Pretty in Pink: The New Yorker’s 25th Anniversary Album; More Spills: Moore Tweets Out a Ziegler… More Soglow

Judging by what I’ve noticed over many years of visiting used book stores, The New Yorker 25th Anniversary Album must have been the most popular in the series of their cartoon anthologies. This is the one you’re likely to find if you find any at all. Bonus: it’s easily found online for just a few bucks. The Album sports a series of firsts on the cover: the first time a monochrome Eustace Tilley appeared on an Album (the next time he would appear this close to so much solid color was on the magazine’s 60th Anniversary issue.  Then editor, Tina Brown presented Eustace surrounded by, um, gold). 

The 25th Album was the first to reproduce a number of full cartoons on the cover (minus the captions, which due to the size of each cartoon shown, would’ve been virtually impossible to read without a magnifying glass. The exception is John Held, Jr.’s work where the text is within the piece).  And it was the first to be divided into sections: The Late Twenties, The Early Thirties, The Late Thirties, The Early Forties, and The Late Forties.

All the big names are here, of course, and so are some of the most memorable cartoons in the magazine’s history, including Thurber’s Seal in the Bedroom, Addams’ skier, and Arno’s “Well, back to the old drawing board.”  This is the Album for anyone who has heard about the New Yorker‘s Golden Age, and wants to know what all the fuss was about.

The design of the book is excellent, with paper of good quality, allowing for Gluyas Williams’ masterpieces, run full page, to glow.  Arno’s brushstrokes look as if he just swept them across the page fifteen minutes ago. On the pages where a number of cartoons appear, the layout is handled with great care, never too busy; each page was obviously fussed over by someone (or someones) who knew what they were doing. Just look at the graphic balancing act directly below:

The contributors are a Who’s Who of the magazine’s pantheon of great artists, including the founders, and the ones who showed up while Harold Ross was still messing around with the ingredients.  Steig’s Small Fry are here, as is Soglow’s Little King.  Helen Hokinson’s Club Ladies are generously presented, as are spreads by Rea Irvin, and and and…gee willikers, so much more (to see more scroll down to the back cover’s list of artists).  This is one of the very best Albums of cartoons the magazine ever produced (as another 67 years have passed since its publication it shares the top shelf with a few others). 

The flap text (above) reminds us that the cartoons are a record of the times. I’ll go along with that. As the magazine moves closer to its 100th year it’s essential for the cartoons to change with the times and reflect the times. I expect that the Introduction to The New Yorker’s 100th Anniversary Album will express something close to that sentiment, if not exactly that.

If you’ve read Genius In Disguise, Thomas Kunkel’s great biography of Harold Ross, you might remember that book’s prologue has a wonderful section devoted to the party at the Ritz-Carleton celebrating the New Yorker‘s 25th Anniversary. It was a party, wrote Kunkel, “celebrating accomplishment, about creating something of enduring importance.”  

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Michael Moore Tweeted out a drawing this morning by the late Jack Ziegler that’s right on the money (so to speak):

— My thanks to Bruce Eric Kaplan for bringing this to the Spill’s attention.

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…A lot More Soglow

Attempted Bloggery has posted a cart full of rare Otto Soglow drawings (some of them are what used to be referred to as “naughty” — nowadays we’d call them not-PC. ) 

 

 

Advertising Work by New Yorker Cartoonists, Pt. 22: John Held, Jr.; More Booth!

Advertising Work by New Yorker Cartoonists, Pt. 22: John Held, Jr.

I know, I know… you woke up this morning wondering if John Held, Jr., who became famous for his drawings of flappers in and on the cover of the pre-Luce Life ever did advertising work.  Well courtesy of Warren Bernard‘s detective work, we have some examples of Mr. Held’s commercial work. My thanks to Mr. Bernard for sharing his findings with Ink Spill.

New Yorker readers who have dipped into the magazine’s cartoon anthologies or looked through ancient issues would certainly have come across Mr. Held’s work — but it wasn’t the style that brought him fame. His New Yorker work looks like this:

  Harold Ross, the New Yorker‘s founder and first editor (who met Held in high school when they both worked on the school newspaper,The Red and Black)  wanted Held in his new magazine, but he didn’t want Held’s famous flapper style work. According to Thomas Kunkel, in his magnificent biography of Ross, Genius in Disguise:

“Ross and [Rea] Irvin eschewed his [Held’s] overexposed flappers, instead publishing his contemporary twists on the Gay Nineties woodcuts Ross had loved as a boy.”

So what you see here are examples of Held’s non-New Yorker style. The Ovington Gift Shop ad was published during the heart of the Roaring 20s (1926), and the others were published in 1929 — the year that ended so badly.

Here’s John Held, Jr.’s entry on the Spill’s A-Z:

John Held, Jr. (Pictured above. Source: Sketchbook of American Humorists, 1938) Born, January 10, 1889, Salt Lake City, Utah. Died, 1958, Belmar, New Jersey. New Yorker work: April 11, 1925 – Sept. 17, 1932.

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More Booth!

Mike Lynch and Jane Mattimoe have posted pieces about the wonderful George Booth exhibit at The Society of Illustrators.  The exhibit, as you can see in the poster, is up now and will run through the end of this year. Do not miss!

