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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Yorker’s Tom Bachtell Talk of The Town Illustrations End After 23 Years; Article of Interest: Maggie Larson; Personal History: “How many do you send in?”

New Yorker’s Tom Bachtell Talk of The Town Illustrations End After 23 Years

Mr. Bachtell, whose first Talk of The Town illustrations appeared in the New Yorker‘s issue of March 20, 1995, posted the following on Facebook this afternoon:

Tom Bachtell’s website

Mr. Bachtell on A Case For Pencils

_________________________________________________

Article of Interest: Maggie Larson

From the Philadelphia Inquirer, July 11, 2018, “This Bryn Mawr grad is part of an exclusive — but growing — group: women cartoonists of the New Yorker”

— this piece on Ms. Larson, who first began contributing to The New Yorker in July of 2017.

Above: Ms. Larson and one of her New Yorker cartoons (from the issue of December 4 2017). 

Link here to Ms. Larson’s website

___________________________________________________

Personal History:

“How many do you send in?”

I’ve found that this question is eventually asked in any cartoon-centered conversation with someone curious as to how it works, working for The New Yorker. It’s a question with as many different answers as there are cartoonists.  A rumor was spread some years ago that the magic number was 10: you had to submit 10 a week. No such rule exists, or ever existed. I believe that that number still haunts the cartoon community — why, I don’t know.

This afternoon, while going through cartoon stuff, I ran across a box of index cards from my earliest years as a cartoonist for the magazine. To illustrate my point about sending in 10 cartoons a week, I noticed I had a run of sending in 20+, but there were also weeks of 30+, and then I found a few much higher.  Here’s a cropped photo of the last page of one week’s submissions — the week of March 8, 1978:

 57 submitted. Not one sold to The New Yorker or to any other publications that saw the work after the New Yorker (I think those red dots indicate drawings I felt might work for some other magazines). I don’t remember any of these cartoons, but judging by the captions, I’m not surprised they failed to be placed. For me, rejected work is best quickly forgotten; by the time drawings are rejected (or bought, if I’m lucky enough) I’ve already moved on to the next week’s batch, however many drawings that turns out to be. 

   

 

The Monday Tilley Watch, The New Yorker Issue of June 4 & 11, 2018

The Fiction/Childhood Issue? Well that’s what it says, in red and black on the Table of Contents:

First, the paperwork:

See that beautiful masthead just above?  It was drawn and designed by Rea Irvin.  It’s been missing since Spring of last year after appearing in the New Yorker for 92 years. It was replaced last year by a redrawn version (redrawn by Christoph Niemann). Here’s hoping that one day Mr. Irvin’s work will be returned and replace the replacement. If  you wish to read more on the original and the replacement and see their elements compared side-by-side, link here.

From the Dept. of Just Sayin’

There are 22 Illustrations in this week’s issue (that includes photographs, but does not include Tom Bachtell’s wonderful drawings appearing in the Talk of The Town, nor does it include the Spot drawings appearing throughout the issue).  6 of the illustrations are full page.  There are 14 cartoons (none full page).

And now to the issue’s cartoons. Here are the cartoonists whose work appears this week:

As is becoming customary, I’m going to mention just a few cartoons instead of looking at each in the issue. The first, by Robert Leighton, is a particular favorite. I won’t show it, but you can see it here among all the others just published  (just scroll down to the heading “Cartoons from the Issue”). Mr. Leighton, whose classic Escher drawing was profiled here awhile back, has given us a charming and delightful drawing somewhat reminiscent of Frank Modell‘s work with a bit of Nurit Karlin tossed in (I’d link you to Ms. Karlin’s fabulous work, but sad to say that the New Yorker‘s Cartoon Bank site does not seem to have archived it).

Mr. Leighton’s drawing deserves a hearty round of applause.

It was just last week that a co-credited drawing (Kaamran Hafeez and Al Batt) was mentioned here as being somewhat rare, and now the very next week is another co-credited cartoon. This time it’s a drawing by Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell and Ellis Rosen. Suddenly co-credits are not so rare.

As usual, for those who want a critical take on all the cartoons, I’m pointing you to Cartoon Companion.  The site usually posts on Thursdays or Fridays.

