The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue of July 2, 2018

  Link here to read what Barry Blitt had to say about his tied-in to the headlines cover (shown above).

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One of these days I’m going to gather all the New Yorker covers that’ve incorporated the Statue of Liberty. For now, I took a look back to see when Lady Liberty first appeared on a New Yorker cover. Surprisingly, it took awhile to show up what with the the magazine being, in those earliest of issues, so New York City-centric. Its debut was on the Sue Williams cover of September 7, 1929:

 The Statue’s next appearance was on the cover of June 24, 1939, when artist Leonard Dove incorporated it humorously:

It wasn’t until the end of WW2 that the statue appeared again — in the issue dated the week the war ended with Japan’s surrender. Alan Dunn shows us a troop ship arriving home in New York Harbor; soldiers are sticking their heads out of portholes, looking to see Lady Liberty way off in the distance, her silhouette just barely decipherable. Graphically speaking, in this instance less is powerfully more.

And now on to the current issue, close to seventy-three years later.  From the Dept. of Just Sayin’:  21 illustrations this week, 3 of them full pages. Just 10 cartoons (plus one full page by Ed Steed).

Noting two of the ten this week: Roz Chast makes excellent use of one of the cartoonist’s handiest tools: the hot dog cart. In this case it’s floss being sold not franks. What I really like about Ms. Chast’s cartoon is that it falls into the wonderful New Yorker cartoon vein of being both surprising and highly relatable. It delivers on Peter Arno’s definition of a good cartoon: a drawing that deals a one-two punch.  If the Spill handed out ribbons like they do over on the Cartoon Companion site, this cartoon would be awarded one. The Spill does, however, applaud.

The other cartoon noted is by Seth Fleishman.  Bulls driving racing cars at Pamplona, with the lead car driven by a person.  A lovely drawing. I believe there are at least two Charles Addams cartoons with a moose driving a car, but bulls driving cars is a rarity. One somewhat closer to Mr. Fleishman’s that comes readily to mind (forgive me) is a drawing of mine from the ancient times. It appeared in The New Yorker, March 7, 1989 — technically, those are steer.

 

For the record, your honor, here’s the list of cartoonists in the issue (the aforementioned Mr. Steed’s page is listed higher up on the Table of Contents):

Lastly, here’s Rea Irvin’s iconic masthead from The New Yorker.  It disappeared in May of 2017, bafflingly replaced by a redrawn version. For more on this, go here.

— See you next week

  

 

  

 

 

 

The Making Of A Magazine: A Potted History

Mention The New Yorker and it’s highly likely the image, or one of the first images, that pops into one’s mind is of Rea Irvin’s Eustace Tilley, the magazine’s mascot.  He appeared on the inaugural issue of the magazine dated February 21, 1925, and on every anniversary issue until Tina Brown broke the streak in 1994 by publishing R. Crumb’s Elvis Tilley. 

Those fond of New Yorker history may know that the magazine was nearly killed after just four months of publication; barely anyone was reading it, and what advertising there was was drying up.  The magazine’s founder and editor, Harold Ross, seeing a need to fill space on the inside cover, summoned one of his writers, Corey Ford, to discuss the problem.  Ford described the moment in his memoir, The Time Of Laughter:

In his impulsive way, he called me into his office and began jangling coins and pacing the floor.  Could I do a series of promotion ads to fill the goddamn inside cover? Rea Irvin thought I might burlesque those house organ brochures about publishing a magazine.  Have the first one by tomorrow? Done and done. God bless you.

The result was a twenty part series called The Making of a Magazine.  The first one ran in the August 8 issue:

You’ll notice the illustration, by Johan Bull, shows a little top hatted fellow, who is identified as “Our Mr. Tilley.” We have to wait until the second in a series (the issue of August 15th) to learn his full name: “… Mr. Eustace Tilley.” Tilley was to be the readers tour guide through Ford’s twenty installments, pointing out the various departments needed to turn out The New Yorker.

More from Corey Ford:

The New Yorker‘s man-of-all-work, who personally supervised all these departments, was Mr. Eustace Tilley. (“Tilley” was the name of a maiden aunt, and I chose “Eustace” because it sounded euphonious.) In Johan Bull’s illustrations, he appeared as a silk-hat dude, with morning coat and striped trousers and a monocle, based on the figure in Rea Irvin’s anniversary cover. In time Irvin’s creation became known as Eustace Tilley…

The series ended in the issue of January 2, 1926.  The cover, by Rea Irvin, bore Tilley himself (a coincidence?) coming ala a cuckoo bird, through the clock’s double doors.

In that final installment, Ford ends with this reveal:

In the very same year, bound copies of The Making Of A Magazine appeared. The Spill archive is not fortunate enough to have one (shown at the top of this post is a charming small — 4″ x 6″ — promotional paper version gifted to the Spill ), so I’m showing a scan from AbeBooks, where a copy can be had, signed by Ford, for $1,000.00. 

Now if you don’t want to spring for that copy, or the few others listed at lesser prices ($750.00 – $375.00), you can, believe it or not,  buy a modern copy (shown below) on AbeBooks for $7.57. You’ll notice this issue is part of a series, “Forgotten Books” and the book is by “Author Unknown”  — hmmm, do we laugh or cry, or sniff, Tilley-like?  

Below: Johan Bull’s last Tilley in the last of the series:

 

 

Between You & Me &… Eustace Tilley; Peter Steiner’s Hopeless But Not Serious on ICE; Latest New Yorker Cartoons Rated

Between You & Me &…Eustace Tilley

Here’s a fascinating addition to the Spill‘s archives: the Korean edition of Mary Norris‘s truly wonderful book, Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen. As you can see it sports Rea Irvin’s iconic cover from the New Yorker‘s inaugural issue. This usage of the cover is, to my knowledge, a first (Ms. Norris told me the cover came as “a complete surprise” to her). As you see below, Mr. Irvin’s clouds and green vertical border (the “strap”) were carried around on the back cover as well.  

 

Below: the US cover of Between You & Me (Norton, 2015), and to the right, the paperback edition. You’ll note that these covers use an adapted Irvin typeface. 

Mr. Irvin’s entry on the Spill‘s A-Z:

Rea Irvin (pictured above. Self portrait above from Meet the Artist) *Born, San Francisco, 1881; died in the Virgin Islands,1972. Irvin was the cover artist for the New Yorker’s first issue, February 21, 1925. He was the magazine’s first art editor, holding the position from 1925 until 1939 when James Geraghty assumed the title. Irvin became art director and remained in that position until William Shawn succeeded Harold Ross. Irvin’s last original work for the magazine was the magazine’s cover of July 12, 1958. The February 21, 1925 Eustace Tilley cover had been reproduced every year on the magazine’s anniversary until 1994, when R. Crumb’s Tilley-inspired cover appeared. Tilley has since reappeared, with other artists substituting from time-to-time.

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Peter Steiner’s Hopeless But Not Serious on ICE

The great New Yorker cartoonist and author, Peter Steiner weighs in on ICE and children. See it here. 

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

 

 

 

 

Peter Steiner (above). Born, Cincinnati, 1940. New Yorker work: 1979 – . Collection: “I Didn’t Bite the Man, I Bit the Office” ( 1994).  Mr. Steiner is responsible for one of the most famous (and most republished) New Yorker cartoons in modern times, “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” (published July 5, 1993).  An indication of its enduring popularity in our culture:  a wikipedia page is devoted to it.   He has also had novels published, as well as the limited edition “An Atheist in Heaven.” Website: www.plsteiner.com/

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Latest New Yorker Cartoons Rated

If it’s Friday then it’s time for the Cartoon Companion’s latest look at the brand new drawings in this week’s issue (June 25, 2018). Joe Dator’s colorful Abe Lincoln drawing is awarded the CC‘s Top Toon ribbon, and rightfully so!  Read the post here.

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue of June 25, 2018; A Few Images Posted from the Upcoming New Yorker Encyclopedia of Cartoons

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 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

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A Few Images Posted From the Upcoming New Yorker Encyclopedia of Cartoons

The above from the publisher’s website. Well it’s not much, but it’s better than nuthin’.  I could only get the middle image to open up for a better view. Will post more when there’s more to post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.