The New Yorker section of the upcoming Swann auction is an awful lot of fun. The Addams cover shown above is just one of the gems listed. To see the “3D catalog” go here. Other New Yorker artists whose work is going under the gavel include Charles Barsotti, Bemelmans, Abe Birnbaum, Whitney Darrow, Jr., Richard Decker, Ed Fisher, Heidi Goennel, Edward Gorey, Theodore Haupt, John Held, Jr., Helen Hokinson, Maira Kalman, Arnie Levin, Rick Meyerowitz, Bill Mauldin, Donald Reilly, Mischa Richter, Arnold Roth, Charles Saxon, Ronald Searle, Seth, Steinberg, Tom Toro, and Gahan Wilson.
Article of Interest: A Wave of New Yorker Cartoonists
Graham Techler’s article in Paste, March 1, 2018, “The Exciting New Wave of New Yorker Cartoonists” spotlights eight cartoonists — all veteran newbies (meaning they are not among the very latest cartoonists appearing in the magazine), and a few cartoonists who’ve moved beyond the newbie classification (I’ve provided the year each began contributing to the magazine): Charlie Hankin (2013), Paul Noth (2004), Jason Adam Katzenstein (2014), Tom Toro (2010), Amy Hwang (2010), William McPhail (2014), Maddie Dai (2017), Emily Flake (2008). For what it’s worth, the eight mentioned are among the 128 cartoonists that have debuted since 2004, the year of Mr. Noth’s first New Yorker cartoon. More a New Tsunami than a New Wave.
A couple of Spill footnotes on the below segment of Mr. Techler’s piece:
“They [the cartoons] were never actually bad (I mean, come on, each era of the magazine was represented by everyone from Peter Arno to James Thurber to Bruce Eric Kaplan—legend has it that the improved quality of the cartoons in the 1940s was attributed to office boy Truman Capote throwing away the ones he didn’t like); they were just perceived as a little out of touch with what the rest of the comedy world was embracing.”
First: “…legend has it that the improved quality of the cartoons in the 1940s was attributed to office boy Truman Capote throwing away the ones he didn’t like)”:
Perhaps it’s time to retire the myth that Mr. Capote was throwing away drawings he didn’t like. Mr. Capote worked as a copy boy at the New Yorker for approximately two years in the early 1940s (he was hired sometime in 1942 and left the magazine sometime in 1944). One of his responsibilities was going through the unsolicited drawings in the slush pile looking for anything with promise. The drawings with some promise were then gone through by the art editor, James Geraghty. If he found anything worthy he’d bring it along to the art meeting. If you go to page 73 of Gerald Clarke’s biography, Capote (Simon & Schuster, 1988), you’ll hear find this passage with Mr. Capote talking about the lost drawings:
“Sometimes I would get the cartoons all messed up and confused. Then I would just throw them into one of those holes and say to myself, ‘Well, I’ll straighten that out later.’ I managed somehow to to lose about seven hundred of them that way. I didn’t deliberately destroy them, and I don’t know how I lost track of them. But I did…”
Second: “they were just perceived as a little out of touch with what the rest of the comedy world was embracing.”
I’m not exactly sure what Mr. Techler means. Which era or eras is he referring to? A specific era? All eras? When were they “perceived as a little out of touch” (and who was doing the perceiving?).
(If Mr. Techler wishes to clarify, The Spill will gladly post his remarks).
Cartoon Companion Rates Latest Cartoons
If it’s Friday (and it is), then a brand new Cartoon Companion awaits. The CC boys “Max” and “Simon” have run their trusty fine tooth combs through the cartoons in the latest New Yorker. Read it here.
The Attempted Bloggery E. Simms Campbell Fest Continues
Stephen Nadler has posted a lot of interesting pieces in the last few days, including cartoons appearing in a small promotional Esquire booklet (or sampler); a bunch of work by Dorothy McKay, and of course more work by his current fest focus: E. Simms Campbell. Go look!
Here’s Ms. McKay’s entry on the Spill‘s A-Z:
Dorothy McKay ( Self portrait above from Meet the Artist, 1943; Photo from Cartoon Humor, 1938) Born c.1904, died June, 1974 New York City. New Yorker work: 1934 -1936.
The Monday Tilley Watch is a meandering take on the cartoons in the current issue of The New Yorker.
I enjoy the little drama of seeing the new New Yorker cover pop up on the screen early Monday morning when I go to the digital issue; sometimes there is no Monday morning drama because the cover has been released (online) days earlier. The magazine occasionally does this with of-the-moment covers. That’s the case this week — Anthony Russo‘s “In the Hole” appeared online days ago (I continue to wonder why New Yorker covers need titles, a practice that began with Tina Brown’s second issue, October 12, 1992). The last untitled New Yorker cover, issue of October 5, 1992 was Edward Sorel‘s punk in a hansom cab — the first Tina Brown era cover:
The very next issue, October 12, 1992:
This latest issue’s cartoons start off well with Bruce Kaplan‘s Alice in Wonderland drawing. It’s graphically more complex than his usual style. The caption is excellent. Way to go.
Next up, four pages later, is a Farley Katz concert drawing. I enjoyed hovering over this drawing, looking at the details, especially the drums and drummer. Just three pages later, a couple of texting turtles via Liana Finck. For some reason — I don’t believe I’ve ever thought or said this before about any cartoon (other than one of my own) — I really wanted this drawing to be ever-so-slightly colored-in. Perhaps the largeness of the landscape surrounding the turtles reminded me of how Guy Billout handles his pages.
