The Monday Tilley Watch is a meandering take on the cartoons in the current issue of The New Yorker.
I’ve spent a little time this morning looking through New Yorker Thanksgiving covers over the years. My all-time favorite — it’s the only cover I ever detached from the magazine (for shame!) so I could hang it on the wall — was Steinberg’s from 1976 (the same year he produced the now iconic so-called view from New York cover). His Thanksgiving cover, to my way of thinking, was and is the New Yorker cover at its best (not including Rea Irvin’s very first cover) — and I believe it was Steinberg at his best. Disagree with me if you’d like, but you’ll never change my mind.
There have been many other great New Yorker Thanksgiving covers, so very many. I saw some beauties this morning by George Booth, one by Anatol Kovarsky, Arnie Levin, Peter Arno, Frank Modell(!), James Stevenson, CEM (Charles E. Martin), William Steig…and on and on. Gems all. Someone should do a book of them.
This Monday Tilley Watch will be a little different than the ones that have come before. For most, this is a busy week, with a lot of rushing around. I actually saw people rushing around while I was in a grocery store yesterday. In that spirit (of rushing) I’m going to mention just five drawings in this new issue (there are 19, with a full page “Comic Strip” by Edward Steed making the total 20). For more on the others I suggest visiting the Cartoon Companion at week’s end [to those who have asked if the Spill is affiliated with the Companion, the answer is nay. We’re in touch, but their numbered opinions are strictly their own]
And now on to the five: the first is BEK’s (Bruce Eric Kaplan) drawing (it’s on page 39). Wonderful caption, perfectly capturing the mood (for many) of the times. Four pages later, on page 42, a terrific commuter drawing by David Sipress. Mr. Sipress delivers a drawing that lives up to Peter Arno’s high-bar one-two punch test. On the opposite page another winner by Liana Finck. She has a knack for taking us away in fairy tale situations. Moving on to page 76, a cartoon by the ever-reliable Paul Noth. I love that Mr. Noth has put so much into his Thanksgiving football drawing. Opposite the Noth cartoon, a feast for the eyes: an Edward Koren drawing. Mr. Koren is our longest active contributing artist, having first published in the New Yorker in 1962.
The “mix” of these drawings is what has always been one of my favorite parts of that first look through every issue of the magazine. Great writing, combined with interesting, oft-times exceptional drawing.
Final notes: Regular Monday Tilley Watch readers perhaps have grown weary of my unrelenting campaign to bring back the Rea Irvin Talk of The Town masthead to the magazine. Sorry to disappoint, but here it is again:
To me, removing Mr. Irvin’s creation from the magazine is akin to removing the top of the Chrysler building and replacing it with the top of Philadelphia’s One Liberty Place :
Further note: debut appearances in this week’s issue by Emma Hunsinger and Sofia Warren, bring the number of new cartoonists introduced under Emma Allen’s cartoon editorship to seven — an average of one new cartoonist a month (Ms. Allen began editing the cartoons this past May).