The Town). Three of the sixteen are full page. Seventeen cartoons this week, one a full page by Liana Finck

The sizing of cartoons in this issue is generally very good. Most every drawing  gets some breathing room (just one is shoe-horned into a tight space).  

Three drawings noted: Ben Schwartzs bargain hunter’s mounted big game is fun. Charles Addams had a field day with this scenario throughout his spectacular New Yorker run.  Here’s one example .

Love Edward Koren‘s restaurant drawing. Some New Yorker drawings are referred to as evergreens — they always work, no matter the year, the trends, the political landscape, the whatever. Mr. Koren’s drawing is an evergreen.

The Spill‘s candidate for New Yorker drawing of the year (thus far) is Joe Dator‘s Abe Lincoln cartoon. (You can find it here on the magazine’s slideshow of the current issue’s cartoons. It’s number 13.)  When Harold Ross, the New Yorker‘s founder and first editor was asked why his magazine did not run color cartoons his response was, “What’s so funny about red?”* Mr. Dator’s drawing is a perfect example of what is funny about pink and orange, and yellow, and green and purple.

Spill round of applause for the above drawings.

*The New Yorker did run one color drawing in Ross’s time, Rea Irvin’s two page color spread, The Maharajah of Puttyput Receives a Christmas Necktie From the Queen. It was in the issue of December 12, 1925.

Still missing: Rea Irvin’s iconic Talk of The Town masthead. Here’s a Spill piece about its disappearance and replacement.

This is what the real thing looks like:

 

 — See you next week

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue of June 18, 2018

Ah, a Father’s Day cover.

 I find this cover puzzling. The sink is dripping, yet the repair work seems to be going on under the sink.  My understanding is that a dripping faucet is repaired within the faucet itself — it’s usually just a gasket replacement. Work below the sink is reserved for clogged, damaged or leaking pipes or water lines.  As the father and daughter shown on the cover are working under the sink you might assume they are doing something along those lines — something involving the pipes or water lines.  Yet anyone working below the sink would not begin working below the sink until first turning off both the hot and cold water (which only involves reaching in under the sink and closing the water valves). Thus they would not be set to work, such as they are, below the counter with the water still running. I know, I know, lighten up, Ink Spill — it’s not an illustration from a manual describing how to fix a dripping faucet.  As a cartoonist who has only worked on dripping faucets and leaking pipes in a non-professional capacity, I admit I could be completely wrong about all of the above.

From the Department of Just Sayin’:

# of illustrations in this issue: 20 (including photographs, but not including Tom Bachtell’s wonderful drawings that appear regularly in The Talk of The Town).  5 of the illustrations are full page.

# of cartoons  in the issue: 14 (none are full page).

As in previous weeks, I’m not going to go cartoon-by-cartoon, but will instead note a few.

Interesting that for two of the cartoons the humor involves walking through or onto something.  That is to say, the act of walking itself is the core of the drawing.  In Julia Suits cartoon (p.16), a  blindfolded fellow is being led to step onto an upturned rake. Ka-pow, right?  In Will McPhail’s drawing (p.39), a just arriving visiting couple will momentarily walk through hot coals. Ouch!

  The New Yorker cartoon subway series is back after a hiatus; this week’s subterranean drawing courtesy of Roz Chast (page 34). 

 The Spill does not rate cartoons like they do over on the Cartoon Companion, but it does applaud exceptional work, such as Joe Dator’s drawing (p.21) and Bruce Kaplan’s tight graphic treat (p.42).

Finally, as has been the case for just over a year now, I’m showing Rea Irvin’s spectacular Talk of the Town masthead.  Why show it?  Because it was replaced last spring by a look-alike.  To read a Spill piece about Mr. Irvin’s drawing and its unnecessary replacement, link here.

Here’s the real thing:

To see all of the cartoons in this issue, link here and scroll down to the slideshow, “Cartoons from the Issue”

— See you next week

 

 

 

 

 

A Lot of Searle on Attempted Bloggery; A New Yorker State of Mind Looks at the New Yorker of May 11, 1929; Cartoon Companion Rates the Very Latest New Yorker Cartoons

A Lot of Searle on Attempted Bloggery

Attempted Bloggery has turned its attention to various Ronald Searle materials (books, auction items, etc.). See it all here.

Mr. Searle’s entry on the Spill‘s A-Z:

Ronald Searle (pictured above) Born, Cambridge, England March 3, 1920. Died, December 30, 2011, Draguignan, France. Steven Heller, who wrote Searle’s obit for The New York Times (Jan 4, 2012) said Searle’s “outlandishly witty illustrations for books, magazine covers, newspaper editorial pages and advertisements helped define postwar graphic humor…”

New Yorker work (including covers and cartoons): November 12, 1966 – August 19, 2002. An interesting tribute site: ronaldsearle.blogspot.com/ Searle’s wiki entry: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_Searle

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A New Yorker State of Mind Looks at the Issue of May 11, 1929

Wow — look at that cover by the great Rea Irvin.  As always with every issue, A New Yorker State of Mind digs deep.   Go see/read!   

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Cartoon Companion Rates the Latest New Yorker Cartoons

The Cartoon Companion boys, “Max” & “Simon” take a look at the cartoons in the latest New Yorker.  It’s a double issue;  the cover (above) is by Loveis Wise (read her comments on the cover here).

See the CC’s takes and ratings here.

 

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue of June 4 & 11, 2018

The Fiction/Childhood Issue? Well that’s what it says, in red and black on the Table of Contents:

First, the paperwork:

See that beautiful masthead just above?  It was drawn and designed by Rea Irvin.  It’s been missing since Spring of last year after appearing in the New Yorker for 92 years. It was replaced last year by a redrawn version (redrawn by Christoph Niemann). Here’s hoping that one day Mr. Irvin’s work will be returned and replace the replacement. If  you wish to read more on the original and the replacement and see their elements compared side-by-side, link here.

From the Dept. of Just Sayin’

There are 22 Illustrations in this week’s issue (that includes photographs, but does not include Tom Bachtell’s wonderful drawings appearing in the Talk of The Town, nor does it include the Spot drawings appearing throughout the issue).  6 of the illustrations are full page.  There are 14 cartoons (none full page).

And now to the issue’s cartoons. Here are the cartoonists whose work appears this week:

As is becoming customary, I’m going to mention just a few cartoons instead of looking at each in the issue. The first, by Robert Leighton, is a particular favorite. I won’t show it, but you can see it here among all the others just published  (just scroll down to the heading “Cartoons from the Issue”). Mr. Leighton, whose classic Escher drawing was profiled here awhile back, has given us a charming and delightful drawing somewhat reminiscent of Frank Modell‘s work with a bit of Nurit Karlin tossed in (I’d link you to Ms. Karlin’s fabulous work, but sad to say that the New Yorker‘s Cartoon Bank site does not seem to have archived it).

Mr. Leighton’s drawing deserves a hearty round of applause.

It was just last week that a co-credited drawing (Kaamran Hafeez and Al Batt) was mentioned here as being somewhat rare, and now the very next week is another co-credited cartoon. This time it’s a drawing by Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell and Ellis Rosen. Suddenly co-credits are not so rare.

As usual, for those who want a critical take on all the cartoons, I’m pointing you to Cartoon Companion.  The site usually posts on Thursdays or Fridays.

Note:  The Monday Tilley Watch will return in two weeks as this current issue is a double.

 

 

The Monday Tilley Watch: The New Yorker Issue of May 28, 2018

Gayle Kabaker‘s charming cover kicks off summertime ’18 (you can read about the cover here).

Just for fun I’m showing the cover of every last issue of May from 1925 through 2015, one from each decade.

May 30, 1925: Ilonka Karasz; May 25, 1935: Constantin Alajalov; May 26, 1945: Constantin Alajalov; May 28, 1955: A. Birnbaum; May 29, 1965: Arthur Getz; May 26, 1975: Robert Tallon; May 27, 1985: Gretchen Dow Simpson; May 29, 1995: Mark Ulriksen; May 30, 2005: Peter de Seve; May 25, 2015: Carter Goodrich

And now to the new issue.

From the Department of Just Sayin’ : There are 18 cartoons and 17 illustrations (3 of the illustrations are full page)…  Rea Irvin’s classic  Talk of The Town Masthead is still a-missin’. It’s a thing of beauty. This is what it looks like:

I’m going to mention just one drawing from this issue (if you want critical writing on the cartoons I suggest you head over to Cartoon Companion, where each drawing is discussed and rated from 1 – 6).  Charlie Hankin’s drawing (it’s on page 61) reminded me of Jack Ziegler’s work. That of course is a very good thing. Mr. Hankin gives us a lovely (and large) drawing of the Metropolitan Opera House —  obviously there’s more to it than that; you can see it here, along with all the other drawings in the issue.  Mr. Ziegler’s was a cartoon world created to amuse himself; his way-out-there graphic and humorous takes on just about everything were his cartoon calling card. It’s good to see someone (Mr. Hankin in this case) give us such a fun drawing to look at and live with.

Finally, some paperwork.  A new cartoonist in this issue:  Jessica Olien.   If my record keeping is correct, Ms. Olien is the 15th new cartoonist — the 4th this year — brought on board since Emma Allen took charge of the magazine’s Cartoon Department in May of 2017.

Here’s the list of cartoonists in this week’s issue:

You might notice a co-credited cartoon: Kaamaran Hafeez and Al Batt.  It’s not the first time a cartoonist has shared credit with a gagwriter, but it’s still a rarity. 

— See you next week

The Monday Tilley Watch: The New Yorker Issue of May 21, 2018

It’s always a great pleasure to see one of John Cuneos covers on the magazine. His restless pen never fails to amuse and amaze.  Read what Mr. Cuneo had to say about his swampy cover on this week’s issue.

The Tilley Tweak Watch:   Is it my imagination or is this a first: the Talk of the Town masthead (that would be the year old new masthead, not Rea Irvin’s classic masthead) appears on the left side of the magazine’s gutter instead of the right side.  If someone can point to an earlier issue sporting it on the left side please contact me. 

Below: The masthead in its usual place, on the right side.

 Below:  this week’s masthead on the left side.

And just for fun, here’s a blast from the past: the Talk masthead from May 24, 1947 featuring Rea Irvin’s classic design:

Speaking of design, here’s a little quiz: without first looking at this week’s issue which one of the photos below do you think is the actual photograph appearing on the lead page of Goings On About Town? The other two belong to ads. (*The answer is below)

And now (finally!) on to two cartoons in the issue that really struck me. I’m a big fan of seeing things I’ve never seen before. It’s a difficult thing to do in cartoonville. Mick Stevens’ drawing leads off the issue with a wonderful drawing. We don’t see many rut drawings. I’d say the same for the second drawing in the issue, courtesy of Ed Steed.  Applause for both drawings:

For the record, here are the cartoonists appearing in this issue:

Also for the record: this issue contains sixteen cartoons and nineteen illustrations. The illustrations (including photographs) are given five full pages (including the GOAT photo, which, for those wondering is… * the middle photo above).

— see you next week