Note:  The Monday Tilley Watch will return in two weeks as this current issue is a double.

 

 

Video of Interest: Paul Noth; Audio of Interest: Carolita Johnson; Tom Bachtell Speaks!

Video of Interest: Paul Noth

From Fox6Now, April 11, 2018,  “‘Inspired to keep me going:’ Well-known cartoonist shares his talents with kids in Milwaukee” — This video piece on Paul Noth

______________________________________________________________________

Audio of Interest: Carolita Johnson

From Radio Kingston WKNY, this radio broadcast featuring Carolita Johnson

______________________________________________________

Tom Bachtell Speaks!

From ysnews, April 12, 2018, “‘New Yorker’ Cartoonist at Little Art” — this piece on Tom Bachtell

The Monday Tilley Watch: The New Yorker Issue of February 26, 2018

Always glad to return to weekly issues of the magazine after doubles. This new issue sports a cover that seems like the sum of the equation: Olympics + North Korea =.

  Here’s what cover artist Mark Ulriksen had to say about it on newyorker.com

The Olympics + North Korea equation continues with the very first spot drawing appearing on the opening page of The Talk of The Town. And, as long as we’re mentioning that page,  let’s get this out of the way: Rea Irvin’s classic Talk masthead is still a-missin’.  Here’s what it looks like:

Could be wrong, but it seems like there are slightly more Otto Soglow spot drawings scattered throughout Talk than usual (along with Tom Bachtell’s always top-notch drawings). 

Doesn’t take long to get to the first cartoon of the issue (it’s on page 18). P.C. Vey delivers a very P.C. Vey-like piece of work (that’s always a good thing).  Love the little fish Mr. Vey has drawn, but wish it was still swimmin’. Five pages later Lars Kenseth takes us to the land of the pitchman. Funny drawing. Love how Mr. Kenseth uses the language. I did something in that vein a long time back — in the New Yorker, April 6, 1981, to be exact.  I remember it being a ton-o-fun playing with the structure of the television pitch. 

On the very next page one of my favorite subjects: the old west (or possibly it’s a cowboy and his horse in the contemporary west).  Zach Kanin’s coffee-drinking horse is well drawn.  I wish the cowboy’s face was easier to see on the digital edition — this is where print (might) come in handy. 

Nine pages later, a well-placed-on-the-page Frank Cotham cartoon. Cartoonists usually love to show gangsters about to toss a guy off a pier.  Mr. Cotham gives us a prequel. Nice.

Four pages later Roz Chast with an at-home Olympics moment.  A very Chastian drawing any which way you look at it. Another four pages brings us to the second-ever New Yorker drawing (unless I’m mistaken) by Olivia de Recat.  Similar to her first in that it’s mostly text. This one is approximately 97% text (handwritten text).  Her first was perhaps 91% text.  Though we don’t see them as much as we used to, the aforementioned Ms. Chast has done a number of text-driven (to use a Tina Brown era term) drawings over the years. Without doing research (unforgivable, I know!) I’m going out on a limb by suggesting Ms. Chast may have pioneered this particular form of New Yorker cartoon. If anyone wants to shoot that down, please contact me.

Five pages later, Maddie Dai weighs in on a fellow’s mid-life crisis times two.  His motorcycle (which lacks a gas tank — maybe it’s one of those new electric bikes) has at least one (unintentional?) funny feature: the bike’s training wheels are attached to the hub of the rear wheel.  If this cartoon bike was a real bike the training wheels would spin around with the tire, complicating things even further for the crisis guy.  No matter — it’s a nice drawing. 

On the very next page, a debut New Yorker cartoon by Navied Mahdavian*, that answers the oft-asked question, “What did we do before the internet?” Funny drawing.

Four pages later, veteran cartoonist, Mick Stevens gives us death having just died.  Looking at Mr. Stevens’ drawing I asked myself if this fell into the double negative column.  If death dies, isn’t death then alive? Way too much of a headache-inducing thought for this cartoonist (me, not Mr. Stevens).

