A Must See at The Society of Illustrators! “Funny Ladies at The New Yorker: Then and Now”

On Thursday, July 26th, the center of the New Yorker cartoon universe will temporarily shift from 1 World Trade Center (the magazine’s home) to the Society of Illustrators as the exhibit, “Funny Ladies at The New Yorker: Then and Now” kicks off with a panel of some of the best in the biz. New Yorker artist, Liza Donnelly, who curated the exhibit will moderate the panel discussion featuring the New Yorker‘s Cartoon Editor, Emma Allen, and New Yorker artists Roz Chast, Carolita Johnson, and Liana Finck. 

(Above: the panelists. Top row, left to right: Emma Allen, Roz Chast, Carolita Johnson. Bottom row:  Liana Finck, and the moderator, Liza Donnelly)

The exhibit features work (the majority of it original art) by thirty-four New Yorker cartoonists, past & present. (below: an Alice Harvey drawing, published in The New Yorker, October 24, 1925, and below that, a drawing by Maddie Dai from the issue of August 21, 2017)

Here’s the full list of artists:

Marisa Acocella, Kendra Allenby, Julia Bernhard, Roz Chast, Maddie Dai, Liza Donnelly, Liana Finck, Emily Flake, Pia Guerra, Carolita Johnson, Alice Harvey, Helen Hokinson, Emily Sanders Hopkins (nee Richards), Emma Hunsinger, Amy Hwang, Nurit Karlin, Amy Kurzweil, Maggie Larson, Sara Lautman, Mary Lawton, Sharon Levy, Huguette Martel, Doris Matthews, The Surreal McCoy, Mary Petty, Ethel Plummer, Victoria Roberts, Barbara Shermund, Barbara Smaller, Bishakh Som, Julia Suits, Kim Warp, Sofia Warren, Sophia Wiedeman

 

Link here to The Society of Illustrators for more info.

 

Firsts: Thurber’s First New Yorker Drawings

When you think of James Thurber’s drawings you probably think of one or two or three of his classics.  But before any of his cartoons appeared in the magazine (his first cartoon appeared in the issue of January 31, 1931), he illustrated and wrote something he called Our Pet Department.  It was, from the very first, intended to be a series; the first installment (shown above) appeared in the magazine’s fifth anniversary issue, February 22, 1930.  What’s fascinating (to me) is that the piece contains two elements that would go on to be forever associated with Thurber’s art: a dog, and a seal. 

It’s unclear when the two camps formed over whether Thurber’s art was or wasn’t art. Was it when the illustrations began appearing, or was it nearly a year later when the cartoons started turning up. Thurber’s simple line certainly wasn’t a shock. A trio of single line artists were already established at the magazine by the time Thurber’s first drawings appeared: Gardner Rea, Otto Soglow, and Gluyas Williams.  But it appeared that no little effort went into their finished pieces.

Thurber’s drawings seemed as casual as the effort he claimed to have put into them; their initial appearances in the New Yorker seemed to have dropped like graphic boulders in a placid pond. Thurber’s New Yorker colleague Wolcott Gibbs wrote (this from the Book-of-the-Month Club News, February, 1945):

“…for a good many years [Thurber’s drawings] were regarded by the rest of the staff, with the exception of E.B. White, as a hell of a way to waste good copy paper, since his usual output at a sitting was twenty or more, not to mention those he drew on the walls.”   

 New Yorker history books tell us that White was instrumental in bringing Thurber’s art to the world’s attention.  In 1962, a year after Thurber’s death, White told Thurber biographer, Harrison Kinney that “I think his art surpasses his writing” and “his drawing has a touch of genius.”

 

 

 

 

  

The Monday Tilley Watch: the New Yorker Issue of July 23, 2018

Back to a single issue, but not for long. Just one more single week issue before we have another double: dated August 6 & 13. Ah summertime.