Six pages later, a fun Drew Dernavich drawing of a situation almost every driver has encountered: the hunt for a space. Coupled with a long-time favorite cartoonist scenario (the person crawling along the desert) and bingo! My only wish here would have been for the cartoon to have more breathing room around it. On the very next page, another drawing that would’ve benefited from a little bit more space on the page (hey what can I say, in the balancing act between text and cartoons, I always notice when there’s an imbalance). In Maddie Dai‘s cartoon we return to the Sistine Chapel (where Julia Suits was not too long ago). Reminder: if you haven’t seen the Michelangelo exhibit at the Met, better hurry.
Five pages later, a splendid Edward Koren drawing. And…it’s placed beautifully on the page. You can’t ask or more, folks.
On the very next page, a history lesson from Sara Lautman: how did the Great Lakes come to be called the Great Lakes. Interesting drawing — I like the scenario Ms. Lautman’s given us.
Three pages later, a cold & flu season contribution from P.C. Vey. The little drawing within the drawing is very funny. The aforementioned Julia Suits has the next drawing (on the very next page after Mr. Vey’s). The drawing makes use of the “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” armature. The setting is very George Boothian.
On the opposite page a William Haefeli drawing drawing upon the Bob Newhart showism: “Don’t go to bed mad.” Words of wisdom then and now. On the next page, a Teresa Burns Parkhurst captionless drawing (and the second cold & flu drawing in the issue). Elevator bank drawings are not seen all that often anymore. I like that the drawing was allowed to spread across three columns, allowing us to mosey on over to the pay-off.
Five pages later, Shannon Wheeler brings a very in-the-news item on home. This could easily have been one of those drawings that are sometimes placed below the table of contents. Good stuff.
Six pages later, an Ed Steed scenario ( a category within itself). Dead (?) fish, in a cage, not a tank. The use of color offsets the mystery…just a little.
Eight pages later, courtesy of Mick Stevens, an advice-seeking court jester. Don’t know if this drawing has anything to do with current domestic politics (in particular, a current politician) but it feels like it does. On the opposite page, a Mary Lawton “meet the…” scenario. “Meet the…” drawings seem to be making a comeback. This particular one seems true-to-life (with the exception of the two hours displayed on the sign. I’ve a feeling you could meet those people during all business hours).
Five pages later, the last drawing of the issue (not counting the caption contest cartoons). Tom Toro‘s penchant for detail is put to great use. Funny drawing. I wish it wasn’t slammed up against an ad though. I don’t believe the balancing act mentioned earlier (with text and cartoons) should ever include advertisements and cartoons. Cartoons hugging editorial text: yea. Cartoons hugging ads: nay. Just sayin’.
Update: Rea Irvin’s classic Talk of The Town masthead still missing. This is what it looks like:
Tom Toro in The Paris Review
Two blogs of note today, both very familiar to Spill visitors by now.
The first is Stephen Nadler’s Attempted Bloggery where he has posted, “Anatol Kovarsky: Leda and the Swan” — in anticipation of next week’s opening of the Kovarsky exhibit at the Society of Illustrators. Read it here.
(above: Mr. Kovarsky’s one-and-only collection, published in 1956. How I wish we had a follow-up!)
And then there’s A New Yorker State of Mind: Reading Every Issue of the New Yorker, which, in this latest post, takes a fascinating look at the issue of November 10, 1928 (shown above).
The one-and-only George Booth, whose life work, as regular visitors to the Spill know, is currently being celebrated at The Society of Illustrators, will be featured in a CBS “Sunday Morning” segment this weekend. Info here.
Attempted Bloggery continues to find fun stuff. Today it’s a John Held, Jr cover for a 1927 Yale- Princeton Football game.
Below is a snippet. To see it all, go here.
Photos of Interest: George Booth Event at The Society of Illustrators
As visitors to this site know, there’s an exhibit of work by George Booth at The Society of Illustrators. The show is a real treat. Last night Mr. Booth was on stage in front of a packed house, telling stories and answering questions. Here are some photos, courtesy of Liza Donnelly.
Above, left – right: George Booth; Jeremy Nguyen (hat, green glasses), David Borchart (green sweater); Bob Eckstein (with pen & paper).
Below, left – right: Seth Fleishman (back to camera), Drew Dernavich, Corey Pandolph; Sam Gross, Maria Scrivan.
Below: the scene at The Society. On stage: Sarah Booth, George Booth, and J.J. Sedelmaier, who curated the exhibit.
Interview of Interest: Tom Toro
From Fiction Writers Review, November 7, 2017, “Setting the Tone: An Interview with Tom Toro”
Lecture of Interest: Karasik & Newgarden
___________________________________________________________________________________ Brendan Loper’s Town Square
From the Lititiz Record Express, November 8, 2017, “Drawing attention to Lititiz: New Yorker cartoon causes mixed reactions”— this piece on a recent New Yorker “Daily” cartoon by Brendan Loper
Book of Interest: Peter Kuper
From the publisher:
Along with two dozen images, this volume features ten lively, informative interviews with Kuper. The book also includes a quartet of revealing interviews with underground comix legends R. Crumb and Vaughn Bodé, Mad magazine publisher William Gaines, and Jack Kirby, co-creator of mainstream superheroes from the Avengers to the Fantastic Four. These were conducted by Kuper and fellow artist Seth Tobocman in the early 1970s, when they were teenagers.