 

 

 

Advertising Work by New Yorker Cartoonists, Part 12: Gluyas Williams

According to Genius in Disguise , Thomas Kunkel’s must-read biography of The New Yorker’s founder and first editor, Harold Ross, Gluyas Williams “was the artistic equivalent of E.B. White, in that to Ross (and to thousands of fans) he simply could do no wrong.”

In that same book (pp. 333-335) there’s a fun section about Ross’s “secret” project: running Mr. William’s Wedding series (16 drawings) all at once in the magazine. It appeared in the issue of June 5, 1948.

Note: All of the scans (except for the Absolut Vodka campaign)  in this on-going series of ads by New Yorker cartoonists are courtesy of SPX’s Executive Director, Warren Bernard.  

 

 

 

 

 

Dates of ads: Log Cabin Syrup, 1934; GE, 1941; Texaco, 1942; McCreery & Co., 1926; Bristol Brass, 1945. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Gluyas Williams (photo above) Born, San Francisco, 1888. Died, Boston, Mass., 1982. One of the pillars of Harold Ross’s stable of artists, and one of Ross’s favorite cartoonists. His beautiful full page drawings were a regular feature in the magazine. Mr. Williams illustrated a number of Robert Benchley’s collections, providing the cover art as well as illustrations. NYer work: March 13, 1926 – Aug 25, 1951. Key collections: The Gluyas Williams Book ( Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1929), The Gluyas Williams Gallery (Harper, 1956). Website: http://www.gluyaswilliams.com/

Harold Ross & “Specific People” New Yorker Covers

 

Irvin Nov '41

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was leafing through Thomas Kunkel’s book, Letters From the Editor (the Editor: The New Yorker’s founder and first editor, Harold Ross) when I came upon the one letter in the book to Rea Irvin (Irvin was The New Yorker’s art consultant from the magazine’s inception through 1952).  Written in May of 1942, Ross’s letter concerned a recently purchased cover of Irvin’s. It reads, in part:

Irvin:

I put through the Halloween cover with Hitler, although it violates my solemn stand about no more specific people on covers.

Ross

 Ross’s mentioning “no more specific people on covers” meant that there had to have been previous New Yorker covers with specific people, or at least one cover with a specific person. Curious, I took The Complete Book of Covers from The New Yorker off the shelf and began looking at the magazine’s covers, beginning with the very first New Yorker cover –- you know the one: Irvin’s very own top-hatted dandy commonly referred to as Eustace Tilley. Paging through the book I didn’t find a “specific person” cover until I arrived at the issue of November 22, 1941. A child at the door of a wealthy home is sporting a Hitler mask. The artist: Rea Irvin.

The next issue with a specific person is the cover Ross referred to in the May ’42 letter to Irvin. It’s a Halloween themed cover (the issue is dated October 31, 1942) and again Hitler is the specific person -– this time he’s a witch.

Irvin: OCt 31 '42

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paging through the years and all those magnificent covers, it wasn’t until July 15, 1944 that another cover with a specific person (in this case it’s persons) presented itself. The subject matter: D-Day. Besides President Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, General Eisenhower and Field Marshal Montgomery, there again was Hitler. The artist: Rea Irvin.

Irvin's DDay Cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And that was the end of the string of specific people on New Yorker covers in Ross’s lifetime (he died December 6, 1951), unless you count Santa Claus, Abe Lincoln, and busts of philosophers.

 

Reading Ross’s letter was also a reminder of how The New Yorker has completely turned around, specific-people–on-the-cover-wise from those long ago days. A look back at just the past three years turns up close to 25 specific people covers. The specific people represented include the Pope, President Obama (numerous covers), New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Nelson Mandela, Derek Jeter, President Putin, Anthony Wiener, Mitt Romney…well, you get the idea.

Sipress Sees The Birds; Feiffer, Katchor, Burns, Tomorrow, Mankoff & more at Small Press Expo; Books on the Horizon

 

birds

From newyorker.com, August 27, 2014:

“A Fear of The Birds — a piece by the cartoonist, David Sipress.

 

 

 

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SPX_Poster_Gif1

From Michael Cavna’s  Washington Post “Comic Riffs” column, August 27, 2014, “SPX 2014: From alt-weeklies to web-comics, Small Press Expo announces its programming slate”

Among those scheduled to appear are Ben Katchor, Tom Tomorrow, Jules Feiffer, Charles Burns, and Bob Mankoff.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Far off in the distance,  a few books of interest have been listed on some popular bookseller websites:

From Thomas Kunkel, who authored  one of the very best New Yorker biographies, Genius in Disguise: Harold Ross of The New Yorker (Random House, 1995), comes Man in Profile: Joseph Mitchell of The New Yorker.  Due  April 21, 2015, from Random House.   No cover image & scant few details  as of now.

 

And in February of 2015, Writing For The New Yorker: Critical Essays on an American Periodical by Fiona Green (Edinburgh University Press). 9780748682492_p0_v1_s260x420Here’s what the publisher has to say:

Original critical essays on an iconic American periodical, providing new insights into twentieth-century literary culture

This collection of newly commissioned critical essays reads across and between New Yorker departments, from sports writing to short stories, cartoons to reporters at large, poetry to annals of business. Attending to the relations between these kinds of writing and the magazine’s visual and material constituents, the collection examines the distinctive ways in which imaginative writing has inhabited the ‘prime real estate’ of this enormously influential periodical. In bringing together a range of sharply angled analyses of particular authors, styles, columns, and pages, this book offers multiple perspectives on American writing and periodical culture at specific moments in twentieth-century history.