This is the first issue of The New Yorker in 23 years without Tom Bachtell’s Talk of The Town illustrations. The illustrations are handled this week by Joao Fazenda. His work, at least going by the illustrations in this issue, seem in the vicinity of the school of Bachtell.  Otto Soglow’s terrific drawings remain, as they have for quite some time, sort of alternating between the modern contributor’s work.

From the Dept. of Just Sayin’ :

18  illustrations this week. Three of those full page, and an additional illustration that is a page-and-a-half.

14 cartoons, none full page.

The Cartoons:

Good sizing/placement of the cartoons this week, with just one drawing that, to my eyes, could’ve used a bit more breathing room (i.e., run larger): Ed Steed’s very nice bees in cars cartoon. Perhaps it reads better in the print version (I’m seeing the digital issue, both on a laptop and a tablet).

Of note in the issue: a Glen Baxter drawing! Even better: it’s a Glen Baxter cowboy drawing! If the Spill gave out best of the issue awards like the fellas do over on Cartoon Companion, Mr. Baxter’s would be pinned with a ribbon.

Irvin Talk Update: 

Rea Irvin’s iconic masthead for The Talk of The Town is still missing (a re-drawn version replaced it. Yes, a re-drawn version.  Read about that here). This is what the original looks like:

And that’s that, til next week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Tilley Watch Online: July 9-13, 2018; Wouldn’t It Be Nice?

This week’s Daily Cartoon: Trump 3, World Cup 1.  The contributing New Yorker cartoonists were Jon Adams, David Sipress, Brendan Loper, and Darrin Bell

And over on Daily Shouts, the contributing New Yorker cartoonists were : Liana Finck, Jeremy Nguyen (with Annelise Capossela), Farley Katz (with Kathryn Doyle), Olivia de Recat, and Mick Stevens

You can see all of the above, and more here.

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Wouldn’t It Be Nice?

Here’s an interesting title I happened across this morning while searching online (it’s available from a bookseller in Toronto). 

Here’s the listing:

Green printed wrappers (16 cm.) with name of Jaffray B. Smith embossed in gilt to lower corner of front panel; staple-bound. Contents: [2], 17, [1] pages. Well-illustrated, with 6 full-page illustrations by Irvin, one of those being a double-paged workflow diagram, and a small photograph of Dictograph intra-office telephone equipment. An incredible advertisement for the Dictograph Interior Telephone System, centred upon a narrative of miscommunication by humorist Benchley and illustrated by the New Yorker’s Rea Irvin

Wouldn’t it be nice to see Rea Irvin’s “6 full-page illustrations”?  

Here’s 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.

 

 

A Price Playbill; Ziegler’s Letterman Appearance; A Couple of Hokinson Dachshunds

A Price Playbill

Without generous donors, the Spill‘s archives would be so much poorer.  Here’s the latest addition: a Playbill with cover art by the great George Price. Stalag 17 premiered at the 48th St. Theatre in May of 1951.  Mr. Price’s work, as a spot artist, premiered in The New Yorker in 1929. In his book, The Art of The New Yorker: 1925-1995, Lee Lorenz, the magazine’s former Art/Cartoon editor (who called Price one of the magazine’s great stylists, along with Helen Hokinson, Peter Arno, William Steig, and James Thurber) described Price’s transition from spot artist to cartoonist:

 After purchasing a few spot drawings from Price, Katharine White invited him in for an interview. She encouraged him to try his hand at cartooning. George was reluctant at first.  He was not an idea person. Mrs. White promised to supply him with gag writers, and on this condition George was persuaded  to begin submitting to the magazine.

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Ziegler’s Letterman Appearance

I’ve linked to this video before, but just happened to see it again last night.  Broadcast June 20, 1983, here’s the late very great Jack Ziegler’s Late Night with David Letterman appearance.  See it here.

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A Couple of Hokinson Dachshunds

I didn’t know that dachshunds were at one time called “liberty hounds” — did you?  Read more  here on Attempted Bloggery about a 1947 Helen Hokinson drawing featuring two of them.