Eight pages later Sara Lautman takes us to a contemporary bar moment. Found myself studying the shelves and bottles of booze in the background.  There’s a Robert Weber-ish looseness to that area.

Seven pages later a Bruce Eric Kaplan gem of a caption.  And on the very next page, the last drawing of the issue (not counting those on the Caption Contest page).  Liana Finck gives us a bird chase. Not sure what the surface is that they are on — is it pavement with a sidewalk in the rear?  It probably doesn’t matter.  The big bird — the one that’s chasing the little bird —  has an expression indicating confidence she/he will succeed, despite the lack of arms. 

*For those keeping track, Navied Mahdavian is the thirteenth new cartoonist introduced under the magazine’s current cartoon editor, Emma Allen, since she was appointed in May of 2017, and the second newbie introduced so far in 2018.

— See you next Monday

 

 

The Monday Tilley Watch: The New Yorker Issue of December 11, 2017; Event of Note: “How To Read Nancy” Authors at The Society of Illustrators; A “More Spills” Correction Re: Jack Ziegler

The Monday Tilley Watch is a meandering take on the cartoons in the current issue of The New Yorker.

Up above, in red, I use the word “meandering”; after this morning’s look- through of the new issue  I double-checked my usage.  “Aimless” is a good part of the definition (as I sensed when I first used the word “meandering” to describe the Tilley Watch) — as in “aimlessly moving through” something or someplace.  Aimlessly wandering through is exactly what the Monday Tilley Watch is all about.  It’s not a critique of the cartoons (or drawings as traditionalists refer to them), although there’s sometimes a critical ‘tude lurking within the paragraphs.

I wander through each issue as I might wander through a bakery or book store, appreciating this or that and ignoring that or this.  You never know as you pass by books or baked goods what might attract you — plenty of it is just a blur.   And so it was with this new issue. This is a different Monday Tilley Watch because I’m not going to go drawing by drawing, I’m only going to mention a few things I saw that attracted me.  Just like at a bakery, these are the things I might think about for a  while once I’ve walked out of the store. For instance, I’m still thinking about these cookies I saw yesterday in our local supermarket’s bakery:

And now on to the issue: first, the “spot drawings”;  I’ve not mentioned spots much, if at all.  They tell a story (a modern thing: they didn’t through most of the magazine’s history) but admittedly I don’t follow the stories they tell.  I look at them as I page through the magazine and if they’re pleasing I note that they are. I find this issue’s spot drawings exceptionally pleasing (again, I didn’t follow the story being told).  But story or no story, they’re lovely. The spot artist is Clo’e Floirat

Also of note are Tom Bachtell‘s Talk of the Town drawings.  I’ve mentioned him before, and with good reason.  His work is a welcome modern tradition.

Among this weeks cartoonists is Jon Adams who(m?) I owe an apology to.  I noted last week that he was making his debut (with the Michelin Man drawing).  Wrong. He made his debut this Fall in the October 2nd issue of The New Yorker.  In the Spill‘s ongoing count of Emma Allen’s newbies (Ms. Allen is the magazine’s cartoon editor) Mr. Adams is one of 8 cartoonists introduced in 8 months.  Slightly keeping ahead of the average of one newbie a month, there are two debuts in this issue:  Mary Lawton and Maggie Mull, who are  Ms. Allen’s 9th and 10th new cartoonists. (sorry, I cannot find a website for either cartoonist. Please let me know if either or both have one).  If 10 sounds like a lot of new creative blood we should remember that her predecessor introduced approximately 130 cartoonists. 

Here for the record are this week’s cartoonists:

Ps:  what I wish I did see as I looked through the issue is Rea Irvin’s classic masthead for The Talk of The Town (shown below). Alas, it’s been shuffled off to Buffalo, or wherever classic mastheads are shuffled off to. 

________________________________________________________________________________

Event of Note: How To Read Nancy Authors at The Society of Illustrators

Paul Karasik & Mark Newgarden join Columbia’s Karen Green at The Society.  Details here!

_______________________________________________________________________________

A More Spills Correction

My colleague,  Joe Dator has Tweeted a correction to the  Jack Ziegler drawing mentioned here yesterday.

Here’s Mr. Dator’s Tweet: