The Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue Of December 10, 2018

The Issue: Ah, the Edward Gorey special issue! Juuuust kidding, folks. It’s not a “special” issue of any kind. I’m going to go out on a limb though and suggest that this may be the very first cover story issue of The New Yorker.* [and within minutes of posting this, Stephen Nadler of Attempted Bloggery, has corrected me, thankfully!].  If I’m wrong, let me know (it’s possible this may have happened in the Tina Brown era, but I cannot recall the issue). Historically the magazine’s cover has not reflected content (think especially of the famous issue of August 31, 1946 — the issue containing all of John Hersey’s Hiroshima. Charles E. Martin’s  birds eye view cover of folks going about summertime leisure activities offers no hint of what reading awaits inside the magazine. 

Although that tradition has been eased at times in recent years, usually due to the so-called special issues, or a very big story in the news, the reading inside (and/or the cartoons) is in relatively small parcels.  So to be clear, here is what I mean by “first cover story issue”:  the cover (by Edward Gorey) is mirrored by a significant article on Mr. Gorey inside the magazine (the piece is by Joan Acocella, the magazine’s dance critic). I do not recall ever seeing a New Yorker cover by an artist, or about an individual, carrying over inside the magazine in a significant way.  “Significant” is the key word here (you can tell it’s significant because I’ve now used the word four times). Six pages on Gorey, including a full page photograph, and an example of his work — 2 examples, if you include the cover — qualify as, well, you know… significant (now used five times).  As always, I welcome corrections, amplification, disagreements, denials.

This week’s cartoonists:

This week’s illustrations: there are 22 illustrations (that includes photos) with 4 1/2 full pages, and a six page spread with each page half given over to illustrations by Bill Bragg (so six half pages = 3 full).  So really 7 1/2 full pages of illustration.

Still missing: Rea Irvin’s iconic Talk masthead (shown below) hasn’t been seen for quite some time now in the magazine (since the issue of May 22, 2017 to be exact). For a small recap of its disappearance, link here.

*Stephen Nadler has pointed out the Tina Brown era issue of October 22, 1992 as the first cover story.  Josh Gosfield’s cover of Malcolm X, is followed inside by a lengthy piece by Marshall Frady. My thanks to Mr. Nadler.

 

 

The Tilley Watch, Monday, November 19, 2018

The Cover:

It’s not just the Technology issue this week, but also the Thanksgiving issue; Roz Chast’s cover blends the two.

  It got me thinking about New Yorker Thanksgiving covers of the past, and looking through them I found this one, by Alajalov from 1949. As with Ms. Chast’s cover, it blends the Thanksgiving table scenario with (then) relatively new household technology (the television set).  What a great cover!

Here’s Alajalov’s entry on the Spill‘s A-Z:

 

 

 

Constantin Alajalov (above) Born Constantin Aladjalov, 1900, Rostov-on-the-Don, Russia. Died Oct., 1987, Amenia, New York. New Yorker work: 1926 -1960. Perhaps best known for his New Yorker covers ( he also supplied cover art to other publications). Key collection: Conversation Pieces (The Studio Publications Inc., 1942) w/ commentary by Janet Flanner.

Link here for a n Alajalov profile from The Saturday Evening Post.

The Cartoons:

16 cartoons.  22 illustrations, including 5 1/2 full page illustrations.

Robots abound in this issue (on the cover, in a cartoon, in an illustration).

Here are the cartoonists whose work appears in the issue…

Among them are two Thanksgiving drawings, one by P.C. Vey (also blending technology and Thanksgiving), and David Borchart, who gives us a wonderful (Macy’s?) parade drawing.  My only wish is that it was run larger.

Also of note in the issue: the debut appearance of Ali Solomon. Ms. Soloman is the 10th new cartoonist introduced this year, and the 22nd new cartoonist introduced since Emma Allen became the New Yorker‘s cartoon editor in the Spring of 2017.

Still missing: Rea Irvin’s iconic (not to mention beautiful) Talk masthead (read about it here).  Missing since the Spring of 2017 — this is what it looks like:

 

 

 

 

 

The Tilley Watch; Liza Donnelly’s Veterans Day Animation; Joe Farris’s Soldier’s Sketchbook

The Cover: this week’s cover (titled “Welcome to Congress”) by Barry Blitt was mentioned here last week (it was released early). It received a bit of media attention. One example: this Huffington Post piece. 

The Cartoonists, the Cartoons:

13 cartoons this week.  19 illustrations, with 5 of them full page.

Two items of note in the list of cartoonists: a joint effort by Mick Stevens and Jenny Allen.  And, unless I’m mistaken, Lonnie Millsap is making his debut in the magazine. If that’s accurate (someone please advise if it’s not) he is the 9th new cartoonist this year, and the 21st since Emma Allen was appointed the magazine’s cartoon editor in the Spring of 2017.

Update: Rea Irvin’s iconic Talk masthead is still a-missin (you can read about it here). This is what it looks like:

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And:

here’s Liza Donnelly’s Veterans Day animation for CBS News .

…this is a good day to recall A Soldier’s Sketchbook by the late New Yorker cartoonist Joe Farris.  Published in 2011 by National Geographic, the book is available online at the usual places. 

Here’s the Booklist review:

“Farris, best known postwar as a cartoonist for the New Yorker, offers this evocative memoir-album, with a scrapbook graphic design. Replete with faux-yellowed pages, it chronicles his tour of duty using his contemporary illustrations, his letters to his Connecticut family, and present-day reflections on the attitudes and fears of his innocent 19-year-old self. With meticulous National Geographic maps tracking his regiment’s advance through France and Germany, Ferris’ is an honestly written, visually captivating volume and a superb addition to the genre of WWII artwork.”

 

The Tilley Watch: The New Yorker Issue Of October 29, 2018

It’s not a trick: this post about the October 29, 2018 New Yorker looks and feels and reads suspiciously like the Spill’s now defunct Monday Tilley Watch, but it’s not a Monday Tilley Watch…I think.

So often in the past 90+ years of The New Yorker ‘s existence, an issue dated October 29 (or 25, 26, 27, 28, 30, or 31) would bear a Halloween cover. Not this year, folks.  But who doesn’t like pastries.

Just for fun, here’s a cover submission of mine that combines pastries and Halloween — it was probably submitted, and definitely rejected, in the late 1980s or early 1990s:

 You’ll find more than twenty illustrations in this issue (not including the seven photographs accompanying the piece by Janet Malcolm). Four-and-a-half full pages are given over to illustration.  You’ll find ten cartoons. There’s a Halloween cartoon (by a modern Spill fave cartoonist, Seth Fleishman) squeezed in at the top of page 32.

If you’re a leaf-peeper, or just like leaves in general, you’re sure to fall for Joe Dator’s brilliant desert island drawing (on page 41). There have been, of course, other brilliant New Yorker cartoons in the not-so-distant past; two that I can’t resist mentioning whenever I have the chance:  Bob Eckstein’s 3-D Thanksgiving drawing and Robert Leighton’s Escher drawing. If you link to C-Span’s coverage of the recent Milford Readers & Writers Festival you’ll see a few more candidates by panelists, Christopher Weyant and David Borchart. This current drawing by Mr. Dator sits squarely in the Charles Addams branch of New Yorker cartooning (a branch notably climbed by P.C. Vey, Gahan Wilson, Zach Kanin…and Ed Steed, sort of). I would go as far as suggesting that if Mr. Addams was still with us, the magazine would’ve wanted to purchase Mr. Dator’s idea to hand over to Mr. Addams to execute. Yes, pun intended.  (Here’s a Spill piece about the magazine’s history of buying ideas).

For the record (your honor), here are the ten cartoonists in the issue:

 

— Finally, still in the Halloween spirit, here’s a Boo!

Below: the missing Rea Irvin iconic Talk masthead switched out for a re-drawn version early last year. Read about that here:

 

 

 

 

 

The Tilley Watch: A Collaboration; A Correction

A Correction: The original Spill post under “Papaerwork” [I’ve left it intact below] incorrectly stated that the appearance of Tadhg Ferry’s cartoon in this latest issue was his first cartoon in the magazine. Jane Mattimoe, of a Spill favorite blog, A Case For Pencils,  has sent me a cartoon of Mr. Ferry’s that appeared in the September 19, 2016 issue. My apologies to Mr. Ferry, and my thanks to Ms. Mattimoe for setting the record straight (the good news is that Mr. Ferry’s name was added to the A-Z, albeit belatedly. This bit of information about Mr. Ferry led to the addition of one cartoonist to the #218 below, making it 219 new cartoonists brought in from 1997 through 2017; at the same time one cartoonist is subtracted from Emma Allen’s total thus far, from 19 to 18).  

Paperwork: a new cartoonist in the issue (it’s the “Money Issue”…well, okay) of October 22, 2018:  Mr. Ferry is the seventh new cartoonist added this year, and the nineteenth new cartoonist added since Emma Allen became the magazine’s cartoon editor in May of 2017.  Her predecessor added two hundred and eighteen new cartoonists in his close to twenty year stint, or approximately eleven new cartoonists a year. His predecessor, Lee Lorenz, added approximately forty-five new cartoonists in his twenty-four years as art/cartoon editor, or approximately 2 a year.

 Noted: a rare co-credited cartoon in the issue: Joe Dator & Dan Yaccarino. For more on the subject of New Yorker cartoon collaboration, go here and here.

Rea Irvin: Mr. Irvin’s classic Talk masthead is still stuck in a drawer somewhere at the New Yorker‘s offices, having been replaced by a redrawn (!?) version in the Spring of last year.  Read more here. Below: what the shelved masthead looks like, lest we forget: