Book of Interest: Friedman’s Chosen People; A Searle Reject; A Tilley Paperweight

Book of Interest: Friedman’s Chosen People

Due in the Fall from Fantagraphics: a new collection from New Yorker cover artist, Drew Friedman.  From the publisher: Featuring over 100 of Drew Friedman’s hyper-realistic portraits of the greats, the near-greats, and the not-so-greats, created over the past decade. Artists, cartoonists, comedians, musicians, actors, politicians, the famous and the infamous, these chosen people are just that: People chosen to be rendered by the man Boing Boing calls “The greatest living portrait artist.” 

More book info here.      And here’s the link for Mr. Friedman’s website.

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A Rejected Searle Cover

Attempted Bloggery has a really nice post about this beautiful rejected New Yorker cover by Ronald Searle. To see the full cover and so much more, go here.

 

 

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A Tilley Paperweight

Finally, here’s one of my favorite objets d’Tilley: a paperweight sold some years back (still around on various online sites, including Etsy). For the completist, there’s another Tilley-related paperweight available: Eustacia Tilley, R. O. Blechman’s take on Rea Irvin’s creation for the New Yorker‘s inaugural issue. Eustacia was the cover for the magazine’s “Women’s Issue” way back in 1996.

 

50 Years Ago This Week…In The New Yorker

A Summer of Love issue of The New Yorker begins with Peter Arno’s 98th cover for the magazine (out of 101). Arno’s color palette in his last years had turned (mostly) brighter, his composition (mostly) a little more casual. This cover is an excellent example.

Within the magazine we find an array of graphically balanced cartoons appearing on the pages in a variety of sizes: a half-page Warren Miller drawing; a wonderful Steig drawing of a King –the drawing sits at the bottom of the page, surrounded on three sides by text; a perfectly-sized classic beauty from Ronald Searle (shown below); a  Modell drawing, done in his trademark casual style, sits across from a (typically) densely drawn Alan Dunn cartoon;  an easy on the eyes Stevenson drawing of two witches settling in to watch Julia Child is placed across from a Steinberg drawing of the eye of providence (that pyramid with the eye that’s on the backside of the U.S. dollar bill).  Unlike Stevenson’s drawing, which you pause to look at, enjoy and then move on, you feel as if you should pull up a chair and get out a magnifying glass for the Steinberg illustration. It’s time to inspect.

A few pages later on in the issue I was surprised to come across a 5 part Stan Hunt drawing. Did he do a lot of these? I don’t remember seeing one before (it’s a question to be answered another time).  The Hunt is followed by a nearly full-page  Everett Opie cartoon and then a masterful Saxon drawing (also almost a full page).

The last drawing of the issue is by the wonderful Henry Martin. Like Steig’s King drawing, it appears at the bottom of the page surrounded on three sides by text. There’s plenty of white space around the business man noticing a sign in a window, “Data Processed While U Wait” — the man’s right leg and his briefcase are allowed to drift off towards the edge of the page itself — a cartoonist’s work beautifully handled by the New Yorker‘s long-time layout person, Carmine Peppe, who, according to Brendan Gill, “would properly set off whatever we published.”

 

John Lennon & James Thurber: A Sunnier Connection

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This coming Sunday, the 8th of December, marks two anniversaries of note,  one happy and the other not at all happy. The happier one: James Thurber was born that day in 1894. The unhappy anniversary: it was on that day in 1980 that the former Beatle, John Lennon was murdered in New York City.

Other than that unfortunate intersection on the calendar, there is a much sunnier connection between these two artists & writers. Lennon’s drawings, published in 1964’s In His Own Write immediately drew comparisons to Thurber’s work. According to a Lennon biographer, Ray Coleman, Lennon at first scoffed at the suggestion, telling a BBC interviewer in 1965, who brought up book reviewers mentioning Thurber and Edward Lear (among others) as influences on Lennon’s work, “I deny it because I’m ignorant of it.”

Not too many years later, in 1971, during an appearance by Yoko Ono and Lennon on The Dick Cavett Show, Cavett brought up the subject, saying, “You know, your drawings look a little like James Thurber’s.”

In a funny moment as Lennon begins to respond to Cavett, Yoko Ono turns to Lennon and says, “His work does look a bit like yours, y’know, I think” to which Lennon replies, “Well he’s older than me, so he came first, so I look like him.”  And then he went on to say:

“I used to love his stuff when I was a kid. There were three people I was very keen on—Lewis Carroll, Thurber and an English drawer, or whatever you call him, called Ronald Searle. When I was about 11, I was turned on to those three. I think I was about 15 when I started Thurberizing the drawings.” (Another Lennon biographer, Philip Norman, credits Lennon’s Aunt Mimi with introducing her nephew to Thurber’s work).

 

 Note: In His Own Write and the follow-up, A Spaniard in the Works are still in print.  You can see many of the drawings in those two books by Googling: “John Lennon” +drawings    (then select “Images”)

 To see the Yoko Ono & John Lennon Cavett moment, click here.  The discussion turns to Thurber at around the 6:05 mark.

 

 

 

 

 

Cat Cartoons a-plenty in the Big New Yorker Book of Cats

 

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Coming October 1st from Random House: The Big New Yorker Book of Cats ( you may remember that The Big New Yorker Book of Dogs was published almost exactly a year ago).  As you’d expect, the book boasts a huge number of cat themed cartoons and covers. Here’s a list of the cartoonists represented:

Charles Addams, Harry Bliss, George Booth, Roz Chast, Frank Cotham, Leo Cullum, Joe Dator, Eldon Dedini, Liza Donnelly, J.C. Duffy, Jules Feiffer, Ed Fisher, Ed Frascino, Alex Gregory, Sam Gross, William Hamilton, Bruce Eric Kaplan, Edward Koren, Arnie Levin, Lee Lorenz, Robert Mankoff, Henry Martin, Paul Noth, Donald Reilly, Mischa Richter, Victoria Roberts, Danny Shanahan, Bernard Schoenbaum, Edward Sorel, William Steig, Mick Stevens, Anthony Taber (represented by two multi-page spreads), Mike Twohy, Dean Vietor, Robert Weber, Christopher Weyant, Shannon Wheeler, Jack Ziegler

Cross-over cover artists (meaning those who have contributed both cartoons & covers to The New Yorker):  Charles Addams, Abe Birnbaum (his March 30, 1963 cover is of a lion), Ronald Searle, J.J. Sempe, Saul Steinberg, and Gahan Wilson

 

 

Book of Interest: Punch Cartoons in Color

 

Coming in October, The Best of Punch Cartoons in Colour.

From the publisher’s description:

Punch‘s move into color illustrations early in the 20th century is now all but unknown. The magnificent results are shown in this collection with hundreds of stunning cartoons from the 1920 through 1992. Showcased here are exquisite illustrations from E. H. Shepard, Art Deco masterpieces from Fougasse, and the eccentrically whimsical creations of Rowland Emett. Other greats represented include H. M. Bateman, Arthur Watts, Anton, Ronald Searle, Russell Brockbank, Quentin Blake, Ralph Steadman, Trog, Mike Williams, Stan Eagles, and more. There are special features on the brilliant caricatures, the magazine’s take on the Royal Family, the funny and poignant cartoons of World War II, and more.

 

For many years The New Yorker and the now defunct Punch “shared” artists such as Fougasse, Ronald Searle, Henry Martin, Ed Fisher, Michael ffolkes, J.B. “Bud” Handelsman, Kenneth Mahood, Leslie Starke, Dana Fradon, Lou Myers, and Rowland B. Wilson.

In the introduction to a much earlier collection, The Punch Line (Simon & Schuster, 1969) there’s this quaint passage regarding cross-over cartoons :

“…most of the cartoons could just as easily have appeared in The New Yorker as in Punch. Except — and this is really a surprise — many of them are too sexy for The New Yorker! The two magazines even share many of the cartoonists; the English artists study the details of American life, and are thus enabled to sell to such relatively high paying markets as The New Yorker and Playboy. “It’s easy to make people look American, ” says the English cartoonist Smilby: “you draw them fat.”